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Category: Social Justice

Measuring Educational Equality in Tulsa

A lingering cultural construct that brands Black boys as “bad dudes” and Black girls as young “angry Black women” stems from the same dark ignorance that caused the 1921 Tulsa Massacre and decades of racist policies passed by state legislators and policy makers. The truth is, they were the architects for what are now today’s educational equality gaps

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Oklahoma legislators commit criminal acts by preparing our students for prison.

Opinion By Nehemiah D. Frank 

Oklahoma students consistently perform below nearly every other state in the nation, and I imagine that this year’s test scores will be lower due to unreasonable state legislators who have seemingly sworn their loyalty to oil and gas corporations. Considering last year’s average test score ranks Oklahoma at 49th in the nation for Pre-K through 12-grade education, we can literally hear the chains clanging against the floor as the new arrivals — former students — stroll into Oklahoma prisons. Our state ranks 2nd highest in the nation for incarceration and 1st in the world for incarceration of women.

The impending shutdown through the eyes of a teacher

Before the “Work the Contract” initiative began on March 12th, Cameron would spend time before and after school (and on weekends) making lesson plans, grading, calling parents, making copies, planning activities, organizing group work, and meeting with his coaches, principal and data team.  Now the time to complete these duties is confined to his 55 minute planning period (contractual time afforded to allow teachers to attend to business outside of their classroom) each day.  His regular 80/hr work week has been reduced to forty. “I am having a hard time not bringing any work home,” said Cameron. “It feels like a slap in the face that we have to prove to our legislators how much work this takes.”

Keeping the name “Lee” means you approve and agree with…

OPINION BY | Nehemiah D. Frank 

Let us be frank: renaming Robert E. Lee Elementary School “Lee School” is a lash on the back of every African-American student attending a Tulsa public school, which is alarming considering 25 percent of TPS’ total student population is composed of African-American pupils. 

TPS may as well remount the “No Colored” signs and command all the Negro students, Negro teachers, and Negro staff to ignore the symbol that acknowledges, values, and promotes white superiority in a 21st-century integrated educational setting.

Tulsa Race “Riot” Commission is causing division in Tulsa

When African-American leaders from North Tulsa echo white supremacy, it hurts the entire black community as a whole. 

Echoing white supremacy can be defined as reinforcing racist stigma or perpetuating racial falsehoods for the purpose of personal gain or out of plain ignorance. Unfortunately, this ignorance or unrighteous act is harmful for the community and the race. And the predicable, unpredictable-unforeseen damages to come will have a long-lasting impact into the future on Tulsa’s African-American community and other historic African-American towns across the nation. 

Then Shut It Down

Ten-year-old Rosa Hernandez was in in the back of a medical transport vehicle in October.  She and her cousin were traveling 150 miles by ambulance through the dark Texas backcountry from her home in Laredo to Corpus Christi. Rosa has cerebral palsy and was in need of an emergency gallbladder removal.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Profiled Dr. Gill and Gill’s Family

By Contributor David Harland 

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is actively implementing a policy of racial profiling by interpreting a person’s hands being in the air as probable cause for drug searches.

In a traffic stop on January 5, 2018, Rev. Dr. Eric Gill was told to exit his vehicle. When he did, he put his hands in the air as a caution. Immediately, the officer yelled “now, why do you have your hands up, that means you have drugs! Do I need to search the car!?”

Captain Paul Timmons was quoted in defense of this OHP policy, saying “it kind of raises a red flag to law enforcement officers, people get out and instantly throw their hands up.”
But Rev. Dr. Gill didn’t have drugs in his car. Instead, his wife and eleven-month-old child waited and watched as he stepped out of the vehicle.

Oklahoma’s NAACP has Dr. Eric Gill’s back | Issues Statement

Oklahoma City – Today Oklahoma State Conference National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) calls for a meeting with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Commissioner concerning the treatment of Dr. Reverend Eric Gill, Youth Minister at Metropolitan Baptist Church, and former Basketball Coach at Heritage Hall School.  Dr. Gill is approximately 5’6”, 170lbs and physically not seen as an immediate threat to anyone.

When did putting your hands up – a universal sign of surrender – become a message of “having drugs?” This is a prime example of Betty Shelby’s irrational behavior when she killed Terence Crutcher.  According to the Tulsa Police officers, they stated that he looked like a “Big Black BAD DUDE.”  With his hands in the air, according to Betty Shelby, Mr. Crutcher was reaching for a gun, and no one thought to question whether his hands being next to the car window was simply a reflection.  “It is evident why so many law enforcement officers are acquitted when encountering African-Americans who they say are a big bad black dude no matter their height or weight.” Said Anthony R. Douglas, President Oklahoma State NAACP. 

TPD moves slowly in bridging trust gap with African-American community

225 days have passed since former Tulsa Police Officer (TPD) Betty Shelby got away with murder. And today marks 387 days since G.T. Bynum assumed the role as Mayor of Tulsa.

At the 2017 Zarrow Mental Health Symposium, Mayor G.T. Bynum told attendees that most of the 77 recommendations form the Tulsa Commission on Community Policing he created would be implemented by year’s end.

Unfortunately, time is running out on the community policing dashboard. Purportedly, only 51-percent of the 77 recommendations for community policing is implemented, and 49-percent is ambiguously in the works of being implemented.

The Black Wall Street Times’ Book Club Contest! Your chance to win tickets to Tavis Smiley’s play, “Death of A King.”

We are excited to announce an excellent opportunity for our readers to not only win tickets to Tavis Smiley’s stage play, “Death of A King,” on February 8, 2018,  but to become more knowledgeable about the life of Dr. King, the life of King that you don’t know. As Tavis Smiley’s byline says, “The man you know, the story you don’t.”