Monday, April 30, 2007

Parenting and Community 101

Parenting and Community 101
by Ehav Ever

Here's an example of a real event I read about on a blog.

A black girl pushes a truant officer at school and gets jail time. A "white" girl is convicted of arson but gets probation. What is the deal with that? Why the inequality in sentencing? Is it a situation of, if your white your right and if your black step back?

I am a firm believer that stories like the one you posted about the young women who received a rougher sentence should be a wake call to anyone who feels that there is still levels of injustice. If anything the knowledge that this kind of bias exist should cause people to take action to do more to ground their children into a strong moral stance in order to have them avoid potential bias. I personally believe, and I could be wrong that a good number of the bias that some or many African Americans experience in this country is a result of a system that is "waiting" for certain types of slip ups.

For example, not long ago I found on You Tube a video from the Chris Rock show called, and excuse my language, "How to not get your ass kicked by the police." It was of course set up like one of those "duck and cover" commercials from the 1950's and 1960's. Of course in this skit the premise was that there are certain things that when done by certain Black people will more than likely result in a police beat down. If said things were not done the chances of being beat down by the police were less likely.

Below is the video Chris Rock did. It is graphic in terms of language (curse words), but I think it does drive a certain point home.

How to Not Get Beat Up By the Police

I really think that this concept has been mastered by some African American communities. There are some African Americans who have formed communities and have done all that is in their power to keep their children grounded in a particular and specific culture that lessons the chances that the will fall victims such things.

1) So for example, if a child can be steered away from any activity that can potentially lead them into the legal system, then that HIGHLY DECREASES the possibility that they will be imprisoned unfairly. (Those imprisoned unjustly because of false charges is a different story, but if you can decrease the fair imprisonment then you can deal with the unjust.)

2) If you can convince a child maintain a moral and a cultural sense then the chances are drasticly decreased that they will go searching in the wrong places for a sense of self.

3) If you can teach a kid how to work hard in school and on the job, regardless of the obstacles that MANY people did in the past, then there is less of a chance that they will fall into less than worthy means of making a living.

4) If parents provide moral support for their children through good and bad times, and let them know that they, their family, and their community is behind in the good and the bad times there is a greater chance that a child will not take on an action that can land them in the hands of those who don't really care about them.

5) Also, if you can teach a child a second language or at least show them that there is a bigger world their own small place you can open their minds to a more international scene.

I believe that if parents and a community with similar culture and moral values come together a good majority of cases like the girl you mentioned can be avoided. When I was a kid I NEVER thought about putting my hands on an elder or an adult. I once got in trouble at school and at home for making an inappropriate joke about a teacher. My mother and my family didn't play games with those kinds of things. So because they gave me the things I mentioned above it reduced the chances of me falling victim to my passions unrestrained. At the end of the day I had to make my own choices in life, but when I looked at the benefits of everything my family and community gave me I saw that my decisions to avoid certain actions, people, and situations paid off.‎


Spotchlander said...

You make some good points, and the idea that people should raise their children to avoid certain things (or, in other words, behave with morality), is something that crosses all ethnic boundaries. Healthy family relationships are key to the healthy developement of children. The problem is that destructive family envirments perpetuate similar environments in those children, and their children. Parents can always be trusted to teach these kinds of lessons, which is unfortunate.

Ehav Ever said...

Your right that destructive family environments are part of the problem and it crosses all cultural lines. This is where it becomes even more important for people to cling to community. I think in the west there has been more of a push for individuality and away from community development.