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prioritizes Black life
y e a r - o 1 d
Z a c h a r y
was sitting in
parking lot in
s c., on a first
date. An undercover agent had arranged to
buy marijuana from his date and had lured
her to the parking lot.
What could have been a simple drug
bust turned into tragedy. Zachary was
killed when two bullets struck him on July
As always, there are conflicting stories
of what happened. The shooting officer
says he was in danger of being run over by
Hammond, but not everyone agrees, and
one Hardee's employee witnessed officers
moving Hammond's body to place it so it
confirmed officer reports
Hammond is White and his name is not
as widely known as that of Michael
Brown, Eric Garner, or Tamir Rice.
Hammond's family and their attorney, Eric
Bland, say the national media have not
covered the murder of Zach Hammond
because he is White. Give me a break.
While activists organized to protest the
murders of the unarmed African-American
men (and women) who have been killed by
the police, no one in Zach Hammond's cir
cle has cared enough to organize an action
to protest his killing. His town is majority
White, as are the officers of the law.
Citizens of Seneca, S.C., need to ask why
Zach's killing is tolerated.
Approximately 350 people have been
killed by police officers so far this year. We
don't know all of their names, but we do
know that African-Americans are twice as
likely to be killed (or die in police custody)
as Whites. We know about Sandra Bland,
and Eric Gamer, and Michael Brown, and
Tamir Rice because somebody lifted them
up, organized around their murders, and
made their presence known. Tellingly, the
protest of Michael Brown's murder was
muted until a grand jury failed to indict
murderer Darren Wilson for his crime.
In the case of Zach Hammond, there
has been no tape issued, no witnesses who
have come forward, and a police bureau
cracy that seems in no hurry to issue facts
and findings. Still, everybody would know
Zach Hammond's name if that
#AllLivesMatter crowd, the ones who
object to the #BlackLivesMatter move
ment, would coalesce around Zach
Hammond's murder. Instead of criticizing
the #BlackLivesMatter movement,
Hammond's attorney and his grieving par
ents ought to ask why more White folks
aren't outraged about young Hammond's
Zach Hammond's tragic death high
lights the reasons why police officers
should be forced to wear body cameras. It
reminds us that too many trigger-happy
officers of the law should be better trained.
It reminds us that some have been trained
(or decided) to shoot to kill, even if the
perceived threat comes from a 12-year-old
child playing with a toy gun, or a young
White man who (facts still to be deter
mined) was simply driving his car. Even if
Zach Hammond was trying to flee the
Hardee's parking lot, the consequence for
evading arrest should not be the death
I am proud of the #BlackLivesMatter
movement, an excited about the three
young women who organized it, and the
thousands who have united under their
banner. That movement that prioritizes
black lives in a way that they have never
before been prioritized. The
#AllLivesMatter seems to be a flippant
answer to #BlackLivesMatter. But here's
the deal - White lives have always mat
tered and Black lives have been historical
ly denigrated. Our nation's organizing
principle, the Constitution, stated that
African-Americans should only be count
ed as three fifths of a person. Thousands of
African-American people were lynched
because they dared defy "Black Codes" or
simply because they had too much money,
too much attitude or too much dignity for
oppressive White southerners. Congress
repeatedly refused to pass anti-lynching
If all lives matter, where are the White
folks who protest the murder of Michael
Brown and Eric Garner? Where are the
White folks who will protest Zach
Hammond's murder? (There have been
White protesters, to be sure, but have Zach
Hammond's parents ever been to a rally to
protest the loss of Black life). There are
many Black south Carolinians who would
join in a protest against police brutality and
an unjust killing. But those close to Zach
Hammond will have to do the organizing
to attract the national media.
Because of historic oppression, it is
important for those who oppose needless
police killings of unarmed Black people to
embrace the #BlackLivesMatter move
ment. All lives matter, certainly, but it is
the disproportionate killing of African
Americans that has provided the impetus
for a movement. Eric Bland, the
Hammond attorney, ought to embrace it
instead of being criticizing it.
Julianne Malveaux, formerly president
of Bennett College in Greensboro, is a
Washington, D.C-based economist and
author. She can be reached at julian
VIE. RE w 1
I l -lLI ... y
The parental component
in a child's education is mandatory
educational pursuits of stu
dents seem to be on every
one's radar screen.
Currently, one of the
debates is about Common
Core and whether that
should be mandated in
every state. Some years
ago, "No child left behind
gathered a lot of steam and
a lot of critics.
Statewide testing is also
a buzz phrase now as each
state has developed its own
formula for competence
and success. Some argue
that if students make out
standing grades then why
should they be bound to a
test? Meanwhile teachers
are teaching to the test try
ing to ensure their students
pass these statewide tests.
Some school districts are
threatening teachers with
job loss unless their stu
dents pass these tests. In
other words, a teacher's job
security is in the hands of
an elementary or middle
school student. Oh my!
We are now firmly in a
testing mode and the end is
nowhere in sight. You cou
ple increased teacher
expectations with the
statewide testing frenzy
and that is a recipe for dis
Too many children are
coming to school ill-pre
pared for instruction and
the subsequent success that
goes with it. School has
started and summer is now
but a memory. Yes, the
children had a great time
on vacation and yes they
had a chance to sleep late
but are they ready for
school? I think that
depends upon whom you
talk to about this matter.
You'll hear many peo
ple say it is the teachers
who will get the students
"ready" for the school year.
Not so fast my friends as I
believe there is another
view which is gaining trac
tion in a lot of homes.
Many parents are now
engaging their children in
learning activities during
the summer. There is play
time but there is also read
ing and math time.
Depending upon the age of
the child these exercises
can last for a couple of
hours. As a result of par
ents' direct involvement,
students are better
equipped educationally and
socially to return to school
after summer break.
A parent does not have
to be college-trained to
value education. I grew up
in a neighborhood where
not every parent had a col
lege degree. Yet this did
not hinder them from plac
ing a high value on educa
When we walked home
from school in Winston
Salem NC, we were always
asked by neighbors about
homework and what did we
learn. Obviously, we had
to have some answers or be
reported to our parents.
The times have changed
but 1 believe the value of an
education has not changed
nor has the role of parents.
Schools are being
maligned these days
because some see it as a
panacea that can cure all
student ills. Teachers have
become social workers,
surrogate parents and coun
selors. Schools have
become social service cen
ters where goods and serv
ices are being given to stu
dents, many at no cost.
This paradigm shift has
lifted much of the responsi
bility from parents. Many
parents say, "Send them to
school, the teachers can
handle it." No, the teachers
can't handle it and it is
unfair to them.
For example, when a
student gets in trouble and
the parent is called,, they
begin a verbal assault
against the teacher. As the
young people would say,
don't get it twisted. 1 can't
imagine my parents siding
with me in my wrongdo
ing. I never wanted to hear
the words, "wait until you
get home or better yet, wait
until I tell your father."
Parents can no longer
hold schools accountable
for the rearing of their chil
dren. We must do the chil
drearing and be their par
ents and not their friends.
The parent ship will always
have the wind at its back.
But the friend ship will
simply be in the wind,
unsure of its course and
Based upon my experi
ences as both a parent and a
grandparent, I humbly sub
mit these tips and advice
for your review and consid
eration. If you fail a time
or two, no worries as many
of us failed as well before
we figured it out. The
important part to remember
is that you are ultimately
responsible for your child.
James B. Ewers Jr.
EdD. is a farmer tennis
champion at Atkins High
School and played college
tennis at Johnson C Smith
University where he was
all-conference for four
He is the President
Emeritus of The Teen
Mentoring Committee oj
Ohio and a retired college
administrator. He can be
ewers .jr56? yahoo .com.
'?* Principles and guidelines for
successful parental engagement
1. Be your child's parent and not his or her friend.
? ^ 2, Value education in your home and make sure
Mhur child knows it.
3. Get your child a library card today.
4. Develop an educational relationship with your
5. Start or join a parents' support group at your
school. Other parents are having the same problems.
Limit your child's television watching.
7. Curb your child's cell phone use, especially at
8. Become knowledgeable about social media and
what your child is doing on it.
9. Weft your child's principal. He or she shouldn't
be attending school there if you have not met the prin
10.^Set aside time each night for homework and
11. Discuss your child's life goals with him or her.
12. Don't buy him or her the latest fashions
because they want them.
13. Know who your friends are.
14. Express your love to your child.
ff^He or she needs and went to hear it.