A blogger that I frequent spoke eloquently, but painfully, about the constant presence of death in his life, as his work brings him face to face with it often. He bemoaned the violence in the black community, and our seeming inability to curb it, or to defeat it.
I think we can all agree: The answer to violence is a complex one. But if we are to combat it, and combat it successfully, I believe that my response to this blogger outlines some of those elements that will need to be present if we're to succeed. I would be interested in your take: What do you feel is missing, and what must we as a society do to rescue our youth, especially our black ones?
Here's my response:
I hear your frustration. It's mine as well. To be sure: The problem is a difficult one to grapple with.
Had we the power to look ahead, to see how far the infection would spread without intervention, we could have taken steps then.
But we didn't.
As we concentrated our energies and collective resolve to fight and defeat the external forces that sought to destroy us, we neglected the forces from within.
The problem as I see it is this: GIGO.
"GIGO (gī'gō, gē'-)
n. Computer Science
An informal rule holding that the integrity of output is dependent on the integrity of input."
Or to put it more graphically, "Garbage In, Garbage Out."
We are what we value. And values are instilled early in a person's life. He or she that gets there first, gets to shape the eventual outcome of that person.
It works that way most of the time, but, of course, not all the time. There are glaring exceptions. Always, there are glaring exceptions to any rule, solution, or remedy.
Having an intact family is not always the solution. It's the family that models certain values, and pass them on to their offspring.
And we know that generations have rebelled against certain values, but mainly did so because the values that their parents sought to inculcate, the parents, themselves, didn't follow, and the hypocrisy invalidated the values, and brought about a backlash.
As you suggested with the "village," nothing short of restructuring our society, and the family model, will bring the healing we seek.
It's not a black problem or a white problem; the problem of our youth is a national problem.
Until we see it from that perspective, I'm afraid that the problem will persist, and grow exponentially.
We all have to get involved in the rearing of our children. We first have to see them as the national treasure that they are, and put a large part of our energies and resources into spiritually, intellectually, and physically enhancing each successive generation.
We can no longer leave that task to the nuclear family construct. Children need many mommies and daddies from those in society who have lived long enough to gain wisdom, as well as intellectual and spiritual prowess.
4 years ago