Young, Gifted and on Crack

By Beverly Gadson-Birch 

It’s been raining cats and dogs for the past two months. I am not a rainy-day person. I feel like I have been held captive in my home for the better part of the summer.

It has been difficult planning outdoor activities. Is there anyone other than me who feels cheated out of the lazy, hazy days of summer? While the rain has held some residents at bay or created temporary delays, others were out in the community raining down terror.

My column has always been about keeping it real. There have been three double homicides within several weeks in the community and not a single outcry from leaders and elected officials. How many of these senseless, drug related deaths is it going to take? Wake up parents! Wake up ministers! Wake up community leaders! Wake up elected officials? Wake up educators! Wake up and stay WOKE!!

Several days ago, two men were shot to death in a pickup truck in what police believe to be drug related. There appears to be an increase over the past few years of drug deals gone bad, particularly in the black community, resulting in deaths. Many of the victims have been between the ages of 16 and, 28 which is very disturbing. Mothers are losing too many sons and sons too many fathers. I continue to support education, job training and economics as keys in turning young lives around; but, you can’t reach children if you don’t teach them. Parents, stop making excuses for your children’s behavior! Stop spending more time on your purple hair than at the daycare. You need to spend more time in the early development of your children. Ultimately, you are responsible for your children, not the city, not the state and not the school system. YOU ARE!!  How would you know if your child is receiving a quality education if you never visit the school? How would you know where your child is if you don’t set limitations? Don’t tell me you can’t do anything with your child!  If you can’t, who do you think can?  It is your responsibility! If you don’t want the responsibility, then perhaps you need to refrain from having children.

Children cannot raise themselves. If manners are not taught early on in a child’s development, they grows up not knowing what manners are. Do you follow me? Parents, you can give your children too much of the niceties of life. They have their own room, private bath, stereo, gaming consoles, television, cell phone, computer, and the latest and greatest tennis shoes. And when you tell them to make up their bed, they just go “ballistic” on you. They move when they want to move. They mouth off and mumble under their breath.  Parents, you know what Johnnie is doing in your home. Most parents do a good job getting their children from conception to maturation. And as for those young people who figure they have life all figured out, remember one day you may grow up and have children. What will you do when your children fail to listen to you? Think about it, young people! You are living the life of Riley—a comfortable life. You don’t pay rent. Cable service is free. You get to pick and choose what you want to eat. You have access to a car that does not run on water. Young people, contrary to what you might think, parents foot the bill for gas and insurance so you can drive to school and after school practice. In case you did not know, your parents had to catch a bus or a ride to work to provide the conveniences you now enjoy. And how do you repay your parents? You are sexting, texting and drugging.

Young people, the next time you think you know it all, visit the juvenile detention center or the jail on Leeds Avenue and see how many youths like yourself thought they knew it all. Stop thinking “old folks” don’t know “nothing”. Failure to listen could cost you your life as it has so many. What an expensive lesson!

Will somebody please tell me why young gifted and black are now young, gifted and on crack?

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