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Black Crimes: Wake Up Parents
1/31/2014 12:33:37 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Last week, the Charleston Branch of the NAACP held a community forum on Crime and Violence to receive community input on ways to combat crime in our community. Less than twenty four hours later, another killing took the life of a young black male student on SC State campus. According to news report, the perpetrator was 19 years old and from Charleston. Just one week before, another 19 year old was arrested in connection with the murder of a young mother in Red Top. Y’all can kick back and think all is well in the Holy city but all that is going on is not holy. The recent rash of crimes is just the tip of the iceberg. The perpetrators and even many of the recent victims involved teens or young adults.

How can we eliminate crime in the Black community reverberated throughout the forum. The audience had no single answer or quick fixes for the crimes that are so invasive and out of control in the Black community. The problem is not just a Charleston or North Charleston problem, it’s a national problem. Easy access to guns by teens is an indicator that gun control is out of control. Illegal gun possession by teens needs to be addressed immediately. Where are children getting these illegal weapons? And, why are so many on the streets in black communities?

No one has the guts to stand up to the National Rifle Association because they are a major political force to be reckoned with. According to the Association’s website, they are “defenders of the second amendment” which sanctions citizens’ rights to bear arms. I am not laying blame at the NRA’s feet for illegal guns and crimes in the Black community but they should earmark some of their “campaign funds” to help educate and train youths. The reasons that lead so many of our youths into the dark corners of crime are complex. The great majority of Blacks live orderly lives within a system that has not been so orderly and kind to them.

The old proverbial African quote “it takes a village to raise a child” has fallen on deaf ears in recent years. Where is the village? Are y’all in your big house on the water watching your 60 inch TV? Do you care about what is happening to the youths? The Bible says, “Where there is no vision the people perish.” Many of the young people who commit crimes have lost their vision. Visions destroyed early on by a dual system that led Black children to believe they would not “amount to nothing”. Some perpetrators are the product of young parents who themselves did not have adequate parenting skills.

That is one reason why we must do a better job of educating children. I am not casting blame solely on our educational system for the many missteps of our youths but many of them that are involved in crimes are those that are uneducated or undereducated. They come from failing schools or schools that have failed them.

Many live in or take refuge in blighted neighborhoods. They hail from the same neighborhoods that generally go unnoticed by city, county and state government when it comes to spending tax dollars for improvements.

We have got to find a way to save young black males from street violence, drugs, prison and from themselves. If not, we are going to wake up one morning and Black males will be extinct. We need to restore in children the same confidence, values and work ethics that successfully guided their ancestors.

We can’t throw in the towel because our parents did not throw in the towel with us. Parents, it is hard work raising a child but you signed up for the job when you decided to have Johnny.

You remember, little cute Johnny? You can’t turn your head when you find a gun in Johnny’s room. You can’t take money from Johnny when you know Johnny doesn’t have a job. You can’t have Johnny talking back to you and disrespecting you in your home. And, you must love Johnny enough to turn him in when you know he has committed a crime.

Ultimately, it is your responsibility to be a good parent. Taxpayers should not have to shoulder your responsibility. Wake Up Parents! You have a job to do. It doesn’t come with unemployment benefits or leave. It’s a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 20 year responsibility. Either you are up for the job or you are not. If you are not, then stop making babies! That’s one way to solve crime.

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