"Drugs & Jail When All Else Fails" - The Psycho-Academic War Against Black Boys
By Umar R. Abdullah-Johnson
The professional nomenclature has now become household words. Children as young as six can now speak of "Ritalin," and "ADHD" with stunning efficiency of what these words mean. Teachers and principals are telling single-parent mothers that their sons need "CYCLERT" and "ADDERALL." Special education children are telling their instructors that they cannot be suspended from school for more than ten days because they have an "IEP." Teenage boys are blaming their behavior on "I didn't have my pill today."
As soon as children begin to show signs of a learning challenge parents are racing off to the schools begging for psycho-educational evaluations believing that their children have "learning disabilities" although they have just began to learn. Collectively, we have created a monster that is wreaking havoc upon Black boys in America the explication of which is central towards a correct understanding of the underachievement and socio-economic marginalization of Black men in the United States.
The Umar Abdullah-Johnson Theory of Black Male Alienation posits that a five-stage cycle of institutional repression exists that has effectively sent more black men to jail than it has to college. Any attempt to reverse this war against America's most misunderstood population begins with a firm analysis of the process and it's origins in boyhood. Americans, including Blacks, have become so desensitized to the pain of Black boys and so expectant of their failures that their pain is often overlooked and their achievements treated like occasional glitches in a system that has successfully made Black boys a permanent underclass in this country.
The five stages of the Abdullah-Johnson theory of Black Male Alienation are 1) Miseducation, 2) Psychotropic Medication, 3) Mass Incarceration, 4) Frustration/Irritation, and 5) Extermination. It is the job of all Black institutions, parents, elected officials, clergymen and leaders to fight to keep our young men from falling into any of these aforementioned stages. Nearly every Black man in America has already been through one of these stages or is at-risk for being sucked into one at this very minute. This brief article cannot properly address the historical underpinnings of each stage in this vicious cycle but rather it seeks to draw everyone's attention to seven (7) facts regarding life as a Black boy in America.
FACT #1: Black boys are turned off from public education based upon the treatment they receive by a primarily White female teacher population beginning in kindergarten and intensifying by middle school.
FACT #2: Black boys are referred for learning disability and special education support programs intentionally to remove them from the general student population due to routine behavior problems thusly preparing them for a life of marginalization and prison.
FACT #3: Black boys are sent to detention centers and juvenile delinquent programs which interrupts their schooling and encourages school drop-out especially in states where returning to public school after such a placement is illegal.
FACT #4: Prisons are being used as concentration camps for Black men to be detained since the society-at-large is not interested in hiring these men by equipping them with decent livable wage jobs.
FACT #5: American society is more responsible than any Black man for the destabilization of the Black family by stealing fathers away from sons and thusly removing role models and over-burdening Black women with the dual role of both working for and raising their children without any paternal assistance.
FACT #6: The war on drugs has been a war on Black men and has served to destroy the Black community and strip it of its most valuable resource, its men.
FACT #7: Black boys are more likely to be put on dangerous psychiatric medications for emotional problems while White boys are more likely to receive valuable psychotherapy for the causes of their behavior problems, which come with no side effects.
This information has been written to serve as a warning to the Black community, and all of America, to stop institutionalizing and brain drugging our sons. They are normal children and can be successful like other youth, and will respond to love and proper treatment like anyone else.
To this end, I am offering free psycho-educational workshops for parents and community organizations to train them on how to protect their sons from premature and unnecessary labeling, drugging and illegal discipline practices that take place everyday in our public and charter schools. The training will highlight five areas of practice: a) special education law and procedure, b) school discipline law and procedure, c) disruptive behavior disorders and psychiatric medicine, d) effective behavioral modification strategies for Black boys and e) the history of Black boys in public education.
If you are interested in hosting this free training, anywhere in the U.S., please do not hesitate to contact me.
Umar R. Abdullah-Johnson is a nationally certified school psychologist & kinsman to Frederick Douglass. He is also the founder of the National Movement to Save Black Boys (NMSBB). He can be reached at (215) 989-9858 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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