Cynthia's Interests

The world as it unfolds - told from an African American woman's perspective...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Why do blacks continue to support Democrats?

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By Adele Fergusen

One of these days before I die, I hope to see a shift in the attitudes of somany of my black brothers and sisters in this great country we share, fromperpetual victimhood, to pride in their achievements on the road from slaveto American citizen.Remember Ronald Reagan's story about the kid who had to shovel a huge pileof manure? He went about it with such joy he was asked why and said, "Withall that manure, there's got to be a pony in there somewhere."

"The pony hidden in slavery is the fact that it was the ticket to America for black people. I have long urged blacks to consider their presence here as the work of God, who wanted to bring them to this raw, new country and used slavery to achieve it. A harsh life, to be sure, but many immigrantssuffered hardships and indignations as indentured servants. Their descendants rose above it. You don't hear them bemoaning their forebears'life the way some blacks can't rise above the fact theirs were slaves.

Besides freedom, a job and a roof over their heads, they all sought respect.But even after all these years, too many have yet to realize that to getrespect, you have to give it.The treatment given President Bush at Coretta King's funeral was shameful.

And these weren't poor, uneducated black people who "dissed" him. They were among the country's top-drawer blacks, there to bury black royalty. While Bush got the cold shoulder, former President Clinton was welcomed as if hestill held the office.

It mystifies me why the black population remains in thrall to the Democratic party. Black parents want a good education for their children yet they are consistently denied two opportunities that have proven enormously helpful in the few places where they are allowed because the D's oppose them. School vouchers and charter schools.

The teacher unions, among top contributors to the Democratic party, opposethem for fear of losing control of the public schools which continue to turnout kids who have to be slipped through graduation by finding alternativesto standard requirements for learning, and where black kids fall behindwhites. And what the teacher unions are against, the Democrats are against.

Many a school board member is a Democratic activist there to be on theground floor against vouchers and charter schools.In the few places where vouchers to attend private schools and innovativecharter schools are allowed, the unions file lawsuits claiming damage to thepublic schools by diverting the voucher money to poor families and limitingas much as possible the number of students who can attend the charters. Theywon one in Florida last month.

Sure, the ultimate solution is to jack up the performance of the public schools, but so long as the unions are running the show, that isn't going tohappen. The unions don't care if you're a good teacher, just that you're amember and pay your dues. It is nearly impossible to get rid of anincompetent teacher. Their interest is themselves, not the kids, and theiranswer to the poor performance of the schools is more money.

Black students regularly trail white students because they get the more inexperienced and less qualified teachers and are plagued by low expectations. Results of the use of vouchers and charter schools have beenoutstanding, yet the Democrats say no, so why do black parents support them?Why do they act the victim?

Blacks have no Cesar Chavez. Jesse Jackson isn't going to buck theDemocratic Party. Neither is the NAACP. Black parents should confrontDemocratic leaders at all levels and demand these tools of learning be madeavailable or expanded or don't count on our vote for your candidates. You'velet the unions keep your kids down too long already.(Adele Ferguson can be reached at P.O. Box 69, Hansville, Wa., 98340.)

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