Why do we Smoke and Do Dope Part 4: Vocational Education for Minorities

Dear Readers,

I’m not going to emphasize too much hr. Brian Crosby did it for me. He already wrote that inner city schools are most often associated with prisons, something that must change. I have to agree with most of what he wrote, except for one thing. If you cut special education, especially that of blind children, you will have a bigger illiteracy crisis than you already have with blind children today. Today, 90% of the blind children in schools are illiterate, don’t get Braille services until later in life, or never learn to read functionally. It is best practice to start Braille instruction at the same time as a sighted child, which to me means as early as possible.

The focus of this post, however, is a huge problem that circulates among the poor that includes the peddling of drugs, and only one of a few ways to stop it. While the United States outsources to India and China, cheap labor options that lave a lot of minorities out, there is no way any CEO of any company would do apprenticeships in the States, but that’s what we must do in order to get drug peddlers and dealers to stop what they’re doing, throw away the drugs, and earn an honest living.

Take rapper B.Mob. He sold dope by the night, as it says in his mix tape, the song, “My Story”, and his family was heavily involved in gang activity. First off, the gang activity I think is a direct result of oppressive Texas laws and de facto segregationist policies having to do with housing, job opportunities and other things. B.Mob is just one example of many people, blind or otherwise, that would benefit from real vocational education. While Texas School for the Blind was unable to curb the dope seller’s desire to make money and try to help his family, they of the school thought juvenile detention was the best place. However, since B.Mob is nonviolent to my knowledge, I see no problem with alternatives to incarceration.

The only way that the Bloods and Crips will ever cease fighting and doing bad things to others could involve alternatives to juvenile detention, which is not fun and does not offer post prison vocational programs most of the time. Rehabilitating criminals should be foremost on Texas’s agenda, but like most Conservative states, weed being illegal makes it harder for people such as B.Mob to make an honest living. Being like most rappers, African American, he might face further discrimination in job applications because of his nonviolent rap sheet. He has not killed anyone, so why discriminate? My impression of him is that he seems to be a cool person, and I don’t see any violence about him. So why Texas won’t offer a vocational post detention program is beyond me.

Placing nonviolent offenders in house arrest for a short time is costly to the offender, so I think we need to keep nonviolent people out of jail, period. While juveniles who sexually offend should have probation, some detention, and therapy, I don’t think anyone should lock teenagers up, no matter how violent they are, but we should be focusing on getting these guys “bright” as B.Mob puts it. Getting these guys a proper education that doesn’t include races textbooks is a must.

There’s one more element to education that my friend Chenelle Hancock and I discussed earlier on Facebook. Independent lingual education should start early.

Chenelle’s Language Learning Podcast is a place for people to talk about their independent studies of languages like French, German, Arabic, Urdu, and many more. Norwegian is tough, at least to me, but believe me it can be done. Chenelle is proof that schools aren’t always where the language hits the tongue. For one thing, I would love to study French or German, both languages highly important if you venture off to Switzerland. Not that I’m interested, but some people have Swiss bank accounts. Chenelle said that when schools teach languages, oftentimes the students don’t retain the language. So what can be done? I think independent study while the student is busy at work might be a solution. While working, for instance, on an apprenticeship machinist program in the States, imagine you are studying German and French so you can work with Dymler-Chrysler executives in Germany. While learning the languages, people also learn the culture of the German and French workplaces, corporate manners, etc. Brian Crosby mentioned a teenager now working at E.J. Ajax and Sons and getting paid internships and such things as that. Crosby says this guy is on his way to owning a house, but that was back in 2008. So the guy is probably a homeowner by now.

Any kind of vocational choice should be given first and foremost to persons with disabling conditions. If a minority student has CP, don’t expect them to go into manufacturing jobs that require heavy lifting. Here’s another thing. Blind people should not be expected to drive or operate mobile machinery such as cars, planes, and boats. Instead, offer a blind student in a school, especially a minority student who does not excel at scholarly work, an alternative to college that pays. The sweatshops don’t count as jobs because of their failure to pay minimum and living wages. Blind students should have the same access to apprenticeship jobs and internships as their sighted peers, and same with other disabled students. Intellectually disabled students should try manufacturing, but remember, these jobs must have good working conditions. The job must pay the worker a fair and living wage, so the intellectually disabled person can live in their own home, pay their own way with caregiving tasks, or learn to cook and socialize themselves. The key thing here is we need to end the oppressive policies in education for minority students. This means that African Americans should be allowed to run the gamut from scholar to apprentice no matter what.

Take an African American student in a place where cosmetology is in high demand. Girl or boy, they can still learn to cut hair, braid it, or style nails and hair however the customer wants. This is a very important job for many a hairstylist, nail artist, or pedicurist. I think apprenticeships and beauty schools should extend to high school so that by the time these kiddos graduate, they will get paid. This would serve a service oriented economy better than nothing at all.

While culinary programs are popular, food preparation classes are often closed to disabled people. I say, open the floodgates to blind and visually impaired as well as other disabled students. Take J.J. Duran, a local girl in Colorado who attended a cooking class in middle school. She had a lot of fighting to do to convince the teachers that cooking was in her capacity. It is in mine, but I wish I’d had more time in school to learn this practical art.

The only thing I wish I had done right in school was find a vocation that paid. Titusville has no vocations for blind folks, and vending stand operations are a null and void profession in that area. A bagger at a grocery store is not a useful career to me because it’s only a starting point, and many other job sites won’t hire because of liability or preference of a college degree, too much money.

Here’s another idea for making jobs accessible. Take away college payments. Make college free. Just as public education is free, make college free. University degrees should be free, but the same work applies. IF you want to be a teacher, you shouldn’t have to go into debt or deal with disability offices who don’t want to work with you. So in the best interest of all, make it free. Trump University is a scam, and there are people who would shoot someone to get a legitimate college degree. I think making college free will cut down on the number of fake degrees purchased. I don’t want to purchase a fake degree for less money and work. I want to work hard, but having to pay to go to school is a waste. College textbook purchases should also be lowered in price or free to students. Or rather, let students independently study without a book because textbooks are a real ripoff. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve sold back books, but the purchase price was heavy. I will never buy another college book in my life ever again.

License tests are a big problem. For public k-12 education, standard core curriculum should be thrown away. Replace it with project based arts education, language learning in two way immersion programs, and economically sound apprentice programs for nonscholarly youth. For those who aren’t going to college, give them a chance to go to business school. Free business courses should be offered, and a business plan should be used to help students understand licensure, copyright, limited liability companies, corporations, and all the in and out of businesses. Business ownership and franchising should be included in the course curriculum.

While Colorado has a legal way to grow weed, I’m all for a course on growing cannabis and tending crops. If I had the land, a house, a greenhouse, all that, I’d grow hemp. No kidding. I would grow hemp and weed for medicinal purposes. I’d call it the Royal Medicinal Plant Company, and I’d start at the bottom tear, with an LLC. Everybody in Colorado wants weed, so why not grow it? My plants would not contain THC, but would be similar in scope to Charlotte’s Web. This is named for a small girl called Charlotte Figgy, who had many disabling seizures before she started using the oils from the plant that bears her name. I would love to grow some web plants myself, and other medicinals and herbs that help with health and other ailments. Of course, I’d do my homework to see which plants do what, what chemicals should be in plants, scientific research and everything. Maybe I should grow marijuana plants that help with back issues, anxiety, pain in your stomach, all kinds of stuff.

That brings me to another point. Make weed legal. The federal government had a racial motivation behind illegal marijuana grows. Now, we must admit that not a single death has been attributed to pure marijuana. I’d rather see high people all relaxed than drunk angry people any day. High people are easier to talk to, but they must track things a bit harder. Still, they don’t get angry as easily, which is why rapper Esoteric Quality uses weed to calm down. He has a medical card, so he gets his weed from dispensaries. I would rather get weed from a good dispensary or I’d open my own cannabis shop. The business is competitive and booming. But I might be able to help the businesses another way if I can’t learn to be a bud tender. Tending the buds might be a good economical opportunity for me here in Colorado, but weed being illegal in the federal sense makes it harder. If the federal government legalizes marijuana, race aside, then jobs will open up. I don’t call marijuana dope, but if we regulate and legalize it here in the States, imagine how the violence would almost certainly cease a bit more, economical opportunities would become vast, and the scope of jobs would have a better and longer list for folks with disabilities.

Think about this.

Educating people about the uses of medicinals might have a good impact on the bud tender and his or her job. Medicinal weed must be allowed in all places, federal funding or not. There is no need to discriminate because most weed users would probably get pretty angry and high about that. African Americans are disproportionately sentenced to jail simply for use of weed. Colorado has erased all convictions of marijuana possession because now the recreational pot industry is here, and it’s growing.

Education is key, and knowledge is power. But there’s more to the story. What if your teenager or relative does heroin? Crack? Cocaine? We must offer nonviolent offenders a chance to get out, and I’ll talk about how to best handle nonviolent crimes without crowding jails. While justice reform is in the news, I think it should be a priority. African Americans and those of Hispanic descent are disproportionately representative of the prison population, and gangs of white people operate behind bars. Please, if you think jail is a need for these inmates, think again. We also must stop getting tough on crime, and spend more money on rehabilitating hardened offenders, not all out punishing them, but it will take a major social attitude adjustment. Bring me the hammer.


Author: denverqueen

My name is Beth. I'm blind from birth and enjoy the blogging atmosphere. I am a creative person, a musician, a writer, etc. This is me. Take it or leave it.

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