Thank you for the article “‘Beat Back This Monster’: Asheville City Schools’ Worst-in-NC Achievement, Discipline Gaps Widen” in the Jan. 30 edition, discussing racial disparities in disciplinary actions and academic achievement, particularly between white and black students of the Asheville school system. Certainly teacher bias in disciplinary actions should be mitigated, but I think we all know that the economic and social disparities between white and black families are closer to the root cause of these issues.
I wanted to take this opportunity to bring attention to a candidate [for president] in the 2020 Democratic primary. I highly recommend everybody check out the platform of Marianne Williamson. She has brought to the table the idea of $100 billion toward a reparations plan for African-Americans: an educational, economic and cultural fund to be disbursed over a 10-year period by a council of esteemed African-American leaders. In her own words, “At the end of the Civil War, General Tecumseh Sherman promised every formerly enslaved person 40 acres and a mule. And those 40 acres and a mule would have given a formerly enslaved population an opportunity to integrate into free society.”
This promise was not paid, and I think she’s right to call that out and say that it’s time to fulfill our duty as a society and make good on what’s due to the black community for the inhumane treatment of their ancestors and the resultant second-class status they’ve essentially endured all the way up to the present day.
It’s no secret that the black men, women and children of our society have been fighting an uphill battle in nearly every imaginable way since we’ve been a country, and this gap cannot be crossed by good intentions alone. If the subject is about leveling the playing field for our black brothers and sisters, then I think this proposal should be given more coverage in the public discourse. This is a very tangible step that we as Americans could take to narrow the gap between the disparities of white and black folk of this nation.
— David Aylward