2013-08-09 / Columnists

An Intern’s Take

A Matter Of Perspective
By Ilyassha Shivers

Before I begin this week I want to thank the readers and those who support The Wave. I take the position that I am in very seriously and hope that you view my perspective as informative and thought provoking. I want to thank the reader from last week who by the way did not want to be identified. Your letter touched on a lot of issues. Some of your points were valid, and some were driven by the same apparatus that views things in a vacuum. I am not going to go point by point and address the concerns the reader brought to light instead I will continue on the same path that I began last week.

Before we can have an honest discussion on race we must be honest with ourselves. What I do want to address this week is the senseless violence that continues to infest our community. Last Saturday a young man was murdered, gunned down by a masked gun man. Then just this Saturday a child was grazed by a bullet in a shootout between two groups. I will be the first to acknowledge that we (African Americans) are our own greatest enemy. This same weekend a young man was shot and killed by an NYPD officer in the Bronx. The 14-year-old was shooting at another person and this was not his first time being in a situation using a gun. I know that guns don’t shoot people, we shoot. But where are these guns are coming from? That factors into the equation. Last week Mayor Bloomberg lashed out at the Governor of Virginia and the gun laws of his state because of illegal guns, high rates of unemployment, and racial profiling, Rockefeller drug laws, stop and frisk, high rates of school drop outs, children born out of wedlock to single parent homes, all of these provide conditions for a perfect storm.

Some would say, “What does that have to do with an honest discussion on race?” Most of the things mentioned are choices that are made by individuals who are not coerced into these lifestyles. The truth of the matter is that African American youths are at a serious disadvantage when compared to youth of other backgrounds. It is said if you don’t know your history you are bound to repeat the same. One thing that the African American community can say is that they don’t have a clue about the lives, blood, sweat and tears that have been sacrificed in the pursuit of freedom, justice and equality. Without this understanding and knowledge African-American youths have nothing to balance themselves, or to hold themselves accountable. I can hear you crying excuses, excuses, excuses. How can you keep giving them a loophole on morality? So to try to bring this all back in perspective and to be clear, I despise black on black violence. To have an honest discussion on race the African American community must first come to grips with the role that we play in our own demise. From the videos games that we buy for our children, to the music and videos that we allow our children to listen to and glorify, to the environment within we raise our children; we are not being honest with ourselves.

To wrap things up I worked with children for more than 10 years, mostly special education and early intervention. During this time, I would babysit in addition to working in the classroom setting. I found myself in a situation where a co-worker needed someone to watch their children. There was a newborn and one or two siblings. I learned a lot during the time I spent working there and made friends for life. I had to keep a kosher home and gained a better understanding of separation. The older children went to Yeshiva. Here's my point, when you fear God, and know who you are, and where you come from, you will have a different view of life and the system that we are operating in.

What do you think? E-mail me at shiverswave@gmail.com Look out for the next part and look out for an honest talk on race coming to an auditorium near you. Don’t forget to read The Wave!

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