By Dr. Dennis Walter Smith Sr.
The human mind is nothing less than spectacular, as it records and responds to every thought, every visual, every stimulus and every possibility. All of our learning from the time of birth dictates preparation for the growing phases of life and on into adulthood and old age. So the question is: what determines a healthy-aged individual? Could it be genetics, environmental influences, family life dynamics, a person’s level of education, or a subjective lifestyle and habits? Each and every one of these factors contributes to life’s outcomes and level of an individual’s health utility. These same influences are precursors and bullet points of a stamped repertoire and recipe of struggles for the undoubted depletion of life-styles and health, blanket throughout concentrated black communities.
Shameful images of deprivation and social disorganization, where strewn trash on city sidewalks is the common theme presentation, can leave an indelible impression on the most important unforgotten population of all: our children!
The daily expectations of our Black youth are seen through unfiltered visuals and thought patterns rooted from their impressionable nature. Children only want to be loved, supported and taken care of by the adult influences around them. The distorted state of affairs in our Black communities have absolutely nothing to do with personal, social, political or financial agenda from a child! Our children didn’t ask to be born into poverty, social calamity and drug infested environments indigenous of the abundant “ghetto” presentation.
Every Black person that lives in the ghetto is not part of the driving forces of deprivation. There are real values and intentions among many families in Black communities that are trying desperately to make ends meet and provide good foundations for their children. Just because many of our people don’t have the resources or means to move out of the ghetto does not mean that they are a part of the corruption and perpetuate that social platform!
The youth cannot help what they see in their environment and are not responsible for adult behavior. n many hard-core areas of ghettos across this nation children witness how drugs and violence stand as the centerfold of daily life. They see, and in many cases, are victims of gun violence and drive-by shootings. Many are forced into drug distribution brigades, because of broken families and the only heros in their lives are the prideful money makers in the community. Ghetto life is in a child’s face and its aura is unfiltered and in color. Black youth cannot help what is presented to them and are vulnerable to all of its negative and positive attributions. The bulk of the mental social and psychological “beatings” are endured by the youth. For these reasons they are afraid to communicate their thoughts and instead act out in the community or in school to draw wanted and needed attention. It saddens me to reflect on what has to be endured by Black youth, because I am too familiar with the process.
Children are the future of this country!
What is indelible in their minds will more than likely be the balance or imbalance of our future. The visuals of distorted Black communities cannot be filtered, but adults can surely dilute the effects of it by intervening or taking time to inspire and encourage the minds of the young. The book of ghetto-life does not always have to be judged by its cover that is created by adults, but instead a charge of diligence to mentally bolster what our children see is warranted.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Afro-American Newspapers.