During the last two weeks, the Defender has provided glaring introspections of the violence our young folk are inflicting upon one another. And that look was anything but encouraging.
The experts we discussed the issue with concurred that home life is the largest contributor to the misbehavior of so many of our youth. Maybe those experts, such as Reg Weaver of the National Education Association, didn’t tell us many parents were the contributors, as much as he confirmed it.
We all know that there is something of gargantuan proportions wrong in a home when the mother of a youngster who has just killed someone describes her son as a “good boy.” No! “Good boys” don’t kill people. “Good boys” don’t even carry guns. If any of these killers were “good boys” then 17 Chicago parents wouldn’t have had to bury their school age sons.
“Good boys” are those who obey their parents, show up at school, cause no trouble and ultimately become productive citizens. And good parents don’t allow their teen aged sons to own guns. As Black folk we can never allow those who would commit heinous acts against our own, or any people, to be thought of in a sterling way.
Parents must begin doing a better job with socializing the young. Surely, U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) is not alone when he decries the fact that young folk aren’t attending church like they were in previous decades.
While a church presence is far from a guarantee of anti-violence, it can help folk establish a foundation that helps them understand and navigate the hazards of life without shooting someone. Davis noted that there are students whose parents haven’t bothered to buy them what we once called “church clothes.”
Yet, we hear about shootings involving caps that cost as much as a car payment. That brings to mind the adage of the old preachers during the 60s who chided us with “Negroes buy what they want and beg for what we need.” History taught us we will shoot someone for a pair of expensive sneakers, so why should we believe killings wouldn’t result from owning other high-priced apparel.
This space has been used to promote the idea of teaching non-violent conflict resolutions in the schools; apparently it is the kind of teaching that needs to go into the homes.
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