Sunday, June 3, 2012

Chris Burkett speaks at forum about black youths & law enforcement (Video)

Sheriff Tyrone Lewis held a forum at Jackson Medical Mall on May 24, "Us and Them, An honest discussion with Law Enforcement and Black Boys."  The forum consisted of two parts -  several convicts speaking to teens present, and then several community leaders held a discussion on the problems facing young black males.*

The discussion was quite frank, and at times you would have thought you were listening to a panel discussion of JJ readers.  They read the same unwed birthrate tables we do on this website.  Unlike the Mayor, they don't have their heads in the sand.  They see the failure of Jackson Public Schools, the 6,000 new cases a year in Hinds County Youth Court.  They know young black males need a father and good male role models.  While over at the JFP the concept of masculinity is attacked, these guys know how important it is, and what it means for these kids as they grow up without dads and discipline while traveling down a path to destruction. 

It's easy to bash Jackson, as the leaders in Jackson have done plenty to deserve it;  however, for every clown like Kenneth Stokes or ostrich like the Mayor, there are other black leaders who know there is a problem with black youth and are trying to do something about it.  Unfortunately for them, talking to a group of kids or helping one in school doesn't carry a headline, as does Kenneth Stokes screaming his head off during a meeting.

The video below is former NFL player Chris Burkett's speech. He talks about the feedback he gets from kids and what he sees out there among young black males.   I apologize for the poor quality of the video. It is much better on my computer but for some reason, it loses definition when uploaded to Youtube.  I will post some more videos tomorrow and later in the week.




*Panel members:
1. Chris Burkett: former NFL wide receiver & CEO of Big Brothers/Big Sisters
2. Tony Yarber: Jackson City Councilman
3. Captain Joe Daughtry: Community Relations for Hinds County Sheriff's Office
4. Cassio Batteast: youth consultant
5. Gerald Mumford: Jackson attorney
6. Chauncey Spears: Department of Education
7. Larry Armstrong: Principal of Sowell Elementary
8. Sgt. Joe Wade: JPD and PALS

Note: I was the only white person present aside from two reporters. ;-) They showed up for a few minutes and then left after they got their "money quote" on camera. One note about comments:  Insults and troll comments about panel members will not be posted. This is a pretty good topic that needs some serious discussion. That goes for you, SF.

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice sentiments, but unless and until black leaders ackowledge the role of welfare in destroying black families, it won't amount to anything. The problem is systemic, and until the system is changed all the big-brother mentoring in the world is just re-arranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

Anonymous said...

Could it be that they are just trying to "free the land"?

Anonymous said...

KF,

How many Jacksonians were in the audience ?

On the left side of the stage, there appears to be about
twenty-five or more empty chairs and only one citizen sitting on the second row.

Anonymous said...

There is NOTHING JPS can do.
The problem is familial.
Anyone who thinks school teachers can overcome the problems associated with the lack of a family structure is insane.
80% of the kids are out of competition for a decent place in society by the 3rd grade.
The public schools systems in Mississippi have no chance to fix this problem.
You can discuss it and discuss it some more, but public schools will never be able to overcome the lack of family structure.

Anonymous said...

8:29, are you a school teacher or administrator? I am interested to know the vantage point from which you make your observations.

Shadowfax said...

I would agree with 8:29 if his/her post simply suggested that public schools won't replace or compensate for a lack of family structure (but, who among us doesn't already know that?). I've not heard anybody suggest school is intended or expected to 'overcome' or 'substitute for' it. Nor is it the role of public schools to 'fix' 'it'.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:36

My wife taught in JPS for 15 years and recently retired.

She watched it deteriorate through the years. A typical class of 22 might have two students with a father and a mother. She taught many children who never knew their mother.

I don't think anyone really disagrees with my post, do they? If you don't believe, just go to PTO meetings.

@ Shadowfox

JPS cannot perform its basic mission until the family problem is overcome. You are right, it is not the mission of public schools to "fix" or "overcome" the problem. That's why any discussion of this is a waste of time. We can meet and write books and blog and organize and bitch and march and wring our hands until the eagle flies off the capitol dome, but public schools in Jackson will never be able to fulfill a mission of preparing black children for an opportunity to succeed. Consequently, when I read a story such as this one and the people around the table start talking about the "failure of JPS," I shut it down.

Anonymous said...

It's encouraging that the discussion is at least happening.

Anonymous said...

These "discussions" are meaningless political events.

If they encourage you, that's about all the good they'll do.

bill said...

So what do we do, 1:01? I'm assuming that you're the same Anonymous from 10:15 and 8:29. It's easy to say what won't work, but do we just give up on two or three generations of people? These men may not solve the problem but they're making an effort. The process has to start somewhere...

Anonymous said...

The only solution I have been able to come up with(and I have thought about it seriously for years) is for the black churches to start their own schools. The churches can use Sunday School rooms for class rooms and begin the process using home school courses.
The churches could band together to provide classroom space and to hire competent teachers.
Of course the pastor may have to do without a new car every year.
That alone will probably squash the concept.
BUT
If they could make church schools work, a significant number of these kids might be salvaged.
Parents would be instructed of their duty to monitor homework assignments.
Kids who don't do their homework and perform adequately would be banished to the hell of public schools.
Churches are made up largely of families, and members who don't measure up to family standards are challenged to correct themselves in a way not available to public schools.
As the church schools succeed, you might see them grow and might see church membership grow as kids start prospering.

Funny you should question whether to give up on three generations of people, because that's precisely what is happening right now in most public school systems between Interstate 55 and the Mississippi River where the black population is most dense.

I guess I should sign this "Anonymous from 10:15 and 8:29"

Anonymous said...

I think sex education and access to birth control would go a long way.

Do you have an idea how stupid these kids are when it comes to sex? What they believe?

The recent teen mother documentary was very eye opening.

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