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Underachieving and Pseudo Science

January 28, 2016

As is often the case, a Facebook discussion gives me grist for the blog. This one devolved into a discussion of the importance of ‘like-me’ success stories.  My contention is that minority kids need to see success-stories of people from their own race (I’d rather live in a world where color doesn’t matter, be we do, so there it is).

For example, the NBA and NFL are replete with black players.  These days, ask a white kid what he wants to be when he grows up and he’ll say, almost without fail, a video game designer.  Most underprivileged black kids? Sports stars.

While the number of black actors and characters are growing in film and TV, it’s still disproportionate. TV and films are one way for kids to see other employment roles. Not just cops and robbers, but engineers, doctors, nurses, etc.

Whoopie Goldberg claims she got excited as a kid seeing Uhura on Star Trek. At last! Someone like her! she thought.

It makes a difference.

Positive examples are important. No examples (or limited examples) are even more powerful. We all have voices in our head. If our examples are negative, we hear negative voices.

I equate this to myself (of course). I want to start a website/blog on science and science theories that are under-appreciated. Plasma theory, variable light speed, stuff like that. I’m tired of hearing people call Christians “anti-science.”  For some, science, or perceived anti-science,  has turned young people away from the church. As if young-earth theories are fantasy (much of “Creation Science” is, so I see the confusion), but there are some valid theories that have the math to back them up which DO suggest a young earth that are being ridiculed or expressed because they go against mainstream science.

All that to say this: It scares me a little. Look up Plasma Theory on Wikipedia and they ridicule it, calling it pseudo-science. It’s not. It addresses the problems of the Gravimetric Theory while accounting for everything GT does. But do I really want to invite failure and ridicule?

That last sentence is important, because it’s the voice in many underprivileged kids’ heads. Perhaps a young boy wants to perform Shakespeare and not Othello… he hasn’t seen many black people do it. What if I fail? What if people make fun of me?

It’s something we white folks don’t often experience. Sure, self-doubt is common, but our environment doesn’t agree with us. White successes are all around us, why not me?  Clearly, mom, the world belongs to whites, so why not me?

In the inner-city, they know the world doesn’t belong to them, it belongs to someone else.

It isn’t just blacks or Hispanics or Asians, of course. “Fat” girls and boys feel it. “Ugly” girls and boys feel it. Awkward, skinny, buck-toothed, handicapped kids feel it. The difference is, these kids could go on a diet, use makeup, grow into their body, get healed… but a black kid will always be black.

I don’t think it matters if black people get Academy Awards (unless they deserve it); awards should always be a meritocracy.  I just hope producers continue to increase the minority appearance in their regular casts. Not to meet a quota or “bow to pressure,” but because kids are worth it. Young people are worth it. Old people are worth it. No matter what they look like.

 

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