Last night I allowed my disdain for economic diversity to control my tongue and my actions. My mia culpa does not diminish my belief that economic diversity has exacerbated the idea that one class of people should be "looked after" by another. It inherently states that financial net worth is more important than human net worth. For the residents and businesses of SE Raleigh it has created a culture that you can not do for yourself. For a kid that grew up on the knees of the likes of Dan & Bertha Coleman, Fred Carnage, The Very Reverend John Milton Coleman, John W. Winters, John P. Top Greene and AW Solomon, not being able to do for one’s self has never been their modus operindi. These people worked with people of like mind and not, matching their resources, if only proportionally with others to captain not only their own lives but the community itself. Economic Diversity has given the green light to the notion that you are not expected to do for yourself and in its worse disguise fosters the "poverty pimping" that I think has destroyed so much of the low wealth communities of Raleigh and Wake County.
But a leader is suppose to bring people together not run them away from one another or the issues. Notwithstanding the fact that I brought Edna Earles to the group some many months ago, with the help of Representative Deborah Ross, to advise us that what the ‘other side’ could not do through the courts they were poised to do through the ballot box, ‘our side’ failed to prepare and the rest is history.
Cash Michaels was right on point when he said the backlash at the ballot box was part of our inability to handle the growth spurt we were experiencing earlier in this 21st century. I remember all the talk then was about we had over 100 people moving here a day as if that was verification that what ever we were doing was right on point. We expanded all segments of our society with total disregard to the impact it was having on those segments and the county in general. This past October and November was in essence our comeuppance for this total disregard. During this period the RWCA tried to get a commitment before the most recent school bond was passed to build schools in the southeast quadrant only to hear that the growth was not there along the Rock Quarry Road corridor. Good schools in close proximity to new subdivisions is without a doubt the most basic economic engine in our society and satisfies the basic tenant of real estate, location, location, location.
The motion was carried last night that the RWCA will go on record supporting our current economic diversity policy and I will send that letter out today or tomorrow just as the motion was made.
This morning I read the article in today’s News and Observer titled "Wake’s indefensible suspensions" and wondered to myself and to our de facto parliamentarian was there a correlation between our economic diversity policy and this terrible problem we have that seems to prove that Wake County Public Schools are a party to the concept of "school to prison pipeline"?
In closing, irrespective of the vote by the Wake County Board of Education on "diversity" the RWCA has to commit itself to several key issues relating the education of our children and these are my suggestions for our members to consider:
- how can we support a stronger link between parents and their children’s
educational experience especially for those parents that are economically
challenged and not in close proximity to the schools their children attend;
- how can we direct community resources, through the school’s facilities, to
the families, especially those families that are on Free and Reduced
Lunches. I think there is universal agreement that parents have to do more
and those on the bubble are not able to do more;
- how do we end the practice of our schools being part of the "schools to
prison pipeline"; and
- how do we work with our low wealth communities so they can grow and
prosper without external gentrification?
Therefore at our regular April meeting these issues will be on the agenda and volunteers will be required so we can deal with these and other issues as we address the education of our children.
Thanking you all for your continued support of the RWCA.
Raleigh Wake Citizens Association