We should encourage our kids, not discourage them

As we marvel at the notion of having a black president we are still dealing with realities of our black youth partaking in numerous criminal acts. Blacks bear most of the burden or shame of violent criminal acts in our country.

We are always considered the most violent and angry people. But is this true? Some statistics state that we are 13 percent of the population but yet we represent over 15 percent of nonfatal crimes and nearly half of all homicides. What are we as a community to do about this, especially our black youth? It is quite appalling to hear that our youth are not only victims but also victimizers. Many ask what are we to do? How are we to change these issues that threaten our very existence?

As a child I child, I lost two older brothers to “black-on-black crime.” Naturally, it was devastating to experience such tragic losses but, what most don’t understand is that it is not just my family’s loss, but a loss of two men who could have been great leaders for our community. So as a community we must stand up and fight for our youth’s future, even if they themselves don’t see or understand the worth of fighting

for it.

As a former education major I can see where we as a community go wrong. We have set notions and beliefs that some children are just bad and some are just good. But I believe we must take on the mindset of many African villages, every child has a purpose and a goal in life, and we must bring the best out of them. Not purposes to die, kill or steal, but to be of use to our communities.

So what we must do is more mentoring, myself included. We must volunteer more; show our black youth our commitment to our communities, our belief in our youth.

Only then can we begin to see a change in them. We can’t allow them to watch rap music videos all day long, or play violent videogames when they are only 10 and 12. We can teach them to appreciate and value knowledge, not to value ignorance and buffoonery. Assistant Professor Dr. Eon Who? stated, “We just reemphasize values, self-respect, and family beliefs.” Only then can we expect and see change.

And for our black youth who are victims of the juvenile institution, we must welcome them back into society rather than deny them jobs and opportunities to excel. We must support programs Beyond Scared Straight and excessive community service if it will help them steer away from criminal acts.

As stated by Associate English Professor Dr. F.H. Stallworth ” we are the sum total of

our decisions.”