Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Crisis in our Community


How do you help someone who doesn’t want to be help? That is a question that I am finding out is a bit difficult to answer. You see African American boys, males or men are really finding themselves in a world of trouble and concern. So many of them have chosen a way of life that is filled with crime, drugs, and deadly sex without using protection. For some reason many of these teens under the age of 24 seems to believe that they will not live long. They would rather take their chances and do whatever they want now because their life span is under the age of 25. Thus we are finding a huge increase in crime being committed by young men.

Take the 15-year old boy who less than 2 weeks ago shot and killed a 22-year old police officer. This young African American policeman had only been on the force for 11-months. He requested that his assignment be given to him in a neighborhood he grew up in because he wanted to give back and save the young men there. He was active in the community and volunteering for all kinds of boys’ and girls clubs’. But the 15 year old didn’t care. Now what happens with the young 15 year old's life? They are trying to certify him as an adult, and next the death penalty. Why would this boy kill an officer, or better still why would he kill anybody?

We say his home circumstances, his environment, etc. But at some point, when do we stop making excuses. Yes, African American boys have many issues to deal with, no role models, no fathers, poverty, no education, no dreams, fear and so much more. But at some point, they are going to have to dig deep and want something better.

We can set up all kinds of programs, sink money into culture activities, encourage participation in sports, but still if that kid does not want your help, all the money and programs won’t help.
At some point we have to figure out how to make these young men care about their lives and the people who live in and out of their community? We have to work on their hearts because working on their minds, is not working fast enough. Too many African American men are losing their lives while we are trying to figure out. Sometimes, I feel so lost in trying to deal with this issue...

12 comments:

TJ said...

I think that respect for authority (including police officers) and the behaviors that are the foundation for good citizenship in general begin at home. They begin with parents who talk to their kids and keep up with their kids. I don't know how "dont carish" these kids would be if they had a mom, dad or both who would jack em up if they got caught being disrespectful. A lot of times if you go behind kids who don't care, you find parents who don't care either. Now how to solve that? I have no idea.

ROGERSBIZ said...

NICE BLOG.

kathi said...

Ditto tj. Most of Charlie's friends are black or hispanic and their parents are not only extremely active in their kids lives, but important to the kids. The friends that he's had to walk away from didn't have that and they've ended up in jail, and/or dropped out of school. I believe that the majority of time, it begins with family, or knowing that their actions have an effect on someone who cares deeply for them.

Jdid said...

we have a lost generation. I despair over the future of some of these youth. no easy solution I think we just have to try our best to get them to change their attitudes bit by bit. Its a tough job and you cant give up at the first sign of it being tough.

we have to educate the parents too. there is so much more to parenting that simple conception but alot of folks just dont do what they need to do.

MsPlacedAmbition said...

we need to eradicate poverty
and eradicate racism
and equalize educational opportunities
and remind all of our kids that they are worthy

it takes a village ...

the prisoner's wife said...

word @ TJ,

i was just talking to my coworkers the other day about reaching "problem" kids. i am a teacher-7th grade english-and a large population of the students in our school are from Foster/Group homes. last year was my first year teaching, and i really wasn't ready for the emotional issues my students came to school with. it seemed like just as i was making progress with some boys (one in particular), something would happen in his "home" to make him digress & withdraw completely.

i'm learning that many of my students don't have BASIC social skills. they come from all sorts of F'ed up homes that do not nurture them emotionally. so it is up to me (and other teachers/mentors/adults) to help guide those who don't have someone at "home" to guide them. this year i am going to spend a significant part of our time teaching basic social skills. how to say "goodmorning, please, thank you..." and hopefully, the kids will see that i care, and in turn care about themselves. that is the only way to counteract this madness...so show them that you care & to TRY to get them to care about themselves. it's a daunting task, but we won't accomplish anything by just throwing up our hands & shaking our heads.

be blessed.

rose said...

Tj: you are correct. But my problem is this: how do we get kids to care in spite of their backgrounds? How do we get them to want to change or become better even when their parents who may be strung out on drugs, missing in action, etc., don't care about them or their future? It's frustrating.

prioritybooks said...

rogersbiz:
Thanks for visiting. Please come again.

Rosemarie said...

The crisis is everywhere and running ramped. As the years pass, the tolerance from parents, community, and authority has diminished. Kids don't care because no one else does!

TJ said...

You know what, Rose. It's funny. Sometimes all they need is to see somebody like you caring and working hard for them.

Seeing you achieve something better sometimes tells them it doesnt have to be like it is for me.

Through the years, it has surprised me to no end when one of my peers or somebody younger tells me, well I learned that from you. I'm almost always like, "Really?" LOL.

Dr. Deb said...

Stigma is one block that prevents people from reaching out for help. The other is the person themselves. If he or she doesn't want the help, it is so hard to press the importance further.

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