October 13, 2009

"Wave your hands in the air-Wavem like you just don't care~"

photo by JMD

We all come here perfect in peace until we gasp for that first breath.

No malady or physical challenge robs us of that. We all come here with promise.

Yes, horrible things happen to good people.

Menacing people hurt good and bad people every few seconds. Then there is the law of nature. Then there is "only the strong survive".

It is the way that has been since the dawn of time.

Chicago has a new {well, not really so new} label as a violent urban city.

Chicago Public School students have died every week for quite a while...I suppose over 30 weeks. I must say, I was glad my child spent the summer away, it upped his survival chances quite a bit.

Being young and black encourages your statistical demise three-fold.

It is a sad assessment of our culture and society's treatment of it - BUT, it is not simply a racial factor. People of color are not the only ones in the court system, but typically the only group represented in the correctional system. But that is not what I would like to discuss today.

There have always been evil nemesis affecting societal growth and progression.

As we have evolved, there are those of us who have somehow missed the train, and decided to "get theirs" by any means necessary - mainly by taking whats yours.

For years, I have watched the criminal culture come and go from my office. Of the hundreds of thousands I have supervised, there have been few successes.

Examining the way people behave allows us to see the fine line between us all.

My challenge to you today is, after centuries of misconduct, what can we do to promote a healthier, happier, gentler,less violent society?

Penal institutions alone are not working. Community outreach was becoming effective until the bottom dropped out of our economy.

Is there another way? Can we look for answers while we are all fighting for our financial lives?

You have heard me say this before, but I so support a global effort. Education, in my view, is the only way.

I shared on a social networking site Saturday, that I did a bit of grocery shopping Saturday morning. A downtown location with a very integrated population, so, the inventory is spectacular. You can purchase a range of goodies from all over the globe.

Before I could even get out of my car, a mid-aged couple of at least mid to late 30's, their 18ish year old and a toddler walked in with me. The man was about 5'4,wearing a black hat black jacket and jeans. I was glancing quickly. If you live in an urban setting and are a parent, you know that you tend to ponder a large scope of things while walking anywhere. You attempt to survey your area for safety, purposefully place your keys somewhere you will remember, try to account for the items you came there for and also try to be in folks video, after all we are human creatures. The woman was of same height, wearing a tan colored jacket and she had long braids. The teen was very tall with a brown hoody. He too had braids and was rapping. LOUDLY. The toddler was screaming "Shut UP!!!" After every one of the teen's verses, he would scream, "Shut UP!!!". I could not help but think the same, about both of them, so when I entered the store I went in the opposite direction hoping I navigated away from them so I would not be pissed in the store.

No such luck. As karma would have it, we bumped and bumped and bumped. The teen never shutting up, the toddler had by this time given in and was learning vile spew and the parents never uttered a single syllable.

No matter where I turned, I had to see the display. Finally, with my list almost complete, I ran to the deli for my son's pound-o-honey-roasted-turkey meat. Almost next to be served when "Hip-Hop Thug Life" and his parents approached. {Explicative}

He was STILL rapping.

By now, he was entertaining the poor baby: "YOU gotta throw em up!" "You gotta! Yeh boy, you gotta yell out that gangsta sh**"

I was then able to garner a more descriptive angle to this family picture. The dad's black hat had rhinestone embroidered writing on it. "R.I.P Kenny"

Apparently this was a "Thug Life" family. There would be no shushing, or deterrence because that was their lifestyle.

No one to intervene. No chance at all for that child to grow into his potential. No Way Out.

As I grabbed my order, the teen was hip-hopping past me. His parents were far from ear distance. I, in a loud whisper, rolled my eyes and said "You need to hold that down up in here". I said this knowing that potentially I could lose my life over an utterance as folks have been put down for less. But the teen, happy in his antics, just wavered his hand and hip-hopped on, the toddler running close behind.

Again, I ask, how do we tackle the problem of our youth when it begins within their homes with their parents? Education. Educate the moms in the hospital, educate the dads in the auto store. Education=Respect for yourself, your family, your friends and those you have no hold on. If I respect myself, I can then, in turn, respect you - right or wrong.

Adorable babies should be adorable babies, not thugs-in-waiting.

Here's to no more "Thug Life" babies - Cheers ~

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