Monday, March 30, 2015
Today I would like to talk about the blatant discrepancies in education that took place in Little Rock, Arkansas. We learned a lot about the preceding events that led to the Little Rock nine integrating into Little Rock Central High. When Little Rock Central High was built, another school for African American students was also built. However, the “black” school, was 1/3 the size of Little Rock Central High and it’s teachers were paid a fraction of what the white teachers made. Additionally it did not have the same technology or learning resources as the “white” school. When the Supreme Court ordered the integration of public schools, the Little Rock school board surveyed the interest of the African American students and got an overwhelming response. In order to limit the number of African American students who would integrate, the school board put restrictions on their offer. The students who decided to integrate could not participate in sports or any other after school activity. Henceforth, the students who decided to stay at the “black” school were getting a lower quality education because of their lack of school funding, and the students who decided to integrate were also getting a lower quality education because they couldn’t explore their interests in clubs or sports. Education is the most important component to success, and we can’t expect people to be successful unless they’re given an equal education as their peers.
In order to make social change it’s imperative that you are engaged in politics. To put it frankly, you can’t achieve systemic change without changing the laws that the system follows. Although this may sound daunting, this does not mean that the only way to achieve social justice is to become a politician. In order to promote social justice an engaged citizen can do many things. They can “vote with their dollar” and only shop at companies they support. They can vote in elections, and write letters to their representative. They can challenge laws they don’t agree with and take a stand. Systemic racism will not change unless engaged citizens force it to change.