Until we deal with the source of the problem, we will continue to have the problem. And right now, standing front and center and always in our face is the day-after-day news reports about young people being involved in heinous crimes. In Chicago, we are experiencing what is becoming a murder-a-day phenomenon by young black teens. But if you read 20-30 papers like I do every day, the problem is not just among black teenagers, although they represent a disproportionate number.
In Florida, a young 15-year-old white kid stops some boys he knows from stealing his father’s custom-designed bicycle. He is lured to a meeting and doused with gasoline and set on fire. He is burned over 65 percent of his body. The situation would have been much worse had the young boy not jumped into a pool of water. His attackers were two blacks, two white brothers and a Hispanic.
In Los Angeles, a young 15-year-old girl leaves a homecoming dance. She is waiting for her father to pick her up from the dance but also goes into an alley with a boy she knows. She is gang raped for at least two hours while others stood around and either participated or just watched. DNA evidence shows there were at least four attackers. So far the police have arrested a 15-year-old boy and a 19-year-old Hispanic male.
The sickness permeating our society doesn’t just stop with teenagers. In Detroit, a 35-year-old “mother” gives her 15-year-old son a gun so he can shoot and kill another boy. Both mother and son are now under arrest and charged with murder. And to learn that the parents of Garrard McClendon were slaughtered by suspects, ages 17 and 18, is appalling.
I won’t go on and on, but the new stories I related show that, as a country, we have some serious problems. And the problem is an American problem. That is why I highlighted several different news stories involving a criminal element from various backgrounds.
The problems we’re having are now two and three generations deep. As I think back to the foolish girls (now grandmothers) who had children while in their teens, they have raised the idiots (the current parent generation) who are now the parents of the morons (our teen killers and thugs). Given the news report that we have 115 girls at Robeson High School pregnant or with children already, will that next generation become known as the imbecilic one?
Yes, I am taking a tough stand and using some unkind words. This isn’t simply about name calling. Rather, it is an attempt to put an easy-to-understand label on a problem that isn’t as easy to solve. We cannot put back all the demons this society has let out when we chose to allow the Pandora’s Box of bad behaviors, poor judgments, lack of personal responsibility, social acceptance of unacceptable behaviors and constant excuses to escape.
We cannot return what we have allowed out of the box. What we can do is attempt to control, tame and modify those things. And it can start with everyone in this society no longer accepting from parents the excuses they make when they aren’t doing their job.
Join me this Saturday, Oct. 31, at African Accents, 5820 W. Chicago Ave. from 2 to 4 p.m. for a book signing for my novel Billion Dollar Winner. I will also be a guest on LaShawn Ford’s radio show this Sunday, Nov. 1 from 9 to 10 p.m. on WVON 1690 AM to promote my book.