LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

The Black Man Must Read

The Black Man Must Read!

I recently became the proud owner of a book titled “The Life and Writings of Frederick Douglass”, Supplementary Volume 5 1844-1860. Although somewhat familiar with Frederick Douglass’s writings, perusing this book has given me a totally new awareness of the life of this man, his writings, as well as his speeches.  His presentations regarding a whole host of subjects pertaining to this nation and its relationship with a segment of its people are spellbinding and quite enlightening.  I keep going over the same passages, time after time — just in case I missed something. This book is a must-read for anyone remotely interested in how Frederick Douglass viewed the lives and condition of black folks, slaves and free men from 1844 to 1860.

Douglass, not to let the ruling class escape criticism, openly scolded and appealed to them to unchain black brethren — remove the shackles of slavery and let all men, no matter their color or stead in life, enjoy all the promises made in the Constitution.

I could write a book about what I learned from reading this book. However, I see no need to try and put my awakening and enlightening to pen and paper. Although I have read many books regarding the life and times of black folks during the period mentioned in Frederick Douglass’s book, not one of them captured my attention the way this book did.

If I listen carefully, I can almost hear Douglass saying the following to a group of people gathered at the Odd Fellows Festival in Rochester, New York in January 1854:

”As a people we are poor, and are limited in point of mental attainments.  We must improve our condition, and here the work is ours. It cannot be done by our friends.  They can pity as they can sympathize with us. But we need more than sympathy-something more than pity. We must be respected. And we cannot be respected unless we are independent or aiming to be. We must be as independent of society as society is of us-and lay society under as many obligations to us as we are under to society. We cannot be paupers and be respected, though we may be paupers and be pitied.  The fact is, my friends we must not only work, but we must make money-not only make money, but we must save it, and when we use it, use it wisely. Knowledge too, we must get it. We must get it by exertion, by patient study and perseverance. It is fortunate for our down-trodden race, that knowledge is power, and that this power is accessible to us, as well as the rest of mankind.”

People, what Douglass said in 1854, rings true today.  In his speech in the court house at Chatman Canada on August 3, 1864, he discussed a whole host of problems facing the black man. Of special significance were his comments on reading. Douglass said:

“[t]he colored man must also read.”

It was true when he made this speech. It is true today. The colored man must read!  Douglass knew that knowledge was a key of a sort. Knowledge — and proper use of — unlocks the doors to progress. Reading is one of the main ways to attain knowledge. Ignorance is a hindrance to progress, no matter the color of a man’s skin. It is unrealistic to have high expectations in life if one has not put forth the effort necessary to attain knowledge and skills demanded by society.

It is difficult to understand how a black man living in the time of Frederick Douglass could recognize the need for this thing called reading.  Why do I say this? Since reading and writing instructions were severely limited during his lifetime, his interaction with other blacks who could read and write was probably limited. Nevertheless, his interaction with many whites who had mastered this thing called reading and writing, and how they used those skills, persuaded him to unceasingly seek ways to give blacks the opportunity to learn to read and write. Keep in mind, teaching blacks to read and write during the Douglass period, was frowned upon in many quarters, especially in Southern states. Inadequate, poorly funded, understaffed, and segregated schools in the north left many ill-prepared for intellectually-equipped society. Despite having to overcome obstacles of every imaginable nature, many blacks strived to learn to read and write.

Fast forward to 2012. What has convinced so many black children and their parents that learning to read and write well and pursuing a decent education is unnecessary? It is difficult to imagine what they see and hear that promotes this mindset. On what is this mindset predicated? It just does not make sense.  There was a time when black schools were burned, teachers intimidated and chased out town to prevent blacks from learning to read and write. These actions are no longer problematic. Black children, their parents and the black community are busy putting obstacles in the way. Sure, the buildings, books, teachers and students are present. However, the very foundation necessary for getting a good education, somehow, some way, became irrelevant. Somewhere along the way, these things called reading and writing became secondary to everything else offered in schools. Many students, for whatever reason, do not read or write very well. One can tell by their speech that they do not read well. In many instances, it is difficult, indeed impossible, to converse with them because it is virtually impossible to understand what they are saying. Broken English is the norm rather than the exception.

What will it take to get our children interested in education? Is there a counter to television, internet, iPods, video games, cable television, and cell phones? Is society willing to take the necessary actions to eradicate some of the things that school children have to wade through and process daily? It is more than their immature minds can handle. Therefore, they spend most of their time watching and listening to what they want, rather than watching and listening to what they should.

There is no easy fix, nor should there be. The current situation black families face, especially their school children, is monumental. It has taken many years to reach the current level of decay.  Do not expect the problem to disappear overnight. Additional dollars dedicated to under performing schools will help. However, money alone will not eradicate the problem.

Everyone has a stake in this problem. All who are remotely involved in this thing called education must pull their fair share of the load.

September 9, 2012

September 10, 2012 Posted by | Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, The Black Family, The Black Man | Leave a comment

Affliction in the Black community

 I remember my Grandmother Maggie Thornton speaking of someone being flicted. She was simply shortening the word afflicted. If I may take liberty with my grandmother’s word- many people in black communities are flicted-plain and simple. Take a moment and look up the word afflict. Webster defines it as; trouble, bother, causes problems, worry, upset, make miserable or distress. It is extremely troubling to see black men and boys wandering through neighborhoods looking like something straight out of vaudeville and/or Ringling Brothers Circus. They are the new clowns without realizing it. Their dress and overall behavior is something to behold. It is especially troubling because most of them do not have a clue how the public views them, and the overall negative affects it has on their lives, relationships and job opportunities. The few who realize their behavior and dress negatively affects them have taken a do not care, so what attitude. Their behavior, especially dress, bothers most people who observe it. However, there are enough people in black families and communities who turn a blind eye and pretend they do not see what is right before their eyes. People wearing obscene dress and exhibiting rude behavior and not being admonished, legitimize their actions. Inappropriate dress and other forms of behavior contrary to societal norms cause problems in communities. Some people feel obligated to say something to people they feel overall behavior is causing problems in the community. Approaching these folks can and do lead to confrontations that if one is not careful can lead to unintended consequences. Many blacks worry about what they see in black communities. They see school age black boys wandering the streets, during school hours, with their pants hanging off their butts, talking on cell phones. They see older mature black men wandering the streets dressed the same way, with a cell phone, beer in a sack and a cheap cigar. Entirely too many black men walk by job sites and see people of another nationality performing work formerly done by blacks and never bat an eye. It is extremely upsetting to see the apathy displayed by a large segment of black men. There seem to be little concern about their stead in life and where it will be when they grow old. Because they are so inclined to be indifferent about their stead in life, many times it falls on their parents and other kinfolks to provide for them. Others take the criminal road to get what they need to survive. This road usually leads to the criminal justice system. Many predominately black communities have many things within that cause them to be distressed-Single parent homes, drugs, high unemployment, high school dropout, robberies, killings, home invasions and other appalling actions, to name a few. Why have our men decided to add additional stress on communities by becoming total buffoons? Why have they chosen their current lifestyles? I guess they know not what they do and black communities will continue to suffer this affliction for God knows how long.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, The Black Family, The Black Man, youth crime | Leave a comment

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

Pathetic

As I searched for words to adequately describe young black boys walking around with their pants sagging off their butts, several came to mind. Disgusting, pathetic, asinine, mental retard, stupid, lost; uninformed, misguided and unlearned are a few of the words that define their dress and mannerism.   The way they dress is certainly disgusting since it is revolting and repulsive. Their dress is asinine because it is stupid, unintelligent, and idiotic. How they dress is uninformed because it suggests a lack of education, ignorance, and unawareness of public perception. Does mental retard take this subject a little too far and suggest something that is not remotely possible in these folk’s lives. Is it irresponsible to suggest that folks that wear their pants dangling off their butts are lacking something in the intelligence department?  Mental means intellectual and retard means held back.  Put these two words together, and you get my point. Intellectually, these folks have not matured to the point where they perceive what is wrong with the way they dress.

The black community must get serious about eradicating this problem-this eyesore.  The way our young boys dress reflects badly on the black community. The mere fact few blacks have made public statements condemning our young boy’s dress should be a cause of concern.  Is the black community comfortable with the way its young boys dress? Does black communities’ want this picture displayed on the Internet, television and in printed media? How does it justify it seemingly non-concern about how the world perceives black boys?

I am at a loss to explain why a problem with such a seemingly simple answer has become so complex. It does not take much effort or imagination to pull up your pants. Has the mere fact that we are allowing our young boys to set dress codes and standards exacerbated the problem? Why has the elders and parents in the black community allowed young boys to usurp their authority?   Blacks who were active in the civil rights movement during the fifties and sixties took on issues and people they felt were harmful to their causes. Never mind the threats of violence and other forms of intimidation-they never gave up. Why have the black community given up on taking back the streets from their boys. Why have black communities become comfortable with what takes place therein?

There is a time to all things. It is time to reestablish the normal pecking order in the black community. Boys must again be put is a boy’s place, and black men must behave in a manner that places them at their rightful place in the community. Black men must be providers and the protectors. They must not shirk either of these responsibilities. One does not have to look very hard to see what happens in homes and communities when men are no longer in their rightful place.

June 4, 2010 Posted by | Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions, The Black Man | 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

True Then, True Now

While scanning through the Book of Proverbs, I came across several verses that speak volumes to what is taking place in families all over America.  Several verses address the behavior that parents should expect of their children. Some address the consequences of bad behavior toward one’s parents.

 

In chapter 10, verse 1, King Solomon coined the following: A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother.
  

In chapter 30, verse 17, King Solomon says; The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.


In chapter 29, verse 15, King Solomon says the following: The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame. Reproof means to admonish, reprimand or rebuke. Think for a moment what the moral of this verse is. It plainly states that parents have at their disposal the tools necessary to instill wisdom in the child. It also makes very plain that a child left to its own vices will bring shame to the mother. I take it a step further and say the child will bring shame to Mother, family, community and self. Finally, chapter 30, verse 17 speaks of dire consequences the disobedient child faces.


It is essential that parents exercise maximum legal authority and disciplinary practices to establish and maintain the pecking order in the family. It is the parent’s right to exercise authority over the child-not the other way around.  Parents must refrain from allowing their children to make decisions that children are ill prepared to make because of immaturity, legal age questions and lack of knowledge.


The family, like any other organization, must have structure, well-defined lines of authority and rules of behavior. Along with expected behavior, the child must know the consequences of deviating from prescribed behavioral norms.  Parents, by law are responsible for the health and welfare of their offspring. They must have the level of authority necessary to carry out their responsibility.  Responsibility cannot be delegated to others. Armed with this knowledge, it is imperative that parents exercise the authority and discipline that will get the desired results.

Too often, parents cannot see the result of their inactions.  For instance, our inaction when Rap first came on the scene has resulted in our children becoming addicted to something that surely is not in their best interest. Our inactions early on, when we started seeing many of our children losing interest in school and education has resulted in  immeasurable damage to the well-being and future of many of our children, families and our community.


Parents, you, along with the community must reestablish the pecking order in homes, schools, and community. It will not reestablish itself. There is a lot of work to be done, and do it we must. No one else will do it for us. It is our problem and we are the solution. 

January 26, 2007 Posted by | Decline Of The Family | | 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.
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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