Saturday, May 14, 2011


Yes, once more African-Americans are forced to prove to the other Americans that they too are Americans; and they have the legitimate right to participate in the social and political fabric of this great nation.
Even though the Arabs started the African Slave Trade, it was the Empire-building Europeans who usurped and deprived the African continent of its human wealth.  The blood of millions of Africans has enriched the soil of the continent of America.  And yet, Europeans, whose ancestors arrived in America well after African Slaves helped to build the White house, claim they have more rights to live in America than the descendants of those Slaves.

What more do the descendants of these people have to do to establish they have the right to be here?  In this twenty-first century when America wants the world to embrace them as the “leader of the free world,” the first African-American President is forced to publish his birth certificate.  The Media is obsessed with reporting about the President’s place of birth instead of focusing on the economic chaos. Pathetic senators of both parties are engaged in petty squabbles instead of performing the job for which they are elected.

Why should nations around the world respect America and allow it to force its’ brand of democracy upon them?  When a country prides itself on fairness and democratic values, it is appalling that an elected body find it necessary to encourage and legitimize the demoralization of one segment of its’society.
African-Americans have been proving to America in every possible way they belong here and here they stay.  Just before Langston Hughes returned to America from an extensive travel to Africa and Europe from 1922 to 1928, he penned the following poem expressing the frustration African-Americans daily endured.  I imagine the thought of him returning to his birth place to experience more humiliation gave him the impetus to share it with the world.

I, Too, Sing America by Langston Hughes 1902-1967

I, too, sing America.

I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I'll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody'll dare
Say to me,
"Eat in the kitchen,"

They'll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed--

I, too, am America.

I am sure Langston Hughes and all those who bore the brunt of helping to build the pillars on which America stands could not have envisaged an America led by an African- American President.  America! Listen-up, once and for all, without your “darker brothers,” the America you revel in, would not exist.

© 2011 Mouth Wired Shut

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Parents Are 50% Responsible For Their Children's Success In School

"Adults Blame Parents for Education Problems” by Donna Gordon Blankinship is the first responsible article I’ve read which places the blame for the failure of the education of their children on the parents. Having taught in Inner-City, Public Elementary Schools for ten years, I was so glad to hear that. I loved sharing my knowledge with the students; however, I found the majority of the parents to be obstructive. I witnessed and experienced abuse of teachers from parents who refused to take responsibility for their children’s education.

When their child was disruptive, it was the “teachers’ poor classroom management skills.” If homework was not turned in, of course, it was the teachers’ fault. Many of these parents were under-educated; therefore, they were unable to model high expectations for their children.

Some of the same parents sent their children to school dressed in the latest fashions, like Tommy Hilfiger and Nike; yet, at the same time, feigned hardship to provide their children with the basic tools to help them succeed in school. Like all other teachers, I spent thousands over the course of my tenure buying necessary supplies, because of the State Budgetary constraints.

I become frustrated when hearing politicians and members of the public, who have never taught or been inside an Inner City School, criticize teachers. Disrespect and lack of appreciation for the teaching profession in American culture is widespread. Teachers are expected to work seven days a week for a salary far below the average for employees with less qualifications who work in the private sector.

“All 2000 Providence Teachers Told They Could Be Fired” by Liz Goodwin, highlights what many American teachers endure year after throughout their teaching career. This is a terrific confidence booster for new teachers. The day teachers wake-up and demand to be treated like any business profession, for example,(doctors, lawyers and some of the ineffective politicians), the more respect they will command.

Privatizing public education is not the solution. In the short term, it will temporarily solve cities financial woes, but at what social cost? I believe cities can solve some of their present budgetary shortfall by abolishing some of their inane structures like mayoral offices and governorships. Ancient less cohesive and inefficient societies functioned by rewarding their allies with high visible local government offices. In today’s society, with main seats of government in every state, I think all these intermediary petty officials have become obsolete.

Our leaders’ mismanagement of the education system has discouraged the brightest and best from committing to this noble profession. Without educated people, society at large will crumble; but perhaps this might be the goal of certain sector of our political system.

© 2011 Mouth Wired Shut

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Americans Living Off Credit Instead of Jobs

Every few years Americans suffer a catastrophic economic wake-up call that sends them into a tailspin. The joblessness now plaguing America would not be so devastating, if American workers were paying attention. The internet is flooded with articles chronicling credit card debt, job loss and out sourcing. William Hughes’ “Jobless in America” (2002) and Norma Sherry’s “Out Sourcing America: Job Loss and Unemployment” (2003) sounded the alarm for America’s middle class. Unfortunately, most Americans are only fired-up with what is currently in the news headlines.

Approximately thirty years ago, American conglomerates began exporting jobs to third- and fourth-world countries. They wanted to maximize their profits by exploiting the low-waged workforce there. Entire industries, like steel and clothing, abandoned manufacturing products in the U.S. Many major businesses lobbied the government to pass laws that favored them joining the global economy. Unfortunately, this was disastrous for the American workers who lost their jobs in record numbers.

Surprisingly, American workers assumed it was a short term problem. They believed other businesses would replace their old ones and the job market would rebound. In the meantime, they depended on credit cards to solve their financial- and jobless problems.

Americans are now in a state of shock. We are told that the unemployment rate is 9.8%, but we all know someone who is unemployed or partially employed. Therefore, this figure is probably closer to 20%. The multinationals’ global greed has superseded the welfare of ordinary people. Our senators are more concerned with financing their next election than solving the state of the economy.

Get used to it America! Your jobs are never coming back. It is not in the best interest of big businesses to invest in American workers. China and other Asian countries are the world’s manufacturing base, with Americans as their number one consumer. Yet, where are Americans finding the money to finance their insatiable appetite for spending? Oh yes! They are maxing out their multiple credit cards.

While America is being brainwashed into believing they need over-priced, inferior products, their living rooms are being invaded. The latest television sit-com, “Outsourced” seeps in their psyche under the guise of entertainment, while they mire in debt. Ironically, even the jobs supporting the booming credit card industry are outsourced.

Americans are literally at the mercy of financial institutions, which hide behind a fail-proof system of being entities. Sooner, than later, Americans will be living in a country where the oligarchs are fortified behind their security gates, and the rest of us, left to fight amongst ourselves.

There was a period in history when human slavery had a face. Society was held responsible for the resulting human degradation. Today, 98% of Americans are kept in financial slavery and they are made to believe that it is their fault; multinationals continue to blame the American workers for their lack of skills.

The middle class, fooled into believing that they always have an escape route, fiercely hold on to the American fairytale, “Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps.” Even when those boots are cheap knock-offs, made in Asia, and bought with maxed-out credit cards.

© 2011 Mouth Wired Shut