By Genma Holmes cross posted at nonprofit news organization DallasSouthNews.org
I wrote this while wiping away tears rolling down my cheeks and yelling at my monitor. I watched a few minutes of the video of the senseless beating death of the Chicago teen, Derrion Albert, 16, who was an A student at his school. I could not get my mind around the fact that no one intervened.
No one. I could not believe that no one yelled out or ran to get help. As I listened to “fonevideograper” give commentary while the life of a young man, who had many possibilities , life slipped from his ravaged body, I literally got ill. I could not watch the entire video.
I thought of the parents whose son has been immortalized on YouTube dying while doing what young people should be doing; going to school and making good grades. My heart goes out to them. The details and the “whys” of this vicious crime have been lost among the cries of outrage and righteous indignation.
An epidemic of criminal activity committed by young males has terrorized our nation. Chicago has become known for being most dangerous city for school children, where going to school can literally get you killed!
Chicago is not alone in grabbing headlines. Florida’s horrendous rape and beating of a mother and son in the notorious Dunbar Village case left many calling them savages. Mainstream media by-passed the story that was covered in depth by blogs like What About Our Daughters and Dallas South. After two years, the young men were finally sentenced last month.
Teens killing teens have made the news in my hometown of Nashville. In the last two weeks, two teens have been involved in shootings. Reading through the month of September’s press releases issued by MNPD, teens made up a third of the crimes reported. The number of teens that were nabbed from truancy sweeps in a one month period was staggering.
Not attending school during school hours is a recipe for disaster. As I counted the number of children who were arrested for not being in school in just one month, I wondered what they were doing if they were not in school. Looking for trouble? What can we, as a nation, do to help end the violence and get help for young people who find happiness in pulling a trigger or beating another to death?
It is going to take more than a few people. It is literally going to take a village, city by city. Working together across race, gender, or religious affiliation to find solutions and to implement changes must start sooner than later. This should be top priority for everyone; parents, schools, and congregations. We cannot point to one particular situation or group to blame because the violence that has entangled our youth does not care about situations or groups.
This week, everyone on radio, television and the blogosphere is talking about the condition of our youth. I heard one DJ complain that it was the musical lyrics that our young people listen to and a TV pundit suggested it was the glorification of rappers and stars who behave badly that influences young folks to act out. Those suggestions may be true but parents must step up take ownership as well.
Home training must become popular again. We disown the popularity of Nene cursing out her “friends” at every turn and the Kaynes of the world showing out then blaming his foolishness on his mother’s death. This only adds to the discord that our country has embraced so proudly. We have glamorized ignorance.
Add to that a Facebook poll asking about the assignation of the President and teens are trading nude pictures via phone and internet like marbles and we get an indication of the “condition” of our youth today. Our national discord is fast becoming anarchy.
We must support community heroes who are trying to make a difference. We are not Somalia with teen pirates under the leadership of drug lords who kill for a dime and a pack of cigarettes. We are not Haiti, a country absent of leadership and nearly 75% of its population are under the age of 19. This America, so why are we accepting abnormal gruesome behavior from our youth as if they are living in wild? I refuse to believe that our young people cannot be helped, even though I feel helpless at times and overwhelmed by the constant stream of ghastly news.
We must work together…we can do better!
Genma Stringer Holmes is an actress, model, and speaker turned entrepreneur who owns an environmental pest control company. She blogs at Genma Speaks.
Edited by Shawn Williams