Black Men Where Are You?!
by Brenda HamptonBy now, I’m sure that many of you have heard about the recent beating of the teenager in Chicago, many have seen the school bus incident where two Black teenage students attacked a white student, and just last night in my hometown, another 16 year old was gunned down by his peers. This is happening everywhere, and unless we begin to address the real reasons as to why this is happening, more of our children will be killed. Just think, what if something like what happened to Derrion Albert happened to your sons or daughters?
I’ve thought about it, and the thought pains me. I can’t even imagine what the mothers and fathers go through after losing their children, but after watching the video of Derrion Albert being beat, I can’t rest peacefully and I’m literally sick to my stomach. I can’t stop thinking about how anyone can cause such harm to another person. What’s going on with you, where you feel proud about stomping someone to death or bashing their head in? Right now, I won’t even comment on what I feel for those who were arrested, but I will tell you that I have very little remorse for them. Maybe I should feel sorry for them too, after all, they were taught how to approach life by their mothers, or maybe…fathers?
By the way, Dad, where are you? Your sons NEED you! Don’t you get it? They…we are all crying out for your help! Mom just can’t do it alone anymore, and even though many women do a great job raising their children as single parents, obviously, some women don’t! Either way, Dad, when are you going to take responsibility for bringing a human being into this world? You just can’t walk away and think that your kids do not need you. Your daughters NEED you too, and every time she searches for love in the wrong place, she’s really looking for you. Your sons…oh, my God, please help your sons!
Go get them from our streets, and stop them from killing each other. Stop them from overcrowding our prisons and being made examples of. Let them know there’s a sensible way to approach life. Put your arms around them and tell them that you’re sorry for abandoning them. Tell them that you love them, that you’re proud of them and that you’re willing to do whatever it takes to make their lives better. Don’t wait for another man, a mentor, the president, or any other male figure to do it.
Think about it…he’s got your blood running through his body, and he will carry on the legacy that you taught him. Have you asked yourself what you want your legacy to be? Please, give him a chance that you are failing to give him. Wherever your children may be, find them. Connect with them, talk to them, be there for them, please! There is no other way for anyone to correct what is going on, if you do not make an effort to do your part.
What we’re watching play out in the streets of our cities are the results of continuous neglect from parents, particularly fathers. Now is the time, and we can’t afford to wait another hour, day or years for certain individuals to step up.
The mission starts with you and you know who you are. Close the doors to your weak ways of thinking and realize how much difference it would make if you gave your children the time they truly deserve. I know change isn’t easy, and it brings about many challenges. Set aside your fears, and to prevent us from losing more of our precious children, please, Black men especially, do the right thing. Because at the end of the day, Derrion Albert and all of the other innocent children who have lost their lives didn't deserve to be taken away from us by the young men some of us are creating. If any of these children belong to you, think about their futures, your future, and the future you could have allowed Derrion Albert to have, had you been there for your child. Remember, it's not too late to make sure this doesn't happen to another innocent victim.
Spread the word and help me get this message to resonate. As always, I welcome your feedback and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org Readers, please share your comments or suggestions here.
Brenda Hampton, Essence Magazine Bestselling Author
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