WAKE UP BLACK YOUTH | Arts & Culture

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The events of Thursday, October 25th that happened at Buffalo Wild Wings should NEVER have happened.

As my family and I sat waiting on our meals, the football players from First Coast High School entered. Their friends and some family members entered after winning against Raines High School. That was not the issue, their victory was won fair through an athletic contest.
The resulting violence that happened SHOULD NEVER HAVE
HAPPENED. When will our Black youth learn that
violence only reflects terribly on Blacks as a race?
Our youth need to understand WHY law enforcement
views them the way they do as potential criminals, because
of events that have happened at Wal-Mart in the past  
and now Buffalo Wild Wings at River City.

I have to honestly say that this was not the fault of the
First Coast High School football players. This was the result
of outside influences that as usual attempt to create chaos
and confusion. I commend the parents that tried to intervene
to help keep youth safe, I commend the First Coast High
School students, athletes and accompanying parents on their
quick thinking, calm demeanors that did keep the events of
the night from escalating. Parents need to understand that
at all times they must reinforce to their children how to
act / behave in a public setting. Violence does not solve
any situation it only escalates and worsens the situation for
everyone involved. I hope the young man on the FC football
team understood my concerns for his safety as I held him
trying to make sure my family and he was safe. That he did
not throw his future away through an act of anger and frustration
and cause pain to his parents who I'm sure was worried about
his life. There are too many young man and women dieing
at a young age. I do not mind protecting another parents
child or children from harm knowing that some day someone
may be protecting my son and daughter from danger. More men
need to be proactive in this way, instead of turning their backs,
or making comments, step forward and help. We were once
a village raising each others children, now we embrace others
mentality and talk, slander and turn our backs on each others
children. What type of legacy are we creating in the 21st century?

Our young men need to understand that a criminal record will
keep them from a college scholarship, it will keep them from
graduating on time and it will affect them the rest of their lives
through employment, purchasing a home and providing for
a family. There is no hiding from a criminal record it will
haunt them forever.

Young children, my wife and other female family members
that were there should not be forced to hide under tables fearing
for their lives waiting to hear gun shots and witnessing young
men and women fighting in a parking lot. What is damaged is
more than physical property, but the freedoms that Black youth
and teens have. The legal results may put innocent youth at risk
of unnecessary searches and denial of services at establishments
that fear violence from youth. This is a realty that must be
addressed and the result of past and current violence. 

The Black community cannot hide behind threats of racism, because
Black youth are involved in to many events like this. NOT to say ALL
Black youth are involved in criminal activities, but to many are that
affect that rest overall.

It is time for Black families to understand the realities of these
events and how they affect the reaction and pro-action of law
enforcement. If citizens act lawlessly and give the perception of
a don’t care attitude to the safety of others in public then the
resulting actions legally will grow to expanding harsher jail
terms, loss of bail for crimes as being discussed even in local
and national media and longer jail sentences.

What will it take for Black families, Black youth and the
Black community to finally understand and take action in our
neighborhoods, schools, churches and communities? The clock is
ticking, the events of violence, murder, and crimes are an indication
that more needs to be done and pro-active action needs to be taken.
Not another march, not another summit, not another conference and
not another workshop. No more media appearances, but serious
pro-action to help Black youth and youth of color.

Everyone of color is affected by the events of today. Our Black youth
are being labeled, categorized and pre-sentenced to jail cells even
if they do not commit a crime. The perception is there because of the
actions of a few the many do suffer.

As a parent, educator and involved in my community I have to reflect
on a bible passage my wife shared with me:
Psalms 81:11-13 (ESV)
11 “But my people did not listen to my voice; Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts, to follow their own counsels.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me, that Israel would walk in my ways!

How many summits, workshops, seminars, meetings will we need before
Blacks wake up to the decay that is spreading in our communities?
Tonight should be a wake up call to parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and
others that just because a child is in middle or high school they are NOT
adults, they still need counseling, wisdom, guidance, prayer and still
even discipline. Our Pastors, Bishops, Ministers, Priest, Apostles need to 
anoint out youth even more and pray over their flocks.
We cannot not afford to take our hands OFF our youth now
we need to keep our hands ON our youth to guide them.

Blacks cannot be angry when others start to tell us how to raise our children
when our children are caught up in violence, chaos and confusion that
disrupts public businesses and puts innocent children, women and others
at danger of physical harm and emotional trauma. The young children this
night will not remember a football game they will remember that they may
have been killed or a family member taken away from senseless violence
from someone that looks like them.

What will it take people, what tragic event will have to happen for minds,
and hearts to change. We have had out young women killed, we have had
our youth abducted, we have had teens sentenced to long prison sentences,
Black youth are now killing their parents, grandparents and their siblings.

Our City Council debates equality, justice and equitability, but people wonder why
they are hesitant, maybe because of the actions of those in the community
that show equality is not deserving. Equality is not justified because of
continued violence, lack of respect for education and social laws.

What will it take for a change or as in the Bible will a generation or several
generations need to be destroyed as it happened to the Hebrews,
are Black to suffer a similar tragedy like Israel’s people not following
the Words that gave them hope?? Blacks cannot not afford to wait 400
years, 300, 200 or even 100 because our times are different with growing
jail cells being built and inmate numbers already prepared to be burned on
the mental and even physical bodies of Black youth.
Just as other cultures were branded with numbers during the World Wars,
Black youth will have digital numbers that will follow them in
cyberspace. These cannot be erased, adjudicated or dismissed.


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