So what does this mean? Well, Chuck D of Public Enemy probably put it best a few years back when he offered, “Don’t believe the Hype“.
You see it’s unfortunately far too easy for us as a community to buy into myths that are not really based in truth. We then make them worse by spreading them until our children are running around repeating them like they’re a proven fact.
And then, most dangerous of all, once we hear it a few times, we internalize these false notions. Once we do, we’ve created a monster that now acts and looks real and does a lot of damage to our community and children despite the fact that it’s just a figment of our imagination.
Now to be clear, I’m not, and neither are these findings suggesting our children don’t accuse their peers of “acting white.” Toldson acknowledges such labeling is there, but these results show they are more likely the result of styles of dress, speech patterns and musical tastes than of academic achievement.
This is important to recognize since academic achievement is likely the most important indicator of future success…And if we perpetuate false myths among our children, or allow them to believe in them, then we shouldn’t sit around whining about “what’s wrong with these kids today” or wondering why they’re not doing well.
I’ll leave you with this from President John F. Kennedy:
“The great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie, deliberate, contrived and dishonest, but the myth, persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. “