Friday, September 21, 2007

Jena Six: The Day After

I don't normally comment on comments to my own blog (it's kinda silly when you think about it), but after scanning over today's comments on AverageBro Blogs Live! From Jena, LA, I think some people have it twisted here.

Contrary to what some might think, I have presented a boatload of solutions here on this blog, time after time. I wouldn't expect those of you visiting for the first time to know this, but damn, give me some benefit of the doubt.

I am actively a part of the very solutions that I advocate. These include, but certainly are not limited to coaching, tutoring, mentoring, church outreach, working with the homeless, spreading information via this blog, and last but not least, marriage, fidelity, and raising my own kids. It would be ludicrous, not to mention wildly hypocritical of me to spout off rhetoric without backing it up in my personal life. Trust me, my credentials are legit.

My post about the Jena Six, and specifically, some of my comments about the excessive partying down in Alexandria, and the overall Freaknik atmosphere struck a few nerves (thanks to this post somehow ending up on Michael Baisden's freaky-deaky singles website MingleCity). Then again, if I was so baseless in my criticism of the seemingly misguided intentions yesterday, why have the black radio airwaves, from Russ Par, to Warren Valentine, to Rev' Al himself, inundated with discussion about the lackadaisical approach of many march attendees, Baisden's perhaps misguided influence (the man did sponsor a pre-party and book signing for this march), and the long term effects of this march? Call me a hater, but if some of the very men at the forefront of this movement are echoing the same sentiments, then just maybe I was onto something.

Many people have mentioned that now Congressman Jefferson, Maxine Waters, and others are taking this issue to Capitol Hill as a result of the march, as if that somehow validates the mission. Bullshit! These folks are elected officials. It's their JOB!!!! If Jefferson wasn't so busy stealing money from Africans and stashing it in his freezer, he might have done something for his constituents sooner. Let's not forget, Mychal Bell has been in jail since December 2006.

On the flip side, I may have undervalued the long term effect that this event might have had on its' younger attendees. I consider community service an obligation today, precisely because my parents lead by example and took me to many such events as a child. Could the Jena Six really lead young people to lives of activism? Maybe, maybe not. But considering how kids are today and the role that technology pays in informing people of issues today, doing something more structured to guide these students once they returned home just might have been a good idea.

Then again, this is just one black man's opinion. And we know what they say about opinions.

Still, if you really want to help, be proactive, that's all I'm saying.

Think about it: we're so busy trying to rescue our kids from jail, or defending them when shot by police, that we don't bother working with them at an early enough age to present them with other ways of live that might prevent them from landing in those very predicaments in the first place. That's why tutoring/mentoring is so important. If a black child still can't read by the time he's in 10th grade, then eventually, given today's economy, he's gonna end up in jail anyway. It's not a happy message, but it's damn sure true. Why else do you think prison systems plan their future capacities by looking at current day 4th grade reading scores? There's not really any getting around this.

Be proactive.

If you're in the DC area, come out and support me, and dozens of other brothers who are taking a proactive approach on changing our communities, rather than waiting for the next atrocity, and the next march. It's an endless cycle.

Help me break it by becoming a tutor/mentor in the University of Maryland's MIMAUE Mentoring Program. Help is still needed.

For all those who support my PoV, thanks for being open minded. For those who didn't, please, tell me, exactly what are YOU doing about the problem, outside of flaming?

Now comment on that.

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