March 17, 2007

Do We Really Care About Our Children?

Every village needs warriors and hunters. I've been blessed to know a warrior here in Cincinnati, OH by the name of Jim Clingman. Jim is the author of a number of books such as Blackonomics: The Way to Psychological and Economic Freedom for African Americans. He is a syndicated columnist. His words are available in most African American newspapers around the country. We plan to regularly share his commentary here in the Electronic Village.

There have been a number of high profile cases in which Black children were victimized by the legal system. Shaquanda Cotton is the most visible case. However, there have been other cases in Florida and Baltimore. As such, I thought that Jim's recent column, titled, Do we really care about our children? is a valuable read for all villagers.
Is it any wonder that Black children are angry at Black adults? Is it any wonder that Black youth feel unprotected by Black adults? Is it any wonder that Black youth are out there "getting theirs" and doing anything else they want to do? Is it any wonder that as Black adults complain about the behavior of Black youth our behavior toward them and toward ourselves is equally despicable?

There have been others, but the case of Shaquanda Cotton, the 14 year-old girl in Paris, Texas, who was sentenced to 7 years in jail for shoving a hall monitor in school, should be the final straw for Black people all over this country. This case is especially troubling because the punishment definitely does not fit the crime, and the judge in this case also sentenced a white 14 year-old girl to probation after she was convicted of arson!

Not an isolated incident of miscarriage of justice by any means, but more and more we are seeing Black children being mistreated by authorities across this country, younger and younger, while we adults simply talk about it and wring our hands about it. There have been at least three cases of 5 year-old Blacks being handcuffed, disciplined, and threatened by the police – one of which occurred right here in Cincinnati, a city in which a law exists that allows 7 year-olds to be electrocuted with Taser guns.

 Click here for the remainder of the article.

After you finish reading his column, I hope you will share your comments on the question of the day: Do we really care about our children?


Tisha! said...

I've often wondered about this in fact and without getting into a tirade about how my Black father abandoned me as baby I'll just say that children need role models, discipline, structure, stability and of course love in their lives to become responsible and productive adults.

We can't expect others to raise them for us!

Sylvia Hubbard said...

i know i care for my children because I'm a very selfish person and I realize this about myself, but I'll go out of my way to make sure my children are happy and safe. I discipline with an iron fist because I know the world will do worst if I don't do my job when they have to get out in the world without me.

I'm angered at the lack of responsibility adults are taking when it comes to raising kids.

Just recently about the mother who was trying to sell her 7 year old for sex on the Internet for the highest price.

I just want ten minutes in the room with that mother with a jar of vaseline.

Hijabee said...

Every child should be cared for regardless of their color. A child is a child, and didnt ask to come into this world. If someone think they are grown enough to have kids, they should be prepared to take care of that child and protect them in the best way they can. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Especially, when it comes to back children, one might feel that they're not even considered as kids sometimes. Just the few cases stated in this article show that the police is treating them as adults. I think,that we should voice our opinions more on this issue and protect our kids coz a society that doesnt take care of its kids doesnt have a future

credo said...

Do we care about ourselves? Our children emanulate are action, if we care about ourselves, we care about our children because they are a part of us.

Adults I have worked with wear a mask and refuse to care about themselves. They justify certain behavior believing that was the right choice at the moment. Our children see the dual role modeling: Do as I say not as I do.

Anonymous said...

Well, as a child, I should answer this question. Sometimes it seems that adults ignore their children. On the Maury Show, a 12 year old took a paternity test. Where were her parents?

Some adults must love their kids, like my parents.

Nick at said...

Hi- I ran across your post by following you back from a comment on a blog I visit and write on: BraveHumans. I had liked your voice and hoped you'd come and share it more often there; we tend to be a bit too insulated and monochromatic (pink) to get the diversity of opinion I'd value.

I have a connected concern to your post about caring for children. I work as a Speech-language Therapist in a program for troubled kids. Too often, I see kids who have demonstrated anger and frustration in school get the "Emotionally Disturbed " label to put them in a Special Ed classroom, but when I look at them closely, I find many are two or three years delayed in reading and writing skills. No wonder they act up- they are frustrated and feel vulnerable and acting up makes them look cool and feel strong.

So please pass the word- if kids are falling behind, get them the help they need--a reading evaluation, a speech and language evaluation, writing tutoring, etc. And yes, read to them, and with them. Every day.

And if someone is getting put in a Special Ed class, that may not be a bad thing--many of the kids I work with do need the extra attention and help they can get here, at least for a while. But make sure that if your kid is being put in a special class, to ask for ALL the help they need. Maybe they get the "Behavioral" label to justify the small class. But make sure Someone is addressing the Reading and Writing and LIstening and Speaking needs too. Hold their feet to the fire, and make sure your kid uses that time well. Every kid needs to read and write successfully to break the cycle of failure and shame and to find their place.

Thanks for listening, and for the thoughtful post.

Teendoc said...

I care about and have cared for our kids both professionally (as an adolescent medicine physician) and personally, as a mentor and friend. I don't believe that "shutting down cities" as the author of the article you cited suggested is the right thing to do to help our kids.

We do need to instill responsibility and consequences for inappropriate behavior. We also need to raise our expectations for our kids.

I'm sorry, but I see so many kids going to hell in a handbasket because parents have abdicated their responsibility for parenting. That needs to change.

Unknown said...

I believe that we do care about our children. I think sometimes we fall into the trap of, "What can I do to change anything?". I also believe that there are those who lack the skills, guidance, and resources to parent properly. We need to remember that one person can make a difference. One voice can speak volumes. Learning to lead and leading our children and our communities in the right direction. Not being afraid to stand up for what is right and just. I choose to believe in people. I choose to believe that we can make a better world for our children. There are so many out there fighting the good fight and making positive changes. We need to remember that when we see injustice that it is OUR responsibility to stand up and speak out for those who don't have a voice.

Anonymous said...

Our communities are suffering. oo often main stream society has undervalued, underestimated and marginalized us as a people. The results are crippling our communities because some of us have started to marginalized ourselves. These cases ,that you mentioned only scratch the surface of manifestation of racist cultural conditioning. I agree with other posters that those of us who are aware of this, need to give back to our broken communities or else the cycle will continue

Anonymous said...

Black children are our greatest natural resource and the colonial masters inside this county recognize this. So our entire communities have been criminalized by these so-called wars on crime and drugs which are merely dazzling smokescreens for the social control of the undesirable class, and thus paved the way for unquestioned state repression (i.e. suspensions, alternative schools,probation, TYC, jails, prisons/death row)which noone challenges until the most egregious incidents occur which can't be swept under the rug by those responsible. These latest incidents in Florida, Baltimore, Maryland and Paris, Texas aren't coincidents and serves as further proof to critics of our struggle that the domestic 'war' has redirected its focus to include "OUR CHILDREN":male and female.

The question now for every Black person is are we as a people ready to draw the line, educate, organize and take the necessary collective actions to confront these problems or are we going to continue to assist a situation designed against us? If we can not put aside our petty, non-antagonistic differences and do the right thing, we are doomed and you can't dare say you care about our children.

Please remeber one thing if nothing else I've said rings a bell, and that is "BLACK PEOPLE UNITED CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED". If we set our minds to achieve something history has proven nothing is beyond our reach.

In struggle, I AM,