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It's About What's Important and What's Not
8/3/2016 11:12:46 AM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

Every time I think things can’t get any worse, they do. I travel to Houston often so whenever something happens there, it’s big news to me. I am talking about the tragic shooting deaths of ex-NFL Linebacker Antonio Armstrong and his wife Dawn by their sixteen year old son.

Ironically, Antonio died at Memorial Hermann Hospital; the same hospital where my life was saved. By all accounts, the Armstrong family is being referred to as an “outstanding family” and “All American Family”. As of today, the motive has not been released.

The murders are still hot off the press but from what I am hearing, the motive may be tied to some Air Jordan shoes. Now, that is what “dey” say. So, I guess I will have to wait and see. As devastating and tragic the loss may be, if it’s over sneakers, it becomes even more tragic if that’s possible. Generally, I don’t write on an issue until the facts are in but this story is just too hot to drop and linked to my opening of school story. It’s about what’s important and what’s not.

Antonio Armstrong was a great football player. He played football for Texas A&M. According to the University’s Athletic Department, Armstrong earned first-team All-Southwest Conference honors in 1993 and 1994; Defensive Player of the Game honors in the 1994 Cotton Bowl (vs. Notre Dame) and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in 1995. Armstrong never lost a game on Kyle Field and helped his team extend the then-longest home winning streak to 26 games. He also served as an assistant pastor at an area church in Houston.

As I pen this article, there are moms home thinking about the opening of school and where the money will come from for school clothes. And then there are the moms who go all out robbing Peter to pay Paul back later in the fall, borrowing from payday lenders just to make sure their children have the latest and greatest back to school wear, shoes, hair extensions, etc. Some families live above their means so their children can have the best. As a parent, I get wanting your children to do better than what you did but providing more must be tempered with common sense.

Today’s children are different not because they were born that way; it’s because parents made them that way. The more you give the more they want. The fresh smell has barely worn off the last shoes you bought your child before the latest “must have” fresh out of China with a tattooed on label to authenticate is being marketed at the mall.

Production costs on goods are low in the overseas market and sold at an astronomical price in America. The fashion industry is being fueled by the youth. I am a proud Baby Boomer. It’s hard for me to walk into a store and find something fashionable and below the knees. The fashion industry has no interest in me. I am on my way out so they cater to the youth. It’s sort of like the tear up jeans that’s trending in today’s fashion. Baby boomers would not be caught dead wearing such attire. It was all about cleaned, starched and pressed to impress. Baby Boomers wore mini-skirts back in the day but I tell ya’, they are even shorter now. I know y’all didn’t ask me, you never do but some of y’all bloomers are longer than the skirts ya’ wear and some of y’all ain’t wearing any bloomers at all. Your little girls are watching YOU!

While all of this is going on, you have no intellectual connection to the outside world. You are so caught up into “lookin’ good” you forgot to get something in your head. Don’t expect to put an expensive dress on dumbness and expect intelligence. You can’t dress up dumbness. You will recognize dumbness every time he opens his mouth. Wake up folks! Voting is the key to changing things. There are consequences to having a fool in the White House.

Let’s not lose our values and perspectives on life. How many of you kept your children up to watch the recent political conventions? Children need a well-rounded education so they know, understand, and confront issues facing them in this chaotic world. That’s what’s important! Judging from the recent events this summer with the nightclub shootings, shootings of unarmed black men and police officers, it may get worse before it gets better. Racism is a systemic problem and runs deep in America.

Parents, it’s more about values than what’s trending in clothes, phones and video games. And, what the heck is this Pokemon phenomenon? Y’all better get a grip on things. Some of what’s trending is going to get your children killed.

School will open in a few weeks. Stop fretting about what you don’t have. Give your child what you have—LOVE! Most children would rather you be there for them showing love than your piling on expensive stuff and absent.

The Armstrong Family, hard-working, providing for their family—DEAD at 42!!. Sometimes all that you do and all that you give just isn’t good enough! R.I.P.

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