TOLDSON: Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think there's consequences to young, black males who are trying to figure out how to get into college. Then they have this ominous stat that they are more likely to go to prison than to college. Also, a lot of people who work with our young, black males in high school settings and middle school settings don't really understand the black community that well. Eighty percent of all teachers are white; and so if this frames their understanding of who our young, black males are, then their expectations are a little bit lower.
There are myriad possible causes. Some are so obsessed with being close to Whiteness — being loved and accepted by White people or constructing himself in the White man’s image (or both) — that it fries their brain cells; effectively turning them into a crumpled pair of Wrangler jeans. Some are hamstrung by patriarchy, where latent misogyny is so deeply embedded into their psyches that they’re not even aware its there. Some treat Christianity like a bottomless brunch buffet; deciding to choose which parts of the Bible they’ll follow and which ones they’ll ignore. (“ Lemme have the Eggs Rockefeller and the disdain for gay marriage. But I’ll pass on the no premarital sex. That shit can stay in the tray .”) Some order all of their reading material from the ads in the back of Smooth Magazine . And some just got really caught up in Pre-Paid Legal in the late 90s.