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“Elementary Genocide”: The film that is taking the black community by storm

by Dr Boyce Watkins

Rahiem Shabazz is the first to admit that he’s had some nasty run-ins with the law.  He is also first to line up to fight for people of color who are constantly battling the damage being done by the school-to-prison pipeline.  As a result, Mr. Shabazz created a film called “Elementary Genocide,” which explores the dangers that exist within a system that is wired to send millions of black people to prison.

We know that the prison problem has gotten out of control.   According to Policy Mic, the United States government now incarcerates more black people than South Africa did during the height of Apartheid.   The result of skyrocketing prison populations is that many families are now broken, and most black children don’t have the luxury of being born with both a mother and a father in the household.

Much of the tragedy of modern day prisons is rooted in the educational system.  Studies show that African Americans who are unable to read are far more likely to end up in prison than those who are educated.   But in addition to being educated, Shabazz is encouraging parents around the nation to educate their children outside of the public school system.  Some parents are homeschooling their kids as an option, and when you do your research, you might be surprised by the number of options that exist for parents who wish to properly educate their kids.

Another interesting point that Shabazz brings up in the interview (below) is that African Americans must also create our own businesses.  It is due to a lack of economic opportunity that many of our young people resort to crime.  So, the simple idea here is that an individual in an impoverished environment who has no education and no job is far more likely to engage in criminal activity than someone who is positioned for a better future.

The problem is fairly straight forward and the solutions are simple.  The hard work comes with implementing these solutions to ensure that our children live better lives than their parents.  This is the mandate for this generation.  Shabazz is carrying the torch on this issue by not only using the screenings of his film as a way to sustain his business, but also as an opportunity for productive members of the community to gather and build.

He says that these community forums lead to long conversations in the parking lot after the event, where concerned citizens from all walks of life are discussing ways to help black children escape the educational system.

That’s what being a strong black man is all about.

The interview with Rahiem is below:

 

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6 thoughts on ““Elementary Genocide”: The film that is taking the black community by storm

  1. Arneader

    I am the BEST person to spread light on the issue just from observation and experience.

    In the neighborhood I grew up in which has gone from middle class to poor. My generation grew up in two parent homes. Two females from two different homes had multiple marriages the other female got married when she was in her forties, after three children from three different men and relocating to another state. One female sons dropped out if school and didn’t graduate. Another sons got their GED and the last son is attending college.

    What I observed from the two mothers who sons did not attend college was that they let their sons run the streets. The mother whose son attended college STOPPED letting her son associate with the other boys and they continued to live across the street from one another.

    The other two moms sons had babies out of wedlock, sold and smoked drugs and had arrest records.

    Th problem wasn’t the scoop or the system it was the home. You have to have a value system. Just because your family or community choose the road more or less travelled you do not have to. My son is the third year computer engineer college student—HONOR

    Reply
    • TheRam28

      First, I commend you are on the success of your of your son. Your comments does not address the the present day issues. It would have been appropriate if you would have provided some historical background. Your comments seems to address the end result of this corrupt system. In New York City (Manhattan) the police wouldn’t dare arrest white kids who live on the Upper East and West Side for possession of joint or two of marijuana, but Black and Latino kids will wind up with a criminal record or worse. In fact if you ask white kids they would not believe you could get arrested for that. Mr. Shabazz is addressing Genocide, which is a process of getting rid of a people, first by dehumanizing them taking away their Rights, incarceration for minor crimes and given jail sentences to youths that the Supreme Court has deemed Cruel and Unusual Punishment. I agree parents can make a difference, but not if they are incarcerated for 50-60 years, while Whites get 5-10 for the same crime. The month of October will be Mass Incarceration Awareness month, I hope you will be able to observe and participate in your area: Website: http://stopmassincarceration.net/content/month-resistance-mass-incarceration Also, it was suggested if you haven’t to read : [Alexander, M (2010)The New Jim Crow]. What is happening is Arneader is real.

      Reply
      • Claud A. SINCLAIR, Esq.

        Both issues are relevant! Sometimes we can’t see the forest for the trees. Good parenting is the foundation for keeping future generations out of prison, while building the economic momentum to abolish modern day slavery. We must be concerned about group economics as well. The pipeline to prison is ourreal issue. Just make sure your children can read above grade level before the 3rd grade. Put a financial education in your home http://www.powerthroughunity.org.

        Reply
  2. Aileen

    It is not always fair to blame single parent homes or children born out of wedlock. We all have choices and sometimes the choices we make are not to benefit us or our children. I a the mother of 5 children all born out of wedlock, never married and even though I was not married, my children turned out to be responsible husbands and wives. Please evaluate what you say, because all single parent homes are not the devil’s den. Some parents now (today) have been thrown out as unfit, selfish, not caring about their children, and they simply don’t know any better. Because the generation before them have joined them instead of being their first teacher. They see school as a babysitter and when you consider where they’re coming from, then the statements are made like, didn’t come from a two parent home, parents are uneducated themselves, so they do not value education. They want their boys to grow up and got to the NFL so they can be rich, with a welfare mentality. Please let us discuss this dilemma with some class and with solutions not venting. There is a lot of blame to go around.

    Reply
  3. ~C

    “Please let us discuss this dilemma with some class and with solutions not venting. There is a lot of blame to go around.”

    Whenever we target someone to blame we’ve decide to do nothing, nor take responsibility for our share of the problem. We repeat the mantra ” if only THEY would stop and/or start doing …”. I think I hear echoes of Michael Jackson’s “Man In The Mirror” playing in my head!!!!

    Reply
  4. Claud A. SINCLAIR, Esq.

    I came from a single family home, although I had a step dad, I really didn’t connect with him whenever he was around in my early years. However, my mother made sure our education came first. I had male role models around and a community that cared while growing up. I made sure as a man I was their for my 3 children from birth to graduation. When as a people we truly become sick and tired of the same old, same old we will change our ways. We use the allegorical phrase, judge a tree by the fruit that it bears. The real problem is individualism. Europeans in America have an economic infrastructure called the United States of America Corporation. As we begin to organize economically, we will solve the “symptoms” of oppression, poverty, the generational curse of incarceration, foster care, gang violence, broken homes, high unemployment and so forth. The first step is to organize economically and to educate our own children. Our children are not being prepared to lead but are being led into servitude because they can’t think properly beyond the rap lyrics they chose to memorize. My daughter showed me some name brand tennis shoes being sold on the Internet for $1,700 and up. I saw one pair for $7,000. It costs less than $20.00 to make these shoes. This is so disrespectful to our community, but we care more about fashion than being smart “thinkers”. It’s our collective behavior which shows we are not being educated as producers but consumers. It’s time for change! Join the movement at http://www.powerthroughunity.org. Faith without Work leads to despair! Thanks for this opportunity to share because our most treasured asset, our children are being destroyed generation after generation while we watch. “The revolution will not be televised because it will take place in the mind”, first. Rev. Dr. Claud A. SINCLAIR at your service. Courage will bring Peace and Prosperity.

    Reply

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