LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Someone is looking down on us.

I truly believe that the man whose life was taken at a very young age as he attempted to make life better for all mankind would be visibly shaken, were he to observe current behavior in this nation. It would especially sadden him to see young black men sauntering about with their pants dangling off their butts. He would wonder what in his teachings contributed to their behavior. He would look at the rampant violence taking place in our communities and just shake his head. It may bring a few tears to his eyes.  He would ask the question: why has my message of non-violence suddenly lost its flavor and been replaced with all kinds of unimaginable violence?  The sheer number of violent attacks and victimization of innocent people would deeply trouble Martin. Yes, I am talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He might, for a fleeting moment wonder if his work and dying was all in vain. After all, much of what he fought and died for has been lost and replaced with all kind of stupid acts.  Martin fought to see all had access to the ballot box. Today’s voting percentages are dismal and shows no sign of improving.  There are those who think not exercising the right to vote is no big thing. Yet they continually grumble about what takes place in the world of politics.  Fact is; ignorance is the biggest impediment to exercising the right to vote.  Martin fought for equal access to a quality education.  Guess what. Taking advantage of the opportunity to access good schools and take advantage of what lies within has been lost to the Hip Hop culture and mass media.  Little effort and emphasis is put on getting a quality education. Education opens minds and doors.  Martin understood the purpose for getting an education. As Richard Tawney put it, the purpose of education is not happiness, social integration, or political system. Its purpose is at once the discipline of the mind for its own sake.  It is often said-a mind is a terrible thing to waste; so is time. Waste neither.

Martin would look at the makeup of the family and wonder; where have all the fathers gone. As the song says;” has anyone seen them? Society looked up and they were gone.”  Where are the fathers? Look around. Many are the ones wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts. Martin would wonder if they would ever become a real men and not just grown boys.  Somehow, someway, many of us have lost our moral compass. As Lewis Mumford, American writer so aptly put it: man’s chief purpose…is the creation and preservation of values; that is what gives meaning to our civilization, and the participation in this is what gives significance to the individual human life.

Martin was a man of peace. His message was always one of no-violence. He felt an educated and enlighten people would make more gains than a people utilizing violence as a means of seeking improvement in their stead in society. Gandhi preached the same message.

 

January 21, 2011 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions, The Black Family, The Black Man, youth crime | Leave a comment

Behold

Behold!
Behold means to watch, take a look at, consider, observe, and view.
Let us apply each one of these synonyms to what is taking place in black society. Are blacks keeping a watchful eye on their children? If they are indeed watching, do they realize what they see? Have they really taken a discriminating look at black men wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts? If black folks are really looking, do they realize what they are looking at? When blacks consider the impact of uneducated black males wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts, do they devote adequate time mulling over the negativity this behavior causes? Is adequate time devoted to observing the behavior of black males? Is the black community willing to scrutinize their own and arrive at an unbiased conclusion regarding the problems black males causes in the community? Have blacks seriously considered how black male behavior affects the community and how outsiders view it? How does the black community really view its black males? Is it willing to closely examine black males, analysis discovered problems and take all actions necessary for corrective action? Are black communities up to the challenge of doing all that is necessary to regain control of its black males and the community at large? What will it take to motivate blacks to the point where they will bring about positive changes in neighborhoods? Surely, it is not satisfied with the status quo. Well maybe it is. Lack of real and sustained action rectifying problems suggests many black neighborhoods are satisfied with what takes place within.
Some suggest many problems facing the black community are results of neglect. I read somewhere that we sometime neglect what we do not like to see, and sometime we neglect because we do not see at all. We have to be careful what we neglect. Someone penned the following; the luxury of neglect has to be enjoyed very carefully, or it will make a problem worse. We neglect to deal with many problems in hopes they will go away if we do not pay attention to them; that does not work very often. Look closely at many black communities. Does neglect stare you in the face? Are many problems ignored or shoved aside in hopes someone will come and take care of them?
Behold black people! It is time to stop, look, listen and closely scrutinize what is going on in our communities!

September 12, 2010 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, The Black Family, The Black Man, youth crime | Leave a comment

Been down too long

The days of sagging pants must end
As the number of Black boys and grown men wearing their pants conspicuously low grows, the number of people wondering why , grows even faster. This ridiculous display of total disregard for one’s appearance defies common sense. When sagging pants came on the scene, most people felt the trend would quickly die and dress that is more appropriate would again become the norm. Guess what-they were wrong. This sagging pants thing has gone well beyond any right-thinking individual’s wildest imagination. People exposed to daily scenes of black men proudly sauntering about with their pants dangling well below their butts must be wondering-what in the world is going on in the minds of these folks. As the sagging becomes more daring and adopted by increasing number of men-especially black men, society is becoming increasingly tired of staring at the butts of black men. Some truly believe that those that dress like this have lost touch with reality. Others believe they do not have the intellect to discern what is wrong with the way they dress. Still others believe they have little else on their minds except sagging pants, since they do not work or stay in school. Vendors selling this style of pants make it plainly clear that they feel there are plenty blacks willing to buy and wear this stuff and keep shelves piled high with this style of merchandise. Vendors rational for stocking it goes as follows” As long as there are people foolish enough to buy the product, and come shopping for it, we will keep it on the shelves. We are not making anyone wear our product. Our customers demand it. If we do not sell it, blacks will seek it elsewhere.” One thing for sure-it is certainly an attention getter. After all, attention getting is what it is all about these days.
Surely, there are other more appropriate ways for blacks to get attention. They seek attention by the way they dress, the way they speak and the foul language they use. Loud blaring music is another attempt to garner attention. Seems to me, this segment of society would not seek additional attention, given the fact that their graduation rate from high school is around 50 percent and low as 25 percent in some major cities is now out there for all to see. These pitiful and appalling statistics are getting an awful lot of attention and prominently displayed in print, on the radio, television and the Internet. Black men-you want attention, now you are getting it. It is easy for people to equate stupidity with lack of intellect and knowledge. If your dress suggests stupidity, you act stupid, and speak in a stupid manner, what is a reasonable conclusion? It if often said that clothes do not make a man. Maybe not, but they have a way of influencing one’s behavior.
Several years ago, I penned an article titled; how low can you go. The gist of the article suggested that as black men pants sagged lower on their butts, other things followed. Reading and writing skills are lower. Black men without criminal records are lower. Black men as head of household are lower. Graduation from high school is lower. Enrollment in college is lower. Meanful employment is lower. Is it possible all of the above would reverse themselves, if black men would only figure out a way to pull up their pants?

September 9, 2010 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, The Black Family, The Black Man, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

What are you looking at

What do we see when we see? This question must be answered!

Tell me “what do we really see?” “Do we look, yet not see?”

I continue to struggle to gain some insight into the thinking of young black men that rob, maim and kill at will. Is there one ounce of rational in their thinking as they go about the business of robbing, maiming and killing?  What goes through their minds as they seek out potential victims? What are they thinking when selling drugs?

When surveying a possible hijack victim, do they just see the automobile? Do they really see the individual they intend to hijack, or do they only see themselves driving the automobile they are about to take? Can they see far enough in the future to see a picture of the hard time they will face in a penal system when apprehended and convicted?  Is the family of the victim ever considered? Is one second devoted to considering how hard and how long the intended victim worked to get the automobile they are about to take possession of in a few minutes, at the point of a gun? Have they ever considered getting an automobile the same way their intended victim got it?

When preparing to invade homes, do thieves take into consideration, the lives of homeowners, their children and other occupants? What possess them to think that all they have to do to have wide screen televisions, computers, cameras, jewelry and an assortment of other nicites is just wait until someone else buys and then take them. To them it is just that simple-just take them at the point of a gun. To make matters worse, many criminals are not satisfied with just taking stuff; they see a need to take lives at the same time.

What do we see when we see drug dealers openly plying their wares on street corners? Do we see the dealers riding around in expensive cars, or do we see those who use their wares walking the streets, seemingly in another world? Do we see the dealers sauntering around with large gold chains dangling from their necks, or do we see the users wandering the streets, looking for a way to get a few dollars to support their habits? Do we see substances sold in our neighborhood that sucks the life out of them? What does the drug dealer see when a buyer looks to score. Is one thought ever given to how the buyer got the money? Does the dealer ever see, or think about children going hungry because the few dollars their mothers get is spent on crack cocaine? What do drug dealers see when they see people high on the drugs, sleeping on cardboard, in the streets and under bridges?  What do drug dealers see when they see mothers and little sisters selling their bodies to support crack cocaine habits?  What do they see when a mother tries to sell a child to get money to buy crack cocaine?  Do drug dealers, for a fleeting moment, look into the bleary, bloodshot, and sometimes pleading eyes of crack addicts? Are drug peddlers harden to the point that they cannot see the carnage and devastation they and their wares inflict on communities?

What does crack dealers and gang members see when they walk and loiter on streets littered with all kinds of trash?  What do they see when they observe buildings and signs defaced with all kinds of graffiti, including gang signs?   What do they see when they see convenience stores and other businesses in their communities heavily shuttered and protected with Plexiglas, metal shutters and razor wire? What do drug dealers and gang bangers see when they see businesses pack up and leave neighborhoods that become gang and drug infested.

What do we see, when you see black men wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts? Do we see a segment of society that has forgotten how to put their pants on correctly? Maybe we see a segment of society whose main claim to fame is to wear their pants so low that their belt line is dangerously close to their knees. What do we see, when we see young ladies, scantly dressed, parading around for all to see?  Maybe we see a segment of society that is lost in every sense of the word. When we take a real good look, do we see a segment of society who has lost their ability to discern what are generally construed as societal norms, relating to proper and improper dress?

What do we see, when we see young girls standing in lines at grocery store checkout counters, having to put back baby supplies because they do not have enough money to pay for them? What do we see, when we see these same young ladies getting in their cars-cars frequently occupied by young black men all laid back in the passenger’s seat?

What do you see when you see? Have you given up and stopped looking? Is the sight to unsightly to look at? Are you afraid to look because you may see something that you disagree with, are unwilling to tolerate any longer, and might try to do something about it? Are you afraid to look, because you might see you son, daughter, husband, wife, sibling, best friend, enemy or others you know doing things that damages the community?

What do we see when we see entirely too many of our black men behaving in ways counter-productive, destructive, and immature at best. Do we see the future of the black race in black men? Do we see something that society, especially black folks, unwittingly created through a lack of oversight and or unwillingness to get involved in community activities?

Tell me brother, tell me sister, tell me mother, tell me father, what do you see when you see?

September 19, 2009 Posted by | Angry black youths, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, The Black Family, The Black Man | Leave a comment

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 | Leave a comment

Mad as hell!

Mad about what       

Lashing out for the wrong reasons

Am I imagining things?  Do many of our youngsters display an angry look most of the time? Is the look for real or just an attempt to ape Rappers and gang bangers in terms of behavior, mindset-, way of thinking, looks and mannerism?  The look on many black youngsters faces, especially young males is extremely troublesome and must not be taken lightly. If they are truly angry, what are they angry about? What has removed smiles from their faces? Is there nothing in their young lives to smile about?

Read a newspaper, watch TV, or listen to the radio.  Each venue reveals a dismal picture of how our youngsters chose to relieve their anger. News outlets report daily outbursts of crime and mayhem perpetrated on innocent people by our angry youths.  These outbursts do nothing to resolve the anger issue. In fact, they only make matters worse. 

There is little doubt that stress induces anger in one’s life. If this fact is indisputable, then the causes of stress in our young people must be uncovered, dissected and removed where possible. There are probably instances of anger in some of our youth that society is ill equipped to deal with and resolve now.  Children, like grownups have issues in their young lives. Many are ill prepared to deal with them correctly. All who are in positions to control, correct, reprimand and discipline our children must get about the business of doing just that. For too long, we sat back and watched our children wander into an abyss with little concern where their lifestyles were taking them. Black communities are now saddled with the results of their inaction-countless thousands of angry young and not so young black men. Most communities failed to notice, or pretended not to see and admit what was slowly eroding the minds of our youths. 

Are our young people angry because they feel that their chosen lifestyle is threatened and under attack by society?  Is this outward display of anger just another way saying,” don’t mess with me and my chosen lifestyle?” Is it but another mechanism to carve out their own little space or world-A world where no one can get close enough to him or her to help them.  Are they saying to society, “I do not see a need to get this thing called education? I can make it without it. I will use my smartness and guile to get what I want and need.”

Is it possible these folks have no idea why they are angry? Has life came at them so fast and furious that they cannot not grasp nor appreciate what is necessary to have a life worth smiling about?  It is entirely possible that these youngsters are angry with themselves. How they chose to relieve this anger is the problem. Many lash out at anyone within their reach.  Some resort to guns, gangs, and the associated violence. Little do they realize that lashing out and doing harm to others does nothing to alleviate their anger.  Young folks, tell us why you are so angry. Do not give excuses why you are angry; give reasons why you are angry!

August 6, 2008 Posted by | Angry black youths | , , | Leave a comment

Stop, look and listen

Stop, Look and Listen

 

R. M. Wanamaker, Superior Court Judge of Ohio wrote a book titled The Voice of Lincoln. The book was published by Charles Scribner’s Sons and copyrighted in 1918. The book contains many writings and speeches by Abraham Lincoln. As I look at what is taking place in our Nation, I wondered what Lincoln would have to say about it. He had a lot to say about the government and the rule of law. What we have taking place in some areas of this nation is a form of mob violence. Sure-people want to clean it up by calling it gang violence. A mob and a gang are one in the same. Both have little regard for the rule of law.

In his writings, Lincoln was speaking of a form of lawbreakers no longer prevalent in these United States. However, the gangs that exist in our nation use the same tactics used years ago-intimidation and violence.  Turn your TV or radio to any station and the news will usually contain one or more stories of mob/gang actions in this country.

On the subject of mob violence, Lincoln coined the following: “I hope I am not over wary; but if I am not there is even something of ill omen amongst us. I mean the increasing disregard for law which pervades the country-the growing  disposition to substitute the wild and furious passions in lieu of the sober judgment of courts, and the worse than savage mobs for the executive ministers of justice. This disposition is awfully fearful in any community; and that it exists in ours, though grating to our feelings to admit, it would be a violation of truth and an insult to our intelligence to deny. Accounts of outrages committed by mobs form the every-day news of the times….whatever then their cause may be, it is common to the whole country.

Lincoln went on to talk about how much patient Americans have with their government, but stated that if people begin to feel that laws designed to make people feel safe and their property secure are continually disregarded and despised,  the alienation of affection of people towards the government is the natural consequence, and sooner or later it must come.

Lincoln solution for fixing the problem was straightforward. He coined the following: “Let every man remember that to violate the law is to trample on the blood of his father, and to tear the charter of his own and his children’s liberty. Let reverence for the laws be breathed by every mother to the lisping babe that prattles on her lap; let it be taught in schools, in seminaries, and in colleges. Let it be written in primers, spelling books and almanacs; let it be preached from the pulpit, proclaimed in legislative halls, and enforced in courts of justice. let it become the political religion of the nation; and let the old and young, the rich and poor, the grave and the gay of all sexes and tongues and colors and conditions, sacrifice unceasingly upon its alters.”

Somewhere, somehow, and someway we, as a nation have lost our moral compass that guides us. The compass that guides us towards right thinking, right action and justice has been buried in our past along with other guide post that keeps us morally grounded and seeking the right things and getting them the right way-honestly.

The actions of our young men are extremely distressing.  The gang/mob mentality has overtaken entirely too many of them. One wonders if they will ever change. People are talking about arming themselves against our youngsters-our own children. How in the world did we get to this? It is time we woke up and stopped what we are doing, listen what is being, said and take a hard look at what is happening to our children, homes, communities and this nation.

 

April 16, 2008 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I told you so

I told you so

As you observe the behavior of many of our youth, can you continue to say without any reservation that my articles are too hard on them? How many of you remember an article I wrote titled Give the kids a break? I recently revisited the article and concluded that the content of this article is more on target than ever. Some people find it extremely difficult to pass judgment on themselves, their children, other relatives, and their neighborhoods. Many of my articles are not devoid of self-assessment when I compose them for The People’s Voice. If a people cannot come to grips with what is taking place within their immediate family households, neighborhoods, and cities, how can they expect outsiders to come in and assume responsibility for, and fix the problems. The responsibility for fixing problems directly linked to, and caused by said people must fall directly on their shoulders.  Sitting back and waiting for someone else to assume responsibility for correcting our problems is counter-productive, self-serving and questions our ability to manage our lives.  I am not saying a certain segment of society might not need assistance from time to time as it attempts to fix social and economic ills.  Somewhere along the line, we started thinking that giving our children more liberty to behave in a manner contrary to expected parent to child norms, family norms, neighbor norms, school norms and societal norms in general, was tolerable. It is not difficult to see what that has begot. Will someone please tell me what criterion was used to ascertain if it was wise to abandon control of our children? We now have a crop of disobedient youths, with a thuggish and gang mentality prowling neighborhoods, harassing the public, disrupting schools and generally acting like fools.  We as a people had better take a serious look at what our youth are doing to our society and themselves. Many are well on the way to destroying everything in their path. Their measure of success is unique by any stretch of imagination. Entirely too many of them think wearing their pants so underwear shows is a sign of accomplishment.  Defacing public and private property with gang graffiti is another sign of achievement. Dropping out of school and forgoing education to them is a sign of defiance and another way of being different. Playing loud, obnoxious and vulgar music for all to hear is another way many choose to show their maturity. These individuals are determined not to acquiesce to the demands of parents, schools, public safety, and society in general. They wear and flaunt their ignorance, uncouthness and generally outrageous behavior with glee and do not have a clue how their current behavior will affect their future decision-making. 

Many residents, including parents’ cringe with fear as they watch young thugs wearing gang-related clothing slowly infest and create havoc in their once peaceful, attractive and safe neighborhoods. What concerns many of us is the fact that most of the parents of these young thugs are afraid to try to do anything about it.  They are afraid of their own kids. Why do you think they allow their children to wear clothing and flash signs signifying they are part of a gang?  Why do you thing they allow their children to attend school dressed as if they are attending a freak show? I will tell you why. They are afraid to insist their children dress otherwise and do not want to hurt the children feelings a wee 1it.

Educators are supposed to teach these kids what they need, not only for advancement in society, but how to peacefully exist in society.  Educators are also tasked with the unenviable job of assisting parents in instilling in the same kids you see loitering in malls, around convenience stores and on street corners rational ways of conflict and problem-solving.

For too long, parents of these out-of-control children have overlooked their behavior.  Pretending not to see what takes place gives one a pathetic excuse for not addressing the problem. Society has not helped by not forcing parents of these kids to take corrective action.  The message we are sending our school officials goes as follows: Feed them, instill in them the discipline I am incapable of giving them at home, and if you have some time left in the day, educate them.

Folks, we are paying dearly for allowing children to take over our neighborhoods. Black men have allowed baggy pant, head rag wearing thugs (their offsprings) to usurp their authority in homes, schools and neighborhoods. Why are black men allowing children to deface neighborhoods, private and public property with gang graffiti? Talk about a sad commentary about the status of black men.  Many no longer have the guts to be what they pretend to be-Men.

March 26, 2008 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Educating black children | Leave a comment

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 mrzeke0@aol.com

December 23, 2006 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Educating black children, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Holding Up The Wrong Things

Do you wonder why so many young black men walk around holding their up pants?  One might conclude that their pants are their most prized possessions and if they do not tightly hold on to them, someone might take them.  Is it conceivable that their pants are the only things that they feel that they can hold up? I would hope that they would consider holding up the moral foundation of the family. I wish they would hold on to the traditions of their fore parents-traditions of self-reliance and thankfulness. Why not tightly hold on to the traditional family makeup-father, mother and child. How about holding up to the agreement you made with your parents when they co-signed for you to get an automobile? If you are going to hold up something, hold up something that means something.

 

Instead, they wander around holding on to something that has no social redeeming value. One has to wonder if the thought of purchasing a belt and wearing it ever crosses their minds.  The fact that they walk around virtually one handed, because the other hand is busy holding up their pants, makes you wonder if they are capable of arriving at the conclusion that wearing a belt would free the other hand. Just take a moment and really observe those who walk around holding up their pants. Most of them are also looking down most of the time.  I suppose they are looking to see if their hand is indeed holding up their pants.  Most never, look up to see where they are going.  There is that lost in the wilderness look about them. 

Most of those of  employable age cannot find or keep a job. Most cannot hold on to the thought of finding a job long enough to find one. Some get lucky and find jobs. However, most cannot not hold on to the commitment that they made to company that hire them.

Therefore, fellows, keep walking around holding up your baggy pants while the world passes you by in almost every category. Keep thinking that you impress others with the way you dress, walk and talk. I must inform you that you have it all wrong. Forget the Rap world for a minute. Whom else of means, do you see dressing and behaving as you do? The world that you attempt to emulate is but a minute pimple on the butt of the real world. The sooner you realize this, the better off you and the rest of the world will be.
_________________
Copyright 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
For reprint permission contact:
L.C. Thornton at mrzeke0@aol.com

December 15, 2006 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, The Black Man, Uncategorized | Leave a comment