This post is going to piss off some of you black folks, but as usual, I really don't give a f**k.
I am going to use a sports analogy with this one so stay with me.
When the Phillies clinched the National League East division championship, the folks here lost their freaking minds. You would have thought we won the World Series or some shit. The folks here are so starved for a championship that we acted as if just winning the division was the championship. Wall to wall celebrations and damn near rioting in the streets.
Of course, the Phillies then went out and promptly lost three in a row to the Colorado Rockies. Bye bye championship.
Now for my analogy: Earlier this summer I was in a restaurant with some friends when in walked a family of my cousins. They were upbeat and excited and from the looks of things, in full celebration mode. I noticed that two of the young people with the family were still wearing their high school graduation gowns, as well as their graduation caps. The other members of the family were taking picture after picture and relishing in the young people's achievement. "So field what's wrong with that?" Nothing, and the family should have been proud. But let's stay with my Phillies analogy a little bit. They should have been proud, but like the Phillies, these young people did not win the World Series, all they had just won was the divisional championship. There were other steps to go, other educational goals to achieve, but the way this family was acting you would think that this was it; that they had reached the pinnacle. Sadly for them, --and the statistics here in Philly and other places will confirm this-- they probably had. More than likely both of those young people would not be going on to college or furthering their education. This was it for them, and damn it, the family was going to let it all hang out on this grand occasion.
Folks, this might be the first and last time you will hear me say that the frat boy was right about something. But he was right about the "soft racism of low expectations." It's there and it's real, and our own families are sometimes guilty of perpetrating it. We don't help by treating the first step in a long process as if it's the end. It's not the end. Getting your high school diploma is something you are supposed to do, and it should be expected, not celebrated.