On my trip home from work recently, I overheard a conversation that involved about five twenty-something’s. The conversation involved an EBT card(food stamps for those who don’t know) and the fact that the cardholder was having some issues using it recently. She was obviously upset, and she should have been. after all, from my perspective, she could not purchase food for herself nor anyone she was responsible for. But it was a statement she made later that upset me. She went on to say that she “earned’ her “stamps” and “how could they “screw her —- up”. the others around her, another young lady and three guys all lamented her situation and echoed her belief that she had earned her “stamps”. How could “they” do this to me. One guy even chimed in that he had recently experienced issues with his card. All of this sent my head a spinning. How does one “earn” an EBT card? I always thought “they” gave you an EBT card. After a few moments digesting what she had said, my thoughts turned to frustration. How dare she say she earned her card considering it was our tax dollars that provided the funds for the card. Then that thought went away quickly as I realized my frustration should be directed at the system that allows such attitudes to perpetuate themselves. I started to think about not what she said specifically, but what her statement meant for us as a society as a whole. What I gleaned from this group of young people was that they felt they were entitled to that card. They felt that just being alive entitled them to have that EBT card so they do not have to spend any money on a basic necessity. By the time I got to my stop, I had come to the same conclusion that many others before me had; we are producing a society of men and women, and by extension children, who feel they are entitled to things. Nothing has to be earned, but it should be given. It has become a popular notion that just being born entitles you to food, housing, insurance, and even a diploma. All at no cost to the individual. The prevailing belief among a large number of people is that you should not have to work to pay for food and shelter, and other necessities. When you work you should be able to use that money for leisure activities, or so it is believed. No need to study hard, because they are going to have to let me walk across that stage, because I was born and I have a right to walk across that stage whether I met the requirements to walk or not. Why should I take care of my children when the schools and the state can do it for me. By the time all my thoughts had finished swirling around in my head, I settled back and realized that what is wrong with South DeKalb and with our society in general is that we have become a nation that feels entitled to things as oppose to working for them. It is obvious from our schools to the streets to our prisons. Successful individuals do not feel entitled to anything. They work hard and reap the rewards of that hard work. It transcends social standing, economic status and racial identification. It is a learned behavior and until many of us unlearn that entitlement mentality we are surely never going to be successful at anything.
This article was sent by a reader recently, and I just had to share it just in case people had not read the comments from my last post. Here are a few quotes from the article.
This year(2004) at Vanderlyn, in a quiet DeKalb County suburb northeast of Atlanta, the PTA raised an eye-popping $133,166 and is lavishing it on the kids: $12,000 for the library, $12,500 for the gym, $4,000 for landscaping, $2,250 for “student incentives.”
Then to be contrasted with this statement:
Toney boasts a successful “Treasure Chest” program that rewards kids and parents who read books. Read a book, take home a prize: toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, blankets, canned goods. “Everything that they may be too proud to ask for,”
Basic necessities are given as rewards! What’s worst, is that the reward system applies to parents as well as students. This an awful way to start life.
Addressing poverty and ignorance seems to be an elusive goal in education. Poverty is more entrenched and more dangerous than society wants to admit.
Experts say the effects of poverty fall squarely on minority students. John Logan, a demographic researcher at State University of New York-Albany, has found that the average black or Hispanic student attends an elementary school in which about two-thirds of classmates are poor; for whites, fewer than a third of classmates are poor.
Education is suppose to be the path out of poverty, but too many poor families are stuck in a cycle of poverty, poor education and a society unwilling to admit that poor students may need more resources.
Even middle-class minority students aren’t exempt: The average black family with an income of more than $60,000 lives in a neighborhood with a higher poverty rate than the average white family earning less than $30,000, he says.
This could explain why schools with solid middle class students are still suffering
Recent research also shows that poor students, who are least likely to find help at home, are least likely to find it at school. Poorly prepared, uncertified teachers are concentrated in urban and rural school districts, says Linda Darling-Hammond of Stanford University. “It all adds up,” she says.
Resources that are most needed in urban classrooms are not there.
This article sums up not only what is wrong in DeKalb, but5 what is also wrong in our education system in general. The sad part is that This article could have been written in 2010 with the same schools, and the facts would remain absolutely the same.,
This should be news to no one. I know of three establishments, all gas stations, who have been cited for selling alcohol to minors. Yet they still operate and rarely ask for ID when selling alcohaol or cigarettes. Much of South DeKalb is inundated with establishments that sell alcoholic beverages. For example, a three mile stretch of Candler road from memorial to the mall area has six liquor stores. Add to that the exorbitant number of gas stations that sell alcohol, and the mom and pop grocery stores, you have an area drowning in alcoholic beverages. with so many establishments, it is no wonder teens can get alcohol easily. I am not against alcohol sales, but I am against is the concentration of establishments that sell alcohol. What is needed is a county commission and licensing board that will look at the number of establishments already selling alcohol in an area before approving new ones. If you lessen the availability, you can have better control over establishments selling alcohol to minors and punish them accordingly.
This is a scary story. Not because White kids are successful in school systems thought to be sub-standard. It is scary because of what it says very subtly. So what is wrong with the black students? Despite questionable leadership and despite less than qualified teachers, these kids succeed. With crumbling infrastructure the white students succeed. Add the black students to the equation, and the systems take a nose dive. The post mentioned nothing about the background of these students, who tested above the state average, other than their whiteness. I think we know what is being said, but PC will not even allow it to be touched.
One thing is clear: African-Americans do not need another program carved out to address anything. When 70 percent of our males drop out of high school; when 30,000 black people show up for HUD voucher applications; when greed, graft and criminal attachments seem to travel with our best and brightest in politics and government; when robbery and murder of our community entrepreneurs is vogue; when our young people believe that exposing their underwear is fashionable; and when we believe that whored-out expensive autos with rented rims is the way to social salvation, another program is not the answer
Now thats how you shoot from the hip. I really like the whored-out autos line, that is too classic. This post was in Crossroads news recently, and it goes to the heart of the problem in too many black communities. Too many people put value into the wrong things. The things that should be valuable to most of us, has no value to many. Education has no value. Family has no value. Friendships, hard work, and spirituality and life have no value for too many people.
You see this is the problem we face in South DeKalb. Some moronic buffoon becomes the defacto face and lifestyle of an entire demographic. A teacher at SWD is accused of criminal acts that inlvolved “dirty dancing” by male students and all of a sudden there is a moral blackhole that is South DeKalb. His lawyer went on to argue that these things happen at SWD on a regular basis.
“That is customary and usual activity at Southwest DeKalb,” Patterson said. “This is what the kids do daily, weekly, monthly at Southwest DeKalb.”
The guys lawyer made that statement, and I nearly lost it. I could not believe that she would use that as a defense. It happens all the time. it’s OK. Yea, the monkeys throw shit all the time just ignore them. She made a hard situation worse for the school and the community. I bet her kids have the privilege of being in a so-called “better” school, because God forbid anything negative and unholy happen at any school other than “those” schools . She basically puts down the entire student body, Administrators, teachers, and parents. What she was saying was that this is normal for “these” people. What she said was, you can’t hold “these” people to normal standards, after all the attend, work, and live near “that” type of school. She played on the stereotype of what people think of an area once “those” people move in. Think I am just being overly sensitive, checkout some of the posts at the Get Schooled blog. The very first post:
I coached cheerleading at a high school several years back. Our school would play some south Dekalb schools. The cheerleaders and dance teams would do some seriously trashy dancing and cheers. My girls would look at them and want to do some of the same. My answer- as the ADULT in charge- NO!! I don’t care what the kids want to do- as the teacher- you are the adult and you need to make the right judgement call. In a school fraught with issues like Southwest Dekalb- the teachers have to hold the line harder than anyone. The kids can whine and complain and stamp their little feet all they want- the adult is in charge.
I bet this person could not wait to lump as many South DeKalb schools in this mess as he/she could. It is funny how when some crappy mess happens at one school in South DeKalb, the entire population gets lumped in as being culturally deficient, and a threat to the good morals of this country.(BTW, this country lost it’s morals long ago, you have just recently had someone to blame) When these things happen in upper class, christian neighborhoods, it’s not a symptom of cultural deficiency, but it’s an “isolated incident” or even better, a “teachable moment” for our kids. What a load of mess that is.
Now that I have railed against those who would use this to point out the morally inept people of South DeKalb, let me say that the teacher at the center of all this should be run out of the county. He should never be allowed to teach anywhere again. Hell, he shouldn’t be allowed to work anywhere within DeKalb. In fact he should have to get the proverbial Scarlett letter branded to his skull. The should brand him with a huge capital “I”, so that when anyone sees him, or he goes looking for any kind of employment, everyone will know that they are about to hire an IDIOT. You know since his lawyer made that idiotic defense about “customary activity at Soutwest DeKalb”, she should be branded with the “I” as well. We sure wouldn’t want her going around defending dangerous people.
I guess the AJC felt this was news. A group of baby thugs and little hoodlets squaring off in a clothing store. These things happen all the time, and I know the argument will be that these people are famous therefore there is a compelling interest to tell the story. Well first of all, the story was not compelling. Maybe some background as to why they would tangle, maybe link it to some ongoing feud between the two families that has been simmering for generations might be compelling. The way the story is written is like a schoolyard account of a fight. I bet bet the reporters did not even walk the few blocks down to Walters, they probably called on the phone and talked to a store employee. But what really gets me is that this is actually a story. I checked my tweetdeck, and this story is on fire. the clothing store, Walters, was trending high in Atlanta. The sheeple were retweeting the same AJC story over and over, with their comments included. Many of those were taking sides, eventhough the altercations was long over. I do not expect the AJC to cover a fight between the ‘hood ganstas. This is not entertainment, it is clownery. Promoting the clowns should be left to the ringmasters, not the news organizations. Just thought i would vent on this one.