Occupy Education – Vent XL

Terrible. Disastrous. Unfathomable. Something I honestly didn’t expect to see in Toronto at all – it’s something that ‘s really unfortunate when you supposedly live in a ‘world class city’ that prides themselves on their multiculturalism and ethnic diversity. How does this happen? I can probably do my own best to explain, but it’s difficult to really comprehend just what’s going on here.
You can come up with just about every excuse in the world about why the drop out rate is almost at 50%: Poverty, no role model, single parent household, bad influence of area, and the list can go on and on. I wasn’t rich, I was raised in a single parent household, the influences around me in my area weren’t the greatest, but yet I was still able to go to school and graduate. Maybe I’m just fortunate, but why should that be the case that one has to be fortunate to be entitled to an education? For one thing, I understand that school isn’t exactly the best thing ever – it’s not for everyone, because some people just don’t have the patience for it, but I’ll never forget the advice my mom gave me to just finish: do your time and get out. It sounds like a prison sentence, which is ironic because it is ‘institutionalized’ education. The point is that – all you have to do is finish. It’s the basic education that can help you get a least a little bit further in life. Besides, not everyone can make it out and be a success simply from dropping out of high school. I know there are people out there who have had it out worse than me and have still went through, so why is it that so many black kids give up?
I have friends that haven’t finished. They chose to work over going to school, because money was more important and they couldn’t be bothered to balance both – sometimes it has to be that way, but you have to be able to multitask and juggle your options. Some can handle it, some can’t. Do we call it selfish, or do we call it trying to survive? I know people who have to work 2-3 jobs just to be able to live and pay off their tuition, and that’s for college & university. The only thing in public school (specifically high school) that you have to pay for is a registration fee. Black people always want to play the victim role and want to blame ‘the system’ for working against the kids like they don’t control their own actions. I AM a black man, I was a black student, and I knew other black students that went through ‘the system’ and did fine, so allow me to be really frank when I say what the fuck are you talking about? You’re making excuses instead of coming up solutions.
I said literally just yesterday (February 17th) that you alone control your own success and failures. Of course their were disagreements, and I don’t knock anyone’s opinions, but at the beginning and end of the day, who is the main person that influences decisions that you make in your life? You, correct? You wake up, you go on about your day and decide what it is you want to do with your life. You do control your own life based on the decisions made that determine your next steps – you can argue about it all you want, but unless you possibly have something better to do between the ages of 14-18 years old, I’ll never understand why Black kids drop out so much. Now, they’re not the only race of kids to drop out, but it’s the most noticeable because Black people seem to ‘like’ this kind of attention, but yet want to look at it, complain about it, and do nothing about it – the cycle. It happens all the time, I’ve seen it manifest and translate into nothing progressive.
I was up early this morning and I was just in disarray about this whole thing, so I decided to do some research about the history of the drop out rate among Black students in Toronto. I came across this article from The Toronto Star in 2008. Two Thousand & Eight.
 Cut black dropout rate to 15%, schools told

In 2008, the drop out rate was 40%. In 2013, the drop out rate is 42%. The plan was stated in the article that they wanted to drop the rate to 15% over the course of 5 years. It’s increased – what’s the problem here? Who’s to blame? The TDSB? The Parents? The Students? Yes – all three. It’s clear that whatever their plan was to fix this – it isn’t working. When we live in a generation where a lot of black kids are influenced by entertainment, which includes music, movies, and television, it’s easy to be distracted by the fundamental things that drive passion, dedication and determination in others. Some of my favourite rappers that I listen to didn’t graduate high school, but I’m not going to be the one to actually not finish just because they didn’t. It’s honestly the hardest thing in the world to try to understand why people are so stubborn towards an education, and every time I converse with black people about what;’s wrong with the world, it always starts with schools: the books aren’t updated, the teachers don’t care, the facilities are crap, the subjects are boring or useless. Then you have the questions of: ‘well, what do I need this for?’ That piece of paper called a high school diploma that you may not care for, could be the difference between you getting a career that isn’t involving music, working in construction or in a factory. You want to be a business entrepreneur, you need some education to start something up. You want to be an athlete? You need some education to start that up. I mean, I get that you have to do you, and be on your grind, and there are those who witness struggle daily and just want to make a difference – I get that wholeheartedly, I honestly do – but if you want to make a difference, why not start with the fundamentals that can help you prosper? What’s the degree of difficulty that you’re facing sitting in a classroom? Everyone likes money, but your education is something that stays with you forever – money comes and goes, and it’s not going anywhere. Being money motivated to the point where education is secondary is the reality of the Black community – period. It depends on where you live and your influences at home, but I’ve seen enough to make that assessment.
I can’t speak for everyone, but I can voice my views on the situation – it’s something that I wish I could speak to young kids about, but the problem is that they won’t care what you have to say if you can’t persuade them to a point where what you’re doing is any better than what they’re doing. Some people have that notion that no matter what they do, they’re automatically set up for failure in school – you keep thinking with that mentality, then you won’t make it far in life, period. Black people have been screaming for equality and acceptance, and always want to play the victim, but yet here we are and they’d rather label themselves as a statistic and complain about it. It’s 2013 – try something different.

That’s My Word & It STiXX

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