Wednesday, June 25, 2008


I normally shy away from covering "hard news" items on this blog, not because I don't care about what's going on in the world, but because I'm not a journalist and I never want to be accused of reporting inaccurate information. I do read the newspaper every day and I try to catch a minute or two of television news coverage when my son allows me to turn away from Nickelodeon. My primary source of news and information comes from the radio. I am a NPR junkie and I often tune into The Power, XM's Black Talk Station. This morning I tuned into the Warren Balentine Show just in time to hear him discussing a case in Dallas, Texas involving a 19 year old man who has been accused of killing two men outside of a recording studio. Warren played the audio from the young man's confession - the You Tube clip is below. Though I do not condone what he's been accused of doing and I strongly believe he should be given life in prison, I was saddened to hear him say that his life had been hell and that he would rather be given the death penalty than life in prison. He doesn't really get into specifics, but clearly this is a young man who has given up and is without hope. Clearly he's without guidance - a mentor. There's so much pain in his eyes, he is lost. His story demonstrates how we, especially those of us who know better, have failed our young people. I read a study a while back that attempted to explain why young people were so prone to violence. If I remember correctly, the author concluded that our culture has become so violent - just look at all of the violence in the media, not to mention the fact that we've been at war for 6 years - and because young people don't have the impulse control that comes with age and normal physiological development, they are more prone to act out without even thinking about it. They "blank out", kind of like this young man describes in the video. Without the proper guidance these children are released into the world underdeveloped and dangerous. To be honest, this all scares the crap out of me, especially as the mother of a young boy. I know we will try our hardest to raise him to believe that he's special and destined for greatness, but what I can't control is how the other children he will come across will respond when faced with the challenges of being Black in America. Ladies, I know this blog is supposed to be about empowering women to live our best lives, but truth be told, we can't do it alone. Our communities need the men to stand up and be leaders, or at least just be present. I just don't know.... One thing is for sure, seeing this has made me reconsider my decision to not get involved with a mentoring program. I was afraid that with work and a young child I couldn't afford to devote the time to someone else the way I would want. I'm now realizing I can't afford not to.

WARNING: This video contains strong language.

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