Dr. Matthew Lynch

Dr. Matthew Lynch
Langston, Oklahoma, USA
December 31
Langston University
As a professor of education, I am, first and foremost, committed to developing outstanding K-12 teachers. That’s because I believe that highly qualified and passionate educators are the best instruments to improve education in K-12 settings. I am the Chairman of the Department of Elementary/Special Education and an Associate Professor of Education at Langston University, and I spent seven years as a K-12 teacher – an experience that gave me an intimate view of the challenges facing genuine education reform. Before assuming my position at Langston, I spent three years as an Assistant Professor of Education and Director of Secondary and Social Studies Programs at Widener University. With that experience behind me, I’ve focused the second stage of my career on researching topics related to education reform, the achievement gap, and teacher education. What I’ve found is that improving teacher education is an essential component in closing the achievement gap. My articles and op eds appear regularly in the Huffington Post, Diverse: Issues in Higher Education, Education Week, and Education World. I’ve also written numerous peer- reviewed articles, which have appeared in academic journals such as AASA Journal of Scholarship & Practice, International Journal of Progressive Education, Academic Leadership Journal, and others. In addition, I’ve authored and edited a number of books on school reform and school leadership. Please visit my website at www.drmattlynch.com for more information.


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Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 16, 2012 10:57AM

How Would African Americans Fare Under a Paul Ryan Vice Presidency?

Rate: 4 Flag
The announcement has been made and everyone is scrambling to learn all they can about the Irish-Catholic Republican from Wisconsin. Many people are already calling Paul Ryan, the Senator that Mitt Romney tapped to be his running mate, as what could become a nightmare for black Americans. So just how bad of a pick could Ryan be for black Americans? Pretty bad!

Paul Ryan is proud to announce that he has some ideas that will become a part of, or expand upon, Mitt Romney's. Problem is, those ideas can be dangerous, especially if you are a black American. Very dangerous. As a Vice President, Ryan would be in a position to play an important role in helping to set policy, both foreign and domestically. And that could change a lot of things for black Americans. Even Mitt slipped up in introducing Ryan and introduced him as the future "President" of the country, leading people to wonder if that was an honest slip of the tongue or if Ryan will really be doing more behind the scenes than we would all care to consider.

For starters, Ryan is proposing some major overhauls of the food stamp program, increasing the age that people can start getting Medicare, and for making cuts in the welfare program. For millions of black Americans it means they could literally lose the money they need to help feed their family and keep a roof over their heads.

Black Americans are often fingered as being the biggest proponent of utilizing the food stamp program in the country. But the disproportionate numbers don't tell the entire story. Out of all those receiving food stamps, 22 % of them are Black Americans, compared to 36% of non-Hispanic whites. That number doesn't reflect the difficulty that we as a people are struggling with in terms of finding jobs and in finding jobs that pay enough to support our families.

If Ryan gets his way and gets to make drastic cuts to the food stamp program, who will he really be hurting? A lot of children and senior citizens, for starters. The records show that 47% of everyone receiving food stamp benefits are children under the age of 18. Another 6% of those receiving them are seniors over the age of 60. And it doesn't stop there, 41% of those who are receiving food stamps actually do work. They are considered part of the "working poor" people of America.

Picture a Romney/Ryan victory and what that will do to the black people of America. Those who have children, are struggling seniors, or who are families working hard to make ends meet each month, yet who are falling short. If Ryan's plan isn't to also increase jobs and access to a good education, then how can he merely do away with the one thing that is helping people to get by during these tough economic times? How can they in good conscious take away their benefits, without providing higher paying jobs so they can continue to get by?

Ryan's ideas are dangerous for black Americans. Not just when it comes to food stamps. His ideas will lead to tax cuts for the wealthiest people in the nation, while increasing the taxes on the middle class, harder working families. It's fair to say that not only will Ryan become one of the worst nightmares for black American if he does become the Vice President, but he will become so for middle class families everywhere. His sites are set on protecting the interests of the wealthy, and he doesn't care who he has to step on to see those ideas through.

Another scary thought for black Americans is that when you visit the Romney official site you will find that he addresses a lot of "communities" of people. He specifically addresses the Asians, Catholics, Jewish, Polish, Women, and even young Americans. But there is no mention of black Americans. Either he has overlooked this segment of the population, or he simply doesn't care about us, with both being equally as perilous.

In introducing his running mate, Romney said that he wanted someone that has "real character" and that Ryan had that. Whether or not he has character or merely is one remains to be seen. But for black Americans his ideals that impact us as a people appear to be a characterized by being out of touch with the people who make up this great country.

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Both Romney and Ryan seem so out of touch as to be almost unbelievable. I agree, it would be very harmful to our country. Thank you for posting!
Dr. Lynch, I don't think Ryan or Romney has anything in particular against black Americans. I think black people are just invisible when seen through the bubble they inhabit. The same as working class people, the poor, the sick and the Hispanics. The frightening thought is that, compared to Romney, Ryan is slightly more in contact with reality and what can be done with political power. That makes him more dangerous, and quite possibly the enabler for Romney's more out-of-touch beliefs.
Paul Ryan attacks people who are on disable also.
The whole welfare/food stamp issue is a red herring to detract voters from the fact that the GOP has, does, and always will represent the interests of the very wealthy in this country. In the worst economy since the Great Depression, they choose to focus on social safety nets for people already struggling? It's cynical beyond belief.
Agree with Deborah M-W. What would be even more beyond belief is anyone believing them. Great post!
I see no reference to the alternative to Ryan as VP, the supremely bright, always adroit Joe Biden--a man clearly chosen to add credibility by contrast to the fiction that Obama is intelligent, as opposed to crafty.

I doubt that Ryan would ever refer to the possibility of putting blacks, but not whites, back in chains.

Obama has done a pretty job of schooling Biden in the art of slipping into black pronunciation and rhythm patterns when stirring the pot of class warfare for which this post has clearly fallen.
Biden's recent epic gaffes serve to remind how Obama's first significant decision was to select a dunce to lead the country in his absence. Romney, on the other hand, chose one of the brightest members of Congress who from early childhood was fascinated with budgets and numbers, matters which so confuse Obama that he's been unable to produce a budget that garners a single vote of approval even from members of his own party.
It does not matter who the President and Vice President will be. This nation's citizenry is going to feel a lot of economic pain regardless of who is in office. The choice is that politicians can do the jobs we pay them to do (legislate and lead) or the free markets will adjust our economy accordingly. Basically the fall can either be controlled by leaders or uncontrolled by the free market. Minorities, including African Americans, single mothers & dads and almost everyone else will feel the financial pain. The only ones that will likely be spared, outside of those working for government, will be the protected class of senior citizens.
Both Romney and Ryan are so incredibly dangerous for so many groups of people that I'm truly frightened what will happen if we cannot manage to get people out to vote for their interests. Older, wealthy white people always seem to vote, we really need to mobilize other groups of Americans to do the same and be heard.

Thanks for posting!