We shouldn’t take the actions of the police in Minnesota lightly, but we should also not be blind to the fact that the violence we are seeing is a result of a more systemic injustice and difficulty, exacerbated by current economic conditions. That more systemic injustice and difficulty you can say is based on economic inequality, but in reality it is rooted in a systemic inequality in our education system. In saying this I do not doubt the intelligence – or capacity to be informed – of those rioting and luting (and of course not those protesting). I say this because education is the foundation of economic and social equality and stability, and we have known for some time that we are failing people of color in education.
I say it is a ‘difficulty’ and not simply an injustice, because education is long and it is strenuous. The difficulty is in the length of the eductation process: the ability to see a better world at the end of the study, the patience and persistence needed to complete an education. Even if our education systems changed to address the inequalities and overnight, the actual fruit of this metamorphasis would not be born for decades down the line, while this and that quick-fix promising to heal and now would be proposed to divert those from the necessary hard work to overcome the more systemic issue; some even going so far as to fight the required hard work by undermining the content of that education as not of value to this or that people; an argument which can seem compelling when one senses a need for a fix and now. Sadly, the process need be slow and steady – even if the start toward change should come quickly.
If there is a good to come out of this challenge to America, let it be in a quick change to educational inequality, and a realization of the need for patience, not chaos, in the long process to follow.
This piece is written on occasion of my cousin Lauren’s graduation – love you and congratulations!