Sunday, February 20, 2011

Why Are Working Class Folk Not In The Street?

You know with the news coming out of different places around this country,about local and state governments laying off government workers,cutting their benefits,cutting their pay checks and pretty much screwing them left and right.
What is it about working stiffs that we can't see the collapse of our life styles and in turn our families?
Have we working class folks been so consumed with stuff and image that we can't see the forest for the trees?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Alarm Bells Are Sounding!

This Post is from todays Washington Post

In the District, struggling to deal with teen pregnancy

By Colbert I. King

Saturday, February 19, 2011;

She was 11 years old and pregnant. A preteen herself, the girl delivered the baby while under the supervision of child protective services, a clear sign of serious issues in her young life. The medical, psychological, social and emotional support she received, however, came by way of the Teen Alliance for Prepared Parenting (TAPP), a privately funded program created by the Washington Hospital Center to address a teen pregnancy problem that the District has been slow to confront.

Loral Patchen, director of the program, does not bury her head in the sand when it comes to teen pregnancies. Instead, she and her staff of social workers, youth development specialists and health counselors have buried themselves in the problem. I learned more about their work from Patchen and Washington Hospital Center Foundation officials this week.

Since 2001, the TAPP program has served 1,356 pregnant D.C. teens and teen mothers. These days, TAPP serves more than 300 new teen mothers and teen fathers each year - that is, if the latter get involved, which is rare. TAPP support includes helping the girls through their pregnancies with counseling, psychosocial and youth development services designed to prevent subsequent pregnancies, dropping out of school and a future of dependency.

Most of the girls TAPP serves are 16 or 17 years old (45 percent and 29 percent, respectively), when they enroll in the program, though 13 percent were 15 years old and 6 percent were 14 or younger. The program started enrolling 18-year-olds last fall as well.

Patchen estimates that 70 percent of the pregnant girls and teen mothers are students in D.C. public schools.

What else is known about these girls? More than 90 percent are African American or Latina. They live in wards of the city where poverty, drugs, guns, unemployment, incarceration and teen parenting are prevalent. The average age at which the girls reported first having intercourse was 14.6 years, and they averaged one sexual partner within the year before contacting TAPP.

One-fifth of the girls had been diagnosed with one or more sexually transmitted infections. One fifth also had been pregnant two or more times before enrollment, and 6 percent already had at least one child when they started with TAPP.

About 56 percent of them live in single-parent homes, 52 percent were born to teen mothers, and 40 percent have siblings who were also teen parents.

TAPP, which focuses on preventing additional pregnancies, appears to be making a dent in the problem. Only 8 percent of TAPP girls had another birth within 24 months after the first child, according to a study by the Office of Population Affairs in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Citywide, almost 18 percent of 15-to-18-year-old mothers had another child in 2007.

Let's be clear. TAPP provides a small window on the problem. Most pregnant D.C. teens don't use TAPP services. No one knows the full dimensions of the teen pregnancy problem - not the D.C. Health Department, the D.C. Public School system, the mayor or the D.C. Council. Not even the mothers and fathers of the girls and boys who are making the babies. The city's faith leaders also seem clueless.

We do know the consequences many of these young mothers and their children will face. Without an education and strong family support, low-income D.C. teens and their babies will confront a bleak future filled with barely the minimum to support their lives.

And we know of the other costs. Taxpayers must pick up the tab for food stamps, welfare, medical care, cribs, day-care vouchers, diapers and the like.

The city does manage a program for teen parents at Anacostia and Cardozo senior high schools that aims to influence graduation and attendance rates and prevent repeat pregnancies. But otherwise the District, as usual, is playing catch-up. A federal grant awarded to the city last fall will soon provide programming for pregnant and parenting students age 21 and younger. And the D.C. Health Department is establishing school-based health facilities at Anacostia, Ballou and Coolidge high schools, where care for students and their children are most needed.

But wait. Should the city's goal be to make pregnant teens better mothers? Or should it be to prevent teen pregnancy? Remember the 11-year-old mother!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just Who Are We To Look At For Direction...........

in this life here in America,I mean all of the traditional sources of leadership in our community have seem to have gone the way of the Edsel.
Just who am I to look to when the burden of everyday life weights on my weary back?
Where are the fatherless and motherless children of today  to go to when the brutality of this American society reins down on their weary soul?Just Who!
Can they go next door to the teacher,lawyer or doctor in their community?
No they don't have that option anymore,integration has completely dismantled our community and been replace with stuff!
Media,Advertisements,Visa,MasterCard and disbursement of a grander life have replaced leadership in my community.
The ML K's,Malcolm X's,and Intellectuals have all been co-oped except for a few who are effectively marginalize to the sidelines of insanity.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stepping Up to The Plate!

Last week I wrote about the bomb scare called into our local high school and the responses to that situation.
Thanks for all of your comments,they helped me to get to the point of taking action,yes we can scream and holler on these blogs till the cows come home.
Msdeb and my friend Stimpson's comments nailed  it for me and I'm not living in mouse-land anymore without a fight.
The school board meets this coming Monday at 7PM,yes it's a trick they know it's Valentine's Day and they know most people won't show.
Even though I usually rise early (3am) for work that's still not a reason not to be all up into the school boards kool-aid.
I'll keep you posted because this is the beginning of a change for our children and their future and for many adults!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

They Are Still Young And Gifted!

Earlier this week here in the Township where I live and pay school taxes,a non student called in a bomb threat to the high school Thu the local 911 system.
The caller related that he had planted six pipe bombs around the school campus and threaten to shoot anyone who tried to remove them.
This call was made just as students started to arrive for the day of school,needless to say panic set in and there was no emergency plan to implement for this situation.
I have related before in several posts about the makeup of the political system here in this township.
The population is 75% or more African-American,needless to say the power lies in the hands of white folk.
Too many black folk in this township have George Jefferson disease(moving on up to the East side).
Instead of sending students away from potential danger they were all haul into the training center for athletes.
Needless to say fights and stupidity rein among the students,as usually the townships gestapo arrive to cage what they perceived as animals.
Now as Black parents arrive to rescue their children from this chaos they find the police and school officials not responding to their demands for accountability.
To me this is a classic case of not being involved with the politics of this township,if Black folks put as much effort and heart into the function of this township and school system as they do supporting the Steele rs football team,they may not have had the response they got from the powers that be.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Celebrating Black History Amidst The Chaos!

Yep my friends it's that time of the year again when we celebrate and lionize the great black men and women of our past.
So we continue to ignore the 800 pound gorilla in our homes and communities,according to research by the State University of New York in 1950 78% of black families were two parent families,today that percentage is 38%.
We all know the long term benefits of a stable two parent household  for children,particular young black males.
Celebrate,celebrate what,14,15 year old girls having babies fathered by 30 year old men,celebrate the wanton killing daily in our communities for no godly reason!
I think I'll just skip Black History Month this year!