My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments.
~ King Solomon (Proverbs 3:1)
Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.
~ Booker T. Washington
Casey Anthony, a Generation Y member and unconvicted murder, inked a tattoo (“beautiful life”) just two weeks after her baby Caylee was dumped in a Florida swamp
Professor Leonard McCoy is a faculty member at Savannah State University, a historical black college/university (HBCU) in Georgia. He is also an emergent scholar, a brilliant critical thinker and one of the most dispassionate, logical-minded men I’ve ever met. During my short tenure at SSU (2008-09) professor McCoy and I put on eight symposiums and participated in about four or five others.
Below are some critical-thinking techniques I used to rescue my dear friend’s son, Rashaan Thompson, a talented college freshman who got into some trouble recently hanging with the wrong crowd – strategies to help him get back on the right academic and intellectual track, to get back into college, to fulfill his God-ordained destiny using the self-help tactics and logical strategies of that great black conservative intellectual Booker T. Washington (1856-1915).
Dear professor McCoy:
It was great talking to you the other day, my friend. I trust that you received the requested research materials that I sent you regarding black male retention strategies at HBCUs.
In my prayers for your family, particularly your son, I just remembered that I wrote a recent article, “Letter to Generation X,” which addresses many of the issues that young people: Generation X (30-something) and Generation Y (20-something) are plagued with. The problem with this young generation is that they have no moral code nor intellectual foundation other than hedonism; no knowledge of history or war strategies of the past like those outlined in Sun Tzu’s classic treatise “Art of War.”
If you don’t know who the enemy is, how can you fight the enemy?
Tactics and strategies
Perhaps you can have your son do what I ask my college students to do, which is to read my WND articles or my blog and type a 2-3 page summary and opinion essay of each work. This intellectual project will achieve several objectives almost instantaneously for your son, namely to:
- Regularly follow directions from an authority figure;
- Develop critical thinking and writing skills;
- Get his intellect, body, soul, spirit ready to re-enter college again and this time to be successful;
- Improve his writing/typing/computer skills.
Results: By the end of the summer Rashaan will have a folder full of essays on diverse subjects that your son can then take to the dean, university officials and his professors to demonstrate his seriousness to high intellectual pursuits.
My son, Stone Washington, is 14 and will be entering high school this fall. Since he was about 8 I’ve had him read the great works of literature and book summaries of the classics and write his own summary analyses of those works in addition to reading them to me, correcting his sentence structure, and most importantly making him defend his thesis and arguments.
On July 14, Stone completed writing 100 essays from an anthology called, “Book of Great Books: A Guide to 100 World Classics” by W. John Camp (2000), which is 100 literary classics from the canon of Western civilization including writers like Homer, Plato, Machiavelli, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Goethe, Shelley, Dickens, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Melville, Hemingway, Faulkner, Geo. Orwell, Winston Churchill, Zora Neal Hurston, Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison and many, many more magnificent writers.
I wanted to teach my son that in order for anyone in the world to give a damn about his opinion he needed to FIRST have an informed, rational and intelligent opinion. In order to have a coherent, logical opinion he needed to read (and re-read) the great books of Western civilization, to teach him to think in grandiose, sublime and transcendent ideas (i.e., ideas above himself).
To demonstrate how knowledge is power and character is destiny, a few months ago when Stone was in the eighth grade he was chosen to be part of a special writing group. When the essays were written and collected, the teacher (Ms. Currier) by chance chose Stone’s essay to read to the entire class and was stunned at his level of clarity, sentence structure and intellectual depth. She stated his writing was at the level of a 20-year-old, a college junior.
Overnight Stone’s reputation for writing and intellectualism spread across the school campus, including to the principal’s office. I told Stone in addition to the bad letters in his file for being repeatedly tardy and bullying that little boy (“Jimmy”) in the seventh grade, now you have a good paper in your permanent file to showcase your literary and philosophical side. Stone was visibly proud of this achievement, which made my fighting with him all that time in writing those 100 essays (772 days) worth every word, every sentence … every effort.
Booker T. Washington, the despised and forgotten prophet to black America said 100 years ago: “At the bottom of education, at the bottom of politics, even at the bottom of religion, there must be for our race economic independence.”
Professor McCoy, we’ve got to convince Rashaan that in a few years his generation will either continue to lead our great country under the socialist policies of President Barack Obama into the abyss of pathology, promiscuity, ignorance, crime and national bankruptcy, or some courageous members of Generation Y (perhaps even you, Rashaan) will arise like Booker T. Washington and call on the Lord, repent, study, earn your credentials and teach others that voluntary slavery in any of its guises – liberalism, Marxism, socialism, democracy, welfare state, progressivism, communism, illicit sex, drug addiction, reckless use of guns, idleness, ghetto life, ghetto thinking – is unacceptable to my future, to my growth and development as a man, and that from hence forth I reject these perverse and genocidal ideas and behaviors and embrace the self-help philosophy of Booker T. Washington based on God, conservatism, personal morality, hard work and veritas (truth).