Breaking the “not in my backyard” mentality

Casey Thomas | 4/1/2013, 1:06 p.m. | Updated on 4/1/2013, 1:06 p.m.
The time has come for us to address something that has affected our community for too long. I had the ...
Casey Thomas

The Dallas Examiner

I’m not a writer. I just have something to say. The time has come for us to address something that has affected our community for too long. I had the pleasure to attend the Mayor’s Rally Against Domestic Violence and the turnout was awesome! There were many men who were there to take a stand against any kind of negative behavior toward females. While there, I struck up a conversation with a gentleman about education and how poorly African American students were doing and how we need to get parents more engaged. He was a slightly older gentleman so it didn’t surprise me when he said he didn’t have any kids in school.

So I told him that it didn’t matter that he doesn’t have any kids in school, I’m sure he knew someone who does. He referenced that his son has kids in school but he saw no role to play. As we continued to talk, I noticed that he has an illness that is affecting the more affluent portion of our community today.

That illness is “not in my backyard” mentality. That is the feeling that I raised my kids and they are now either in college or in their career and I have nothing to worry about. We often talk about the gap between the upper, middle and lower class, but rarely do we talk about this as it relates to our community.

During segregation, whether you were a doctor, lawyer, janitor or domestic worker, we all lived together. We didn’t look down on anyone else, or judge anyone else because they were not as well off as we were.

We went to church together, lived together, and loved one another.

My question is: What happened? When did I not become my brother’s keeper? When did I become less concerned about my neighbor’s children than my own? This has become an epidemic and it affects every aspect of our community today.

Until we begin to restore the village, none of the social ills that we are dealing with today are going to get any better. We have to begin to see one another as a part of our extended family. We have to show concern for what is going on in the lives of one another. There is a saying that if they come for me today, they will come for you tomorrow. What are you going to do when they come for you?