I am mad as hell | Walter Backstrom

Recently, I received several e-mails accusing me of being an angry black man.

I will admit to being black, and the likely culprit is my parents, so blame them.

However, let's take a look at this anger issue, since black men are always accused of being so angry.

I am angry that Washington state ranks 37th out of 50 states in K-12 education.

I am angry that the United States spends $667 billion on K-12 education, and we score dead last on international tests.

I am angry that parents would rather watch "American Idol" than read to their children.

I am angry that 45 percent of black kids, and other minority kids, drop out of school.

I am angry that a lot of preachers preach on Sunday, and take a pass on Monday.

I will admit I am no biblical scholar. However, I do remember Jesus saying something about going after the one that is lost.

I received an e-mail from my sister, asking why I write such articles. I wrote back to her, saying that my ability to write is a gift from God. It took 20 years to develop. If not me, than who, and if not now, then when?

When I see a problem, I want people to get up and do something about it. If my writing can help, so much the better. We are a good and decent country, even with all our faults. We have people who care. It just doesn't seem that they care enough.

We tweet instead of talk, we e-mail instead of write, and then we expect our neighbors to do our part. Life is not a spectator sport.

I guess if I didn't want to be criticized, I would say nothing and do nothing, then I would be nothing. My response: No thanks.

I will readily admit, no one likes to be criticized. But the approval that I really need is my daughter's and my God's. If I can get that, I'm good.

I love this state, and I am passionate about my community. I just want to make it better for all those who come after me. This place we call America is where my hopes are, my fears are, and where my miracles are. I will continue to advocate for change, fight for what I believe is right and count my blessings.

Oh, there is one other thing I get mad about: People who don't get mad. No excuses.

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