The lead in the Amazing Plantation Race belongs to the Republicans on the GED, 12 to 8. Read more to find out.
Murray Kempton, Jimmy Breslin, and Pete Hamill who were great journalists could never provide you with this information. They walked and worked a lot but they never walked in my shoes. I started to get this kind of information in Washington, D.C. from the American Council on Education which helped create the GED in 1942 when it was patriotic to help young people who had dropped out of school to fight Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito of Japan.
I told Newt Gingrich, one of the most powerful Republicans in America, that 40 million Americans did not even have a GED. This was outside the Huntington Bookstore in New York where Gingrich had a book signing. I followed that up with emails to his staff and nothing happened.
That is an example of plantation politics which affects Republicans more than people know. Today’s worker no longer works as much with his back as people who were oppressed in America did. Education is badly needed and diplomas matter. In a capitalist system, someone has to be on the bottom as slaves once were.
Yes I have heard people on welfare or social services talk about the plantation in their own community in New York. We hear people talk about not looking for a job because of the $600 a week stimulus that they receive but the statistics show overwhelmingly that people are getting back to work in rejecting the $600.
Let’s now talk about the Republican plantation that may not be in any large cities, but it actually all over our nation. In 2016 Republicans won 29 states according to a list that I found. I merely had to place the delivery of GED diplomas in 2013 to African Americans in those states. I did find four exceptional states that had only a gap of less than 10 percent. Those states were not states with large populations. They were Iowa, Kansas, Idaho, and Utah. Republicans should read the Mormon Book of GED to find out how to help.
There were a bunch of states where the gap was 10-20 percent including Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia, Indiana, and Wyoming. I wonder what progress African Americans are making in those states, even if they did not have their share of Black Lives Matter protests?
Then we get to the neo-plantation states among the 50 states and we can include blue states in that category. Those states are partially defined by its culture of the deep South. And these are not Confederate statistics. Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Louisiana, Georgia, South Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. Throw into that mess Ohio, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Montana, Missouri, and Michigan. So it’s not just about Democratic mayors in the cities. Is it?
The score reads 12 Republican states that have terrible gaps for African Americans to 8 Democratic states that have terrible gaps. And not all large states with terrible gaps fall into that category (California (Dem) and Texas (Rep) are those states. Texas is at the borderline.
Things have not improved even if the passing rate since 2013 has gone up. The reason? Fewer diplomas earned. This keeps African Americans at the bottom still or rowing upstream without a paddle.
New York is usually the worst state for the delivery of diplomas to African Americans and part of the problem there is that test has been free since 1993 and people can just take a shot at it without having the minimum knowledge needed on each part of the test. If all test takers had to pay a fee the likelihood of better delivery, it seems on the surface, would take place. This was the New York of Rudy Giuliani and there were critics of his politics as influential people hoped to concentrate more on education. Columnist Jimmy Breslin was one of them (he was on both sides of the spectrum in controversy but he got that right). And Republican George Pataki was governor for 12 of those years before Eliot Spitzer was elected in 2006.
The Tony Guida New York Report about the death of Jimmy Breslin in 2017 revealed that Jimmy Breslin was concerned most about the victimization of people. His article about AIDS had won him a Pulitzer Prize. He made up the names of popular people that became popular and probably affected 45 in that way who became famous for “Pocahontas” and “Rocket Man.” He wanted the Mafia to eliminate the wealthy on Wall Street and then have the Mafia locked up to reduce crime as he got attention for fighting crime. Jimmy Breslin disliked the abuse of authority among politicians and he turned against friends that turned out to be crooked politicians and elected officials. And he wrote about how the Son of Sam taunted New York’s Finest. And he called Rudy Giuliani “a small man looking for a balcony.”
And now with COVID-19 afflicting us, little and no instruction is taking place resulting in making the exodus from the bottom even more difficult.
At the time of that statistical report, there were only two states in the nation that had lowest delivery above 20 percent for Hispanics, New York and Connecticut and 25 states performed poorly between 10 and 20 percent. Iowa and Delaware were the best states in terms of the gap (around 2 percent) but that is the result of only sending the best or most highly qualified people to take the test. That is clearly a tactic that government loves to provide to the public instead of sharing the total number of diplomas linked to the policies in use.
That kind of thing came up at a conference on the Senate Democrat side that I was called upon to set up for the Education Department of New York. The head of the GED section pointed out passing percentages and I could no longer remain quiet because the numbers of diplomas were low. The right-hand man of then Governor David Patterson clearly expressed to everyone in attendance that he agreed with my point of view. We needed more diplomas and not higher passing percentages with fewer diplomas earned.
From urban to rural America, low income people face the same problems in so called “liberal” locations and conservative ones. The big problem that we see on news is this LARGE means congregations of more people per incident. In New York City attendance at my events was larger and in suburban Suffolk County sometimes the attendance was one or zero after reaching out to lots of people and organizations.
The funding for the problem also has been problematic in both liberal and conservative states. That problem can be resolved and I am working behind the scene to produce greater results and making communities safer.
The education of people who have dropped out of school matters. I taught GED when Rudy Giuliani was mayor of New York City. I got the attention of school’s Chancellor Rudy Crew in my last year when a transit or police officer checked the train pass of one of my students which had expired. He said that he thought he would have to lock her up for that. That student (an Afro American youth) cried to me for help in my classroom and I did help her. I met Dr. Rudy Crew at an event in Rockaway, New York several years ago where I pointed it out and he remembered. Dr. Crew’s later helped my efforts more than that as a member of his staff joined a discussion about GED in Coral Gables in the Consulate of El Salvador. Dr. Crew is currently the President of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, New York.
When I helped the people and state of Florida in late 2001 with a GED problem that was eliminated by Governor Jeb Bush in the first week of 2002, it resulted in more people in Florida receiving diplomas than would have happened in the previous three years. It was a bad year for GED across our nation in 2002 since the test was harder, but Florida “miraculously” jumped up in its delivery and what I did continued to help until the new test came out in 2014 (which I have no statistics for). Florida had a gap of 25.8 percent in 2013 which would have been much higher if I had not intervened. It’s possible that its gap would have been the worst in the nation since Florida was failing people unnecessarily due to raising the marks on a national test (states’ rights). The first year of the publication of ethnicity of test takers and test passers was 2008.
There are four large states that tested between 55,000-65,000 people in 2013 (California had the smallest gap of all four states, Florida, Texas, and New York). Illinois followed with about 36,000 tested followed by North Carolina with about 31,000.
Make America Great Again is now well over three years old and it has resulted in huge (Trump like huge for emphasis) problems among adults. Make America Great Again has not worked out and Keep America Great (his other slogan) at this point means, in my estimation, four more years of tragic mistakes by Trump. He miscalculated a lot as he bankrupted America and he will continue to blame Democrats. And there is no solution in sight from the White House. Patriotism was greatly diminished a long time ago as the statistics show. And now we are fighting among ourselves more with a leader who cannot handle a hot potato, but he urged protecting Virginia potatoes recently with guns (private property rights). Trump continues to get unmasked even as he finally found out that fighting COVID-19 would need mask mandates instead of Trumpfoolery. Saving lives during this pandemic is also the patriotic thing as our men in the military know. Police unions may back Trumpfoolery but even they are not patriotic. Let’s start to straighten out the mess caused by people in all states and limit the campaign talk to the truth.