We are once again at a critical turning point for our children and nation. Despite all the harsh lessons of the past and all the lofty rhetoric about who we want and need to be as a 21st century multicultural nation in a multiracial and multicultural world, we’re heading in the wrong direction -- backwards into a second Post-Reconstruction Era. We need to correct course and challenge the huge and interlocking economic and racial inequality that threaten the very idea of America.
Marian Wright Edelman, is
an activist for the rights
of children,and founder of
the Children's Defense Fund
So many of the formidable threats millions of poor children of all races, but especially black children, face today are actually dangerous steps backwards. The Cradle to Prison Pipeline™ which places one in three black boys (and one in six Latino boys) born in 2001 at risk of imprisonment. Mass incarceration of people of color -- especially black males. “Stop and frisk” racial profiling in policing. Huge racial disparities in often harsh, arbitrary, zero-tolerance school discipline policies that deny countless children of essential education and push them into the criminal justice system. Massive attacks on voting rights with new identification -- “show your papers” or get new papers policies -- and cost burden (“poll tax”) requirements which especially impact the poor, minority groups, the elderly, the disabled, and the young. Resegregating and substandard schools denying millions of poor black and Latino children skills they will need to work in our increasingly competitive globalized economy. Each and all of these are siren calls for attentive action. Source