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I don’t have to list all the issues hurting our community, especially with regards to our youth. With the countless amounts of books, interviews, cable news specials, and panels surrounding the topic I think by now everyone is pretty much aware, thus creating a very similar narrative around the country.
Ask some (not all) black people about what’s wrong with our youth and you will typically get the following responses:
They need to pull those pants up!
They are lazy!
These kids are rude and out of control!
Blame the rappers; they are the reason why our community is suffering!
Quite frankly I am getting tired of people, who do nothing to try to create solutions, complaining about these issues. The easy thing to do throughout the years have been to sit back and blame others for various social, academic, and economic issues black youth face in urban communities across the country.
The most popular focus of blame right now are rappers due to their harmful lyrics, emphasis on material items, disrespectful attitudes towards women and violent imagery, etc.
Listen, I’m not here to defend rappers or hip hop as many of the criticisms against the culture are definitely on point. Hip Hop has great power and in some cases can influence youth in a negative capacity.
With that said, the honest truth is that most of the problems the community faces have been here long before rappers have been around. Some people act as if black on black crime, the emphasis on material items, disrespect against women, and usage of the N-Word suddenly appeared once Tupac and Biggie dropped their first albums. I guess rappers are also fully responsible for black unemployment, absentee fathers, domestic violence, and the educational achievement gap as well.
You definitely have your right to criticize rappers, but when you do, make sure you are doing something to help our youth and improve our community.
Do you have solutions?
Do you mentor youth?
Are you an active community participant?
Do you hold youth accountable?
Are you deeply involved in your own child’s life?
These are valid questions I pose to all those that always complain but are never on the front lines to solve problems. It is always easy to complain and make arguments about the same issues over and over again but it is extremely difficult for some to roll up their sleeves and fight to save our children.
We need solution based strategies and we cannot do this alone. Everyone who is socially aware and has knowledge of self is responsible for ensuring the next generation is empowered and ready to reach their full potential.
Personally, I don’t care if you do not enjoy this commentary because the truth must be told. If you are not currently helping or have positive solutions to assist in solving this crisis, please have a seat and be quiet.
What are you going to do?