Okay so check it. I was reluctant to post this, but these words have been in my soul all night!
To aaaallll you folks out there talking about the Baltimore mom "saving" her son's life... JUST STOP IT! Come on! Really??? When firefighters take someone from a burning building, do they smack up the victim? When a life guard sees a child drowning, do they jump into the water and start punching the victim before they get to shore? NO!!! You all are intelligent. You know what SAVING looks like. Saving someone does not involve pain. It rescues someone FROM pain.
Now. You do realize that saying the Baltimore mom "saved her son's life" is an excuse right? You all are just justifying her actions, as they may mirror some of your own. Come on, we have to do better than that! What would "saving his life" REALLY look like? It could have been holding his hand and leading him away into a personal conversation. It could have been shielding him from some impending danger...something that FELT like being saved TO HIM. Statements like, "Oh my pastor is going to flip if he see's my son on tv," do NOT sound like the motivation of someone who is going out to SAVE anyone. It sounds like someone who was embarrassed. Flying her son's head was done to address her reputation, not save him. I do believe there was an element of taking him out of the debacle, because as a mom she cares about him. But we are not going to sit up here and front like he is being SAVED from something, because he was not.
Now, I'm not going to get into the fact that many frontline, freedom fighters are untrained and reacting to whatever situation or system of oppression they are dealing with. Her son throwing rocks at the police is similar to youth you see doing the same all over the world. The youth usually are the ones with the fearlessness to go and brave it on the frontlines in battle. WOULD WE BE MORE COMFORTABLE WITH HIM LYING ON THE GROUND IN A "DIE-IN?" Some have warrior in them and aren't going for that. They take up arms and fight back. THIS WAS IN RESPONSE TO POLICE BRUTALITY REMEMBER! But I digress...
If Black lives REALLY mattered to us, how we cherish them would show in our actions. If Black lives mattered, we would cancel our fear of young people and communicate with them as they stand on those corners, with their pants sagging. I'm not talking about the condescending stares and words they get from us now. That's not communicating with them. Communicating is asking them how their day is going. If you want to see the pants raise up, good! Do like I do. Take a brother to the side and ask him, "Are you looking for work right now? If so, would I hire you.?" When I ask the first question, their answer has always been yes. When I ask the second question, the answer has always been no. When my third question "why" starts coming out of my mouth, they already start pulling up their pants before I can say anything. This CIVIL exchange can be happening all day, everyday. What I find is that it is easier to roll our beady eyes at them and shake our heads in disgust, as opposed to finding ways to be relevant to them...to be heard by them.
If Black lives really mattered to us...if we REALLY cared about these young brothers being SAVED, we would find out what they need and want and work to provide them with it on a daily. We would sit and listen and plan with them. Saving them means providing a sense of security and that someone has their back. If I was a young person today, I absolutely would NOT feel like adults have my back on a daily. " Kids today don't have no respect." "Kids today blah blah blah." For all of you with this vomit coming out of your mouths, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ON A DAILY BASIS TO MAKE THE SCENE BETTER? My man L. Ron Hubbard said, "When you see a crisis, look at what you DIDN'T do and know why it's a crisis." If we are going to sit here and harp on a Black boy being "saved," as far as I am involved, we are going to generate ways we can REALLY save them!
Adults! Stop using the excuse of your fear, as a reason to hit your offspring! That's weak! Fear of touching the stove, or running in the street, etc...all that. Create good control in those situations. The control comes from teaching a lesson about those things first, and ensuring the child has a firm overstanding. NOT an overstanding of why they should fear that thing, but an actual lesson about the thing itself. It will quell their curiosity and they will act responsibly once they process what you taught. Stop talking about your hardships being the reason your frustration makes you haul off and hit your children. If I punched you in your face right now, because we disagreed, I'd be deemed irrational, crazy and a definite problem. Disagreements and upsets aaaaaalllllways get resolved through negotiation, via communication. BE CLEAR! While the war goes on, there are entities COMMUNICATING on a constant basis to come up with resolutions. OUR CHILDREN WILL ALWAYS TAKE THE VIOLENT APPROACH IF THAT'S WHAT YOU SHOW THEM "WORKS."
Some of us are rearing our children to be optimal communicators, and dynamic negotiators...thinkers...contributors. Now THAT is how I can tell a Black life matters. If Black lives REALLY matter, then as parents we are going to have to exhibit self control FIRST. Then we are going to have to arm our children with the time, skill, and excellence we want for them. It's like we are just expecting them to be that, knowing doggone well we did not contribute enough for them to be that. Clothes, a roof and food are not enough. Those things just come with being a parent...an understood. Now SHOWING their lives matter entail patience, listening, discussion, freedom for them to express themselves without fear, caring about their input, instilling values you don't just talk about...but that they can SEE in your actions, shared laughter, constant validation...all that and much more. You women who have been hit by men that "love" you...you know how you feel when that happens. I know it first hand! It does not feel good when someone you love and care about brings you pain. You don't feel like you matter to them when that happens. He may be fearful of something when he hits you too. That does not excuse his hitting you.
Whew! So. If we are going to really be about it bout it, then take an inventory of your personal skill level, and conjure up the ways you can personally empower a young person with the skills you've attained over the years. You have them. You just have to use them and want to pass them on. Hitting a young person requires zero skill and causes confusion and emotional scars that can manifest into a TON of things we DON'T want...trust. Don't allow yourself to "just lose it." That's cornball. Quell your frustration and make things go right at all times. Guide your children BEFORE tragedy strikes. Fill them up with experiences and good examples that they witness for themselves in the things that YOU do. A child's behavior evolves from its environment...good or bad. Show that your children matter by ensuring they are constantly exposed to positve, powerful environments that inspire them, build them up, and never tear them down.