SEEDS OF DISASTER
Galatians VI (King James Version):
When my father first came to the United States in 1905 he went to work at a job he hated in the coal mines of West Virginia. He said he thought he would do that until he learned the language. The trouble was the "Slavers," who at that time, brought the workers to the US, kept them in segregated groups. The Polish workers spoke Polish and the Italians Italian. Frustrated, my father left and made his way to New York. He soon joined a Russian speaking group who sponsored English classes for new emigrants. There he met my mother and for years and four children later they continued to tease each other about their accents.
"No. " my father would say, "it’s not Ott Hiron, Its hot Iron." And my mother would answer, "It’ not wegatbles it’s Vegetables. Although both spoke many other languages and my mother could switch from Russian to Polish to Yiddish to German in one conversation, they would never allow the children to speak any language but English. They did not want us to have a "Hacksent"
We were all taught to be proud of our heritage and we were always aware of our parent’s love for their old country and culture that they left to survive the famine and terrible hardship.
I often think about my parents when I hear arguments for dual language courses in the American school systems. The results have been devastating to millions of new young Americans. They are kept outside the herd. They always feel that they are visitors not members of the society. African Americans in particular living in northern Black Ghettoes retain the old slave mentality. Black television, like Spanish television perpetuates that mentality. Both groups segregate themselves mostly because of lack of language skills.
I get very emotional when I think of the special dedication that I wrote in my book "The Second Civil War."
"To the great patriots; Little Jimmy Jackson, Reverend Reeb,
Shwerner, Goodman, Chaney and Liuzzo who gave their lives in
the fight for freedom and justice and specially to the wonderful
young freedom fighters who showed us adults the way."
We let them and all the other "freedom Fighters" of the1960s Civil rights movement down. Forty years later Spanish speaking children are struggling in school and dropping out. Over four million students are expected to enter high school next semester and almost half of the minority students will not graduate and CNN reported, "a third -- or more than a million -- will never graduate. They are coming to high school with poor math and reading skills, become bored and frustrated, and then drop out. Graduation rates peaked in 1969 and have declined for most of the past 30 years. And of those who do graduate, too many lack the skills to enter college."
We are speaking of America’s future. It is the most important subject for Americans to tackle, yet I have not heard one of the, party created, presidential candidates speak about it.
The US Census Bureau released official statistics showing a slight rise in the poverty rate from 2003 to 2004 and a decade-long trend of growing income inequality highlighted by rising revenues for the top 20 percent of households and a drop in earnings for the bottom 60 percent..
It is well known among economists, media, and politicians that income is extraordinarily concentrated among the population. According to the State of Black America 2005, the income level of African American families is only one-tenth of that of white families, and the welfare enjoyed by Black Americans is only three-fourths of their white counterparts. In 2004, the poverty rate was 24.7 percent for African Americans, 21.9 percent for Hispanics, and 8.6 percent for non-Hispanic whites. In New Orleans, 100,000 of its 500,000 population lived in poverty; with the majority of them being black Americans. The homeownership rate for blacks is 48.1 percent compared with 75.4 percent for whites. Although blacks are just 12.2 percent of the American population, 41 percent of American prisoners detained for more than one year are blacks, and 8.4 percent of all black men between the ages of 25 and 29 are behind bars. Only 29 % of students in a Connecticut all black school graduates with their class. The drop out rate leads to the unbelievable rate of street shootings in our cities. All of our cities have become places of fear. Guns are everywhere. Dig deep into those young minds and you will find they do not feel their citizenship.
IRS records from 2002 and 2003, shows that the average income for the top 1 percent of earners in the nation rose by $49,000 while the bottom 75 percent of US residents saw their incomes drop.
By 2007 David Johnson wrote in the March 19,2007 New York Times. "Income inequality grew significantly in 2005, with the top 1 percent of Americans — those with incomes that year of more than $348,000 — receiving their largest share of national income since 1928, analysis of newly released tax data shows.
The top 10 percent, roughly those earning more than $100,000 also reached a level of income share not seen since before the Depression.
While total reported income in the United States increased almost 9 percent in 2005, the most recent year for which such data is available, average incomes for those in the bottom 90 percent dipped slightly compared with the year before, dropping $172, or 0.6 percent.
The gains went largely to the top 1 percent, whose incomes rose to an average of more than $1.1 million each, an increase of more than $139,000, or about 14 percent.
The new data also shows that the top 300,000 Americans collectively enjoyed almost as much income as the bottom 150 million Americans. Per person, the top group received 440 times as much as the average person in the bottom half earned, nearly doubling the gap from 1980."
Education, as everyone knows, is directly linked to income. How can any American not be panicked? If this trend continues with the seemingly unstoppable high school drop out rate what will the income gap be in just one more decade? Are we really on a runaway train headed for depression and more violence? Can our military based foreign policy be maintained in the face of such a fracture in our society? Those questions seem to escape all of the 2008 Party candidates. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."