Stay Focused, Stay Free Tip #20

“Is Inequality Systemic Racism?”

“Why don’t we have laptops?” was what I curiously asked my science teacher at John F. Kennedy high school in Richmond, Virginia. “Well … I have no idea,” my teacher said as her head movement matched her disappointment. It was an open-ended question in which she didn’t have an answer for. One of the greatest fears a teacher faces is not being able to help his/her student. Similar to my cousin’s experience, who is a former RPS teacher, this is one of the many frustrations I’ve witnessed first hand.

Given the thought, weighing heavy on one’s mind, leads to a different subject that raises the question of government leadership. However, as complicated as it sounds I have a two-word theory: systemic racism. For example, the capital of Virginia education’s budget is handsomely lower than its neighboring counties. Richmond Public Schools — whose minorities account for 48.7 percent of its population (U.S. Census Bureau) — have less funds than both Henrico County Public Schools and Chesterfield County Public Schools, where white students occupy more than 60% classroom seats.

Most working citizens pay equal taxes, so why aren’t their children reaping equal academic resources and technology programs?! Where’s the equality?! Why aren’t there initiatives being taken to better finance RPS curriculums?!

“Blindness is measured by an individual’s lack of knowledge; therefore, the concept of systemic racism lies deeper than skin and hides behind promising notes.” The value of education is priceless, yet it has a price. This is not equality! Because regardless of color or money, every child deserves a fair shot to grasp the American Dream. Stop prejudice and racism within the within the realm of education!