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Salvage Our Children

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By Richard O. Jones - Part 1 of 6

Do you find the constant barrage of negative statistics regarding Blacks, young males in particular, discouraging? If you are a moral person, your likely answer is yes. Reading and listening to a continual flow of discouraging news about a subject dear to your heart will either render you depressed or apathetic.

Either way, you are adversely affected by the reports. Let’s become proactive as a Black community and pave a new path for our children to follow. By the time you finish reading this eight-part series, you will realize that Black youth are not destined to doom.

Granted, however, many Blacks will continue to pursue a negative path but we can drastically lessen those numbers. There are unconventional methods that deserve serious consideration in the battle against Blacks becoming a permanent underclass.

Drastic times require drastic measures. The benefits won’t manifest immediately. It took several centuries of vile strategic planning by America and paralyzed complacency on our part to psychologically entrap our race and it will take more than protest signs and boycotts to deprogram our mindset. The first thing we must do is to admit that we have a serious problem, and secondly we must stop waiting on the government to send us a program and celebrities to become good role models to our children.

Regardless of the fact that Black men are overwhelmingly locked away in prisons and under represented on university campuses, unless they are also locked away in mental bondage, they are not doomed. The same ineffective leaders that set the negativity into motion can reverse the process.

These leaders are still in charge, although they don’t acknowledge it. The leaders that I speak of are not our popular scapegoats, the politicians, the schools, or the media. Nor is it merely the parents. That’s too easy! The ineffective leaders that fueled this African American tragedy are collectively the parents, the Black community, the Black church, national Black organizations, and the entire family.

The aunts, the uncles, the grandmother and grandfather, the cousins, and everyone in the family that thought it was cute and applauded as a toddler shook their tail into a frenzy to the beat of rock-n-roll. Yet, never took time to teach the toddler anything of redeeming value.

The parent who laughed or ignored it when a toddler used profanity but later dashed to the school and verbally assaulted the teacher for trying to discipline their unruly child. And the community that turned their heads away from a youngster shoplifting, breaking rules on a city bus, or being a menace to society in public because it wasn’t their business.

It was a gradual decline but soon the Black family and community began to openly celebrate and reward misconduct. Young Black men now aspire to be considered ‘thugs,’ ‘gangsters,’ ‘the infamous N word ‘,’ and the proverbial ‘bad boy.’ Many strut in a fashion that will assure them the negative attention of the police.

Even when young Black men never experienced the throes of ghetto life they choose to mimic that lifestyle as if it’s a badge of honor. Many adopt and flaunt the gangster image because it brings them attention. When Black celebrities are arrested regardless of the crime, their popularity is either unaffected or it soars. I can’t recall a single Black celebrity arrest that the Black community didn’t circle the wagons in their defense and charge racism.

Richard O. Jones is an author, newspaper columnist, and public speaker on crime prevention. He is a member of A.K. Quinn A.M.E. Church in Moreno Valley, CA where he conducts a youth Writer’s Workshop and mentors youth. For more information the church at (909) 485-6993 or email: carrieonprod@earthlink.net

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