I’ll hear about it later
Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 28, 2006
Thursday night the News Herald hosted a political forum on the campus of Chowan University for the candidates trying to win seats on the Hertford County Public School Board.
Of the seven candidates who are running for election, six attended the forum.
The candidates fielded several pre-screened questions, and for the most part, I thought that they all did very well in articulating their viewpoints and agendas.
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Of course, if you did not attend the event you wouldn’t know that, and that applies to about 99 percent of the people who read this publication.
Some of you neither live in, nor have children who attend school in Hertford County so you would not be expected to attend the event.
There were many conspicuous absentees however, none more so than parents of Hertford County students.
Of course I have no way of knowing who amongst our local officials had prior engagements or family commitments that would inhibit their attendance, but for as significant of an issue as the local public school district is, I was expecting a more diverse and inclusive crowd.
The school board was well represented as every individual currently sitting on the board as well as those running for re-election were in attendance.
As far as county officials go however, only board of Elections Director Sheila Privott and her staff were in the house Thursday night.
It is the names that you do not see here that tell the rest of that story.
One of the candidates made reference to the fact that there were approximately 7,000 parents of county students, and yet less than 50 showed up Thursday night.
Less than fifty parents showed up at a political forum designed to introduce prospective candidates for a school board election in a district that has been singled out as the district in most need of improvement in the entire state.
Therein lies the biggest problem with Hertford County students, their parents.
Of course many of you who take the time to listen to me vent on Saturday’s do indeed take your children’s education very seriously, and you know that I am not speaking about you.
For those persons who I am speaking of, the rest of this article is for and about you.
I do not hesitate to discuss issues of race and class because I feel that many times a frank discussion can move an issue forward light years, as opposed to segregated, closed door, back-biting.
That being said here it is.
The majority of Hertford County’s population is black.
The Sheriff is black, the Chief of Police is black, the County Manager is black, the Chairman of the County Commissioners is black, The Principal of the county high school is black, the local State Senator is black, as is the local State Congressman, four of the five County Commissioners and the president of the Community College.
So please tell me how it is that white people are keeping your children from getting a proper education?
Do you think that all of these black professionals would stand idly by and watch their citizens be victimized by some conspiracy against black people?
I think not.
The county built a school, filled it with teachers and books, stocked it with food, turned on the electricity and then to top it off they send a bus to your house to pick your children up and transport them to and from the school.
If your children do not arrive motivated and eager to learn, do not blame that on some supposed white man.
Many of you were ready to kick in the Superintendent’s door when the county announced a school uniform policy.
Where were you Thursday night?
Dozens of you lined up to take pot shots at the school board after the former superintendent’s dismissal.
Where were you Thursday night?
I attended a rally a few months back organized by the local branch of the NAACP for convicted robber and kidnapper James &uot;Hassan&uot; Bunch, the Nation of Islam even showed up.
There was a packed house to talk about police improprieties in Hertford County.
Where the NAACP and the Nation Thursday night?
The single biggest obstacle to the progression of black Americans is the presence of unscrupulous individuals in our judicial system.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
The best way to avoid the primary black hole designed for people of color is to get an education that will allow you to determine your own destiny.
The law has made it more challenging to raise a child today, as our government has allowed social services to tell people how to run their households, based on studies done in a Harvard classroom.
Yet, every graduating class of every school has children who are poised for success at the highest level.
In spite of everything that could possibly work against them, some parents still manage to rear productive, intelligent students who become valuable members of their community.
Other parents obviously do not care who the school board members are, or who the new superintendent will be, and God forbid you ask their children to not come to school dressed like they were going to a rap concert.
I bet if somebody was giving away gold teeth, or fake hair that auditorium would’ve been jam-packed.
I guess that’s the white man’s fault as well.
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