Happy Belated Holidays,
I know we've been on hiatus for quite a while, but between the holidays, work, and school we've been swamped. The headlines have been plentiful, and just when I was going to do a pointless post on the "Puff the Magic Negro" song, I came across this Wall Street Journal article on murder rates among Black American teens! It's outrageous. In case you don't have time to read the short article, here's the summary:
"Murders rose among black teens in 2006 and 2007 as overall homicides dropped compared with the previous year. And the 2000-07 rate of increase among black teens was more than twice the rate of increase among white teens, the study found. An overwhelming proportion of the killings involve black-on-black crime. James Alan Fox, co-author of the study, said the cuts in law-enforcement programs and activities geared toward youth disproportionately affect African-Americans because they are more likely than their white counterparts to come from communities where there is inadequate adult supervision, high rates of single-parent homes, inferior schools and widespread gang activity. "Cuts in support for youth have a much greater impact on black families who don't have alternatives," Mr. Fox said. "
Now, we can all blame the Bush administration for cutting programs that benefited underprivileged neighborhoods, but I must admit that since I've been on my own, I've done my best to stay away from the 'hood. Not because I'm in any way ashamed of where I've come from, but because it's depressing. I always wanted to be the person to go back and volunteer and start a non-profit to benefit my community, but I haven't done ANYthing since I left but benefit myself. I know that if we want change in our communities it starts with us.
Now don't get me wrong, I do not assume that all of you buppies came from the "urban mecca's" that are responsible for these despicable crimes, nor do I think that we should be the sole saviors of the black race (I mean parents and educators should share some responsibility, right?), but I do know that each of these communities would benefit if we donated some of our time and money to volunteering and giving back to children in need (through education and social organizations). I do not feel that the situation is hopeless. After this past year, neither should you. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, is hopeless.
What are your thoughts? What are the causes for these numbers? What are some possible solutions? Do you still identify with these communities even though you may be living in an entirely different community? Do tell...
Happy Belated Holidays,