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To help black youth succeed, raise taxes to better support preschool

In his Community Voices essay, Chris Fields notes that members of a local church were “outraged” at the Zimmerman verdict and the “implications for young black men.” There was no mention of any outrage about Trayvon Martin’s school suspensions for truancy or other parts of his juvenile record. We can understand why Fields is “still not sure what lessons both blacks and whites are taking away from this tragedy.”

Fields suggests that we will have justice for black people “when America recognizes white privilege as the main problem and takes steps to do away with it.” As a white Stanford University graduate, I suppose that I am part of the white privilege problem to be dealt with. 

I suggest that another and more important reason for the high percentage of young black men in jail is because they commit more crimes. And the reason they commit those crimes is not white privilege or lack of high schools like Cristo Rey. The reason lies in early life in homes where a single parent lacks the time and resources to provide a competitive background for her child. The child arrives in elementary school to compete with “privileged” children who often can read and use the computers that the black child has never seen. The understandable result is that the black child either lashes out or more likely drops out.

I would be happy to pay more taxes toward a strong preschool program, one of the few effective programs which could help with this very important issue. If reigniting our passion results in a willingness to pay taxes for programs like preschool, I am with Fields.

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 07/26/2013 - 03:12 pm.

    Head Start?

    If you’re referring to pre-school in the form of Head Start, you can save your money as well as your white guilt trip. According to the government’s own study [] any gains achieved by a child in Head Start is pretty much dissapated by the third grade.

  2. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/28/2013 - 12:50 pm.

    Not head start

    Real classrooms.

  3. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/29/2013 - 06:29 am.

    Taxes not popular

    It is interesting to note the small handful of ‘likes’ for any message that calls for more taxes.

  4. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/29/2013 - 10:52 am.

    Thinly vieled racism doesn’t warrent many “likes”

    Since the 1980s multiple studies have demonstrated that black American’s are imprisoned at disproportionate rates. The incarceration rate for blacks is around 3,000 per 100,000 compared to 500 per 100,000 for whites. Black men do not commit more crimes than anyone else, they commit around 30% of the total crimes and around 38% of violent crimes.

    Well funded pre-school is good idea, but it’s tainted when racial bias is the primary rationale.

  5. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/29/2013 - 06:13 pm.


    Incarceration rates reflect crime rates.

  6. Submitted by rolf westgard on 07/29/2013 - 05:26 pm.

    The truth

    hurts. Recognizing it is the first step to an effective solution to the problem of high crime rates for young black men.

  7. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/30/2013 - 11:23 am.

    Basic statistics

    Before one makes claims as to their expertise in “truth” one might want to take a class in basic statistics so they can comprehend the comments other people make.

    Kind of bizarre morality by the way that classifies truth as more harmful than fallacies and misinformation.

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