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By Staff Writer Nehemiah D. Frank
What Ponders My Mind
People, who are usually white, often tell me that I am too obsessed with race. In fact, I have even been criticized and compared to a race fanatic. Notwithstanding those allegations, I will always believe that systemic racism is a facet for today’s illiteracy curse plaguing the multitude of Black children some one-hundred-fifty years after the Emancipation Proclamation — the epoch, in American history, that led to the appearance of Black liberation. However, I, now, reckon the more significant problem stems from an aristocratic class of Americans, one-percenters — mostly white — who do not care about people of color nor poor White people. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us —Black, Brown, and White — to participate in that extension of democracy granted to the masses by the few decent, human beings among the upper classes.
Thoughts and predictions coming to fruition
W.E.B. Du Bois’s Souls of Black Folk declares, “The problem of the twenty-century is the problem of the color line.” An abstract idea, to say the least, explaining the color barrier that seeks to disenfranchise African Americans from obtaining their version of the American dream. The distinguished author, and voice of that era, then predicts the coming social problems soon to plague all Americans — the imminent clash between the economic classes.
Despite all of that, the middle and poor white classes — whether intentional or not — continue to push down minorities in this country, all while simultaneously becoming disenfranchised themselves. Attacks on Net Neutrality, Healthcare, and the very thing that can ensure a prosperous and successful future for our nation — access to a quality education.
My proposition suggests that the aristocratic class’s willingness to politically oppress the middle and poor classes is a reoccurring theme in American and world history. An intentional and knowledgeable method passed down through the ages from one generation to the next. Just think about; wealthy elites are the most political and intellectual, astute people in any society, continually studying, writing theories, inventing, and implementing policies with the aim of protecting and maintaining their, own, status quo.
Honestly, as a middle school teacher and founder of a publishing company, I barely have the time to delve into the much needed sociological research needed to make a strong claim regarding this hypothesis; however, I did manage to come across this excerpt written at the turn of the twentieth century.
“Every other Southern State followed the example of Virginia, and in all the aristocratic educational policy of old England prevailed. The children of the superior classes were instructed, often expensively, at home and abroad, and promising youth from the poorer classes assisted to obtain an education. But the common white people were left to fall away into ignorance, and the colored folk was almost wholly untaught. Such was, virtually, the status of education in the South till the breaking out of the great war. The exception to this condition was in several of the larger cities these States, which had stabbed and supported a credible system of public schools, for white children, several years before 1860,” an expert from Pamphlets: Education. English. 1810-1906], Volume 11
Interestingly enough, the passage nearly parallels the current state of America’s public educational crisis. African-American students are at the bottom; moreover, the middle and poorer class Whites, slightly above the Blacks, but seemingly at the bottom as well.
So, Our Greatest Mission
The task of waking the massive, middle and poorer economic-classes into a new era of social enlightenment is possibly the greatest task we as a nation are implored with. Thus, the audacity of hope remains. Although history often reveals that every great nation must meet its end, often due to greedy wealthy people, a dream deferred or stolen by a small controlling group does not have to lead to the collapse of what may possibly be the greatest nation to ever exist on the face of our planet.
P.S. Stay Woke
Nehemiah D. Frank is the Founder & Editor in Chief of the Black Wall St. Times. Frank is also the Co-Executive Producer of the “Dominic Durant Sports Show.” Frank graduated from Harold Washington College in Chicago, IL in General Studies, and earned a 2nd degree in Political Science from Oklahoma State University. He is highly involved in community activism, a middle school teacher at Sankofa School of the Performing Arts, a blogger for Education Post, and dedicates most of his time to empowering and uplifting his community. Frank is a 2017 Terence Crutcher Foundation Honoree and has been featured on NBC, Blavity, and Tulsa People.