Black people have known that life isn’t fair
Black people have known that life isn’t fair and is sometimes downright terrifying for them. Recent events have made the details of systemic racism and oppression made known. It’s clear that it’s not a single issue, but there are many areas of life where unequal treatment has made for hardship for most in the African American community.
The whole world rallied to protest the death of George Lloyd,
but police brutality is only one of the challenges blacks face today. Blacks, especially adult males, live in fear of being arrested, brutalized, or killed by police even when they are in completely innocent situations. Moms of black boys live in fear of the day when their little sons grow up to be perceived as a threat. Police killed 1,099 people in 2019 and black people were 24% of those killed despite being only 13% of the population.
Certain inequalities in health exist also.
The African-American infant mortality rate is twice the rate for white infants (see Figure 2). African Americans are more likely to die from cancer and heart disease than whites, and are at greater risk for the onset of diabetes. Part of this is due to the implications of poverty: no or inadequate insurance and lack of transportation to the doctor’s office. There is also an implicit bias amongst some healthcare providers: “
Subtle biases may be expressed in several ways: approaching patients with a dominant and condescending tone that decreases the likelihood that patients will feel heard and valued by their providers, failing to provide interpreters when needed, doing more or less thorough diagnostic work, recommending different treatment options for patients based on assumptions about their treatment adherence capabilities.”
Due to a huge income disparity, Blacks remain in a cycle of poverty.
In 2018, the median black household earned just 59 cents for every dollar of income the median white household earned. Education is a major part of why blacks are making less. Schools with a majority of minority students are funded significantly less than white-dominant schools. As a result, the teachers are less-qualified and have fewer resources. Curriculum quality and materials are not up to par.
According to the Mocha Mama’s podcast, White teachers have different expectations for black students than white students. Standards are not the same. Black students are tested for special ed more than half the time. They are not pushed to the limits. Black students often get worksheets while white students get textbooks. Black students’ consequences are much stiffer than for white students. A black student will get a suspension versus a much more lenient discipline for a white student.
The more times a black student is matched with a black teacher the less likely they are to be suspended, but unfortunately there are few African American teacher. All these challenges make it hard for blacks to make it to college. According to census.gov, in 2017 whites made up 54.7% of college enrollment while blacks only made up 14.5%.
Hope for justice?
What can be done to reverse such an overwhelming history of systematic oppression? It is such an enormous problem that cannot be fixed with a simple solution. At Starfish we have been committed to helping minority students succeed in life for over twenty years. We may not be able to solve the overall problems of poverty, racism, and systemic oppression, but we can help break the cycle of poverty for individuals in our community.
At Starfish our two biggest priorities are sharing the love of God with our kids and providing academic support. In order to succeed in life, these kids need to do well in school. Parents aren’t always able to provide the homework help that the kids need. Our staff and volunteers are available after school to tutor the kids with their schoolwork as well as provide supplemental materials to enhance their education. Our kids consistently have higher GPAs than the neighborhood average.
What happens after high school is important. That’s why Starfish’s Ascending Leaders program is dedicated to helping high school students find the best path to career success. In the program students participate in resume classes, experience training on success in the workplace, receive guidance in choosing a college and applying for scholarships, and receive assistance in moving forward in rewarding careers.
When the force of injustice seems to great too confront, you start by making a difference with just one person. If you want to take that step towards reversing the narrative of racial justice, you can partner with us to make a difference in the live of at-risk youth. Visit our Get Involved page to discover how you can be a part in changing the story of inner-city youth.