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Are We Really A Society That Hates Children?

This is a touchy subject, one that I am going to try to approach with care. I’ve read in the news and else where that there has been a trend to ban children from places, or charge families extra for bringing their children along to a restaurant. In the most part, the reason is babies (and little kids) makes a lot of messes (and noise)–I get that, but the underlying result seems to be: ostracize the next generation when they are young. In the parenting section in the book store, there are tons of books on how to control kids–in short, how to make them act like us. Something that we approve of. There has also been a misconception that children are getting away with things that they shouldn’t (okay some are, but really not all). Are hating on the little ones who are really just carving out their place in the world really worth it? Nope, so the attack on parents begin. “Parents should know better than to take their child here.” I think I’ve read it all. What about that single mother who has literally no one to watch their kids? They work, they go to school, and they need to buy groceries, people actually expect her to walk out of the store and wait until a next time to get food? Really, is there an actual next time? I understand that people don’t like other people’s children, BUT what about a sense of, “Ah, I know what that person’s going though.” Or, “They seem to have their hands full, let’s just move away.” Every day, I...

Talking to Kids about Sensitive Subjects

Eventually, I know that this conversation is going to come up. There will be no way to avoid it, and there is no sense in delaying it. I’m referring to explaining culture and race to my daughter. As some of you know, I’m African-American, my husband is Chinese-American and my daughter is Blasian (Black and Asian). The way we are trying to raise her is with a mixture of both cultures and traditions. Our goal (one of many): when she grows up with the mixture of both cultures, it will be just what her family celebrates. No separation between the two. Seamless. It would be easy to say that since we live in New York City she is “exposed” to all cultures and see that there are no differences, so there is no need to have this conversation. But the truth is… If parents do not talk to their kid about race and how to perceive people that are ‘different from them’, they would simply form their opinions based on whatever [right or wrong] they gather from society. …they will learn exactly what we don’t want them to learn. It may seem like in this day and age there is no need to have this conversation, after all we’ve come a long way as a nation; we have Obama as president, and Opera the richest woman alive. Regardless of these figures (and other millionaires), we really haven’t progressed far enough to not talk about race and culture. This country has yet to have an honest discussion about race, cultures, and everyone’s history in creating this country (at least why...
Prisoners of War From the War on Drugs

Prisoners of War From the War on Drugs

A few weeks ago, my husband and I tried to watch a movie called American Violet. We knew that controversy was laced all through the movie, what we didn’t expect was how it would leave us feeling. We didn’t get further than 30 minutes in the movie when we turned it off. We vowed to come back to it when we calmed down. My husband was upset and I had that strangest feeling in the pit of my stomach that made me think: this could have been my story–anyone’s story. Because of that movie, I have been thinking about the war on drugs and what it really means for every day people such as ourselves. Are we really protected by our neighborhoods, or community standings? Does this war only affect people living in impoverished areas, or does it affect the suburbs as well? I asked myself these questions when writing this piece, and found the results disturbing. Regina Kelly In November 2000, Regina Kelly, single mother of 4, was arrested during a drug sweep based upon the word of an informant. She was at her place of work when her arrest took place. 24 at the time, and knowing she was innocent of the charges, she put her faith into the court appointed lawyer, who didn’t appear to really care about her case. Instead, her court appointed lawyer urged her to plead guilty. Her lawyer also told her that if she went to trial, she could be facing 5-99 years behind bars if found guilty. She did not plead guilty. Kelly’s bail was set for $70,000. Her parents managed...
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