Monday, January 16, 2006

A Day of Heartbreak

Yesterday, two sad, sad things on television. First, I don't always watch the Sunday morning news shows. I like to keep my blood pressure down (and my television always wonders what it's done wrong with I yell at it.). But yesterday I was sucked in. Meet the Press with Tim Russert featured an MLK special with a couple of very smart, savvy guests including author Taylor Branch and education researcher Dr. John McWhorter. And then there was Marion Wright Edelman of the Children's Defense Fund. I realize her career has involved focusing on the success stories with black children, but she clearly doesn't live in the same world I live in. She certainly doesn't live in the same neighborhood.

While McWhorter was discussing the serious cultural changes that need to come in order to secure the future of many of today's young black men, he also brought up the 69% single parent birth rate by young black women in at least one of today's major cities (Chicago.) Edelman seemed oblivious only reiterating the same tired message of oppression -- instead of a fresh one of change. I'm so tired out-of-touch leaders -- regardless of race or issue -- who stridently reiterate the failures of the system without offering any solutions.

We certainly need activists like Edelman in the world who are willing to devote their lives to changing and improving others, and there's no doubt the CDF has helped millions of children. But when challenged about some real issues facing today's black youth, she could only cite the "thousands getting their college degrees." Well, that's nice, but you should come down to my neighborhood and meet some of those thousands who aren't. I think even Dr. King would agree that change comes from both within and without and any movement benefits from confronting real challenges to its success. But Edleman's message was tired and dated, a litany of complaints instead of a plan for improvement. Most sadly, she came across as out-of-touch.

I salute the important work being done by the leaders in the black community today. Luckily, most of them are aware of the seriousness of the day-to-day issues, unlike Edelman.

And then there was the heartbreaking end to the Colt's season. After a fall of really making plays happen, they just couldn't do it yesterday. I'm truly a little heartbroken.


At Tue Jan 17, 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Jason266 said...

I'm glad I'm not the only depressed blogger out there.


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