The black community must do better

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Arlene Jones

The news from the U.S. Census Bureau confirmed what had been predicted for years. White babies are the minority number when you compare them to the number of children being born to blacks, Asians, Hispanics and others. Now, that doesn't mean whites will be a genuine minority. For example out of 100 births, 49 will be white, 15 black, 20 Hispanic, 10 Asian and the rest will be other. But what it does represent is that the game has changed.

Over 147 years since the end of slavery and 48 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, there are no miracles or 40 acres and a mule awaiting us at the end of the rainbow. With each passing year, we as black people are being left behind as those who have shown up last are leaping over us to grab their share of the American dream.

Just look at the recent spelling bee championship. For the fifth year in a row, an Indian-American, Snigdha Nandipati, has taken first place. Yet for blacks, education is still a haphazard event simply because we talk a good game about wanting education for our children but we're not doing the legwork to assure it. It is absolutely embarrassing to hear some black parents as they speak to their children.

How can children succeed when we as adults are not creating a safe and proper environment for them to learn? The fool driving down the street at night with his music blasting or the neighbor whose stereo vibrates the walls all night is not helping children learn. The sound of gunfire does little to make anyone feel safe. And if children imitate what they see and hear, which includes grown folks whose vocabulary is filled with profanity and despair, then we cannot be shocked when the children reflect as much.

But even worse are the so-called grown ass men and women that in order to save their own butts will put children's lives on the line. And such is the case of an incident that happened right here on the Westside. According to the news reports, the police pulled over a car filled with six individuals because two of them were children who should have been in car seats. The car also had a male driver, the mother of the three-year-old girl and the granny, too. A second adult male was a passenger and to save his own butt, he gave the 3-year-old girl a loaded handgun to hide. That's right folks; a piece of scum gave a 3-year-old a loaded handgun because as bad and as bold as the male was, he was chicken when the police stopped the car. After the man got out of the car, he hollered the little girl's nickname several times. When the police approached the vehicle, the child had the handgun in her hands and then dropped it. Fortunately, it didn't go off. But come on people, what kind of individual puts their children's lives on the line to be in a car with a fool carrying a gun? I guess the kind that is willing to transport the children sans car seats or even seatbelts.

Nowhere in the news story did it mention that the driver was ticketed for transporting those kids without car seats. Nor did it say anything about the mother and grandmother of the 3-year-old going to jail for putting her life in jeopardy by having her around someone carrying a loaded weapon. And therein lies the problem. We have grown folks who want to save their own hide at the expense of others, including infants and toddlers.

If the journey of a million miles starts with the first step, the journey to getting our kids raised begins with parents who are held accountable for their actions. The more we ignore, forgive and overlook, the more of this same kind of mess we get. This society cannot control who gets to make children, but once here, we can control the environment and the manner in which they are raised.

www.arlenejones.blogspot.com

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