Tag Archives: black children
Morning Joe devoted a half an hour to discussion of the Trayvon Martin case. This story both grieves and outrages me.
Joe Scarborough on Trayvon Martin:
If anybody watching this show — either live or on the Internet — doesn’t believe that if an African-American shot a 17-year-old white boy walking through a neighborhood carrying ice tea and Skittles…if they do not believe that an arraignment would be scheduled by the next morning for the African-American shooter and that the white boy’s family would be called immediately…that an office would actually drive to the white boy’s home and sit down with the parents on the couch and console them because they have lost a 17-year-old son. If you don’t believe that this case and the handling of this case by the people in Florida has nothing to do with race, you are living in a fantasy world.”
Far too often I write posts about young people who have taken a wrong term that will affect the rest of their life. So yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to Lolita Preston, the Executive Director of Xstreme Learning Foundation. Preston started this organization four years ago to increase the performance and interest among underrepresented and under-served students in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Preston has a son and she said “ I would sit and watch my son take tennis lessons when he was eight, and he was learning new concepts when the coaches said “Twist the racquet 45 degrees or rotate 90 degrees.” Preston who knew her son had not yet learned these concepts was intrigued by the fact that he understood the concepts. She understood that her son was responding to coaching and she realized the coaching relationship was a relationship that differed from the traditional teaching concept. Preston who at the time had a full time job started researching and learning about educational programs that used sports as a learning tool. She spoke with a number of experts throughout the country and she knew she could create a program that children could have fun while learning. She spoke with George Reese, director of the office of mathematics, science and technology education at the University of Illinois’ College of Education at Urbana-Champaign and he said, “Technology is making it easier for sports to be illustrated graphically, and for students to understand its scientific concepts.* She has effectively used this knowledge to launch this innovative program. Preston has taken her program into schools, churches and community centers. To date STEM programs have served over 1500 students in Chicago from K-8th grade and 300 students in Detroit, MI. This year STEM was the recipient of a $2500 mini-grant from NASA. STEM will be moving into their own headquarters very soon and they are currently engaged in a fundraising drive. It would be impossible for me to go into all of the details of this wonderful organization in this one post so I invite you to go to their website: www.xstreme.org. Preston is passionate about helping children and this is our opportunity to help make a difference in the life of a child.
Earlier this week I wrote a post about the Indiana school system’s decision to stop teaching cursive since children do more texting than writing. This cartoon could sadly be a look into the future.
We have been talking about Eddie Long since last fall. Four young men accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. Long vowed to fight but he ended up settling with the young men. A couple of weeks ago prosperity preached Creflo Dollar chastised his members for leaving Long because he had a “wreck”. A wreck…please. Well finally a member of the preaching fraternity calls Long out and tell him it is time to Repent, and this is refreshing. It is the kind of moment that might restore faith to some of those who have lost theirs. There are still preachers speaking the word and calling sin a sin even when the preacher commits the sin.
This clip was brought to my attention by a story posted on The Grio. I watched the clip and I can only say that I am throughly disgusted and appalled. In the clip Creflo Dollar defends his friend Bishop Eddie Long and characterizes the sexual misconduct charges as having a “wreck”. He admonishes the members who have left him by saying the Bishop has done so many good things in the past that he should be forgiven. What Dollar forgot is the members can forgive him but they do not have to support him. Members do not expect perfection from the preacher, but they do not want him to be a predator. Long paid the money to his accusers to make this go away, but he is now paying the price by seeing his memberhip drop, and anyone that tells people to go back is as guilty as the one that caused them to leave. http://missjia.com/open-discussion-creflo-dollar-tells-eddie-longs-church-to-go-back-video.html
Parents of a six year old were upset when their child came home wearing a mask he had created in art class. They said the mask bore similarities to the masks worn by the KKK. The teacher said the art project was designed to help the children learn shapes. The parents have complained to the principal and they are enrolling their child in another school. Are the parents right or are they overeacting? Should the teacher have been more sensitive or was he teaching shapes as he has said? Tell me what you think.
It is wonderful to see a young person do a good thing. Edwin a 14 year old boy saw a little girl looking for her mother at a Burlington Coat Factory store in Orlando, Florida. The young man saw a group of women in front of the store and he took her to the group of women because he thought one of them might have been her mother. Her mother was actually in the sore and she did eventually come out and retrieve the child. Edwin who was shopping with his mother returned to the store to shop. One of the store employees called 911 at the request of the girl’s mother and the police came and arrested Edwin. He has been charged with false imprisonment. Edwin was handcuffed and paraded to the parole car. This young man was trying to do something good, but he now has a criminal record. The problem is he was doing something good but he could have been a predator. The other problem is no common sense was used here. If he had been attempting to kidnap the child why would he return the child to her mother and then resume shopping? Wouldn’t a predator have tried to escape the scene in case the police were called? This kid went back to his own mother and continued shopping. Police have discretion it would seem someone would have asked some critical questions and that simply did not happen. This kid now has a record and today his attorney will seek to get the charges dropped and his record expunged, but it really should have never gotten this far. Tell me what you think.
This morning I wrote a post about the 16 year old sailing around the world. I was talking about it to a friend of mine and she brought up an interesting point. She said that white children are encouraged to take risks. They see their futures as unlimited and they live with no real sense of fear, but in some cases we cap the dreams of our children and discourage them from taking risks. Why is this? We are free just like the majority, but we still see limits on our freedom. White mothers do not have to tell their sons how to act when they are approached by the police, but we do. When I go to the store with my children I have to tell them the rules. Don’t walk around with anything in your hand that you do not plan on buying and never go into the store if you don’t have any money. These might be trivial examples but my point is we have to teach our children to behave in such a way that they seem innocent. The reality is they are innocent but some will interpret things they do differently than they might determine the same action if done by someone in the majority race. So how does this relate to the 16 year old sailor? She will probably grow up to be fearless, because she is being raised without limits. I don’t approve of a 16 year old sailing around the world by herself. I think it is crazy, but I too want to raise children that are fearless, but they still will have to be taught the rules of engagement.
Rajeen Bennett was a promising young man with a bright future in front of him. He was a standout football player at McEachern High School in Atlanta, Georgia. He had recently signed a letter of intent to attend Vanderbilt University. That will never happen because Bennett was a victim of a domestic violence dispute. His mother’s boyfriend killed Bennett and then killed himself. So Bennett will never get to play for Vanderbilt. He is now another sad statistic. In the clip above the Coach of the Vanderbilt team is responding to the news of Bennett’s death. Coach Johnson refers to Bennett as the “man of the house”. He says “he took care of his brother, his mother and his sisters. That’s what he was trying to do at the end.” I salute single mothers everywhere, but no child should ever be referred to as the “man of the house”. It is too much of a burden to put on any child. I know older siblings have to look after younger ones, but they are still children. We have to stop referring to our boys as the “man of the house”. During the Super Bowl Dorito’s had a commercial that showed a black man coming into a home to pick up a woman for a date and he was introduced to her young son. As the man inappropriately looks at the woman the boy slaps him across his face and says “don’t mess with my Mama or my Doritos.” Some thought this to be hilarious I was not among them that did. What this said to me is this child had been empowered with power beyond his years, and that should not be the case. Black boys should have an opportunity to enjoy childhood before they are prematurely ushered into manhood.