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They’ve Gone “Crazy”

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In today's generation of hip-hop songs, there is one that comes to mind when I think of the recent rash of shootings in Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino.

That song is by Eminem and the memorable hook is “I think my dad’s gone crazy.” It appears as though young Black and Latino people have gone crazy with all of the senseless killings recently. Riversiders are holding weekly meeting after meeting trying to find a solution to the bizarre unprovoked shootings takng place in the city especially on the Eastside. Los Angeles is being called a murder zone. They too are holding meeting after meeting to try and find a solution to some 20 plus killings within a two week period. It seems as though the people have gone crazy. In San Bernardino there has been a rash of shootings with the latest being carried out on the church steps of Temple Missionary Baptist Church. It points to the lack of respect they have for themselves, other people, and the sanctity of the church. It appears as though the people have gone crazy.
I have spoken to many people about the shooting of this youth who was on his way into the church house for choir practice when he was gunned down by a twenty-four year old young man. The murdered young man was not in a gang nor had any dealings with gang members or any other activity that might come close to trouble. He was just a kid who loved to sing and would sing to anyone who would listen. This is how he has been described by friends and members of Temple Missionary Baptist Church. This was truly a life taken before it had an opportunity to blossom into a positive and productive member of our society. He might have become the next Paul Robeson, James Cleveland, Sam Cooke, or a famous artist in his own right. We don't know and now will never know what this young man would have accomplished. Not only is his life over but his killer's life is over. We lost two in the process.
We, as a community, must continue to meet and seek solutions to these killings. When I was on the school board we had drive by shootings and kids being transferred into the district carrying guns on their person in the process. We had to determine if we were going to let kids run our schools or if we were going to oversee our youth and our community. I decided that we adults were going to oversee our community in conjunction with all of the government agencies at our disposal. We must do that again. We must make our youth responsible for their actions. We need to be the one’s “going crazy” up in here, as my grandchildren would say.

Commending the Vines Society For Excellent Leadership

The Vines Medical Society is to be commended for their work to assure that Black students are treated fairly in the University of California, Riverside’s Bio-Medical Program. Since the program’s inception in 1981 only one Black student out of 422 students had received a medical degree.
The concerns raised by the Vines is surrounding the program’s admission and retention practices regarding underrepresented students. This program is seriously flawed and fails to reflect the rich diversity that the rest of the university shares. There are not enough students accepted into the program and if they are accepted they are washed out, many times because there are not sufficient counseling and support programs. With health care so vital to all segments of our community there will be no one to service these areas in the future if they are not in the schools now.
There is proof that the students who have been washed out by the UCR Bio-Med Program have gone on to more prestigious institutions and passed with flying colors and are now practicing medicine.
The Vines Society successfully lobbied to change the equation and because of their unrelentless work, Blacks and other students of color will now be allowed to compete on a more fair basis in the program.

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