LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Show us something different!

I keep peering over the horizon, trying to see some sign that our youth are fed up with the lives they are living and are about to make much needed behavioral changes.  I keep thinking that society is so feed up with them that it will demand changes.  I keep thinking that parents will do more than hope that their children will change and do whatever is necessary to put them on the right path.  I keep thinking that many of our youngsters really want to do better, but do not have the impetus to do so. 

Who or what is the catalyst that will motivate our children to change.  We know it is not Rap music and the Hip Hop culture that consume so much of their time, effort and money. We know it is not sports figures and entertainers. We know that parents, teachers, ministers and others who have the interest of our children in mind are the ones who should be influencing them.  Let us not forget self. There is a thing called self-motivation. Children, use it. Stop depending someone else to do everything for you-especially your thinking. Go back to what has allowed blacks to overcome seemingly insurmountable barriers.  Many of the answers lie in education. Get you some of it. Without it, you are lost in today’s economy and job market.

People all over this nation are debating what is taking place in the black community. So many troubling facts and statistics reveal the behavior of our youth-especially our young men. Fewer of them are completing high school and continuing on to college. Crime is on the increase in this segment of our society.  Gang violence is growing at an alarming pace. Many people feel that our youth are incapable of behaving other than how they currently do. If this is a fact, it is a sad commentary as it relates to their upbringing and their predisposition to behave badly. It is difficult to imagine that they have lost their ability to make sensible decisions in almost every arena.  At the same time, it is becoming easier for many of all occupations and persuasions to arrive at this conclusion as they observe and interact with our youth.

Our young men, for the silliest things, have taken many lives. Why in the world would an individual want to take another’s life for a vehicle? Too many of our young men do not give a second thought to carjacking and taking the owners lives.  One will have to go way back to find a time in our lives when so many of our young men were so ill-prepared to face the harsh realities of life.  Entirely too many of them have developed an aversion to this thing called work. They want to live at the expense of others.  It is often said that if an individual is not willing to work for something, then this individual may be inclined to steal for it.

We, as a community and nation must gain some insight into the I would rather steal than work phenomenon that is so omnipresent in many of our young black men.  Why are they so prone to follow a path that leads to hell or jail? Why do they no longer consider the impact that they have on their families, especially their mothers when they participate in unlawful activities?  Why are shame and pride no longer in their decision making process? Why do they steal, sell drugs and do other illegal things just so they can buy things that make others rich? I.e. Rappers, drug dealers, cell phone providers etc.  Many questions demand answers-answers that squarely address the problems and situations that our youths are creating in communities all over this nation.

Let us stop pretending that we do not see how badly they are behaving. Let us stop blaming their every indiscretion and bad decision on someone else.  It is easy to see how many of them have arrived where they are in life at present.  They have been babied and protected every step of the way.  Many have not had to face the real consequences of their actions; consequently, they grow up thinking that momma can get them out of almost any situation.  Many mothers have spent the family savings, mortgaged the home and borrowed every dime they could to get their babies out of jail. We are now reaping the results of our neglecting to hold our kids responsible for their actions.  They have grown up thinking someone else is always at to blame.  Why do you think that the phrase “ he just got caught up with the wrong crowd,” is uttered so much in the black community? Is it possible that the crowd was caught up with the wrong kid? 

Some folks say that our young men are just going through a phase in their lives and will eventually change. They say the baggy butt showing pants, false gold teeth, foul mouths, disrespectful behavior and disobedience are nothing but fads and will eventually fade into the sunset. If this is a fact, young men, prove it! Show those who believe in you that you are indeed capable of making the necessary adjustments in your lives.  However, the question remains, when will you change? Meanwhile, the world is not standing idly by, waiting for you to change. 


Copyright 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
For reprint permission contact:
L.C. Thornton at


December 23, 2006 - Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Educating black children, Uncategorized

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