With the increasing rise in Black on Black crime, police brutality, and fratricide, Mother's in Charge, a Philadelphia based organization has called for mothers from all over the US to come together to press for legislation that would treat homocide as a public health crisis.
Something definitely must be done when nearly 400 deaths have been because of police abuse of power alone. The preponderance number of murders, however, are perpetrated by Black people against other Black people - whether in the home, family, school yard, gangs, streets, prisons, or other forms of aggression. And while I think the rally is certainly laudable, and attention and action need to be taken to stem this rising statistic, the beginnings of all this in in the home.
That said, perhaps the legislation that originally took the rights of mothers and fathers to raise their children to be good citizens out of the home; as well as took the rights of schools to exercise discipline in the schools, away from the teachers and administrators, need to be reinstated as well. The fact that schools now have police and armed security guards to monitor the children, something that I never experienced when I was growing up, is evidence that this has not worked - that teachers have had their hands tied when it comes to managing their classrooms. Parents and teachers have been demonized for disciplining children. But the system of discipline they used has been replaced with armed police officers coming into the schools to arrest children as young as 5 years old, traumatizing them and their classmates.
Parents have been rendered powerless to discipline their children, giving rise to rampant increases in the lack of respect and/or regard for the rights of others. When 6 year old child gangs can run amok in a neighborhood, menacing peers and adults alike, and can't be "touched" - there's seriously something wrong with our parenting skills, individually and collectively.
That said, I applaud the organization's efforts to bring national attention to the problem - it's one leg of the need for a holistic approach to what it is that's undermining the growth, development and well being of our progeny. Let's cut out the violent movies, TV shows and games - or at least put them in perspective so that they know that they're games, but are not meant to be part of real life or interaction with their peers. Let's make sure they're receiving the nutrients that don't aggravate their moods, but enhance their growth and development. And screen those peers who have yet to be raised in responsible homes with educated parents who are life oriented, spiritually conscious, and proudly Black.
The press release below, that I received from IBW will give you detail as to when, where and how to become part of the rally. If you have young or adolescent children, I urge you to participate - as well as to begin joining forces with organizations that are providing positive, proactive programs that engage the talents and creativity of your children at an early age; while helping them develop the social skills that will see their friends, relatives and associates as allies, not adversaries.
As the mother of three, grandmother of five, and surrogate grandmom to three, I know it isn't easy; but it is necessary. No amount of rallying is going to take the place of the value system in the home being rigidly enforced - so that they grow up balanced and are in turn able to raise their own the same way. I truly pray that this rally will have the success for which it is intended, but also that we, Black people of America, begin to truly redirect our own inner workings to step away from the meanstream and forge our own community ethos, as other groups have managed to do successfully.
Stay Blessed &
www.gloriadulanwilson.blogspot.com/ECLECTICALLY BLACK NEWS
PRESS RELEASEStanding For Peace And Justice Against Rampant Killings in Black CommunitiesNational Rally to Focus on Homicide as a “Major Public Health Crisis”Washington, DC, June 3, 2015….Black families across the country are being traumatized and whole neighborhoods are being destroyed by an epidemic of homicide that’s sweeping the nation and thousands plan to gather in Washington DC on Saturday, June 6 to demand that the country’s political leaders develop a public policy agenda that addresses homicide as a public health crisis.
Led by Mothers in Charge (MIC), a grass roots Philadelphia-based organization with chapters in six states, families and community residents from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Washington DC are expected to gather at the Lincoln Memorial on Saturday morning to draw attention to homicide as a national tragedy.
Two dozen organizations that are members of the Institute of the Black World’s (IBW) Black Family Summit, along with several other national organizations from around the country are supporting the MIC’s Washington rally under the banner of “Standing for Peace and Justice.”
“Murder has claimed the lives of our loved ones, traumatized our families, and damaged our neighborhoods and communities for too long,” said Dorothy Johnson-Speight, executive director of Mothers in Charge, who lost her son to senseless violence a few years ago. “We call on all people of good will to stand with us to reduce the violence and heal our communities as we stand and speak for those who speak no more.”
Leading up to Saturday’s national rally, the organizers have put out a “call to action” not only to the public policy makers but also to members of the business, health care, education, faith-based and non-profit sectors to increase awareness of homicide and violence and to expand research, programming and funding related to this epidemic.
Recent studies indicate that homicide is the leading cause of death among African-American men ages 15-34 in the United States. Most of these cases are preventable. In the USA, the rate of unintentional death for children under the age of 18 is 10 times higher than the rate in other industrialized countries. The likelihood of a youth being murdered in the USA is 13 times higher than in other industrialized democracies.
Homicide and gun violence have severely impacted both the mental health and physical safety of community residents, particularly in the inner cities of America. Exposure to violence has been linked to depression, to domestic abuse, to increased rates of aggression, to forms of anxiety disorders such as post-traumatic stress and to physical conditions such as asthma and obesity.
“Our children are not innately more violent than children in other advanced countries,” says Dr. Ron Daniels, President of the Institute of the Black World (IBW). “The use of violence is a learned response. The presence and easy access to illegally-owned guns means that when our children and youth have disputes, rather than a fist fight, it has become a gun fight. Compared to other industrialized countries, the widespread presence of handguns accounts for these statistical differences in youth homicide, murder and injury.”
To build momentum for the June 6 rally on the Mall organizers will convene a Congressional Forum slated for Friday, June 5th at the Rayburn Office Building (Basement B-18, 9am-Noon) to discuss strategies for policies and programs that address homicide as a public health crisis.
Led by Cong. Danny Davis of Chicago and supported by Cong. John Conyers of Detroit, a panel of legal experts, advocates and persons who have been impacted by homicidal violence will focus on advancing legislation and expanding trauma and community-based services for victims of homicide.
Organizers say that access to such services requires sustained commitment and coordination across diverse partners, sectors and stakeholders.
Integral to prevention and reduction efforts is changing societal norms and values. The issue of homicide goes beyond an “urban problem” and encompasses US society’s tolerance for violence, for racial discrimination and for rampant inequalities in the areas of income, housing and education, all of which are contributing factors to gun violence which takes the lives of some 30 youth per day in the USA.
“With our Call to Action we are emphasizing the need to act now to solve the major public health crisis of homicide,” said Johnson-Speight. “To reduce homicide and violence in our communities we need public policies that support our efforts on the ground. Our youth must be protected from senseless violence and death and adequate investments need to be made in the research of trauma and in public education around this crisis.”
Don Rojas, Director of Communications, IBW
Phone: 410-844-1031; 877-304-6667
Web sites: www.mothersincharge.org: www.ibw21.org.
Research ♦ Policy ♦ Advocacy
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