Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys opens with explaining what genocide is, the deliberate and systematic destruction of a racial, political or cultural group (p. 1). The author, Jawanza Kunjufu (2005), has been challenged many times in debates and by the media with the use of the word conspiracy to describe certain aspects of the African-American society. It is a strong indictment against the social fabric of this country (p. 1). Neely Fuller stated, “…until you understand White supremacy, everything else will confuse you. There have been many people such as, historians, politicians, academicians, and writes who believe they have a theoretical justification for White supremacy. Arnold Toynbe, a historian, stated that, “When we classify mankind by color, the only one of the primary races… which has not made a creative contribution to civilization is the Black race. ” Thomas Jefferson, a former President, stated, “I advanced it, that the Blacks are inferior to the Whites in the endowments of body and mind…” (p. ) White supremacy is continued through society for decades. It is clearly displayed in Charles Murray and Richard Herrnstein’s Bell Curve. In the Bell Curve, IQ-intelligence quotient; was said to be between 40-80% heritable. Meaning, much of the observed variation in IQ is genetic. Kunjufu questioned how Murray and Herrnstein scientifically determined the percentage difference, 40-80%. Also, he questioned how did they do what no other scholar has been able to do and that is separate the impact of genetics from environment to develop their conclusion.
Kunjufu believed there are five African-American scholars to explain the origins and purpose of White supremacy. They are: Cheik Anta Diop; Civilization of Barbarism, Bobby Wright; Psychopathic Racial Personality, Marimba Ani; Yurugu, Neely Fuller, Jr; United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept, and Frances C. Welsing; Isis Papers (p. 4). Kunjufu stressed a quote from France Welsing that stressed the factors contributing to White supremacy. Racism is viewed as a global behavior power system with a constant and specific set of power relationships. Racism evolved with the ingular goal of white supremacy or white power domination by the global white minority over the vast non-white global majority. This ‘colored global collective’ has been forced into the position of relative powerlessness compared to the ‘global white collective’ establishing the power equation of white over non-white (W/N-W). Racism, whether consciously or unconsciously evolved as a survival necessity for the tiny global white minority, due to their genetic recessive status as albino variants (mutants) in a world of skin-color genetically dominant black, brown, red and yellow peoples”(p. ). With that being said, men initiate the act of reproduction. And if a population is fearful of a threat of genetic annihilation, it will turn its concentration to the males of the threatening population. Does White supremacy actually exist? Bobby Wright in Psychopathic Racial Personality, stated. “… A racist has no conscience or memory and is in a classic state of denial” (p. 5). In this conspiracy, there are two major players; active and passive. Active conspirators are overt racists and others are covert and participate through institutions (p. 5).
For example, these are the racists that say, “I didn’t take your people from Africa… I’m struggling in America just like you… Can we all just get along? ” Passive conspirators are us, African Americans who participate via their miss education, self-hatred and apathy (p. 6). For example, passive conspirators are African American males who do not take care of their children, and African America women who set double standards for the children of opposite sex. The African American men start off bad at birth. Meaning, there is a shortage on male babies at birth. For one, the average weight of a baby is five and a half pounds.
Whereas, thirteen percent of African American children are born underweight, compared to White children at six percent underweight (p. 7). In 2003, according to the United States Statistical Abstract, the infant mortality rates for African American children are eighteen deaths per 1000 live births in comparison to nine per 1000 Whites. Black boys survive less than girls: 1,965 deaths per 100,000 live births versus girls’ 1,603 per 100,000 (p. 7). The author stated that the Black community resembles an underdeveloped country in prospects to the quality of care provided for expecting mothers and their child.
Meaning, in most largely populated areas, one out of ten babies will be born addicted to drugs, and that seven percent of all African American children are born out of wedlock (p. 8). It troubled me, yet did not surprise me that African American teenagers lead the industrialized world in teen pregnancy. If the roles of pregnancy were switched; meaning the male becomes pregnant, then the teen pregnancy epidemic would subside. Frances Welsing believed that to correct to teen pregnancy epidemic, our people must abide by a rule titled, “28, 30, 2, and 4. Meaning, African American should get married at twenty-eight, because they should be more mature and developed self-esteem. Thirty is the age African Americans should begin to have children. This will allow couples to be better acquainted and have discussed their personal views on child rearing (p. 9). Two and four are, two children four years apart. This way each child will have ample amount of time to bond with the parents. In contrast to Welsing beliefs, the African American rule of thumb is zero, thirteen, five every nine months. Zero because many couples are not married.
At thirteen, mothers give birth. At this trying rate, the Africa American community will not develop. Many problems are facing African American males. Few people are knowledgeable of the disparity between African American males and females as it relates to incarceration, homicide, suicide, alcoholism, and many other ailments (p. 9). As early as preschool, teachers, principals, counselors, and psychiatrist, are commonly known to label an African-American child (i. e. boys) with ADHD and many other disorders because they are said to be hyperactive and “verve. This, in most cases, is not always true. It may be that the stimuli around them are simply not challenging enough (p. 17), so they choose to do other activities without the authority figures approval. The chapter regarding infancy to nine years of age discusses seven indicators in monitoring the development of boys. First, there is spirituality development. Studies indicate that boys that were reared in church have less chance of going to prison (p. 27). Next are their racial awareness, meaning their commitment, understanding, and acceptance of their race.
Scholarship is also an indicator. Through scholarship, the essentials of reading will be development and measured. Self-Esteem also plays a major role in the development of boys. Here, self-esteem and school-esteem are focused upon. Educators will have parents to believe that their child has low self-esteem. It may not be that boys have low self-esteem; it may be that because they are placed in classrooms where they are slower than girls (p. 28). School esteem plays a major role as well. Allowing a boy to pull out of academics due to frustration will tell him education is not important.
Peer Pressure is the greatest influence on children. How well African American families can reduce the amount of time children spend with their friends will also determine how well boys are being developed (p. 29). Respecting parents and elders will allow a boy to develop in to a positive person. Lastly, the focus on responsibility is the key as well. Many people have often said (i. e. mothers) we have a lot of irresponsible men. You cannot be an irresponsible man unless he was allowed to be an irresponsible boy (p. 30). Responsibility needs to be enforced as early as possible.
From hygiene to school work, parents need to stress the fact that being responsible is healthy. The section of the book title, Fourth Grade Failure Syndrome, is one of the many chapters that stood out to me. In the chapter, the author says that “fourth grade failure syndrome” is the poor transition between primary and intimidated schooling. Many boys enter school willing to learn and are very enthusiastic about learning until certain things happen. First their drive and eagerness subsides when they lose trust in their teachers, many being White females.
Also, their willing to please dies rapidly. When children (i. e. black boys) see that their teacher is not giving them as much praise as the girls or other students, then they will not participate in class or ask question as they should, due to the fear of how the teacher will react. Factors that contribute to fourth grade failure syndrome are a decline in parental involvement, an increase in peer pressure, a decline in nurturance, a decline in teacher expectations, a lack of understanding of learning styles, and a lack of male teachers (p. 43).
Seventeen percent of public school children are African American, but forty-one percent are place in special education and eighty-five percent of those African American children are boys (p. 52). Kunjufu dedicates an entire chapter to black mothers teaching their black sons responsibility. He believes that mothers have low expectations for their sons when it comes to academics. I do not believe any parent consciously expects their child to fail or simply produce mediocre work but this could be explained by his next point that mothers make sons dependant on them because they are not taught self sufficiency (Kunjufu 2005).
Black boys cannot become responsible when black mothers do not know how to teach them responsibility in the first place. Those of us who are responsible are left shaking our heads, cleaning up the mess, and saying to each other, “How can people behave like that? ” Black mothers should want their sons to be people others can count on—people who do what they say they’re going to do; who meet their family, work, social, and volunteer obligations; and who show up on time and prepared. And by teaching them to be responsible from a young age, mothers can help ensure they will grow to be responsible adults.
Would it be faster and easier for you to do housework or other task yourself? Of course! And they would probably be done better too. But then you would lose out on the opportunity to develop your sons’ sense of responsibility and to teach them valuable survival skills. Helping out around the house is only one aspect of responsibility children need to learn. They also need to learn to be responsible for themselves. Encourage your young son to dress themselves as soon as they are old enough to do so. When your son starts going to school, expect them to be responsible for their own homework, both doing it and turning it in.
Initially, you need to help your children learn to be responsible in dealing with other people. If they join a sports team and later want to quit it, remind them that they have an obligation to the rest of the team to finish out the season. If they have a group project make sure they equally contribute and they are not simply looking to always just get by. Those traits will live on forever but they have to be taken care of at an early age. Mothers should help their sons learn to budget their time and money so they don’t take on responsibilities they can’t handle.
Once a black mother has done her part the torch is passed onto the teacher and this creates an entirely new problem which is having a white female teaching your black son when she expects him and other black children to be just like the white students. Kunjufu states that “most people equate differences with deficiencies” (2005). This leads to teachers disproportionately recommending special education for black children and labeling them as ADHD and needing medication. The teachers are not being taught themselves how to teach different learning styles. Claude M. Steele’s theory of “stereotype threat” suggests another way that tudent performance might respond to a teacher’s race. Stereotype threat can occur in situations where students perceive that a stereotype regarding their ability will come into play–such as when a black student is taught by a white teacher. A series of experiments conducted at Stanford University confirm the existence of the stereotype threat phenomenon. Groups of students took tests comprising the most difficult items on the verbal GRE exam. When told beforehand that the test was a laboratory problem-solving task unrelated to ability, black and white students performed similarly.
However, black students performed relatively worse when told that the test was diagnostic of ability. The racial differences were similar when researchers merely asked students to fill out a pretest demographic questionnaire that inquired into their race, a minor manipulation of the stereotype threat. There may also be racial biases in teachers’ behavior. Kunjufu (2005) states that if a teacher already has a bias against males and has bad relationships with men then this will be taken out on the male student.
In particular, minority teachers may be more generous with minority students, devoting more time to them and making more favorable assumptions about their capabilities. White teachers may be relatively generous with white students in just the same ways. A limited body of experimental evidence does suggest that teachers, in allocating class time, interacting with students, and designing class materials, are more favorably disposed toward students who share their racial or ethnic background (Morgan 1980).
It’s a really sad thing when we have a school system that doesn’t honor the fact that children of different cultures learn differently especially our black boys. Instead of working on developing a new improved curriculum or changing teaching styles for the purpose of meeting the needs of our black children the teachers would rather put them in special education or they are being suspended because of class disruptions. Unfortunately teachers have the attitude “I’ve got mine and you’ve got yours to get. ” They teach the way they were taught as a child growing up.
The book talks about the fourth grade syndrome which is described as the higher children move into upper grades and high school, less concern is for the student and more attention is given to the subject at hand. They don’t care about the fact that the student may be lacking self-esteem, motivation or reading comprehension skills. Piaget opens his teacher workshop seminar with a great declaration: “You cannot teach a child you do not love. You cannot teach a child you do not respect. You cannot teach a child you do not understand.
You cannot teach a child before discarding your political baggage, sexism, racism. ” You cannot teach a child without bonding with them and to bond you must have love, respect and understanding. I agree and disagree with the teacher’s curriculum development for different cultural backgrounds. It all depends on what type of school and teacher you have. When I was in school we had a lot of classes such as arts and crafts, music class, library time and it catered to the hands on, visual, verve, written and oral work as well. It is also true that the higher the go into your school years the teaching changes.
A question was posed that basically asked what are teachers’ expectation of black students (i. e. boys), and what did they see? An accountant, doctor, engineer or did they see a drug dealer, and if they expectations differed from that of a black boy to a cooperative girl. Whatever they saw in that child is what they were going too produced because research showed that expectations are a major factor in students’ achievement. The adolescence years is the most trying period especially for sons and their mothers who are trying to figure out they are going to get through this next development hurdle.
Around this time young men from the ages 13-18 are easily influence and are just trying to fit in also they are going through many types of hormonal changes that they’re trying to adjust to as well. The relationship between mother and son changes to buddy-buddy. They often treat their mothers as girlfriends, manipulation out of doing chores and homework and other responsibilities. Pg. 105 When it comes to education there’s a section in the book pg. 109-113, it talks about a young black man who graduated college against all odds starting out with 150 black males only 75 made it to graduate, and he was among them.
Although in the eyesight of his family and community it was a great accomplishment, unfortunately he didn’t have a future after graduation. Some of the reasons that the book stated for the attitude most African American males have after earn more income that anyone else in America with a college degree. I disagree; I feel this statement is a little exaggerated. Maybe if it said a white boy will earn more money than a black male with a college degree is more realistic. Another reason; most African American males knew college was not financially feasible because their parents could not afford it and the overnment preferred paying for inmates rather than graduates. Therefore, the joke on street is: commit a crime, go to jail and while in jail secure a college degree at the government’s expense. This is true most time when black males go to jail for a while when they come out they are well educated because they chose to. There are a lot of stereotypes when it comes to the black males. Some of the classics according to pg 125 of the book are “Men don’t cry, ignore symptoms of ill health, must bring home the bacon and do not display affection to anyone especially their sons. Some others stereotypes that the street suggest that shows how much of a man you are: the kinds of clothes you wear, the car you drive, how much money you have, how many girls you can impregnate and never marry, and how much pain or violence you can inflicted on another individual. This is a societal view and way of thinking for a man and because of the community we live in we internalize it. There are also a lot of parents who were raised a certain way so it is passed on from generation to generation.
We tend to accept the norms and values our society places on us instead of believe and going our own way. Many times in households when it comes to child-rearing there’s a huge difference when it comes to boys and girls. The young men are reared with few house-hold responsibilities as a result they reach manhood with little skill and less interests in cooking and cleaning. The mothers demand academic achievement, maturity and household chores from their daughters. Boys are also allowed to stay out later street hours, more sexual permissiveness and more athletic pursuits than their female counterparts.
This is what you call the double standard between the sons and daughters. Most times the boys are allowed more liberty and the girls are held to a stricter rule. Around adolescences is when the youths’ first encounters with smoking, drinking and sexual activity. There is a need for the community, businesses, churches, organizations and concerned African American men to identify adolescent males and provide a safety net which includes direction, high expectations, employment opportunities and educational advancement. This is a big weakness in our community, we fear them instead.
We first have to change our mind set and the way we think then we can began to change our community. Within the chapter of The Black Males on Campus Dr. Kunjufu gave some pretty alarming numbers of the lack of black male’s presence on college campuses. And if they are on campus, it’s usually with athletics in mind and not academics. College is simply nothing more than a pit stop until they go professional. After a dream deferred of professional sports and 3 to 4 years of college was a waste of time because coaches and professors give passes.
Consequently not learning anything at all and going back home broker than before. Which is a perfect segue into the next chapter Why do Black Men Kill Black Men? The black man already has minimal options to better themselves, and to be an overworked underpaid employee at McDonalds is not an option. The black man ends up on the corner, for a much faster dollar, and an even sooner life expectancy due to death over turf wars. The purpose of Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys is to simply inform and educate of the genocide of the black male.
Dr. Kunjufu gives brief insight of the youth he has dealt with, and his past situations that he felt should be acknowledged and apparently opened for discussion. Dr. Kunjufu has a desire for black youth to be aware, and he does a good job of being a father figure within the pages of Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys. Discussion Countering The Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys was a very well written book. The chapter of the mother and son relationship was very noteworthy. Within this chapter it discusses the relationship between the two.
Further discussing that woman can only do so much when raising her son by herself. More interestingly at the very beginning of the chapter, the author discusses how he met a female outside of baseball game and her son went inside the men’s bathroom, and he didn’t know how to use the urinal, and that’s mainly because, he had no father to show him how to use the restroom, which is something taken for granted, and almost a rites a passage into manhood. Within this chapter, Dr. Kunjufu adds to the book, letters that were written to him from single parent mothers.
They looked to him as a reference for how they should rear their sons. Kunjufu usually empathized with parent as he wrote them back and suggested they should look into his other publishing, which was a shameless plug. In addition to, monitoring their son’s homework, hobbies, friends, and the amount of television that is being watched, he suggests the only way single mother can truly know their son is to be actively involved. The author expresses how there are thousands of African American males who actually graduate from high school but they have no future.
College is sometimes not looked as an option because African American males want to be reassured they will get out what they put into higher education. The author also stated that a black male has a greater chance of getting an education in prison than at a university. Kunjufu hypothesized that since a man’s primary purpose in life is to be the financial provider and protector of his family, when unable to do so, destruction occurs. References U. S Statistical Abstract 2003 Kunjufu J, Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys; Series. 2005 Morgan, H, “How Schools Fail Black Children,” Social Policy, January-February, 1980 Pages 49-54