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Education is the Key, Right?

August 12, 2020 (321 words)

There is a broad consensus that improving educational opportunities is the answer to the current unemployment problem, among blacks and whites alike. We have to start training young people for today’s hi-tech jobs, according to the experts. But not everyone is predisposed to do such work, either intellectually or temperamentally, even if the specialized training were to become readily available.

Ongoing attempts to reform under-funded and under-performing inner city schools should help the black and minority children forced to attend them. Giving these children access to a better education will no doubt increase their chances of finding suitable employment down the line.

But let’s not overstate what “a good education” can accomplish in the way of enhanced job prospects. Not every child, black or white, is going to become “a leader of tomorrow.” The majority have a much more modest aspiration: A steady job that can establish them as a functioning member of society.

Every race and ethnic group is blessed not only with inherent dignity, but with its fair share of native intelligence, and even genius. If given access to better educational opportunities, the same percentage of black children can blossom and earn an exalted place in the professions, in government, and in the corporate world as do their white counterparts.

On a side note, my own little neighborhood passel of white elementary school classmates from half a century ago was nothing special, and we came from parents who were for the most part just plugging along. We had as many as seventy in a classroom back in the 1960s, as I recall. Some of us were rambunctious and unruly. Despite such overcrowding, and daily disruptions to learning, a fair share of our unremarkable gaggle grew up to become doctors and lawyers and Indian chiefs.

But that still leaves the rest of the group, the overwhelming majority of both black and white communities, in search of some place to work.

Robert J. Cavanaugh, Jr
August 12, 2020

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