Friday Fire: Talk is Talk. Our Children Continue To Die. What Are the Solutions?

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This was 50 years ago. Some of you say America is a better place? Really?

There has been a lot of discourse around here criticizing this or that. While it’s all real rap, what are some real solutions? Sean Taylor didn’t die in vain. The memory of his existence would be better celebrated if we didn’t focus on his football exploits. We should celebrate that Sean was clawing out of the darkness and beginning to see the light. It was all about living for his child Jackie and his fiancee Jacqueline. I personally am not going to let his spirit become grey. Let’s all keep it colorful so his young child can paint a picture of her daddy one day with a smile on his face. Jacqueline Garcia is academy award nominated actor Andy Garcia’s niece. He has come forward and publicly called Taylor a hero. Because of Garcia’s presence, this case may take a much different public turn. Let’s hope for the best. I personally want to thank Andy Garcia for offering his credibility, because he didn’t have to.

We all know of people who are soul models. This is our chance to show the soul model in each of us by offering solutions to a societal crisis that WILL continue to be a detriment to our collective success. I don’t mind if this discussion gets heated–it honestly should. Please keep the diamond thought in mind of creating and propagating a positive and consistent path of success for all of our children. Lets make this a good one. Thanks.

*Check out my Ron Artest interview in the current issue of SacTown Magazine. I can’t post the full interview on TSF until a later date because of ethics, but it tackles similar issues as well as other topics. It casts a totally different light on Ron.

Also swing by the commission for some old school jazzyjanetruggedhiphopnessss.

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58 Responses to “Friday Fire: Talk is Talk. Our Children Continue To Die. What Are the Solutions?”

  1. Mizzo,
    Young people today view human life as something very disposable. Why? What has changed in the past 20 yrs or so? I think when we find the answer to that question, we will be on our way to finding a solution to the problem. I can say this, many children today are devoid of any historical knowledge. They seem to have short attention spans and have a lack of respect for authority. Many want quick money but don’t want to put in the work. Just some of my thoughts on the subject.

  2. You are so correct Michelle. Parents have eased back from instilling a proper discipline and respect. I don’t want this to be constant criticism.

    It is all about funding? Is it all about politics? Is it all about race and class? What responsibilities do we have as parents?

    It is not all about Hip Hop and the so called Black KKK that’s for damn sure. Whitlock needs to trash that bs. That bs isn’t nothing more than calling someone a nigger and drudges up memories of lynchings and burning churches.

    Jason get over yourself and offer some damn solutions. What the heck are you thinking? You outline the problems, but aren’t coloring inside the lines. Anyone can do that just to make a buck. The crab trying to get out of the barrel by clawing anyone and everyone is you.

    Anyway…

    Parents have to be held to the fire and give their kids true educational value.

    Just asking kids if they’ve done their homework is not the answer. Talk to your kids once again. I don’t care if it’s the dinner table, the car or on the phone–just talk to them. Ask them how their day went. Talk to them about their classes, their teachers, their administrators, their peers. Be real with them and they’ll be real with you, but asking them token questions will get token effort from them in school. I brought up the idea in Scoop Jackson’s interview (comment section) about the possibility of a RACE class. Taking the class in middle school and then again as a senior. This might help all kids understand the value of a human being. As far as education, more Black males need to become teachers. A Black youngster is most likely to want to be more involved in school if he or she sees teachers resembling them. How do we go about making this happen?

    Also because parents aren’t doing their job, the best teachers are going to private institutions because they don’t want to deal with wild kids. That helps the rich get richer while the kids who really need great teachers are left with the crumbs. These second rate teachers just go through the motions every day. They teach the bare minimum just to get a check, do their time in public schools for a couple of years and bounce. Then they say..”Hey it’s on my resume.” This is not a condemnation of all teachers. There are many gifted teachers who stay in the public system and do some outstanding work with disadvantaged youth. I applaud their efforts. The pay just isn’t there. These great spirits need to be paid accordingly, but it all starts at home.

    Parents do your job.

  3. thebrotherreport Says:

    I would say that like everything else it begins at home – but the twist is home isn’t even home anymore, so now the child is reaching out for someone, anyone to show them the basic fundamentals of life and more often than not the first teacher of the child is the streets. The streets are not forgiving and it puts the child in survival mode when he/she should be in a nurturing stage. Now the individual grows up hardened by the streets and when someone comes along that is genuinely interested in their well-being it takes a while if ever for that child to be receptive to that love. I’m sure this will not be my last post but this came to mind first. Way to to start us off today Mizzo.

  4. GrandNubian Says:

    The environment or society in which you live is conducive to breeding the very behavior of most Black people in america. Black people have been imitating the behavior of europeans eversince we were enslaved, kidnapped, etc. The vast majority of the problems we experience today can be linked back to the culture we currently living under. Why is culture so important? Because culture is the set of ideas used to change the behavior in a people into the refined social qualities required to bring about harmony and stability to make a society prosper. Just by observation alone, we can come to the conclusion that most problems in our society are caused by “animal-like” behavioral patterns that has slipped by the cultivation process for various reasons. Thus, a person’s culture cultivates their behavior.

    I always hear people mention that ‘education’ is the answer to our problems. Education, well “Mis-Education”, is not the answer. The answer is the ‘RIGHT Education’ (right knowledge) through a socialization process. In quoting the late, great Master Teacher Baba Asa Hilliard, “Socialization is education, plus…”. This is something that western culture is ignorant of.

    People in this country don’t understand that children (black children in particular) are missing and need a “system” (rites of passage) to guide them from childhood to adulthood. The method in this country is “leave it to chance”, which is the root cause of teenage/young adult chaos, confusion and uncertainty.

    When our youth reach a certain age they’re expected to somehow automatically “transform” into an adult, with limited guidance, especially coming from a broken home. This is why communities are/were so important in African culture. The community (village) took part in raising that child. If the mother or father was not around (which was rare), it was not a problem.

    In the education and socialization process, young boys and girls were taken out of the community (away from life’s concerns) and taught the tenets of adulthood. They were “educated” about the rules and taboos of society; they were instructed in the fundamentals of morality and social responsibility; and his/her divine purpose in life.

    Schools should be responsible for what they were created for – to educate, not ‘MIS-educate’. However, the socialization process can only come from that child’s culture. A European can’t teach an African how to be African. An Asian can’t teach a Hispanic how to be Hispanic. An African can’t teach an Asian how to be Asian. These tenets of socialization comes from that person’s culture. Remember, socialization is “education + the shaping of a person’s behavior”.

    Once a person is confined in their culture, they are linked back to what makes them what they are (their personality). An African’s culture is founded upon the principles of truth, justice, order, etc. The person’s culture implements or cultivates those principles into their being.

    The African initiation rites system can be implemented in ANY of our Black communities who wishes to find solutions to our problems. I’ve always said and will continue to say that the root of all of our problems lies in the culture in which we have adopted (western culture). By learning and applying the principles and philosphies of our traditional African societies, we can once again create harmony by adopting our true culture and solve our most deep-rooted problems.

    As Baba Oba T’Shaka has informed us, the key for creating the models for a culture that works for us lies in the new creation of an “old/new” philosophy. It should be “old/new” because we must draw from the best of the time-tested ancient systems and modernize them so they can apply to the 21st century and beyond. By returning to the best of our true culture, we will find the formula for rebuilding families, communities, nations and transnational organizations.

    Having said all that…..

    When we give the white man back his culture and re-claim our own, we’ll be on our way. On the other hand, if we continue to remain in the white man’s culture, nothing’s gonna change. We’ve tried EVERYTHING (except re-claiming our culture) and it just doesn’t work.

    The formula to element the criminal element:

    Education (right knowledge) + socialization = civilized behavior, hence ‘civilization”.

    We live in a society that is not civilized to begin with. Why on earth would one think we can use the same principles that oppresses us to help us?

    “You can’t dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools”.

    – Oyesina

    Hetep

  5. GrandNubian Says:

    The formula to eliminate the criminal element:

    Education (right knowledge) + socialization = civilized behavior, hence ‘civilization”.

    Sorry for the typo…..

    Htpw

  6. GN, TBR and Michelle. Great stuff. Thank you. We should all have a sense of urgency on this issue.

    GN the socialization you speak of is what I’m looking for. Teachers who develop this approach are usually the ones who look outside the box. It’s not all about structure, it’s about mental comfort.

  7. Mizzo

    Great way to start the day off. How you know to hit me where I live?lol

    “ Taking the class in middle school and then again as a senior. This might help allkids understand the value of a human being. As far as education, more Black males need to become teachers. A Black youngster is most likely to want to be more involved in school if he or she sees teachers resembling them. How do we go about making this happen? “

    Juwanza Kunjufu identified the fact that there are hardley any positve African male role models in elementary to middle school because of a systemic attempts to condition our children for knee-grow hood (my word). In fact there are very few solid positive teachers on that level, most of the “good”teachers are in high school, where their talents are wasted for being highpaid security guards instead of instructors.

    GrandNubian

    There is nothing I can add to your piece, as you brought the hammer to chip away the calcified pineal glands. Let’s not over look the fact that dispite the tragedy of the African Holocaust, Jim Crow, Re-construction, the sixties, etc., MOST of us grew up NORMAL with the tools we were allowed to have. However due to White Supremacy’s constant refinement, our psychies were warped into and remaind as that of chattle.

    The 70’s say several outstanding phenomina: Day care, cessation of breast feeding, the rise of abortion, the welfare / single parent household and of course –the cherry on top-24/7 edutainment.

    Since the TSF family need not re-invent the wheel, may I suggest a bit of Kwanzaa reading for you and yours. Dr. Kanjufu has tackled this question for over 20 years and has produced some of the more remarkable work on the topic of young African males but it can also be used for the African female.

    Kill Them Before They Grow: The Misdiagnosis of African American Boys in America’s Classrooms (Paperback)

    Countering the Conspiracy to Destroy Black Boys

    Motivating and Preparing Black Youth for Success

    Popular or Smart: The Black Peer Group

    Raising Black Boys

    You can find his work here http://www.africanamericanimages.com/AAI/Jawanza%20Kumjufu.htm

  8. Thank you Sankofa. I’m weary from the same argument over and over. WE need to come up with a plan quick.

  9. It appears that some of the links on Dr. Kunjufu’s site are not working, but if you google his name you will find some of his classic works available.

    If you can – just a heads up- refrain from purchasing them from Amazon or what ever. Support a African book seller. As a former book dealer I can attest to the fact that it would be most appreciated being patronized by your own.

  10. thebrotherreport Says:

    Mizzo – You brought up a memory from my elementary school days. My dad used to always say “You never know where me or your mother may be, so stay on your toes” One day I’m in class (doing the right thing thankfully) and who walks in and sits in the back of the class but my dad, I was still nervous, but I was thankful that I was blessed with a father that cared about my well-being that much. I did it to my son when he was about 2 in day care just to let them know that I’m more than the dad that just picks his child up when his mom can’t get him. S LIFE IS SO VITAL TLIHC RUOY NI EVITCA GNIEb

  11. thebrotherreport Says:

    I apologize for the last sentence, it was supposed to read: Being in your child’s life is so vital.

    I’m not losing it yet.

  12. TBR I hear you on that. If my pop ever walked in the middle of one of my classes, I probably would have had a heart attack. It’s not that I was a bad kid–quite the contrary–it was just I was shook of the belt! I mean shook shook.

    When my oldest was in middle school, I sat in on one of his classes and he was cool. I was impressed by the respect his classmates gave me even though I knew some of them were straight knuckleheads. We need to do more of this.

    A more heartbreaking story…

    A couple of years back, I was fond of a woman named Valerie who lost her 5 year old son to violence. Damon, was killed in a Wilmington Delaware barbershop. The target supposedly picked up little Damon and used him as a shield.

    His funeral was the worse thing I’ve ever experienced. People were leaving before the service concluded because they just couldn’t handle the grief. His mother wouldn’t let the handlers close the casket, so the final viewing was extended. He resembled a toy doll. It was so sad and his death was so senseless. He was such a good kid. His mother was a baller and played on a team where I was player/coach. Damon would run around the gym independently and with my little guys with this happy little smile. He would make you crack up even when he was doing the things that frustrate us as parents. I played with and against his father also. Damon was a talent in his own right. Val had this beautiful smile…a smile that was also given to her little Damon.

    I haven’t seen Valerie in years and I miss her spirit. She was a great friend and it was hard for any of us close to her to say anything remotely comforting. I was going through a divorce and unfortunately we lost touch.

    The point is that where is this going to end? How are we as a people going to understand our future leaders are being gunned down as I type this? How many presidents, teachers and janitors have died? We claim to have all this love but where does love fall when the tears won’t end?

  13. thebrotherreport Says:

    Ah, the belt; I only got in trouble in the house and most of the beatings I got my sister was responsible for in one way or another (gotta blame somebody). One day my mom sat me down and told me why she beat us, she told us that her and my dad chastized us because they loved us and wanted us to do the right things. But what she said made even more sense, she said, “If I don’t beat you, eventually the cops will, and it won’t be with a belt.”

  14. Mizzo

    In the war for our souls and the lives of our children, we must prepare to lose some innocents. AS LONG AS WE DO SOME WORK!

    My experience has showed me it is so easy to put a comprehensive program together to save our youth. But we get bogged down by, our personal image, getting pats on the back or becoming Grant ho’s, filling our bank accounts and our resumes. In good conscience I can’t help but over stand why other ethnics look down on us, because whether racist or not reality or not….outside of a few individual successes in the media, we have not become the monolith we should be because we don’t take care of our investments. That is our children. More precious than gold, Gucci, MTV or our egos, yet we neglect and abuse our young constantly. And when I say our, I am talking our offspring and those not from our loins.

    A word of caution…each of us as adults must check ourselves before embarking on that task of checking the youth, for we will find we are somewhat damaged from being graduates and undergraduates of the killing fields of America Inc.,

    As Grandnubian said earlier … “Once a person is confined in their culture, they are linked back to what makes them what they are (their personality). An African’s culture is founded upon the principles of truth, justice, order, etc. The person’s culture implements or cultivates those principles into their being.”

    This the precise reason why the most dangerous African is like a NOI warrior, not a crips and blood gangster, one is seeking to throw of the yoke of knee-gowtude and being a image for change, the other acting like a sociopath and being an example of the thug stereotype propagandized 24/7. I use the two examples not to indicate they are they only ones, but they represent two extreme dilemmas for us and Europeans to confront——now even though neither have the armament and collective power to bring down the illegal government, who do you think is most feared by the establishment because of what they represent?

    These snippets from my father from another mother:

    “Without education, you’re not going anywhere in this world.”

    “Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

    “Look at yourselves. Some of you teenagers students. How do you think I feel and I belong to a generation ahead of you – how do you think I feel to have to tell you, ‘We, my generation, sat around like a knot on a wall while the whole world was fighting for its hum an rights – and you’ve got to be born into a society where you still have that same fight.’ What did we do, who preceded you ? I’ll tell you what we did. Nothing. And don’t you make the same mistake we made….”

    “When I’m traveling around the country, I use my real Muslim name, Malik Shabazz. I make my hotel reservations under that name, and I always see the same thing I’ve just been telling you. I come to the desk and always see that ‘here-comes-a-Negro’ look. It’s kind of a reserved, coldly tolerant cordiality. But when I say ‘Malik Shabazz,’ their whole attitude changes: they snap to respect. They think I’m an African. People say what’s in a name? There’s a whole lot in a name. The American black man is seeing the African respected as a human being. The African gets respect because he has an identity and cultural roots. But most of all because the African owns some land. For these reasons he has his human rights recognized, and that makes his civil rights automatic.”

    Peace and blessings

  15. Real rap right there TBR.

    Sankofa the look you allude to is something I’ve grown accustomed to experiencing. I’m a pretty big dude so I get those looks as well. I could care less. The attitude changes when I open my mouth and throw Paul Robeson on ‘em.

    Yes the loss of innocents is inevitable, but how much do the losses chip away from our collective soul?

  16. WOW!

    First let me say that I have enjoyed reading each and every post today. You guys are speaking some powerful words and truth. When you think about the moral fiber of this society all of you are correct. We seem to have fallen in the trap. Wealth first at any cost. MTV cribs is sickening. Why should I care about how many cars you have? Where in public tv do children learn about self pride and the value of hard work? While so called heroes like Michael Jordan are pushed down out throats. Jordan makes his money and looks the other way. Young people killing each other for a chance to wear a pair of his 150 dollar shoes. That’s crazz. but many embrace him. Our children are looking up to the wrong people. The media hand picks these people for us and we fall right in line. This is something that has to change.

  17. thebrotherreport Says:

    Ok – I know I’m going to get in trouble here, but the Black Church is turning into a joke. The one place where morals and ethics are supposed to be displayed have shown anything but that. It’s not all churches but for the most part the issues that have been taboo are on full display and for the most part encouraged. Homosexuality and immoral behavior in the church is at an alarming level amongst men and women but mostly men.

    When a young man has no male figure at home or in school, the Black Church was a haven and saved many lives. My cousin did plenty of gang warring in Philly back in the 1970’s and he’ll tell you that there were men in the church that put him back on the right path. Nowadays, it’s not just the choir director with the banana in the tailpipe, it could be anyone. What society needs to learn is that when morals are compromised the first casualties are our children.

    I remember a situation where a deacon’s wife came after a member for sleeping with her husband and this was someone that I really respected as a man of faith and to my disappointment he was unfaithful. At that point I learned that we give to much credit to the messenger and not the Author of the message.

    Since the church has always been a part of my life, I go through different feeling in regard as to how to get past those things to get what I need from a spiritual perspective. And I’ve learned that the one on one fellowship with God or whomever your Deity may be is the best form of worship. Sankofa – I’m hoping you can add something to this as well.

  18. While I don’t want to come across as cold, I do understand that in war there are casualties. Ideally you want no casualties, but let’s be real this is a physical, psychological, cultural and spiritual war we are engaged in.

    That being said we have to have our “game” face on, which means that you take early hits to prevent later, larger hits. Not every one can carry that weight, so we divide the responsibility between those on the ground, those who do the logistics, those who relay the information, and those who do the mending and yes those who also engage the enemies.

    To minimize the causalities, we must have a triple prong attack:

    1) The parent/community institutions
    2) The victims or potential victims
    3) The enemy

    By educating, building and propagating and if it comes to it –some heavy banging, will get us up and moving. Once we are rolling we cannot spend too long mourning the fallen, just a small send off…the bigger memorial is for another day. Again, I don’t want to appear cold, but I want to be clear, White Supremacy will and is killing you as you speak. They are doing that because they have conditioned themselves to take a hit and keep on going, they see they big picture. They have select few who do the dirty work, directly and indirectly, they have a select few that sell the program and they have select few that vigilantly watch us like they are doing now, TSF family.

    We cannot afford any longer to be too weepy, we cannot afford to be too uncaring, we must walk the middle path…going forward by any means necessary.

  19. mizzo wrote:
    “Jason get over yourself and offer some damn solutions. What the heck are you thinking? You outline the problems, but aren’t coloring inside the lines.”
    ——————————————

    You have the gall to insult Jason, and yet all you offer as a “solution” is the standard, tired old refrain of “be a better parent to your kids.” Duh. No kidding genius. You think you’ve identified a “solution” that zillions of people haven’t thought of countless times over already? It might just help the family unit if half the black daddies in those very same families didn’t leave their children high and dry. That fundamental choice, at root level, cannot be blamed on white people or the “system.” Sorry. You guys need to listen to Bill Cosby, a man who has his head screwed on straight on these social issues.

  20. GrandNubian wrote:
    “By learning and applying the principles and philosphies of our traditional African societies, we can once again create harmony by adopting our true culture and solve our most deep-rooted problems.”
    ———————————————————————-

    Yes, and then you can have your very own nice, peaceful, blissful genocide, like they do this very moment in the Sudan, or recently had in Somalia and Rwanda. Yes sir, that African political and family infrastructure sure inspires love and brotherhood. Kunta Kinte ain’t pickin’ cotton for whitey anymore; he’s now butchering his own African brothers with a machete. So please, your waxing poetic about Africa might make a few of you racists all misty eyed and all, but it sure as hell ain’t reflected in reality.

  21. Solutions?

    First we need to officially diagnose the problem.

    Part of the undoing of the Civil Rights movement 1.0 was that there were differences of opinion as to what the end goal was.

    for some it was integration.

    for some it was economic equality

    for some it was personal gain/fame/ what have you.

    We can’t move forward until we agree on what we are trying to fix.

    Are we just trying to stop our sons (primarily) and daughters from dying.

    Or are we trying to prepare them for adulthood.

    Right.

    and what kind of adulthood are we preparing them for?

  22. Inkognegro

    I agree that a consentious must be attained, however, GrandNubian layed down in essence what the end goal should be. One hopes on the journey to that goal the youth is prepared to live in that state. To get there however one must have the proper vehicle, which is why every ethnic group has a rights of passage practice.

    If they program is correct, the kind of adulthood we achieve will be self evident. Also keep in mind…it never stops evolving, we should never stop evolving.

  23. Ok sankofa, I think we are in agreement then.

    now…the next question is…

    This program, who designs the curriculum, is it mandatory?

    how to we encourage parents who do not want to participate?

    im not trying to be pessimistic.

    Im asking legitimate questions

  24. Not to hijack the post but breaking news on Sean Taylor

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,314223,00.html

  25. Origin,

    Thanks, so much for his past caught up with him theory. I knew it was random. Home invasions are on the rise. Such a senseless killing.

    Back to the solutions. I’m really enjoying this conversation.

  26. GrandNubian Says:

    Asante (thanks) origin for the update……

    Also, thanks to michelle, mizzo, sankofa, TBR & Ink for the jewels you’ve dropped. I’m really ‘feelin’ this discussion.

  27. Well… I am not a big fan of polls, or surveys. “One, one cocoa full a basket: is the saying where I come from.

    I ascribe to the belief that gathering a few strategists together we create a vehicle utilizing different aspects from models already out there. This is the logistics/planning stage. The African community on a whole knows where we are, even though they may not understand how to get out from under the “pile”.

    Part of the planning includes disseminating the message to the neighbourhoods, through the age old standard…the barber shop, hair dressers and even the religious centres. The Million man march was a failure, not because of the propagandizing but because of the follow up. This is usually where the heavy lifting happens. The success was in the gathering of one million African men, some women and plenty of CIA and FBI agents.

    Lord knows we have enough radio station managers and newspaper editors and owners that are not all grabbing their ankles for Uncle Sam.

    We need to send “fishermen/women” out into the fields to gather other fishermen/women to teach people how to fish. We need to build boats in different waters, rafts even, as long as there are inflatable devices to handle the turbulent waters of America Inc., and that allows the people to fish and eat.

    The next step is to build and grow each boat, each fishing expedition and each technique, so we can bring in bigger and more fishes. This where we will get some early hits, due to the pace and reluctance of some families to come on board early. However, China’s his-story indicates that having a minimum fifty year plan, is sufficient in becoming the Giant she is today, so therfore…!

    As well, the parents may not all come in now, but as long as they know we are teaching their young (1) discipline (2) life skills (3)how to be respectable and responsible (4) “book learning” and other things without the African name attached it will make most a little bit more comfortable.

    (The strategy is to be visibly human centric from an African world view, instead of being visibly African centric, there is a difference and it tends to frighten the weak of heart).

    I hope you get the picture that’s hinted at here, we will need more than a blog space to develop the vehicle, but just look to the UNIA to see that what was done before can be done again. Also we are at the stage in our existence that we can put in safe guards to protect us from what caused the downfall of the UNIA, the Black Panthers and the earlier NOI.

    It was done before so it can be done again!

  28. Thanks guys………..but sista Miranda was the first to post the link. In the death of Sean Taylor article on dwils site. I just wanted to make sure that everyone got the info at TSF.

  29. Sankofa,

    You should write a book on this subject. I would be the first to by it. How do we organize and teach?

  30. That’s buy it. Sorry I can’t type.

  31. Michelle wrote:
    “Origin,
    Thanks, so much for his past caught up with him theory. I knew it was random. Home invasions are on the rise. Such a senseless killing.
    Back to the solutions. I’m really enjoying this conversation.”
    —————————————————————————–

    Do you have reading comprehension problems or something? The article on Taylor clearly states that the burglary wasn’t “random” but rather a pre-planned targeted burglary. Further, you don’t have any clue about the person who allegedly tipped off the assailants about Taylor’s home. For all you know this person could have had it in for Taylor due to some past incident (and hence Taylor’s past WOULD have caught up with him).

    In other words, you really know nothing about some underlying and most essential details. Despite your own drastic assumptions about the case, you jump all over anyone who might have an opposing theory, based on equally flimsy evidence. As usual, it’s fine for you to theorize and guess about what happened, but you damn anyone else who does the same unless they happen to agree with you. Yes, hypocrisy be thy middle name, Michelle.

  32. I don’t think I can add anything to this discussion because all of these comments are so on point. Its hard for me to even verbalize the issues I see personally and what I think needs to change…because its almost intimidating to do so. Its like a deep, deep hole with no end, but the only way things will ever change is to not be afraid and dig in.

  33. Michelle, those of old who know far more than you or I have overstood that, the more you give the more you receive. When it comes to “Sonum Bonum” … the greater good, one cannot put monetary value on the treasures we produce.

    I have some ideas, that I have synthisized from different modules but the models are out there. Hit me up at sankofad@yahoo.com and we can share some ideas.

  34. I believe you have to change the cultural paradigm which makes taking of lives so easy amongst many young black men who are children to young adults themselves. Popular Culture in many poor neighborhoods has created unintended problems along with the changing of technology which has made the African- American male obsolete. My uncle moved to Flint and was able to get a job in one of the many factories and within a few years he was able to buy a house and marry my Aunt (nearly 40 years) He made it up to supervisor and was able to retire into a gated community in New Tampa after nearly 33 years.

    After the 70’s and those type of jobs dried up that’s when you saw the hoplessness and the callous attitude towards life which is happening amongst many white males in rural and surburban areas (Columbine anyone?) in the last 10 years. Jealousy and evny has replaced hope and dreams and modern culture just reinforces that rift. I say watch “Paris Is Burning “about the gay balls in Harlem which started vouging for that same paradigm of 80’s excess of shows like “Dynasty” ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ and name – checking famous desingers and wanting money but their reality is totally different. We as Black People have played a dangerous game with our youth the past 40 years and now it’s come home to roost.

    Ending racism is noble but I think is wasted effort ,no amount of call-out tours and marches in bad neighborhoods is going to do the trick this time. Commerical Hip- Hop is a mirror on the poor inner city and to a degree black psyche. If 50 Cent, Snoop, Ying Yang Twins, Trina and Superhead’s career were ruined at this moment at 3:55 eastern time, Some black person would still die at the hands of another. We need to reject the white paternalistic culture of Amerikkka because it does not work for us and embracing diversity amongst African- Americans in our music and popular culture would help matters greatly but we need to let White American Culture and it’s emphasis on self- interest, money, power and addiction to trends and lack of concern for mankind because it’s bad for our mental, physical and moral health.

  35. Hey Mizzo,
    I just have one comment. We need more BLACK MALE MENTORS. I can’t tell you how many mentoring programs have told me that getting a black male mentor is almost next to impossible.

    One Boys and Girls Club Director told me that they hadn’t had any new black male mentors in over a year. We’re quick to complain but not quick for action.

    Jason Whitlock even talked about this in one of his editorials – he states that he serves as the spokesperson for his local Big Brothers/Big Sisters in Kansas City and says they’re lucky if they get 20 black big brothers a year. Now I know he isn’t the most liked in the black community, but he is doing something.

    Judge Hatchett stated the same thing. When asked during an interview what can we do to help our youth – specifically those in trouble – she says we really need people to do hands on mentoring. She stated that in Atlanta alone, they have over 1,000 black boys WAITING to be paired with a mentor at their local Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

    Now I know people have jobs and their own families – but mentoring has been shown to make a difference – even with youth who are already in trouble (so its never too late).

    So, if you have your own family and plan a family outing, why not invite a young black boy who has no father figure to join you? I don’t have alot of time myself, but I mentor a group of girls in the juvenile justice system by being a field trip chaperone.

    Contact your local Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Boys & Girls Club or visit mentoring.org to find a mentoring program in your area.

    Just my 2 cents.

  36. Thank you so much Tracey.

    This is something realistic. Your two cents are gold.

    I’ve coached baseball the last couple of years when I lived in MD. I’m going to do the same in PA. I would love to mentor.

  37. Your point is appreciated Tracey, in fact that is one way to affect the mind of a youth and create fisherman or women. It’s in situations like now, that we men have to step it up, put down the remote, the basket ball and the dumb bells. Start acting right. While our story’s revolutions have often been started by men, thy are uually been maintained by the efforts of the women…why? Because for the most part, the women do the little thngs well.

  38. Eric Says

    “I believe you have to change the cultural paradigm which makes taking of lives so easy amongst many young black men who are children to young adults themselves. Popular Culture in many poor neighborhoods has created unintended problems along with the changing of technology which has made the African- American male obsolete. My uncle moved to Flint and was able to get a job in one of the many factories and within a few years he was able to buy a house and marry my Aunt (nearly 40 years) He made it up to supervisor and was able to retire into a gated community in New Tampa after nearly 33 years.

    After the 70’s and those type of jobs dried up that’s when you saw the hoplessness and the callous attitude towards life which is happening amongst many white males in rural and surburban areas (Columbine anyone?) in the last 10 years. Jealousy and evny has replaced hope and dreams and modern culture just reinforces that rift. I say watch “Paris Is Burning “about the gay balls in Harlem which started vouging for that same paradigm of 80’s excess of shows like “Dynasty” ‘Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous’ and name – checking famous desingers and wanting money but their reality is totally different. We as Black People have played a dangerous game with our youth the past 40 years and now it’s come home to roost.”

    I’m glad you said that brotha. In grad school a did a report liking the rise in crime in big cities to the closing of many factories in the late 60 early 70s.

    Look at Gary indiana for example. There are no jobs at all. You are either a cop, nurse or a fast food worker.

    But its hard to get a job as a cop or nurse because no one quits those jobs. So what are young people going to do??? Even the educated ones can’t find jobs.

    Hell I’m educated and basically had to leave the North (Chicago) and move to the south because the job market has dried up.

    And its not just the one folks what about the older folks who once had jobs….but outsourcing and factories closing and moving to the south overseas has taken away those jobs.

    Trust me crime will only get worse in america as we are beginning to become a country that produces nothing.

    In the next 40 years we will be only a service sector country.

    Even the most educated and experienced of folks will have to take penny annie jobs. I believe the future if you are educated you will either work in education, law or the medical field or take less paying service sector jobs. Because nothing else will exist.

    The so called professional field will dry up.

    This makes it even more important for black folks to say F the american dream working for corporate american and to create their own businesses. Because you might be sending your child of to college in the future only to graduate and be without a job.

  39. Also whats going on in rural areas………..poverty, unemployment and under pay. Will soon happen to the rest of america at this rate of outsourcing and job loss. The 1 Billion dollar company has become the 30 billion dollar company with outsourcing.

    We better get our stuff together.

    As the great James Brown said:

    “We got to get together
    And buy some land
    Raise our food just like the man
    Save our money, do like the Mob
    Put up your fight right on the job”

  40. “This makes it even more important for black folks to say F the american dream working for corporate american and to create their own businesses.

    This is precisely the point Origin. I initially went to school for Business Administration and realized that I would never cut it in the corporate world…heck; I knew some of my European classmates were not going to make it in that environment.

    We have to change our paradigm for sure, but we have to know the business of our economics and the economics of our business. Like Marcus said, “look to Africa…”

    Right now Africa is an emerging power in the world economically, only the racist next door or the DavidMacs of the world don’t think so. This is why Europe and Asia is taking their internecine war fare to Africa….for trade. Right now Africa is yearning to connect with her children, but we are to busy dinning in the belly of the beast. The Caribbean and countries South of America In. are stepping up, but we are still drinking that kool aid called the “American dream.”

    My over standing is that when the New World Order is finalized, the only think left will be jobs in the service sector, the technology field, the trade field, or as gate keepers to the emperor.

    Part of the new Rites of Passage program is to be relevant. Part of our task as teachers is to teach the youth and our selves to create opportunities to compete with the others ON OUR OWN TERMS for ourselves! After all, most of us already bring in revenues for big corporations, why not cut out the middle man?

  41. Eric D,

    I have the Paris Is Burning dvd, so I know exactly what you are talking about.

    Sanfofa,

    I will definately drop you an email. Gotta go to work soon but you will hear from me. Thanks. Always eager to meet and learn from new people.

  42. So true brotha Sankofa. Africa is a new market.

    These culture robbers have come back to finish that rapping of the continent.

    Have you read th ebook White Wealth, Black Labor.

    The arthur talks about the transfer of wealth over the last 500 years from Africa to almost all the countries of the world.

  43. Make that the transfer and stealing of wealth.

  44. No! I haven’t read that book, but as a transplanted Jamaican I can tell you what it feels like being “colonized” by modern pirates. And trust me…the Caribbean is not independent. Go on the CIA website and check out how much offices they and those NGOs have just in Jamaica alone.

    Check out this blog http://cockpitcountry.blogspot.com/ and you wonder why the West is wealthy and the rest of the world is not.

  45. One thing that needs to be done is for African Americans to get a head start on educating their own children. Teach them some about real life before it comes and hits them. Funding for schools is continued to be cut. P.E. used to be regular in elementary and middle schools. Today, diabetes is up among all racial and ethnic groups. The education system in America isn’t about educating, it’s about creating test takers and more workers for jobs. One of the biggest thing that I’ve always hated, American history is taught from a totally European view. To see the history books, the only African Americans worth noting are Martin Luther King, Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, and Eli Whitney. In tenth grade, I was lucky enough to have a black male Muslim history teacher. This was at the time when the Malcolm X movie came out. He took the class to go see the movie. Many of the whites wanted to take the opportunity to skip class. The professor was smart enough to schedule it for 7 pm, after school. I was also lucky enough to have a twelfth grade teacher that didn’t freak out when I decided to make my senior history paper about the beneficial things that the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense did for their communities.
    Arts have been cut in schools. They don’t deem the arts to be as important as learning technology. Arts can help give people an outlet for expression. Arts help improve the society as a whole and can help bridge the gap between different cultures. They also can help give a child a path for which to follow in life.
    I also agree about the lack of good teachers. Some of them are just trying to collect a check. A lot of white teachers try to just ignore the black kids in class. There is just an expectation that black kids, particularly black males, aren’t worth trying to teach, even in lower grades. This leads the child to believe it also. If a parent doesn’t step in, this can lead a child down the path to self-destruction.
    We need to wake up and recognize that the propaganda all around us. The mainstream media feeds us loads of crap, and a lot of people just eat it up. The news media tells us that we are all incapable of being civilized. This is beamed around the world and then other people around the world believe the same about African Americans. They take one example and hold it up as an example of the whole race. (for example, the affirmative action myth. The truth is, white people’s affirmative action is much more effective – the practice of having your parents go to a job and get a hook-up for their unqualified child.) They tell us that buying material objects will bring fulfillment to our lives, when in reality, they’re just aiming for us to fill coffers of already rich people that could care less about us. If you need material objects to make you feel better, than your life needs to be re-evaluated.

  46. Notice the interesting absence of trolls.

  47. Allen there’s a reason for that ;)

    I wanted this to be a real discussion.

  48. As it has been made abundantly clear by all of the comments is that the situation is extremely complicated. A few things to consider: The nature of education has changed. The aspects of education that make us effective citizens such have civics and history have been eliminated or deemphasized to the point that (on the larger scale) our rights are being stripped from us in our faces and many of us don’t recognize what is happening because they lack the proper background. Even college has in many ways been reduced to a trade school environment. If it doesn’t teach you a skill that doesn’t lead directly to dollars then its of no value.
    This one’s gonna hurt, but it has to be said. A consistant state of oppression requires some cooperation from the oppressed. I don’t believe anyone is born a racist, nor does the fact that cultural conditioning and the social construct that is racism going to be ineffective simply because internalizing that conditioning operates against the best interests of the person being conditioned. There still exists some very deep strains of disrespect, mistrust and contempt that many of us direct toward each other and even ourselves. What makes this hard to get at is that we tend to view this as some sort of conscious choice that some of us make to be traitors or worse. This leads only to denial and withdrawal, but no solutions. (interestingly, the one who yells ‘Traitor!” may be the sickest of all). Until we can create an environment where we can address and accept that sabotaging and self defeating behavior should be expected given the circumstances, a form of mental illness as opposed to simply sinister or selfish (immoral) behavior then we will continue to struggle to get beyond it.
    We should be concerned by such things as Hip Hop to the extent that such things are not simply the product of the artists but of producers and distributers who determine what we consume and inform the artists what types of art are ‘consumable’. Those folks by and large aren’t us. Think too about what video games are teaching our children.
    This comment could be ten times longer, but I’ll stop here.

  49. Michelle, I have watched “Paris Is Burning” many times and it broke my heart to see many of these young kids in the late 80’s who were casted aside by their parents for being gay embracing the worst excess of captialism and moral rot in this society, and if black and latino gay teens and young adults were embracing Reaganese values this in 1986-1990 what do you think of hetrosexuals during that era? I was a 70-80’s kid and saw the damage of Geeko’s “greed is good” anology. We need to regain our children and reject these influences it may be too late for the adults of that era but it is not too for the children we can fix this.

  50. Great picture you have there, I believe it to be the Little Rock 9, that started out as 10. Talk about some people making some real sacrifice. Life and death sacrifice.

    My solution. I think we need a deity that represents us! How can you use a god that both you and your oppressor worship? Our source of strength, in the now and the everlasting should not be europeanized or Arab influenced. It should be a god of our creation, not one introducedto us by others.

    Education is important, but you have to filter out the european feel good portion. We need a life long committment to knowledge and education.

  51. RickVa

    I don’t believe any of the regulars here will disagree that we do play a part in our present state. However, we should first try to recognize there is a disease, then identify the source of the disease (not the symptom or out come, we know that too) then recognize what we are currently or have been doing to continually perpetuate the diseased state.

    Too often the patient refuses to deal with the source of the illness (White Supremacy) and are too undisciplined to stop perpetuating or creating (cultural disassociation and self hate) the environment. Please over stand that we are his-stories and our –stories largest victim of psychic and physical abuse AND we have never had therapy to recover. If you ask any psychiatrist about that they will tell you of the litany of mal-adjustments any victim would face. Moving on and getting over the abuse would be a problem because we have never had any one compensated us or alleviated our psychic pain.

    Also I hope when the family talks about education that it is over stood that book learning in the “institution” is just one path of many that leads to enlightenment. This is where education is misunderstood.

    Finally we do need to move away from just identifying racism as a barrier to our self determination. We have to see this as a system set up to continually deny people classified as a “color” by other people classified as a “color” to acquire what is our God-given rights as sentient, living, intelligent and striving beings.

    When we say White Supremacy, our views and approach will allow us to see a bigger picture. But to understand the picture we have to read Neely Fullers Book, “The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept”—-there are 3 basic types of people in the known universe, that being white people, non-whites and white supremacists/racists. In his explanation, white people are “people who classify themselves as ‘white’ and have been classified as ‘white’, accepted as ‘white’… and who generally function as ‘white’ in all of the nine major areas of activity.

    Non-whites are “people who have been classified as ‘non-white’, and/or who generally function as ‘non-white’ in their relationship with each other…” White Supremacists/ racists are “people who classify themselves as ‘white’, and who generally function as ‘white’, and who practice racial subjugation (based on ‘white’-‘non-white’, at any time, in any place, in any one, or more of the nine major areas of activity.” The 9 Areas of People Activity are (1) Economics, (2) Education, (3) Entertainment, (4) Labor, (5) Law, (6) Politics, (7) Religion, (8) Sex and (9)War

    In addition we also nee to read AN AMERICAN DILEMMA: THE NEGRO PROBLEM AND MODERN DEMOCRACY by Gunnar Myrdal if you can still find a copy. In it Myrdal states…”[T]here is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of white Americans desire that there be as few Negroes as possible in America. If the Negroes could be eliminated from America or greatly decreased in numbers, this would meet the whites’ approval–provided that it could be accomplished by means which are also approved.”

    To understand anything less is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result!

  52. The dialogue here is awesome…I am enjoying being a student again.

  53. Thanks Sankofa for your comments. I didn’t mean to imply that the regulars were unaware, I just thnk we need to constantly remind ourselves of the state that we are in. Of particular importance is to remember that we are still immersed in the diseased environment making healing even that much more difficult. Even God wrote off the first generation of Israelites to emerge from slavery. Also; I am familiar with Myrdal. I’ll look into Fuller.

  54. Not sure if this thread is dead, but I wanted to respond to thebrotherreport:

    ‘You brought up a memory from my elementary school days. My dad used to always say “You never know where me or your mother may be, so stay on your toes” One day I’m in class (doing the right thing thankfully) and who walks in and sits in the back of the class but my dad, I was still nervous, but I was thankful that I was blessed with a father that cared about my well-being that much. I did it to my son when he was about 2 in day care just to let them know that I’m more than the dad that just picks his child up when his mom can’t get him.’

    This is something all of us can do. Not just walk in during classes, but volunteer to chapperone for field trips and stuff. I used to do it more, but I hated giving up my free time, you get so little of it as husband, employee, father, student… but I think I’ll make more of an effort to get involved. And that isn’t a black thing (since I’m not black) but every parent needs to make that effort.

  55. Well said GMP I couldn’t agree more.

  56. See this is what I’m talking about. We are discussing solutions. Thanks GMP.

    Some of my fondest memories of my children are seeing them interact with their peers and smiling because their daddy took time out.

    We reminisce of those times as our children mature, but the basis for psychological stability is driven home by just being there as parents.

    That’s what our kids need. It ain’t some big ass bank account. The little things mean so much.l

  57. Again to thebrotherreport:

    ‘One day my mom sat me down and told me why she beat us, she told us that her and my dad chastized us because they loved us and wanted us to do the right things. But what she said made even more sense, she said, “If I don’t beat you, eventually the cops will, and it won’t be with a belt.”

    I pulled that on my older son just the other day, tried to explain to him if I didn’t care I’d not even bother punishing him. Tried to break it down that not punishing is so much easier then going through the effort of grounding them and taking away all their fun stuff. I really try to abstain from physical punishment, in my younger days as a parent I was possibly a little too rough, got kind of caught up in the moment. So that is a last resort now.

    Grandnubian –
    ‘When our youth reach a certain age they’re expected to somehow automatically “transform” into an adult, with limited guidance, especially coming from a broken home. This is why communities are/were so important in African culture. The community (village) took part in raising that child. If the mother or father was not around (which was rare), it was not a problem.’

    This is the part that scares me so much as a parent. I remember my 16-21 yrs, and I really don’t think I’d have survived if I hadn’t ended that era as a parent. You don’t automatically transform into an adult, and I have no idea how it is supposed to be done, having a son didn’t make me an adult (nor teach me patience). I just know I was surrounded by (and joining in) with a bunch of people my age and looking back it seemed our only intent was to not survive to reproduce. I had pretty decent parents, and a sort of stable family (’til 16 at least), grew up with the proper values. I used to tell people not to judge my parents by me, they raised me right, I just refused to listen.

    So you can raise them right, teach them to think and make the right choices, but in the end it seems to be a crapshoot.

  58. I heard Do Great Good was helping Big Brothers Big Sister by donating a portions of revenue to the.

    Great cause & beats Bing for me!!!

    Bill

    Check them out – http://www.DoGreatGood.com

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