Ndure Cain, Co-President of Dallas Justice Now,says that the Robb Elementary School shooting of May 24, 2022, was completely avoidable.
“What they aren’t saying in the news,” says Cain, “is that police had about a 30-minute head’s up that this was going to occur. They still failed. The Uvalde school district has been locked down 48 times in 2021 due to threats like this. They aren’t telling you that either.”
No one really knows why 18-year-old Salvador Ramos opened fire on the children and teachers of Robb Elementary. Now nineteen children and two teachers are dead and seventeen people are wounded, including Ramos’ own grandmother, who he shot before driving to the school.
Violence Creates More Violence
“Violence is never the answer,” Cain says. “As Dr. King said, ‘It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible.’ Violence only creates more violence.”
“Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding: it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love.” – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Cain points toward the wisdom of legendary activist Stokely Carmichael, who recognized that Dr. King believed in nonviolence as a hope that if one suffers, their opponent will see that suffering, and be moved toward change. But Carmichael, who changed his name to Kwame Ture to honor his roots, stated, “[Dr. King] only made one fallacious assumption: in order for nonviolence to work, your opponent must have a conscience. The United States has none.”
Dallas Justice Now On Subtle Racism
Cain joined Dallas Justice Now, a social justice group based in Dallas, because he believed in their cause. “We have several main goals,” Cain affirms. “Educational freedom, the empowerment of Black businesses, the reduction of welfare dependency – not to mention holding elected officials accountable for their actions and stopping police brutality.”
Not easy goals. But Cain and his team are dedicated. “I’ve been an activist my whole life,” Cain reveals. “I’ve led protests against the pipeline through the Dakotas, protests in Ferguson – my whole life has been spent fighting both for the black and the native communities.”
Dallas Justice Now believes strongly in ending educational slavery for children of color. “Our kids aren’t getting proper educations,” Cain insists. “They aren’t allowed in white neighborhoods like Highland Park, which is 0.3% Black. Neighborhoods like that aren’t racist because of rednecks in pickup trucks with confederate flags or seething white supremacists with tiki torches, as evil as both groups are. Instead, it is a white-only neighborhood because of a more subtle and far more pernicious type of racism.”
Re-defining Education For Equality
Cain feels strongly that the educational system is failing children of color. “Nothing will change until we end the educational slavery of Black children,” he reveals. “Our communities need better schools and those schools need to be held accountable. We have too many of our children slipping through the cracks.”
Students of color are less likely to have access to college prep courses than white students, studies find. In 2011-2012, a study was done comparing availability of math and science courses for college readiness. Only 57% of Black students had access, compared to 81% of white students.
That’s just not acceptable, says Cain: “White kids in wealthy neighborhoods have more choices as far as which schools they attend. This offers them an unfair advantage over Black children. Our kids are forced into this ‘separate but equal’ public school system and it’s not working.”
Black students are underrepresented across the board in honors and advanced placement courses in public schools. Black students are statistically more likely to be placed in schools with less qualified teachers. In addition, research has revealed systematic bias as far as teacher expectations of Black students compared to white students.
“We need to set the bar higher,” Cain insists. “We know that our children are capable of anything, but the public school system seems to disagree. They just assume our kids can’t learn or don’t want to learn, and that’s absolutely not true.”
He believes that the time for forcing Black students into failing public schools is over. “Charter schools need to compete with public schools and vice versa. When we talk about ‘no child left behind’ it needs to mean something.”
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