Dr. Boyce: Black Teen Flash Mobs Are Social Chickens Coming Home to Roost

black teens, flash mobs, african americans, michael nutter

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse University – Scholarship in Action

Like the rest of the country, I couldn’t help but notice the occurrence of black teen ‘”flash mobs” around the country.  For those who haven’t been made hip to the game, flash mobs are random groups of people who get together and do “stuff.”

The acts committed by flash mobs can be naïve and cute, like singing the Star Spangled Banner on one leg while drinking a Pepsi.  They can also be nasty and violent, like beating down anyone who happens to be passing by.

We  can leave it to teenagers to find creative and potentially frightening ways to use the amazing power of social media.  Black teen flash mobs have been formed throughout the country, with many of them being designed to break the law in some way.

The most recent incident involved the 60-second robbing of a 7-11 store in Maryland.  A group of teens got together on Twitter/Facebook/email/Myspace/text message and agreed to walk in the store, grab things off the shelves, and then walk out.

Another series of incidents occurred in Philadelphia, leading Philly Mayor Michael Nutter to put the entire city on lockdown with a 9 p.m. curfew for all citizens under the age of 18.  Mayor Nutter went so far as to appear in a church in Philadelphia to proclaim that these young people are “an embarrassment to their race.”  Nutter is certainly correct that it’s difficult to excuse the behavior of flash mobs, especially those who engage in violence.  A toxic recipe of self-destructive, violent hip-hop music being fed to our kids on the radio doesn’t help things either.

One would also have to notice that the creation of flash mobs is probably the first time in recent memory that black teenagers have gotten this much attention from media or public officials.  Rather than focusing on the teenagers who are doing great things with their lives, the media loves to put a spotlight on the few scary looking black kids who decide to rob a store on a Saturday night.   In spite of the media bias, there are quite a few reasons that the media, Mayor Nutter and the rest of us could have been paying attention to black teenagers in the past.

We could have spent time addressing the 40 percent unemployment rate of black teens all across America.  Public officials seem to forget that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop….when you combine a hot summer with nothing productive to do, teenagers are going to find their own ways to use that free time.

Mayor Nutter and other critics of these errant teenagers could have also decided to take note of the fact that Philadelphia has the most racially-segregated public school system in the entire United States.  As usual: white kids are getting all the tools they need to have a productive future, and black kids are only learning how to join flash mobs.

Finally, there could have been a spotlight shed on the dramatic rise in black teen homicides in Chicago, Philadelphia and other major urban centers across America.   But of course, this doesn’t make the news because it’s not an inconvenience to people in the suburbs.  Also, politicians who might decide to change gun laws to curb the violence would miss out on financial contributions from gun manufacturers.  But for teens exposed to the threat of gun violence on a daily basis, there isn’t much to live for, since you may not expect to live for very long.

So, in all of his righteous black male outrage, I would ask Mayor Nutter this:  Who is a greater embarrassment to their race?  The teenager who is led astray because adults have neglected him, or the black political figure who silently administers and maintains the most racially-segregated school system in the entire country?  Mayor Nutter must be reminded that he made national news recently by cutting a series of programs that keep kids off the streets, as well as a slew of libraries, recreation centers and swimming pools.

I dare to point out the irony of any elected official (not just Nutter) who neglects the serious social diseases of black teen unemployment, violence and improper education and then has the audacity to complain about the symptoms of the disease that he/she has allowed to fester.   Black teen flash mobs are our society’s creation: if we’d chosen to give these kids something to live for, many of them wouldn’t be out finding ways to self-destruct.

Since flash mobs are the new fad, perhaps politicians should join in the fun.  Political leaders could form a flash mob where they all actually get together and do something for the American people, instead of taking care of themselves and their corporate partners.

Politicians could form another flash mob in which they pass a few pieces of legislation designed to create jobs for teens so they have something to do during the weekend that doesn’t involve robbing people.  In another flash mob, Mayor Nutter and his friends could desegregate the educational system so that black kids aren’t leaving high school without being able to spell the word “NBA.”

Teen social deviance has been around for as long as there have been teenagers.  But it is also universally true that young people respond more effectively to love than to hate.  When we remind our children how much we hate them and how little we care, we can’t act surprised when they are equally reckless.

Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Professor at Syracuse University and the founder of the Your Black World Coalition.  To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here. 

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64 Comments

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64 responses to “Dr. Boyce: Black Teen Flash Mobs Are Social Chickens Coming Home to Roost

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  3. So, it’s societies fault. OK, we got cha.

  4. denise denson

    tell it like it is. It’s ok to shack. It’s ok to have a baby out of wedlock. It’s ok to disrespect those who God has placed for charge over you. Call the police if your caregivers/parents hit you. We did not get here by ourselves. Then they have the audacity to think that this scourge will never be realized by their race.

  5. Debra Spraggins

    While I agree that there are systematic failures, I disagree with blaming the system totally. Where is the parental responsibility? At what point do we stop treating families on the lower rung of the sociology-economic ladder like they do not have the faculties to make moral/rational decisions? Since when did being impoverished equate to being criminal. We continue to do the community a disservice by letting parents off the hook for failing to invest in their children and assuming that someone outside of ourselves is going to save us. That is not the case nor has it ever been.

  6. Debra Spraggins

    **socio-economic

  7. Dr. Boyce you make these teens sound like victims who have no ability to rob and steal. Yes society has failed them. Heck it’s failed us all, but that’s no excuse. Parents are kids first teachers. Not society. The lack of good parenting is the primary reason kids stray and begin to make bad decisions. Not whether or not a school system is good or bad.

  8. rick

    so if a black teen doesnt have a job, he must beat and rob white people. nice

  9. WizardG

    I remember my teen years when we were poor and life was hard. I saw the wealth of whites all around me. We lived near USC College in LA and I grew up learning that whites had everything. They would fill the colleges, drive the expensive cars and have the highest attendance at every major costly event. Much hasn’t changed today. Things had gotten better but now that Affirmative Action has been misused by whites, attacked and torn down things are returning to dire times for black children who still have no powerful spokesperson to help them. Flash mobs may become much more than a passing fad. They may become a politically motivated offensive for angry youth.
    I remember when I was a teen and I was part of a group of young blacks who were interested in being policemen and joined the ‘Police Explorers’.

    One day when are numbers were ten strong we went into a liquor store and grabbed everything in sight! I had never seen anything like it. That was nearly fifty years ago and it may have been political in a sense. The police station we were ‘exploring’ at was basically All White!

  10. Tineka

    It just seems like you are not holding the parents accountable for their childrens behavior. I refuse to believe that accountability for these teens actions should be placed more on society than the parents. What about the other families in that community that are through the exact same thing but their children are not out doing these things? Why do they know right from wrong? If these teens are the victims, then their parents should also be the on trial as the defendants.

  11. Satyrdean

    Here you go, AGAIN, Dr. Boyce. You, Tavis Smiley, and Cornell West are fixated on “Someone Else” being responsible for our success, or lack of it. Are you telling me that you don’t believe in Self-Responsibility? When are we, as a people, going to take responsibility for our failure to prepare ourselves, and our children, for the challenges of life. This was done when I was coming up (both in Greenwood, MS, and the Westside of Chicago). Education was a must. Respecting our teachers was a must. Good attendance, and punctuality at school was a must. Good grades were rewarded, and I never wanted to know what would have happened if I had not got good grades. Curfew was a must; that is, until both my parents had to go to work, which prevented either of them from being home to check on us at 10pm. True, I still made some poor decisions, because I joined a gang, and was later incarcerated; however, that formal upbringing was there for me later in life (as was the Prodigal Son) as a foundation that I could later build on to become more self-sufficient, self-reliable, and self-responsible. As has been said, none of my siblings (and not many of my neighbors, at that time) ever spent time in jail; it was “my” decision-making. I don’t blame my parents, my neighborhood, my school, or anyone/anything else for my indescretions. I made the decisions that caused me the consequences that I encountered. STOP BLAMING OTHERS FOR OUR POOR PARENTING, POOR DECISION-MAKING, ETC.

  12. bree

    Philadelphia schools are segregated based on performance and behavior. It just so happens the majority black children are not performing well and are misbehaving. The teachers are afraid of them and rightly so since many have been verbally and physically abused by these children. No one can teach them so they either drop out or get kicked out by the time they are age 14. Now I ask, where’s the parents?

  13. reggie lama

    oh please! Its always somebody elses fault when it comes to black on black hatred and violence. Its always the systems fault or racisms fault, whatever. These young black kids are violent because they CAN be! period! Its not the parents fault most of the time either…look, THE KIDS ARE EFFIN BAD! Plain & simple. For some reason, black kids are more prone to violent behavior than any other kid living in the SAME ENVIRONMENT!

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  23. KCW

    Very well thought out and stated, Dr. Boyce. When will people wake up to the realities of poverty, poor education and the perception by these youth that the expectations for them are very low. Youth have an abundance of energy that must be properly channeled and society plays a huge role, for it is the entity that has created the social barriers that impact these yourhs’ ability to positively thrive and to reach their full potential.

  24. I really do understand what Dr. Boyce is saying, I think there is enough blame to go around. Years ago in my school district we had aspeaker who
    told us that the child in the back of the class who misbehaves has great leadership ablity and it would be up to educaters to try and mold and direct
    such a young person, otherwise Jamel would be in ten years or so out leading a gang that would be in our homes robbing and looting everything that we had worked hard for and while we were busy teaching thebest and the brightest. That was ten years ago I think Dr. Boyce makes some good points. The children will lead even if it’s down the path of destruction.
    The comment that stated that black children are more violent is one steepped in rasicm ,and unfortunely was held by some educaters in our system. Can you imagine how these thoughts were played out with children every day. The teacher has some much power and it can be misusrd and abused.

  25. Cheryl

    Why does this site always place the blame for everything that wrong with America on the politicians. Where are the posts that encourage the parents and the teenagers old enough to vote…to get up and go the polls and vote. You guys only promote a social welfare that is gear to keep Africans Americans depending on others to control their lives while they do
    nothing! Most of these kids feel that working at places like
    McDonald’s is beneath them. You talk about how embarrassing
    they are when they do stupid things. When is it the parent’s
    responsibility to raise and nurture their own kids? What’s really embarrassing are sites that promote division while pointing the finger at our elected officials that are fighting like hell because no one told the parents how important it is to vote in EVERY election to make sure those in office are on the same page…and have our best interest at heart. I have respect for those of you that are successful and educated…I have children that have degrees and are successful, so this is not bashing the educated that are making a difference. This is for the educated ones that do nothing but complain and place blame on everyone except the parents and the educators. What is an embarrassment are the two idiots on their paid for by KOCH Brothers (or some rich person) buses going around the country bashing our President when the only other options are crazy people that would love to do nothing more that to invest our tax dollars to build more prisons to put our children in. The school systems suck…why? The parents don’t get out and vote for their school board members. The Last time I officiated as election judge for a school board election seven people voted in a twelve hour day. So until you address the real issue…you are not different that the rabid TeaBagger candidate that is so full of S hit that they have people voting against their own best interest. Social and political welfare is the same in these hard times. If the haters like Smiley and West get their way and encourage voters NOT TO VOTE for the president then we should hold them and their supporters accountable for what our children will face under their (TeaBagger) leadership.

  26. Jay

    Black teens are no more violent than any other group of teens. Whenever you have a group of people that have a history that is similar to black peoples’ there are going to be problems. The past have a drastic impact on the present and acting like it did not exist is foolishness. Anybody serious about bringing about change understand that this cannot be ignored.

    There is not one particular culprit for black peoples’ plight. Meaning society, history, parents, teens, etc are all responsible. There are many reason why black children and teens act like they act. We need to stop trying to point a finger at a particular group and try to create an environment that deal with developing the whole child. Hence, political, economic and social ills need to be addressed. We need to create our own jobs; the brothers and sisters who have the capacity to do so need to stop acting like coporate America is the only place of employment and start their own businesses. We need to start making politicians accountable. We should demand from politicans that we elect! Lastly, we need to stop allowing anything to go in our community. I am not blaming society for those teens actions. They have the capacity to destinquish right from wrong; the creator has given that to all of us. But, we cannot just blame them alone and act like society does not impact them. it impacts all of us.

  27. Nye

    The fact of the matter is that black youth are out of control!!! They’re loud, disrespectful and bullying towards non blacks because they know that speaking up or standing up to blacks will cause non blacks to be called racist for doing so. These kids are thugs.

  28. mike

    Parental responsibility held accountable and acceptance and practice of American culture taught and instilled into children before African culture, like immigrants did when they came to this country, is the cure for this failure to fit into American society.

  29. I totally understand the PARENT responsibility concerns but when are the CHILDREN going to be responsible for their OWN ACTIONS?? Weather the child(ren) are living in a one parent or two parent home, I feel that MOST parents are doing their best to help, support and RAISE their child(ren) in a respectable manner. We all know that children of today, because of videos, the media and peer pressure are going to do what they want!!! It is time for the child to “man or woman” up, and stop being so damn irresponsible!!

  30. Homer E. Waterman, Jr.

    Well. the chickens are definitely coming home to roost, and guess what?
    No one should be surprised by the way in which they are returning, it’s like sucking all of the air out of a room, leaving the inhabitants gasping for breath, and then not expecting them to act “dysfunctional” – but then on the other hand, just maybe, that is the intent. Knowing, (the powers that be), that action, always causes “re-action”. It matters not, that it is positive or negative – the results are still the same. If we think of reverse phsycology, then we can arrive pretty much at what is transpiring within our communities, whereas, it appears that on the surface; justice and equality exists for us all – but in truth, and most especially for young black
    men and women, it’s like a mirage on some arid desert. it soon becomes evident, that lo and behold – it’s not there. Therefore, we can easily conclude, that this society has been for a long, long time; about the business of creating “self destructing bombs”. They are young, and they are Black- make no mistake about that.

    communities – the symblance of “freedom”, is thrust into the minds of our youth, only to find that in truth, it is like a mirage on some wide expanse of

  31. Reirhap9

    The lack of genuine or what I call Marvelous energies of love have thrown our children deeper into the clutches, the prisons of the programming energies … they are doing exactly what they have been programmed to do. It is time for us to go back to teaching our children and help them rise up from these programming energies.

  32. Mr. Charlie

    TNB

    Typical Negro behavior, nothing new.

  33. ShielaB

    Very well said, I totally agree with your comments Dr. Boyce. We need to take better care of our children, make sure they get solid educations and strive to make this world a better place. On the down side, if these flash mobs keep it up, because they are black teens, they will be gunned down in streets and the police will get away with it, business as usual in America! Where as, if they were white teens, they would all get counseling and probation. The churches, parents, and adults in these cities should immediately reach out to these children and get them to safety; begin counseling them right now before they are killed in the name of public safety. When will we blacks in American begin to stick together and protect our children. No savior is coming to save us, we are our own saviors; what has to happen to us before we realize that as fact??

  34. Sometimes I don’t understand the black perspective (but only of some blacks). Many blacks demonize whites and blame them for all their problems then turn around and complain that Philadelphia is the most segregated city in America. I would think if you dislike whites so much you would be glad.
    What about the free time these groups have to cause mayhem? They don’t have jobs to keep them busy. Why don’t they have jobs? Minimum wage laws are a major factor! Get rid of them. What’s better: a black kid WITH a job that pays $4 or $5 an hour? Or, a black kid WITHOUT a job that pays $7.25 per hour?

  35. Kevin Agee

    Many of the comments preceding mine make an either or situation out of a both and situation. I agree with personal responsibility and accountability on the part of our young people. My wife and I taught our own now grown children personal responsibility and accountability. However, we cannot hold a system that perpetuates poverty, segregation, teen unemployment and lack of recreational and cultural enhancement activities blameless. To suggest that the system, including atrocious urban public schools, does not deserve a share of the blame is ludicrous.

  36. SapphiresMomma

    Dr. Watkins,

    Please, stop with this!

    Do you write these foolish commentaries to get attention to your site? Some of the stuff you write is pure nonsense, and should not be coming from a so called “scholar”.

    Parents are (or should be) responsible for taking care of and raising their children!

    We came from a people that survived the worse conditions, and still rose! They raised their children to have respect for their parents/elders and themselves, and demanded they get educated for the most part.Many of these children came for the poorest conditions but still they became productive human beings. They did not go out and kill other black people.

    We need to stop placing blame on whites and others for our poor behavior/choices.

    Many parents today do not take care of their children. These parents of gang members know exactly what their children are out in the streets doing but they apparently have no control over them. As a parent I know if my child is staying out late, not going to school, having money in their pocket and other valuables that something is going on.

    Black youth kill/murder/slaughter other blacks almost every day in black communities, and there is no outrage from the black community.

    If our children go wrong it is because of us, the parent.

    Black folks, please start parenting and educate your children!

  37. Geenie

    Well stated. I really think the problem is becoming a question of which came first, the chicken or the egg

    The fail by the parents of this current generation of young people is the first line of line of defense that crumbled and failed these children.

    The fail by the grandparents of the parents of this current generation of young people who never taught their children how to be good parents and became self indulgent during the 70’s & 80’s was the second line of defense that crumbled & failed these children.

    Our society which has increasingly glorified everything that is opposite and contrary to what is needed to build the foundation for successful life beyond 25. This perpetuated and ratcheted up with each new generation is failing the kids.

    These kids will have kids one day. What are we doing to right the ship?

  38. yoli

    Ok so if we stop pointing the finger, will someone lift a finger so we can truly get the work done? There’s work for everyone. Part of scholars job is to help shed light on complex phenomena, promote critical dialogue. AgIn, there’s work for everyone, and yes including our government. See Peter Benson’s “All kids arenas our kids: What communities can do to raise caring and responsible kids”. This is a powerful framework. Let’s get to it!

  39. Thomas F. Moffett

    I am glad a few, at least, of the comments were positive. Of course there is plenty of blame to go round – and that includes all of us. I certainly appreciate how clearly Dr. Watkins shows the deep roots of this latest teen phenomenon. I don’t for a minute agree with many of the comments that think he lets parents and the teens themselves off the hook. With most of his time and energy he is doing a fabulous job of educating his own students – and sharing his insights with the rest of us.
    As an 87 year old great grand parent I have made my share of mistakes along the way. Right now I am concentrating on building grass roots political support for all the things that could help improve the chances for our teen-agers (whether “Black” or white like me) to get a real education, a job, and stay out of prison. Obama could use a push.

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  41. You are all missing the point! The PARENTS ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! As long as our little girls keep having babies at 14, 15, 16, or younger, having had no guidance from their own parents because they too were teen parents, no education, at the bottom of the socio economic step ladder, then we will continue to have the problems we witness on a daily basis. The answer lies in decreasing the teen pregnancy rate in this country: Children having children by men who too are deficient socially and educationally. Children having children rear children who become delinquents and misfits. And as long as this continues, the ills of society will continue.

    Without ever talking to any of these kids in these mobs, I can tell you that 99% of them are kids of teen mothers with absent fathers. If you don’t believe me, I challenge Dr. Boyce to reach out to these kids, administer a three question survey: how old are you, how old is your mother, and do you have a relationship with your father. The answers to these questions will reveal the true source of these problems. And these same kids – if they don’t already have children and some undoubtedly do – will have kids that will be reared with no guidance, values or morals. Nuff said!
    Les

  42. Kunta

    Everyone is responsible but no one wants to except responsibility. i pray for these children and continue to talk with the youth i come in contact with in an effort to get them to see that there’s more to life than a quick sense of satisfaction. Dr. Boyce wrote a decent article but sometimes it’s hard to say everything from every perspective. Let’s just say that collectively, we all have alot of work to do with regards to regaining our control over misguided youth within our communities.

  43. Rara

    Racism is everywhere today and if it isn’t affecting you personally you act like it doesn’t exist. There are so many ignorant comments posted up here and I know the most of them are posted by people older than I, People who the youth of this country are to look up to, People who the youth of this country adapt behaviors from. My view is that teens and adults from EVERY race do horrible things. Don’t make seem like it’s just african americans. I completely agree with those who mentioned parenting because that is so imporant in molding the youth to be productive citizens. Thankfully I live in an area that is diverse, so I see that ALL races of people can be productive or destructive. Get it through your thick skulls and stop acting like only certain types of people are to blame for the problems the world is experiencing! Learning starts in the home so when you see your parents doing bad things you MIGHT follow in their footsteps and when you hear your parents making racist remarks you MIGHT think that’s okay too. People are individuals and the should be treated as such, so don’t look down on a race because of mistakes members of that race have made. AND if you do let a portion of a race of people make up your mind, then you need to take at look at the things people have done in your race/culture and maybe it’ll open your eyes a little and knock you off your high horse!

  44. And you are right Rara. It’s not just African Americans. But it’s AA that ends up in the media – on the news, in the newspaper, on the net, etc – which ends up providing a very skewed picture of the realities of life. White people don’t flinch when a white man gets on the elevator with them; they do when it’s a black man, however. Without knowing anything about him, they react because society has taught all of us to react negatively to the presence of black males. Also, from a pure statistical point of view, it is AA that are disproportionately affected by poverty, crime, violence, health problems and other ills of society. We represent only 12% of the population but over half of the homicide, poverty, crime, etc. rates in the country. So we are constantly under scrutiny as well as attack precisely because our numbers are so dismal.

  45. I don’t think the insufficient parenting was lost in the article here, or that society was completely to blame. I think a lot of people glaze over passages and don’t read each word. Attention to detail is key. Society isn’t the whole problem, but it is the cause of a vicious 300-year cycle. We all aren’t breaking out at once. It’s up to us who know a lil sumn to teach a lil sumn to those who don’t. A question I’ve asked a lot of people lately is, “How do you teach something you don’t know about yourself?” How do you be a good parent when you don’t have a good parent? How do you be a good father when you don’t know your father, or what a good father is? How do you be there for your child when you have to work 2 or 3 minimum wage jobs to support said child(ren)?

  46. Eric Wright

    Why is it that so many African Americans are echoing the baseless white supremacist rhetoric of the very people that support the system that is oppressing our people. Well the most likely reason is that we have been educated, socialized, and indoctrinated by the same people and system who benefit from our delusion. Parental accountability? Parental accountability will solve the problems of white supremacy and systematic oppression? You have got to be kidding yourself. As an IT professional we have a saying when it comes to programming a computer. That saying is “garbage in garbage out”. If you input garbage instructions into a computer the resultant output will be garbage as well. African Americans of ALL SOCIECONOMIC levels have been miseducated. The poor are repeatedly criticized for their manifestation of ignorance, but the middle and upper class are equally as delusional. The only problem is that the upper and middle class African Americans don’t realize they are delusional because they have embraced the exact same value system as the white supremacist mainstream. And this is no opinion, the mainstream of American is fueled by white supremacy. So if you are on this discussion board echoing the same garbage about black self-imposed afflictions that Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill Oreiley, or any KKK grand wizard is asserting, your ignorance is just as self-destructive as the misguided youth you are attempting to criticize. A basic understanding…I repeat…A very basic understanding of African American History would yield the wherewithal to discern that aligning yourself with racist, unhistorical, non-factual viewpoints is dangerous. If you have not read the miseducation of the negro, if you haven’t read books written about the socialization of the slave, if you do not know what redlining is, if you haven’t read the Kerner Commission Report, If you haven’t read American Apartheid, If you don’t know what Cointelpro is, If you don’t understand the crack and heroin influx into the African American Community, If you don’t know what red squads are, If you don’t know how most black gangs were formed, If you are unaware of the denial of banking opportunities faced by African Americans, If you don’t understand the how mortgages were denied to blacks, if you don’t understand why every real estate broker or agent has to have “Equal housing lender” affixed to their publications, and many more issues that I don’t even have the time to list. If you do not understand these FACTUAL barriers, have never read anything about these items, then you do not need to be asserting anything about what is good or not good for Black people. You need to re-educate yourself and comeback when you have something substantial to contribute to the discussion. For know you are just a tool of the white supremacist power struggle rehashing a very manufactured mentality akin to our oppressors. And that, to me, is even more egregious than any black youth flash mob will ever be.

  47. Lynn

    Dr. Boyce,

    I appreciated your piece, especially where you wrote “Political leaders could form a flash mob where they all actually get together and do something for the American people, instead of taking care of themselves and their corporate partners.” I wholeheartedly agree!

    P.S. I felt a lot of harshness directed at you from some of the commenters. If you felt it too, then I hope you won’t let their harshness stop you from speaking your own truth in your own way. God bless.

  48. i read a peace to my 6 year old sexuality. a pregnancy prevention story that i was prepaering for my school classroom. the story of a 15 year old girl and a 19 year old boy. at the end when i asked who was most responsible for the girl getting pregnant my 6 year old said, “the boy, cuz he was 19 mama”. however, everyone was responsible the heatlh educator at school, the mother that did not create the space for direct communication, the father that did not create a link to communicate to his daughter nor an open door for her when she wanted and needed to hear and talk to someone. the elder sister that threatened to tell mama if she asked her about boys again. the community health professional that said what are you doing in this clinic (as she went for assist and with questions around sex.
    this is a note to those of us that say something to blaming others.
    We as a community have a responsiblity to life and expecially to our youth. they are asking for help and we have to answer. if anyone knows children, they often dont know what to do. for example when they are sleepy and their eyes may hurt and their head may hurt and we even now adays allow them to cry to sleep. they dont know if they jsut be quiet the head ache and the eye ache will subside when they sleep.
    we are the mothers and the fathers that have been here atleast 144,000 years (chromosomal dna) we can handle our youth. we have power in our love and our compassion. that is our God. that we do not use often enough. and we have not be taught and conditioned to utilize for our selves , our own good.
    everyone counts… we can come together and come up with creative solutions for ourselves and our youth. i am willing and excited to connect with anyone or org. that is working on shifting the consciousness of ourselves and our youth.
    let us collaborate on this. and share in the honorable responsiblity of shifting the consciousness and caring for our own. yenbere@gmail.com..
    blessings…continually.
    Dr. Rehema Yenbere Affu-Nyannor

  49. There is NO connection where “Poor” equates to being “Criminal” or ‘Ignorant’?

    The Base of our self empowerment came from being in a poor family desiring to do Better! That was OUR Norm!!

    Ben Carson’s Mom poor couldn’t read but checked his homework nightly wanting a better life from him,

    He stated he never knew of her inability to read until he was in College. Thurgood Marshall’s mother poor,desired more for him.

    Criminal behavior was never an option, hard work was the only option, tenets of OUR community!

    What we are facing now appears to be a “Lost Generation” Children being raised with everything given (just because). Many parents of the 80-90’s relied more on competing with other adults in regard to having “Stuff”.Kids don’t have to do ‘chores’; We have a dishwasher, garbage disposal, trash compactor, washer/dryer, riding lawn mower/lawn service, kids don’t clean their rooms we’ve been told they are being expressive.

    Breakdown of “FAMILY” is the main culprit Priorities changed dramatically, due to freedoms most never fathomed.

    When times were good many did whatever to have fun, excusing bad behavior and partied (everywhere) because it was new and we could.

    Do Not spank a child, use “Time Out” an old fashioned ‘whipping’ became/ considered a beating, so no more!

    Shame of “whippings” hovered greatly over the Black Family. Many “Spared the rod and spoiled the Child”.

    Feelings of being belittled if you say “Yes ma’am’ Yes, sir’ respect was lost in many ways, disregard for Elders little regard to a Value system

    Taboo’s were a part of what we all got talked/conditioned into, not Blacks alone!

    Stats and Studied on every topic changed US All. Clothing especially for ‘Women’ Changed!

    Vacay’s to the “Bahamas, Africa, weddings in Vegas, the ability to do, became most important

    Leaving “Others” to watch and Teach our children, Mom’s having the ability and having to work.

    The creation of “Things” Toys for adults and Children are readily available you name the next trend/toy we BUY!

    The Computer/TV and other electronics that have broken down family based communications. We text Rather than Talk!!!

    Eating out, many ‘Boast’ of not Knowing/Caring about cooking a Family meal! Family reunions are catered ‘WE are to BUSY’ to be cooking!

    Family is the basis of human life without it, human desire and need for connection, right or wrong we form our own with like thinking people!

    The break down of what is FAMILY has be re-defined into what we are seeing now, if one has a Like thought of another it can be Viral in seconds with No Regard to right/wrong. Everything is done quickly decisions are rapid and some are dead wrong! It is Possible to re-direct this children BUT the task requires work are we willing to put in WORK? Some, rather be Fishing/Playing some game or the game of life!

  50. Satyrdean

    To “Professor” Eric Wright–who insinuates that he is “well-read”–please convince me that blacks killing blacks, blacks glorifying those who use foul language (bitches, whores, n’s, etc.), blacks who think that being a gangster is more acceptable than being a businessman, scientist, President (or the like), blacks who feel that education is for the lame, and blacks who feel that they would commit a crime to feed their children rather that participate in a job-training program, are OK because they have been denied “a quality education”? George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, Sojourner Truth, Benjamin Banneker, and others did not have a fraction of the educational/vocatinal opportunities that are available to today’s African-American; however, I have not read where any of them when out and burglarized their neighbor’s home, stole/crashed/trashed their neighbors automobile, inadvertently/indiscriminately fired bullets into a crown, or neighbor’s home (killing innocent infants), or locking themselves up in prisons so that Judges, lawyers, court reporters, correctional officers, etc could have lifetime jobs. It’s got to be something that I’m missing, because–for the life of me–I can’t understand what our folks have against self-responsibility. Just because somebody brings guns, drugs, alcohol, and other weapons of destruction in our neighborhood, it doesn’t “make us” use them. It’s our choice. “They” brought in schools, libraries, vocational schools, churches, mosques, synogogues, and the like, but I don’t see Blacks “lined-around-the-corner” to utilize them, as I see a line for picking up free food, and crack, heroin, alcohol, and weed.

  51. Eric Wright

    You are correct SatryDean, YOU ARE MISSING SOMETHING!!! Its called an educated and informed perspective. And furthermore you are attacking a straw man–that is attempting to rebut a point that I clearly didn’t make. I stated several times in my discussion that the youth within the flash mob were misguided but I also asserted that the black upper and middle class were equally as misguided in their response to this phenomenon. I could care less about the blows you took at my intellect. That is irrelevant if you can’t make a counterargument that has any merit. In all actuality your tirade about blacks killing blacks, and blacks calling each other whores, and blacks blah blah blah is exactly type of low-brow analysis typical of most upper and middle class blacks. All of these ills are symptoms of the misdirection characteristic of Black inner-city youth. Aside from America in general being a violent country, the violence in the black community is heightened from a combination of variables including manipulation by the white supremacist power structure. This is clearly evident in Counter Intelligence Activities that have taken place across the country with a specific aim to derail and stifle black political power. This activity included, but is not limited to, assassinations of leadership with progressive platforms, discrediting of leaders with progressive platforms, promotion of infighting amongst black organization, the pumping of destabilizing drugs into the community, manipulation of gang activity and turf wars, draconian laws aimed specifically at blacks, and manipulation of movies and music to support self destructive lifestyles. All of which I have listed are factual causes for heightened black on black crime. You are arguing points that I could turn the TV on and hear racist people arguing. This is also a display of misguided energy within the black community. But white people aren’t going to call you on that. Is that why you believe that what you’re saying has value? This thought process is just as much to blame for why nothing is being done about the ills of inner city culture. And your last statement is probably the most self-hating bunch of ignorance I have heard in a long time. You mean to tell me that “They” the whites have brought schools and other resources to our community and all we want to do is buy “Crack.” Do you really believe what you are saying? This statement speaks volumes about your chronically miseducated profile. I don’t even know where to begin or even if it was worth it to dumb myself down and even try to rebut such an asinine posting. As a matter of fact I hope that you are one of these stupid white racist trash attempting to masquerade yourself as black to give your unremittingly false assertions more creditability. If not, I am afraid we have some black people that are even more off then I had imagined.

  52. And you are right Torri, there was a time when being poor did not equal being criminal, deviant, and all the rest. But that was then and this is now. I too grew up poor, in public housing with a mother who was a domestic worker and a third grade drop out. Yet here I am a college graduate, two graduate degrees, and a productive member of society. But back then there were community and support systems in place that kept kids in line. There were positive role models in my community. Because of segregation, we all lived in the same community – my teachers, the preachers, the doctors, and yes, all us poor folks too. And guess what? We were the better for it. Today, who are the role models? Kids are growing up in communities where the only role models are drug dealers, pimps and criminals. Those of us who are successful and educated are partly to blame because we abandoned our communities when the “man” allowed us to assimilate and integrate.

    Comparing today’s realities with that of yesteryears is like comparing apples and oranges. It just doesn’t work. Sadly, unlike the 50s and 60s, being poor today places a child at very high risk for school dropout, criminal activity, etc. Mothers today are not like my mom , Ben Carson’s mom, and other mothers who raised their children in a very different era with different social realities.

    I am the first in my family to graduate from college.

  53. Not An Easy Reader

    It’s always somebody else’s fault that you don’t have a job and so you decide to loot a store because of an imaginary boogeyman your own black leaders invented so that you would keep sending them money to tell you how evil this imaginary boogeyman was. ‘THE MAN is out to git you! send me mo’ money so we can stop ‘im!’ – sez the race-baiting blowhard in a suit and tie, which he bought with your money that you sent him.

    Here’s a radical thought: Take some responsibility for your own actions and accept the consequences. Other racial and ethnic groups are suffering from high unemployment and are losing hope, too, but I don’t seem them forming flash mobs and attacking people.

  54. Eric Wright

    @ Not An Easy Reader
    The boogeyman is not imaginary. It’s you and the millions of others who think like your ignorant ass. Your thought process is akin to the thought process that killed off the Native Americans, enslaved the Africans, obliterated the Japanese, and continually disrupts the sovereignty of Arabic People. It’s a mentality in which you can’t substantiate. This mentality is only validated because it supports the hoarding of resources by the white corporate power struggle. Why don’t you take some responsibility for the harsh consequences your ignorance has afflicted on people!!!

  55. Not An Easy Reader

    Eric Wright, your bizarre post is a perfect example of paranoid thinking among some black people. You always think da white man is out to GIT YOU. You’ll be disappointed to know that most white people (middle-class, working-class folk like yourself, I assume) really don’t move through their lives trying to think up new and creative ways of destroying the black man. We’re just trying to survive in this cruel world, same as you. Our experiences in life are not the same but we’re hardly the Boogeyman your media/leaders/churches have lead you to believe. We are at the mercy of the same Corporate-Political powers you are.

    The fact is, blacks in America have more opportunity than you realize but you keep squandering it, or maybe you believe that you are owed more from “The Man”. Guess what? “The Man” isn’t going to give you diddly-squat. “The Man” never gave me anything either. Best move to Plan B before your hate destroys you.

    Have a good day.

  56. Eric Wright

    @ Not An Easy Reader
    I know damn well that most whites don’t go along attempting to plot out the demise of Blacks. That’s not the point. However it is the ideological tenants of white supremacy that fuel a system that is now and has always been inherently oppressive to African Americans. And most whites and some blacks (whether knowingly or not) buy in to this low-brow ideology. Case in point, you. It is not about thinking. It is about knowing what you can prove or disprove. African Americans are uniquely undereducated for starters, so the ability to compete within the American workforce is considerably diminished. And in your reasoning this is a barrier that doesn’t REALLY exist. It is something that black leaders just made up, and you believe this shit. This is basic sociology and even mainstream news outlets have reported this disparity. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15704759/ns/us_news-life/t/census-report-broad-racial-disparities-persist/ This is only small example amongst a myriad of examples of the tremendous disparities created by an unjust system and sustained by ignorant mindsets like yours. I ask you where would you like to start this discussion. We could start with crack cocaine and how it got into the black community, and might I add there is a substantial amount of documentation on this. I’m sure you haven’t read any of this “boogeyman” information. Do you want to discuss COINTELPRO? You can’t refute that, its basis in mainly the government’s own documentation. Do you want to discuss the drug law disparities? I gather not because for some odd reason you feel as if you are really asserting something of value to the conversation. Why do you believe that? Why are you on here speaking so confidently about stuff you don’t have the slightest clue about? Is it because the masses may not find what you are saying as objectionable? If what I’m saying is “Boogeyman” nonsense, then prove it!!! Otherwise it would be appropriate for you to read and research further before entering into the conversation.
    Furthermore, call it hate, I could care less. There is nothing hateful about my postings, but I will not sugar coat anything. If white supremacy is at the root of our demise, than I will damn well fight against that and anyone who subscribes to that ideology.

  57. Zeke

    @ Eric Wright

    Read “The Bell Curve”

    ‘Nuff said.

  58. Eric Wright, you are on target. You have a good understanding of systematic racism and its impact on people of color. People who fail to see and understand that there is a system in place designed to oppress certain groups of people are in denial and only kidding themselves. While I also understand individual choice and self-responsibility, I am also not ignorant to the inequities in our society that create the disparities that you speak of. White America has always been in denial about racism because it is easier than accepting that there is something remiss in the character of a people who could enslave other human beings and justify it with biblical principles.

  59. Zeke, read The Psychopathology of White People. Nuff said.

  60. We can set and blam the kids, blam the parents, us statements like invest in your kids. Hell, what do any of us have to invest? We have words, we pass those down, but words don’t pay the bills, how many kids have no parents. So can a person become a product of their environment? We tell our kids to get a job at Mc Donalds and don’t realive they are being treated like crap, Why would an employer ask a kid to work till 2 in the morning on a school night? DROP_OUT they spend more time cleaning the parking lot and doing other jobs white won’t do. You say it beats a blank, REALLY, White kids inherit companys or money and or get better paying jobs. We teach go to school get an education

  61. BY ANY MEANS NESSARY. IF WE DON’T WAKE UP AND TAKE A STAND. THIS COUNTRY HAS BAILED OUT THE BANKS THE AUTO INDUSTRY AND THROUGH MONEY AT ANY CAUSE THEY CHOOSE………………………………………. AS LONG AS IT NOT FOR BLACKS, THE DECENDENTS OF SLAVES THE PEOPLE THAT BUILT THS COUNTRY

  62. Jon

    The increase in legal gun sales would seem to indicate America is gearing up for a race war. Blacks have no one bu themselves to blame for raising generations of violent youth. It all starts out with a unwed teen mom and an absent baby’s daddy. Until you get these kids to close their knees, more angry mobs will be born. What chance at success does a kid born to another kid have any way? Fix the black family problem and then we’ll talk about the rest of it.

  63. What’s up mates, how is all, and what you wish for to say on the topic of this piece of writing, in my view its truly remarkable for me.

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