LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Mahem in the Hood

Gangs have been in our midst for a very long time, especially in large cites. Gangs of old, were not above committing acts of violence. However, today’s street gangs and local thugs are of a difference breed. They are more prone to violence, extremely aggressive, and quick to resort to physical force and intimidation. Most gang members carry guns and use them with little or no provocation. They make many neighborhoods extremely unsafe-even to themselves. The question must be asked; do they know what they do? Is it possible that they really do not have any idea how their behavior affect neighborhoods? I am hard-pressed to believe young men, capable of thinking rationally, would deliberately make neighborhoods unsafe for their mothers, grandmothers, fathers, grandfathers, siblings and other relatives. How can young men in their right minds deliberately make it unsafe for their parents to shop, go to work, attend worship and enjoy walking the streets where they live? The same applies to kids going to and from school. How can young thugs, in good conscious make it unsafe for kids, including their kin, to attend school? Why would street thugs, behaving at their worst, create an environment in communities so dangerous, many kids are afraid to take the trip, to and from school? This is very important, because getting a proper education is one of the surest ways to have an opportunity to get out of the environment young thugs create in many neighborhoods. Some people attribute the behavior of many of the youngsters to being born of Crack mothers. I have no way of proving or disproving this hypothesis, nor have I have seen studies that agree or disagree with this supposition. I do know it is time we make up our minds to stop what is taking place in our neighborhoods. Why are we sitting back, hoping, and praying that change for the better is around the corner and will come about without the input and effort of citizens in neighborhoods under siege? Parents of these thugs are not blameless. They see their kids dressed in gang garb, and hanging out with street gangs. Parents of these thugs know that they hang out on the streets late at night and cause trouble. They know that they are troublemakers in school. Many parents are afraid to search their kids’ rooms for fear they might find guns and or drugs. Thing is, when and if they do find something irregular, do they have guts enough to do something about it? I talk about people of a neighborhood taking back the streets. When will parents take back the homes? When will parents allow the teachers to take back the schools? After all, much of what we talk and complain about regarding young children, emanate from the home.

 In her book titled Your Negro Tour Guide, Kathy Y, Wilson writes about how proud street thugs appear as they push death on to whites and blacks. She wonders why they choose this lifestyle. It is as if they will trade their souls for cash, rims, for babies, for mommas. Moreover, maybe, just maybe, it is all they know. Kathy then makes this searing statement: they know better but cannot do better. If this is true, it is a painful and scathing condemnation of the state of mind of many of our black youth. I asked an elderly gentleman the following question. What is wrong with young black young men? He said the following: when our young men lost respect for their mothers, they lost respect for everything. When males stop respecting the very women that birth them into the world, what is left for them to respect? Is there anyone or anything more important and demands more respect than one’s mother does?

I truly think our young men know what they do is wrong, but do not know how to correct their behavior. They know selling drugs to get money is wrong, but do not have the skills nor knowledge to get money legally. They know killing someone is not the right way to resolve a dispute, but do not have the communication skills necessary to resolve a conflict or argument without a violent and potential life-threatening confrontation. Our young men become what they cultivate. They chose to travel paths they think offer little obvious resistance. These paths are fraught with danger, ignorance and disappoint. They cultivate ignorance, indolence, disrespect, violence, irresponsibility, and other foolish, demeaning and destructible characteristics. Society, including parents, law enforcement and public officials bears some responsibility because they allow our young men to cultivate and exhibit behavioral patterns contrary to sensible and societal norms. Many of them will die at a very young age because of the life they chose and the life society allows them to live. Given the fact that entirely too many young black men have put down books and picked up Ipods, cell phones, game boys, the only learning they get is what they see and not what they read. This is having a devastating effect on our young men. To make matters worse, the things they see in their neighborhoods are of little help. They see grown men sauntering around with their pants dangling off their butts. They see these same men sitting at home watching television and drinking beer, while women are working and bringing home the bacon. They see men disrespecting and abusing women. They see women taking care of men. If this is all they see, what are they learning? Are they seeing anything that helps prepare them for this thing called manhood? What is taking place in our neighborhoods is extremely troubling and disheartening-especially in black neighborhoods. The differences between right and wrong, good and bad, and correct and incorrect, is blurred and in many instances insignificant. Entirely too many people have decided that the end justifies the mean. For instance-an individual needs money. Robbing and killing, to get it is not a problem because the end-getting the money is what counts. The same applies to owning an automobile-just take one, and do what you have to do to get it, including killing the owner.

When will be mayhem end? What actions are necessary to change the behavior of our young men? Is society willing to do whatever is necessary to get the desired results? Safe homes, streets, schools and other public infrastructures are reasonable expectations in any neighborhood.


July 9, 2009 - Posted by | Angry black youths, Decline Of The Family, The Black Family, The Black Man

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