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Critique of black families stereotypical -- Denise Beckfield

May 14, 2017 GMT

I was dismayed by last Sunday’s letter to the editor “Parents play role in racial equity issues.”

The letter writer noted that school discipline problems happen disproportionately among black students. In fact, multiple studies have found that black students who commit the same infractions as their white counterparts are far more likely to be suspended or expelled. So the alleged “disproportionate rate” of disciplinary problems among blacks is actually more reflective of the behavior of teachers and administrators than of an actual difference in misbehavior.

As for the writer’s assertion that “too many black mothers have children they aren’t prepared to raise well,” for the past three years I’ve been working with multiple women raised, as children, in horrifically abusive households where they were beaten, sexually and verbally abused and badly neglected -- and not one of their mothers was black.

Finally, given the letter writer’s stated concern for the achievement gap, what has he done to improve the situation? Does he mentor a child through the Boys and Girls Club, tutor at an elementary school or donate to the local food pantry? Because his assistance would be greatly appreciated, and the experience would likely help counteract the stereotypes he holds.

Denise Beckfield, Verona