I have to say that Essence has done well since it’s make over earlier last year. Their content game has stepped up immensely. Reading yet another article from their December ’09 issue Blood on Our Hands, I once again felt inclined to put my two cents worth out there.
I’m sure that we all heard about the senseless murder of 16 year honor student Derrion Albert of Chicago. Albert’s brutal murder made headline news around the nation after video of him being stomped in the head and beat with railroad ties by four of his teenage peers surfaced on the internet. I have to admit that when the story first broke, I become so disgusted with the news media for playing the video of his beating over and over. Personally, I felt like they were disrespecting and being insensitive to Albert’s family and friends by repeatedly showing it.
Not to mention, I could only imagine the criminals who were responsible for his tragic departure watching with their chests puffed out like they had just saved a group of people from a burning building or something. Even more disturbing was the fact that an onlooker took the time to actually stand and record Albert’s murder and later post it to the web. I can’t help but wonder why no one came to that boy’s rescue? I’m sure that there were more than enough bystanders on the street that they could have overtaken the mob of teens and prevented him from getting killed. Yet no one even tried to rush to his aid.
Instead, you had people just looking on like they were watching their favorite sitcom. A few people were running to find a safe haven and then of course their were those recording it with their camera phones like they were recording a celebrity sighting to send to their friends. As writer Steve Perry pointed out in the article, Albert’s murder is quickly becoming a norm throughout Black communities across America. At the time Perry wrote the article, 40 kids had already fallen victim to the same fate as Derrion Albert. Each violently killed and ganged up on by a group of their peers.
But why are the Black youth of America resorting to such violent behavior at an alarming rate? While many “critics pointed the finger at the police and school policies,” I completely agreed with Perry that we as parents and guardians are solely at fault. Perry says, “White people, the media and police cannot be blamed or held responsible for how we raise our children. We should be held accountable for creating a culture of violence that cheapens Black life.
“…We opened another storefront or mega-church that raises more money than children. Our civil rights organizations are reduced to scholarship dinners rather than producing scholars. We teach our kids to ‘hit back’ instead of respecting their teachers. We tell them that ‘if you lose the fight, I’m beating your ass when you get home.’ We read thug fiction and pump thug music.” And our children are listening and seeing all of that.
While you’re busy breaking your neck to become part those mega-churches, you forget that T.D. Jakes and those other pastors you see on TBN have raised their children. And guess what they were raised right. My feeling on creating churches so big that the only members the pastor knows by name are his own family and the members who write checks with lots of zeros is that a church should never become so out of touch. I feel like as a pastor it is your duty to get to know your flock on a personal level. As the shepherd of God’s people, you should be able to spot when one of your sheep is going astray.
Also, with everyone using the Race Card even in situations where its not applicable, it does make our civil rights organizations more hesitant to form movements. So, yes they just hold scholarship dinners and banquets selling tickets for $30 to $50. I have to admit that most of the people I know who received college funds from groups like the NAACP didn’t deserve it. They were far from scholarly, ending up on academic probation before the close of their freshman year.
I know we’ve all seen stories on the news where teachers are being put on trial for mistreating their students, but as someone who’s worked in the school system you get tired of trying to be a parent to kids that aren’t yours and don’t appreciate what you try to do for them. A lot of great teachers are abandoning the teaching field because they can’t teach anymore. Instead, they spend almost the whole class period teaching your child about the importance of having manners. Black parents seem to use the excuse that school is suppose to be their child’s home away from home.
Newsflash, the only schools that should be your child’s home away from home are boarding schools, military schools and college. Regular public and private schools are learning facilities not daycare for teens and adolescents. Schools were much better when paddling was an option for punishment. Now days, principals can’t scare these kids good by giving them a pink piece of paper to take for Mom to sign since Dad has usually split already. Half those kids are forging their parent’s signature before the ink has dried and are shoving it back across the principal’s desk like ‘Now what?!’
If you’re too lazy to use a condom (guys) or take your birth control (ladies) like you’re suppose to then get snipped. These kids don’t ask to be here and it’s not far they get treated like an unwanted puppy because neither the mom or the dad wants to be a parent. If you don’t want kids keep your legs closed and guys keep your fly zipped. I’m all for pro choice, but after the second abortion these girls should be required to either get on a birth control like Mirena or have their tubes tied.
There is no such thing as an accidental pregnancy. You had sex. Therefore, you know that you might get pregnant. Condoms and birth control are not 100% fool proof. The safest kinds of sex you can are (1) No sex, (2) Phone sex, and (3) Cyber sex. Not even oral sex is safe because you’re still putting yourself at risk for getting an STD. It’s 2010, we have to be smart about who we’re sleeping with.
Also, why aren’t we teaching our kids to solve their beefs in a more nonviolent way? Why do we feel like the only way to defend our pride is with our fists, guns, or knives? Seriously, we have a war going on in which innocent men and women are losing their lives to bring peace and you’re encouraging your kid to fight because somebody stepped on his Jordans?! There is something very twisted about that.
No wonder other countries hate us and attempt to wipe us from the face of the planet. We have been blessed so much and are so unthankful. We have no morals or respect. Anything goes here in America. We don’t know the meaning of the word United. The US couldn’t be more separated and screwed up if we tried. Am I the only one who sees something wrong with being able to be a fighter as a profession?
Like is that the greatest dream our kids can have? To grow up and get paid for whipping the crap out of some innocent person because some sadistic animal of a person wants to actually watch and enjoys it. And let’s be real. Why is it that we encourage our kids to be the next TO instead of the next Ben Carson? Have we completely bought into the stereotype that we’re only good for using our bodies?
Why not push your child to enter a field that is more rewarding emotionally than materialistically? You can support their sports dreams, but make sure they know the truth about their chances of going pro. Getting drafted is harder than winning the Power Ball. Push them to have a back up plan. Push them to finish college. If the scouts like you this year, they’ll love you once you’ve graduated and had more time to hone your skills.
When it comes to music, books and television, yea I get down with 50 Cent, pick up a little erotica and watch rated R movies, but I do so when I’m alone. I don’t expose my child to those elements because I know that kids are easily influenced. They can hear, see or read the wrong thing and it will stick with them for life. Our children are exposed to any and everything. Why? Because we want them to be tough.
They’re children. It’s not their job to be tough. That’s why God made you the parent. You’re suppose to be the tough one. Stop selling our sons this bullshit that they can’t cry and they need to sow their oats. That’s a load of crap. Stop teaching girls to hang on to men who treat them like crap just because he looks good and has a little bit of change in his pocket. If he’s not willing to put some change in his life then leave him.
If he was such a good man, he would go to church with you, wait until marriage and show you some real respect. It’s time to take back our race Black people!! All of our issues are not someone else’s fault. We need to step up our game and get with the program.
Let your children know that gangs aren’t good. If they want brotherhood, they can join a fraternity or boy scouts. And it’s not snitching when you help bring criminals to justice. It’s called cleaning up your neighborhood and protecting your family. Why is it that protecting people who hurt others is looked upon as a good thing? There is no street code unless you’re talking about zoning.
I mean seriously people. We have created all these crazy things and rules that have only enslaved us again. Only this time we are enslaved to ourselves. With Black history month already here and our death toll rising, I challenge us as a people to take a stand. Start a neighborhood watch group. If you know Joe down the street selling crack to teenagers, send in an anonymous tip to the police.
Single parents, stop taking jobs that require you to be away from your kids. There are jobs out there during school hours and there are after school programs that you can put your kids in rather than leaving them to their own devices. If need be go back to school and get a degree so that you can get a better job. Education is only as important as you make it.
And finally, stop letting celebrities be your child’s role model. That’s your job. If your child is looking to Chris Brown to show him how to treat a woman, you’ve got a problem. Celebrities are suppose to entertain us. Don’t let your kids get it twisted.