Fighting The Criminalization of Black Students
William Jackson, M.Ed. @wmjackson
Parent, Educator, Blogger, Community Activist
My personal opinions from my
observation and experiences as a parent,
educator and community activist. I’m not
referencing to specific organizations or people.
Providing an insight into the situations and
circumstances of people of color and culture and
to encourage positive change and education.
Malcolm X, “To have once been a criminal
is no disgrace. To remain a criminal is the
The lessons of life are a reflection of the developing
maturity of Black boys that are developing into Black
men. Society’s perception of Black males has developed
into a growing state of fear, apprehension, uncertainty
and even panic. Bang Bang Bang Bang is the sound
of another Black male being murdered either by those
that look like him or those that only see him as a threat
and use a badge and gun to create their own justice on
innocence, killing another Black boy that may be a
potential criminal in society, but wait Black girls
are being killed as well. Judge – Jury and
Executioner just like in too many movies.
Through the media, entertainment industry, sporting
industry and even educational systems of our nation
(school to prison pipeline) Black boys and Black men are
criminalized. You may ask where the evidence is, it comes
in the form of expectation, evaluation and execution.
Too many expect our Black boys to fail, to many
evaluations say our Black boys are slow and of lower
levels in understanding and comprehension. To
many that are supposed to protect and service are
to ready to be judge, jury and executioner.
Listen to NPR and see how educators are already
passing judgment on Black boys.
The expectation that is portrayed in the media is that
Black males are feared because of their color, the
insinuation and expectation that eventually they will commit
acts of crime and participate in criminal behavior. The
unrealistic ideas that all Black men want white women
and most Black families are single parent homes.
The definition of racism is defined in the actions of
police and politicians that seem to be in collaboration
to execute and incarcerate.
President Obama has even stated in several speeches
outlining how women are uncomfortable in the vicinity
of Black males. Sharing his frustrations as a Black man
even with Black daughters.
Women clutching their purses closer to their bodies,
nervously watching with side glances while riding in
elevators, subways, buses and even in public stores.
Even professional men face scrutiny, ridicule and
fear from white men, white women and even their
own color and culture because the media has control
of their minds and hearts just like in The Matrix.
The expectation is that Black male mentality is not
a productive place. This is shared, shown and thrust
before us from a media that glamorizes violence, but
uses it to direct biases and even racism against
people of color. The Presidential candidate Trump
even sees Blacks as a threat, he entices Black
ministers and those claiming to be “Black leaders”
willing to bend over for Trump to enjoy “exploratory”
anal journey’s that create further division in the
Black community when ministers start running for
handouts not hands up for their people.
Black males are followed in stores, monitored in their
travels and assessed in school not just for educational
attainment, for the potential to be involved in behaviors
associated with academic challenges and as potential
drop outs. National Public Radio even
shares research about teachers and how Black
children in early childhood education are treated and
Racial Bias It’s in Pre-School
In music videos Black men are seen as drug dealers,
hustlers, rebellious against laws and law enforcement.
Black boys are portrayed as educationally challenged,
socially estranged from the social courtesies of common
morals and values. This is further from the truth and
in many cases lies. Black children are talented, creative,
innovative, but are bored with a teacher centered
classroom that looks at Black boys and girls as second
and third class educational citizens that only
deserve to be tested for Special Education,
suspension and expulsion. Lastly when this
is done enough come incarceration.
Professional athletes are highlighted as drug abusers
(this is not the majority of Black athletes), involved in
creating multiple children and not accepting the
responsibility for the financial and emotional care
of these children. Involved in alcoholic binges and
frivolously spending money with no moral compass
or direction to community service until almost bankrupt
then looking for sympathy and a job to keep their
All of us; parents, educators, administrators are
responsible for children’s educational growth.
Malcolm X was in the eighth grade when his teacher
crushed his desire to be an attorney, sending a then
Malcolm Little on a direction of criminal behaviors.
The power of teachers to promote learning or destroy
a child’s dreams is in the power of their expectations
and words. Teachers need to remember their words are
powerful and influential. Stop looking at the color of
that child and look at their content, how will you build
this baby up to be better than society views them or
are you just as racist in your teaching as you are in
Teachers are accountable to society because of their
inherited responsibility to build children up and
educate them, not to be judgmental, not to be bias
(although many are and not know it).
R. Lee Gordon has claimed a transformative
statement, “if you’re not part of the solution, then
you are part of the problem.” The solutions is not
a one size fits all, but a holistic approach to helping
students achieve and earn success.
Parents, choose to make a difference in your homes,
in your community, in your child’s schools. You do not
have to be that mad Black man or that mad Black women.
Just be active, engaged and determined to make a
difference so the future will have a chance to blossom
and bloom for all children not wasting away in
Special Education classes, labeled and put on
drugs like rabid dogs to be mentally and emotionally
controlled with drugs that take away the beauty of
Take the time to listen to Dr. Claud Anderson
as to Why Black Need To Have Businesses
Educational Technology and Social Media
class at Edward Waters College. Students and Prof. Jackson
reviewing project data….