Ending ‘SAT Massacre’ must be a priority

To the editor:

In the 18th and 19th centuries, America massacred many Native Americans, with virtually all believing then and many believing now that it was necessary to do that in order for America to be, as First Lady Michelle Obama said at the Democratic National Convention, “the greatest country in the world.”

During most of the 20th century and through the early part of the 21st century, white children outnumbered black children about 12-1. However, at the top level on the SATs and other tests in English and math, white children outperform black children and others at almost 150-1.

This is an astounding “SAT Massacre” of blacks, Hispanics, and of other poor people, particularly Native Americans. Let there be no over-generalization; many are not poor and many perform spectacularly. But both major parties and the rest of us must come to understand that little, if anything, can be done to make America as great as it should be until the elimination of the “SAT Massacre” is in the cross hairs of our efforts to realize a more just America, one approaching “liberty and justice for all.”

While it is fairly easy for us to see the pervasiveness of racism at the beginning of the founding of this country, it is far more daunting for us to accept our roles today as accomplices and agents in its corrosive and shameful perpetuation. There’s the hope that enough of us will decide to act appropriately so that all our hopes can be realized.

Booker C. Peek

Africana Studies Department, Emeritus Associate Professor, Oberlin College