In a recent article, both Democrats and Republicans responded to the Charleston shooting from religious and political perspectives respectively. Those perspectives continue to elude the fact that such racist terrorist acts are rooted in racism in the classroom. What is absent from the Democrat and Republican responses is blaming Black parents for the continued decline in race relations in America.
According to the article, Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry determined that the Charleston shooting was a hate crime thus retracting his previous statement that the incident was an accident. Rick Perry stated, “I think we all come here today with heavy hearts for those individuals in Charleston — those Charleston Christians — who were gunned down in an absolute heinous hate crime inside of their place of worship. That deranged individual didn’t just take lives of black Americans — he gunned down nine children of God.”
Democratic president Barack Obama took the opportunity to ridicule gun laws as the source for the Charleston shooting. Obama stated, “More than 11,000 Americans were killed by gun violence in 2013 alone,” Obama said in an afternoon appearance at a national conference of mayors in San Francisco. “If Congress had passed some commonsense legislation after Newtown, after a group of children had been gunned down in their own classroom, reforms that 90% of the American people supported … we might still have more Americans with us.”
The responses from both Democrats and Republicans are absent of how Black parents should respond to the Charleston shooting.
What are some of the responses that Black parents teach their children to avoid racism that can lead to situations like the Charleston shooting?
Some minorities believe they cannot trust White institutions. Cultural racism results from the dominant or more powerful group defining cultural values and value characteristics. Anti-Black prejudice in America has historical roots in slavery, carpetbagging, and the failure to reconstruct the South after the Civil War.
Indians, Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, and Blacks share the same experience of entrance into the United States society against their will and then relegated to a subordinate status. Blacks have learned since slavery that the way to get ahead in America is not through merit and talent but through White patronage. Americans of color have had to adapt to a society that does not value their ethnicity, history, heritage, or language by establishing societal survival strategies.
Black parents prepare their children to live in a dual cultural world that involves helping them to develop skills for adult roles such as wage earners and parenthood in addition to negotiating a dominant society that has different cultural values and judges’ people by their skin color or ethnic background. Blacks who live in an urban society and a society that dislikes them for the color of their skin ensure they do not become victims by approaching people with caution, wariness, and a sense of distrust. Blacks learn at an early age to be wary of people and systems in their environment.
What other strategies can Black parents incorporate to protect their children for future racism which includes events such as the Charleston shooting?
Black parents can enhance efforts to protect their children by eliminating classroom racism (Elcloomism). Education provides a vehicle for children of all ethnicities to make different and informed choices and teachers are the gate keepers. Classroom racism provides the platform for White students such as Dylann Roof to develop attitudes associated White privilege which can turn into extreme views associated with White supremacy.
Parents can use the following strategies:
- Involve your children in an academic summer enrichment program
- Meet with and discuss child’s progress in school weekly
- Require your children to take classroom notes. This will provide evidence on what your child is learning. It will document what the teacher is teaching too.
- Have your child develop a portfolio which includes classroom tests and homework for each subject area.
- Meet with teachers monthly regarding the progress of you child
- Attend all school board meetings
- Participate in the school board member selection process
Black parents can continue to ensure that their children do not become victimized by such events as the Charleston shooting by becoming more involved in the education process and requiring that teachers eliminate classroom racism (Elcloomism) by promoting positive racial teacher student classroom racism (Properateasclaships).
Dr. Derrick L. Campbell, Ed.D.
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
Author of Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships and Promoting Positive Racial Teacher Student Classroom Relationships: Methodology
“The model that you use to analyze teacher-student relationships is a good one for most school districts”.
~ Joe Vas ~ Perth Amboy Mayor
“Dr. Campbell’s Cultural Relationship Training Program is comprehensive, informative, and should be required training for all schools”
~ Darrell Pope ~ Hutchinson Kansas NAACP President