Originally created 03/09/02

S.C. has opportunity to redeem itself with lottery money

The historical significance of South Carolina's (education) Lottery can impact blacks greater than any event since the abolition of slavery if we do the right thing.

Whites feel blacks who point out inequalities of the past and present have a victim syndrome and should get over it. But never shall we disregard rape and murder or allow white folks to forget the evil offspring of yesterday's viciousness that haunts us today in the form of black babies dying at birth, more black children in special-needs schooling, more black teens dropping out of school, more adult black males in prisons, more black females becoming poverty-stricken, underage mothers, and more black seniors dying prematurely.

Today's whites may not be directly responsible for these horrible conditions, but there is a direct correlation between their cruel ancestors and our uphill battle to untie these legal and social knots.

However, South Carolina, who led the forces of yesterday against freedom and equality, today has an excellent opportunity for redemption. It was the overwhelming black vote that created the state education lottery. The task now is to correctly prioritize where the education money goes.

If we don't watch it, white folks will use that money to re-educate themselves in the name of retraining and "alternate career development."

The lottery money should be spent first and foremost on free breakfasts and lunches for all schoolchildren. Pre-school and Head Start should be accessible to all families regardless of income. Smaller classes, more teachers and teaching aides are another priority.

Using these guidelines, South Carolina could move from tops in illiteracy to the top 10 in achievement...

Robert "Tunk" Martin, Edgefield, S.C.


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