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Cradle to Prison Pipeline Explained.

From Audio: Strange Fruit in The Learning Tree

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station description Host John X and Guests bring much-needed voices to table talk with discussions on s... read more
Born in Trouble Audio Station
Duration: 07:24
If you don't know what, why, or how it works? The history and implications are explained by Educator Sonia Lewis! As well as what you can do to mitigate the exposure for your melanated children.
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If you don't know what, why, or how it works? The history and implications are explained by Educator Sonia Lewis! As well as what you can do to mitigate the exposure for your melanated children.
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you know, white schools, What they decided to do in turn, was to introduce this first, at the first opportunity was law enforcement into the school system because they needed to protect white bodies from black bodies. And so this is the first time in american history where you see law enforcement making a connection in bridge and a rebuilding relationships and our education systems. So now let's flip ahead into the seventies and you start to have, because I just was listening to a piece on urban view yesterday or day before with respect to the war on drugs being 50 years old. Now I'm 50. And so that means that this really, this asserted intentional effort to address black communities. Brown communities, impoverished communities with over policing, um, started in the 19 seventies. Right? And so likewise, when you like, likewise, you will see that there has been this trend when you're talking about school systems that are now integrated by the seventies, um, where, um, there's an increased presence of law enforcement and so younger and younger we're hearing stories of kindergartners and first graders and preschoolers really and truly have the police called on them. Hence the school to prison pipeline. The pre school to prison pipeline and now the cradle to prison pipeline. And so this trend is a direct reflection on how we are attempting or how this government is attempting to control black and brown bodies, poor bodies impoverished and make these things a crime. And it's just indicative of the country that we know America is it has foundational roots in racism and we have to understand that human capitalism didn't end when slavery was emancipated back in 18 63. Mm two things, um, parallel with the time of the war on drugs. We're looking at from the civil rights Act of 1960 for, you know, we're talking about six years from that point period of time. So it's not even enough time for a generation to mature that. They started this, that they started this program. The second thing was that the targeting of the, of kids for behaviors that are generally ascribed to Children, you know, your criminal criminalizing nature by design in order to take these kids and push them down this certain path. And this is something that our kids experience on a daily basis. You know, the question would be, how do we combat that as parents? Absolutely. So I, I'm like I said, I'm a parent of many and so one of my ways of combating combating that and advocating for my Children and equipping other parents with the courage to also stand up and be advocates for their Children is to, to be present. Right? When you go into the school systems set boundaries and expectations. So every school year I can't, my oldest born child is 27 years old. I cannot remember a time where I sent him into a school system that I trusted them enough to treat them with the dignity and respect that he deserved. And so I would always start off each school year with back in the day was a handwritten letter today. It's an email saying that, hey, these are some things that my kids will not participate in. And my expectation is that you call me if there's something that you have a question or concern about. But here are some things that we will not do for example, like, but not limited to write because there can be a whole plethora of things that we can say that's questionable and why are we doing that? Two black Children, but here are a couple of examples. I can remember a time my my now sixth grader was in the third grade and he had a teacher that described, he called me and described him as aggressive. I said, I I came up to the school and I provided her with a stack of 10 books and I said, you read these books and then tell me that my child is any different from little bobby over there who just happens to be white. Um, and so when we, when we give these labels to black Children, it follows them because said teacher will then go into the break room and have a conversation or be overheard by another teacher who is then put on mourning and their brain begins to, you know, be conditioned to believe that when they hear my son's name, if they were to get that child as a teacher. And I mean as a student in the future, then they already have this preconceived notion that this child is going to act a certain kind of way and aggressive as a negative connotation. So just setting standards and expectations of what we will and won't do, like you can't go a week, two weeks a month and have a problem with one of my Children and have not called me because if you call me and say, oh, one of your Children hasn't been performing for a month. My next call is to the principal and then to the superintendent because there should have been some things that have alerted you prior to a month that says that there's a problem and maybe I can use the resource of their parents. And so I think that oftentimes there's this assumption that black parents don't show up for their Children. And so they just automatically assume I'm just gonna, you know, wait, sit on this problem for as long as possible. And that's a disservice to black Children. As a matter of fact, I don't know too many black parents who do not want their Children to do well in school. And so first that's a misnomer that we have to get out of the way. And so like we don't say the pledge of allegiance in my household. So in that email I'm typing, I'm like, do not make and my Children feel a certain kind of way, if they don't stand up for the pledge of allegiance. And so I'm setting this standard, right? And so now I would say all of my boys have gone through the same elementary school. So when they see the last name Lewis and they see the parent Kenneth and sonia, it's like, oh, we already know she's gonna give us a problem if we don't hold her Children in high regard. So when, when other parents and other students see that they've been are like, uh, okay, I didn't know that and I can do that. Yes, you can request certain teachers, you can hold this educational system accountable to our Children. You're bringing memories of my own childhood and my mother coming through. I'm the youngest of three and the majority of my family was at the time, the school system where I went to from at least k through six was predominantly white and there were, there were issues, you know, especially my brother, you know, my my oldest brother, he took the brunt of it when they moved from Brooklyn and over time they got to know my mother. And it was, it was not unusual for us to like be changing teachers or changing classes, but we had the ability, but she actually had the ability to go out and see the teachers and go to the school. One of the things with the economic insufficiency that a lot of people are going through right now. Um, it doesn't allow them, like you said, the misconception is that black parents don't want to be involved. That's not the case. In most cases, my my general understanding is that people are generally the same, all the way across the board.
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