By David Mark Greaves
There are so many lessons to be taken away from the Olympics: focus, determination, ambition, bravery were all on display showing us mortals, what the human spirit is capable of making the body do. The U.S. led the medal count compiled by these extraordinary individuals with 121. The breakdown by sex was women 61 and men 55, and Stanford was the #1 college with 27. And as long as we’re talking numbers, I went to the Olympic team website and counted 75 of those 121 medals being won by African-Americans. So for those thankful to shout “USA #1”, and particularly those in the Trump base, you’re welcome.
Many in the country are thankful again to African-Americans for making Hillary Clinton the Democratic nominee, and they are depending on a large turnout in the Black community to help turn Red states Blue and ensure that Donald Trump does not become President of the United States.
Without Black Americans on the Olympic team, the U.S. would be 5th, after France, but fortunately not as low if the contests were moved into the classroom. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the 2012 Program for International Student Assessment showed that compared across the nations of the world, U.S. teenagers went from 25th to 31st in math since 2009; from 20th to 24th in science; and from 11th to 21st in reading, as reported in Business Insider.
With the U.S. national scores in reading and math being so far behind other nations in the world, and with our local schools being so far behind the state and city averages, how can we possibly expect our young people to compete effectively with what’s coming at them from around the world. This is an impending economic genocide, because unless we spend whatever it takes, while we will always have our standouts, the majority of our young people will be essentially prepared to be servants, unless the education system captures their minds and gives them the tools to thrive in the future.
One example of the nation thanking African-Americans for the Olympics and for saving it from Donald Trump, would be to channel into the Black community the education imperatives and economic opportunities embedded in the Democratic platform. With the changeover of the nation’s infrastructure from fossil fuel to renewable resources, there will be aggressive energy conservation, retrofitting and deriving power from the sun, wind and the movement of water. These are all going to create new industries and a need for technical talent, skilled labor, critical thinkers and people adept in the digital age. These industry creators and their workforce are not only scattered around the world, they are living in Brooklyn and working on laptops in Clinton Hill and Bed-Stuy cafés.
There is work to be done and rulebooks thrown out. The country should spend what it takes to tap into the creative genius and intellect in the inner cities and make education a matter of national security. If African-Americans, from the most challenged communities in the country, can achieve what they have at the Olympics, America, can’t you see what you’re missing?