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Posts Tagged ‘violence’

The McAllister Minute: #BringBackOurGirls (May 14, 2014)

In The McAllister Minute on September 1, 2014 at 2:09 pm
MichelleObamaBringBackOurGirls

The First Lady echoes the sentiments of millions in response to the crisis caused by Boko Haram in Africa.

 

Catch Lenny’s latest edition of “The McAllister Minute”, found on the American Urban Radio Network by clicking here:

 

http://www.aurn.com/webex.php?itemID=5163&categoryID=

Teen Mass Violence: The Non-Discriminatory American Epidemic

In Articles on September 1, 2014 at 1:48 pm
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Today’s teen violence is a problem that transcends race, gender, and socioeconomic level – and it’s likely a symptom of an adult problem

 

NEW YORK CITY/ PITTSBURGH (April 16, 2014) – (Courtesy Global Grind / BmoreGossip)

 

“As a native of Pittsburgh living here during the aftermath of the Franklin Regional High School tragedy last week and as a former resident on the south side of Chicago for several years, perhaps I have a unique perspective on the incidents of violence in America, especially youth-initiated violence and urban violence.

 

“And, despite what you may have heard from the pundits around the nation and the folks at your modern-day water cooler (be it real or via social media) recently, this is not about race, gender, creed, or socioeconomic level.

 

“The teen violence – and, notably, the mass violence – we continue to see across the nation from ongoing gang wars in Chicago to mass assaults in the “Era of Columbine” has less to do with how we educate our boys, the geographical locations of the tragedies, or the skin color of the assailants. Teen violence, urban violence, and mass violence – much of which being committed by people younger than 25 years old – are symptoms of an American problem, not a demographic problem.

 

“It’s as simple as that.”

 

Read the article in its entirety on Global Grind.com or Bmore Gossip:

http://globalgrind.com/2014/04/16/teen-mass-violence-the-non-discriminatory-american-epidemic-by-lenny-mcallister-blog/

http://bmoregossip.com/teen-mass-violence-the-non-discriminatory-american-epidemic-by-lenny-mcallister

 

 

A Fundamental Choice About Fundamental Change

In Articles on July 25, 2012 at 9:33 pm

Every time we deal with another incident that threatens our safety as Americans, we have to ask: are we willing to relinquish freedoms as citizens in the pursuit of greater security?

Whether it is Chicago or Colorado, gun violence is gripping the nation. Yet, we have to decide: is it enough to change our nation at the most basic levels?

 

I know that we are all feeling pain over the recent rash of violence gripping our nation today. You can’t walk down a street on the south side of Chicago after dusk without fear of gunfire.

 

You can’t head to a local movie theater for an anticipated premiere without the worst possible scenario playing out.

 

Yet, as I have said before, I say again: We cannot choose to fundamentally change America when we face these terrors, especially as we know that we will never be able to fundamentally change the dynamics of free will and evil on the earth.

 

It is very easy to blame the NRA or rally the cause for rigid gun regulations, as if putting some sort of gun purchasing limits in place will be the remedy to prevent any more tragedies by way of gunfire.

 

Yet, we have to ask the question: can limiting gun purchases also prohibit evil Americans from plotting the worst?

 

Do we have the capability – or even the political and social desire – to fundamentally change the freedoms that we enjoy in America? And, by the way, what measurable good would it do? Did Chicago – once known as Beirut by the Lake in the 1980s – become a bastion of community safety on its west and south sides of the city during its decades-long gun ban?

 

Sure, we have added and removed amendments from the Constitution before, so the 2nd Amendment could be in play if those in power in America – both the elected officials and the electorate themselves – actually pushed for it. However, what good would it do?

 

Both the United States Constitution – and the Provider of the rights protected by that document – grant Americans the ability to perform the greatest good and the most horrible evil in this nation on a daily basis. The same document that allows for inspiring free speech also affords bigots and racists the chance to voice their vile perspectives with the same protection given the civil rights leaders of the past. The same document that ensures a republican form of democracy also had to institute multiple amendments to make sure that minorities and women could vote with equal protection under the law.

 

America – much like life- provides just enough freedom to permit evil in our imperfect world. There will never be enough legislation to keep us completely safe or provide civic assurances in our nation without fundamentally changing the nation. If we are willing to change the 2nd Amendment in the interest of keeping us all safe, what’s next? Can we limit the 1st Amendment further to make sure that those that feel “threatened” are protected at the risk of restricting the free speech of others? Can we do – as some have suggested for the sake of “preserving the Union” – put proficiency tests into place for potential voters so that we have assurances that our citizen government is created through a more-educated voting base? We can always find something to put into place to “keep us safe”, even as we overlook the long-term detriment from the short-term action.

 

Therefore, we have a choice, yet again.

 

Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s “Freedom, James Holmes, Chicago, the NRA, Columbine and Fundamental Change” on Politic365.

When Unions Fight School Systems, Kids, Communities, and Crime Rates Suffer…

In Articles on July 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm

The statistics emphasize the story concerning failing Chicago and other urban schools in today’s America. Yet, a truly renewed emphasis on education can change the trends of death and destruction before it’s too late.

It may seem like violence is all about crime and values, but overlooking the role of decades of poor educational models impacting Chicago’s communities only continues the onslaught.

 

Say what you want about bad parenting, bad unemployment numbers, and bad news in many of Chicago’s neighborhoods and areas like the Windy City around the nation. They do play a role in today’s crisis in Chicago. Much of the violence that has paralyzed the city’s south and west sides to the tune of over 250 murders in 6 months has a lot to do with these social ills.

Yet, to ignore the impact of Chicago’s woeful educational system would be akin to ignoring the bullets buzzing in many of the neighborhoods making up the third-largest city in the nation.

This is not to make one scapegoat responsible for the mountain of problems facing Chicago’s Black communities, particularly with the crime. However, it goes without saying that without looking at a viable, honest, and effective new approach to education in the city, the problems of violence may lose its deadly spike in 2012, yet the culture that has bubbled as a undercurrent of death for years in those communities will continue.

The issue of education must be more than merely teaching youth how to interact with each other. The failure to press the current institutions that impact young people the most during 9-10 months a year – namely, schools and their prevailing cultures – only continues to trap many of our youth in a cycle that leads to dropping out from school, dropping out of the active work force, and dropping right into the conditions that lead to despair and death.

The failures of educating our youth to be properly prepared to compete in the 21st century has been well-documented. This sobering reality only hits home harder when looking at the situation in Chicago, where nearly 40% of the students drop out of school. And while the tie between inadequacies in CPS (from school facilities to academic performance levels) are overlooked whenever violence grabs the headlines, missteps such as a possible looming strike of the Chicago Teachers Union would only serve to stroke the 2012 numbers for violent crimes even higher while guaranteeing that the continuation of the crib-to-cell-to-coffin cycle for Black men in Chicago stays entrenched.

 

Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s “Education Unity Over Unions to Stop Violence in Chicago” on Politic365.

 

What the President Could Have Said During His Visit to Chicago

In Articles on June 4, 2012 at 11:58 pm

What the President Could Have Said During His Visit to Chicago

CHICAGO, IL (June 4, 2012) –Some South Side Chicago residents would have liked to have gotten a bit of feedback from their president about the recent spate of violence in the Windy City.  It would have been appropriate after the stroll through his old neighborhood this past weekend.

Strolling through the old neighborhood last weekend provided a round of opportunities for President Obama and his neighbors to reconnect, even if it were through mere symbolism.

“Nice day, huh? Did you guys spend some money in Chicago!? Did you stay up too late?”

To answer the president’s questions to reporters Saturday: yes, it was, Mr. President. Saturday was gorgeous, sunny, and full of activities for Hyde Park and Woodlawn residents.

Simply put, in addition to talking about the wonderful weather, if he had a chance to cook breakfast in his own kitchen, or if out-of-town reporters ate a great Italian dinner at Leona’s, many of us wish (President Obama) said something like this:

“Folks, I don’t know if you heard any of it last night, and to be honest, I may not have since it was so nice to sleep in my own bed for once. However, if you turned on the local news this morning like I did, you were probably shocked and horrified to hear the reports that many of the same people that you walked past this morning here in Kenwood, Hyde Park, and Woodlawn lived through gunfire last night that was as loud and consistent as fireworks on the 4th of July.

Kids: I know that Malia and Sasha will likely never meet any of you, but as your neighbor and as your president, I still feel a connection to you. And as I finish my walk and I think about the best of what makes me homesick about being in Chicago – all of the lovely people and attractions here in our part of the city – I feel sick about the worst of Chicago – all this violence – impacting our youth. So, please, as your neighbor, please make the choice to knock it off. Make the choice every day to choose life. If you believe in me, your neighbor-turned-president through believing in the impossible, choose to do the impossible yourself. You can do it, kids. I believe in you, and I expect better the next time I come back home.”

Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s “What the President Could Have Said During His Visit to Chicago” on Politic365.

You Can’t Blame Big Bad Republicans For Everything

In Articles on June 3, 2012 at 12:28 am

Lenny McAllister Writes About the Blame Game

CHICAGO, IL (May 31, 2012)  – The more gunfire rains down on Black communities, including innocent Black youths on the South Side of Chicago, the more that it should be frustratingly obvious that stale talking points and status quo approaches are not the way to go.

There is something wrong when residents of Chicago’s South Side hear the sounds of gunfire at night that are so strong it sounds like it’s raining outside.

There is something tragically worse when the best that elected Black leadership – at the local, state, and federal levels – can do is resort to the same stale talking points of blaming some big, bad Republican somewhere on the woes of our communities.

I heard the rhetoric on CNN. I watched in head-shaking amazement, listening to a Chicago alderman somehow reach for national partisan talking points to explain why his one-party ward in a one-party form of city government had so many recurring problems of violence and hopelessness in a city where Black power was once seated.

I heard the rhetoric as a humbled guest recently on a Detroit radio station. I listened as multiple Detroiters attempted – futilely – to explain how the monolithic voting patterns of Black people in the Motor City was beneficial to them, their children, and the city as a whole.

One glance at the aftermath of government budgets and ethics in Detroit along with reviewing employment and education issues there and the question is evident: how has that one-party, one-stop voting bloc for Black Detroiters worked out for them?

Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s article “You Can’t Blame Big Bad Republicans for Everything” on Politic365.