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What Happens When the Leaders Eat All the Fish?

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - When leaders eat all the fishThree events this week reminded me of the bible story about the little boy who gave Jesus his five loaves of bread and two little fish to feed the masses (5,000) who had come to hear him. I wondered what would have happened if Jesus had taken the food and ate it all himself. It reminded me of those times when my mother had the preacher over for dinner and we kids could only eat what they left, if any. What would have happened if Jesus had left the masses to starve and fend for themselves, as it seems some institutions are doing these days?

One incident was the meeting that warned the schools here and across the country that there was not enough money to maintain the existing education system. Americans are accustomed to free education and the more students, the merrier. The theory is that since the more educated people we have, the more we can lead the world in accomplishments whether it is in science, music, technology, space exploration, health, or commerce.

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A Recipe For Success In School . . .

. . . Get Your Education Up Front

Black news from Pasadena - Editorial - success in schoolAs schools begin the descent into budget cuts, mediocrity will become king. As I write this the high school graduation rate for Black and Brown children is already below 50%. The fact that it is below 50% should be a basis for alarm. Instead, it is an accepted fact of life. The assumption being that they aren't as smart as White and Asian students anyway. Nothing could be farther than the truth.

The problem is simply a lack of exposure to their potential for greatness. The absence of achievement simply means that the unemployment rate and prison population for Blacks and Browns will continue to rise. And so once again what do we do about it on massive scale? Yes there are plans and programs that guarantee that a few will always achieve. There are schools that are set out as examples where Black and Brown students at particular schools will attend college at high rates, like 90%. Besides proving the lie that they can't achieve, they say that if everybody in the mix did better then the success rate could be higher. Here, I suggest five things that parents can do, starting today, to make their child a success.

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Liberated, Rather Than Blind Followers

African American news from Pasadena - Editorial - liberated or blindThe recent letter to the editor regarding Ruthie's Blog [2/18/10] has given rise to some interesting discussions in the community. Of course I think discussions are healthy for the growth of the community. I would like to think that something in The Journal gives rise to discussions each Thursday when it hits the streets.

There was a letter from a South Pasadena woman [2/11/10] who indicated that members should hold the pastors harmless for anything they do. She seemed to say that as long as the members submit and obey the pastors everything will be Ok. As an African American man, the words "submit" and "obey" are words that carry with it great responsibility to the one being obeyed and submitted to.

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Repeating History the Wrong Way

African American news from Pasadena - EditorialI have written many times about one of the first things that the old slaves did as soon as soon as they got the news that they were free. They went out and acquired any piece of land they could get. Sometimes they bought the land and sometimes they got it the best way they could because they realized even as slaves that land could be an asset if it was an income producing asset.

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Leaders Don't Beg and Beggars Don't Lead

African American news from PasadenaIn the Black community we have a tradition of fighting for equity and fairness when it comes to rights and fair treatment in our community. We fight for fair treatment for our children in the schools. We fight for fair treatment by police departments.

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