A lot of people talk about gun violence as being a top worry in today’s America. We talk about school shootings and the need to place stronger restrictions on guns. I’m here to tell you that we wouldn’t have so many school shootings if we would tackle the issue of bullying the right way. Meet Ariana prior to a bullying incident which would change her whole outlook on life. She was your normal happy kid. She loved ice cream and she was friendly.
A few years later Ariana would start a new school and become the targets of bullies. They jumped my daughter and beat on her while she was curled up in a little ball. Picture 11 kids around you, and four teachers nearby. A boy came up and saved her before they were able to do more damage.
After the attack took place Ariana tried to kill herself twice in one week. She suffered from PTSD for a while and had a hard time establishing relationships. She was so fearful of people and there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t take away those feelings and I couldn’t wipe the event from her memory.
It took years before Ariana could learn how to trust people again. It took a while until we saw this smile come back, but it took us moving away from Garland and those memories before she was able to just be Ariana and not the girl who was jumped. She was mob jumped so those girls were in her school, malls, movies, and it became a constant rehabilitating issue when she would run across one. My husband said that on one occasion he and my other two daughters went out for ice cream with Ariana. One of those girls involved in the attack walked by and my daughter tried to hide in her seat.
We are no longer in that area and she no longer has to worry about seeing those children, but I know she still thinks about them from time to time. She’s able to make friends now, but we are still working on keeping them. So, I guess the point is, my daughter could have died three times because of the incident on April 4th. All three didn’t have a gun present, so talk to your children about the way they treat each other. Those actions often give birth to more pain.
I try to be as encouraging as I can when it comes to things I talk to my children about. This is Black History Month so I thought it would be a good idea to watch some black historical shows with the girls. I found this one series on HULU called “The Book Of Negroes” I thought it sounded like a good show. After minutes went by, the girls started to get up and walk out of the room. I looked around and noticed they had an uncomfortable twitch going, so, I paused the movie.
That’s when it happened. I was bombarded with questions as to why was I watching this type of show? It’s Black History Month so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about our roots, but I should have known better. Every Black History Month we run into this same issue. I find a good movie or show to view and the children protest. So this time around they asked me something that I haven’t heard before. They insisted that watching the show made them feel sad and then they asked me, why didn’t it make me sad? I told them that it reminded me that we are here for a reason and that our people made big sacrifices so that we would be able to live in the house we live in, eat the foods we eat, walk down the streets we walk down, and sleep in late on Saturdays, if we wanted to.
They countered with, doesn’t it make you dislike white people? I answered no more than I would dislike the ones who sold our ancestors into slavery. They nodded and continued out of the room. I don’t know if they will ever be ready to learn about our history, but I don’t think I’ll ever stop trying to give little history lessons when I can. However, I can’t lie, there’s part of me starting to wonder if we maybe focus a little too much on the history and not enough on the future.
This morning we are going to look at how destabilization throws a country into economic hardship for centuries. Most civilizations are started with basic needs which are normally the resources that help to make up the foundation for supporting the occupants around the area. These needs include food, governing body, workforce, and in most cases religion. We’ve seen throughout history how the absence of one can soon throw another area into the turmoil. It’s like a car, you can’t drive it without the alternator.
Let’s take Africa for example, during slavery a vast number of young men and women were sold into slavery. The results of slavery created a large gap in potential workers, protectors, and skills for the continent. In the years that followed slavery, Africa would soon be thrown into numerous tribal wars, racist governments, genocides and famines crippling entire populations. One could say the absence of so many people set the country up for a near imminent downfall. It opened to door for crime.
The situation in Honduras reminds me of the African trade in many ways. People are no longer bringing people over on boats, but someone is helping to move these people from their country to America. The sad truth of it all, is that they are doing to their country, what was done to Africa many many years ago. By migrating to the United States or even Mexico they are helping to set their country up for a devastating blow that will be felt for generations to come.
If there’s crime in those areas, it is because the very people who were able to defend it, went away. Slave traders didn’t pull up on the shores and take them from their families, they went willingly. Many of us have our different reasons for feeling the way we feel about immigration, but I think it helps to chip away at the very essence of a country. I’ve always felt a ping of sadness when it comes to not knowing anything about my ancestors. I’m a little jealous when people mention that they were able to go visit areas that were once owned by their ancestors. To think of someone willingly giving up who they are, reminds me of what many of us African Americans, never had. We never had a choice. So here we are today. I’m proud to be American, but I also know what my ancestors gave up. I know their struggle was real and given a choice, they would have made their way back to Africa.
So, when you think about immigration, think about the country and remember the lesson of Africa. What takes the place and how does that entity set the course for the nation? Are we helping to destabilize an area for selfish reasons, such as the quest for cheap labor?