Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Jena 6 Teen, Mychal Bell, is TROUBLED



http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081230/ap_on_re_us/jena_six;_ylt=Ai4Vo...

I think we may have forgotten about the affects something so high profile could have on a teenager. So many of us got so caught up in being a part of history instead of really addressing the REAL issue: Mychal Bell is a troubled young man. But, how could we have helped him from afar? Family should have stepped up. Apparently, they did not i.e. foster home??

This is yet another reminder that WE need to do better. We must...if not we will continue to perish. Something has to give. We have yet to ARRIVE the way we should.

I am SO TIRED of having to say the same damn thing when it comes to black men, the black family.

But, here is a story that should touch your heart in a positive way.

A black father being a father even in death:

http://abcnews.go.com/WN/WoodruffReports/story?id=6524894&page=1

Shared with the world by Brian E. Payne.

7 comments:

Muata said...

Reader Response:

This makes me so surprisingly sad that my heart actually aches. And I can't even put a finger on why it does. Did we go wrong with him some where? Did we get so wrapped up in the case that we forgot about the individual?

-RG

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Thanks for sending the uplifting story (Father's Journal). It's good to see a POSITIVE STORY about a Brother who has and still is (even in death) providing the necessary tools of guidance to raise a responsible young man. We need more like him reflected in the media.

Thanks again!

-DM

Muata said...

Reader K Responds:

I never agreed with the protest as such (ducking from the thrown shoes). While I do recognize that there are disparities in the system, these children were not innocents. This was definitely a sad case and an even sadder state of affairs in Louisiana. However, we MUST be a bit more prudent in the causes we support, lest we as a whole are further subjected to ridicule.

-K

Muata said...

Muata Responds to K:

This incident will definitely be an opportunity for THEM to question our efforts in standing behind the young men. They will also be placed under unwarranted scrutiny just because Mychal has fallen. Let's keep in mind that he is wounded as a result of a neglectful family structure and because he is target. He is a black man living in America. No, I am not prefacing an excuse. Reality is reality.

I believe my participation in the Jena 6 rally in LA was bigger than the case. It was an opportunity for us to show the world that we can mobilize to address/rectify a WRONG. But, now of course, THEY and a few of us will devalue the effort as a result of Bell's ongoing serious issues.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader K responds:

I hear you and certainly respect your efforts in this case. I may not agree with this case in particular, but I certainly respect you for your activism!

Unfortunately, as you astutely emphasized, THEY will judge the black community as a whole for the actions of a few. However, as you know, we have historically been chastised far more punitively for the same behaviors for which our counterparts are given slaps on the wrist. Sadly, this paradigm is demonstrated in all aspects of society and begins in the school years. Knowing this, I believe that WE must at some point accept some responsibility for ourselves and what happens to us. Is it fair that the crack dealer is punished harsher than the powdered cocaine dealer? Certainly not, but knowing that this is the case, why sell crack in the first place?

Growing up in the seventies, my peers and I were inundated with the message that we had to be brighter, stronger, smarter, and faster than the others to succeed in this society. It was in this context that my generation learned to overcome the scourge of racism. It is in this context that those who paved the way before us (Dr. Martin Luther King, Justice Thurgood Marshall, et al) demonstrated how to overcome injustice. Revolutionaries, such as Malcolm, Huey, Assata, and Marcus provided further examples of taking proactive measures to achieve justice and equality (and no, I don’t agree with ALL of their actions, but in the context of the times, I can concede that they may have been necessary).

Quite frankly, Mychal Bell had a penchant for criminality prior to the incidents which sparked the Jena Six case. He was subsequently arrested in 2007 and charged with a parole violation. I agree that the demonstration was in large part much bigger than this particular case. However, I feel that the efforts of many of the leaders, Jesse Jackson, the Congressional Black Caucus, et al were largely misplaced. It is my opinion that the Civil rights Movement was left undone. Unfortunately, it fell apart with King’s assassination. This particular case was a reaction to injustices that have permeated American society since its creation. Therein lies the problem. The mobilization you mentioned should have occurred long before this case came to fruition, as the fight for justice in an unjust society should have been an ongoing, unceasing, unwavering fight, not one to be put down after the achievement of some small victory.

-K

Muata said...

From reading this article it appears he was trying. He was getting good grades and he continued to workout even though he was not allowed a 5th year to play football. Got caught doing something many young people do without getting caught. Not justifying it - but Bell may just have been re-focusing to some degree. I am so tired of society and the black family/community failing our men! So tired. Yes, personal responsibility plays a HUGE role. However, I believe the continued demise of our kids is on the hands of black parents/family.

http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20081230/Jena.Six/

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader DM responds to Muata:

Couldn't agree with you more. As the saying goes, It Takes A Village To Raise A Child, and with that in mind I think the responsibility weighs heavily on the Parents first, Family second, and Community (our community) third.

I hope some reaches out to him and guides him through this into adulthood. It's not too late.

-DM