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The time is always now

The Dallas Examiner | 8/18/2014, 7:07 p.m.
Al Sharpton recently spoke at the National Bar Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. I always take every opportunity to hear Sharpton ...

The Dallas Examiner

Al Sharpton recently spoke at the National Bar Convention in Atlanta, Georgia. I always take every opportunity to hear Sharpton because his speeches are filled with powerful and true phrases.

He told the Black lawyers and judges, “We are so busy being profound, that we are not productive.”

I could not help but think how true this is – not just for lawyers and judges but others too.

How many meetings do we attend where hours are spent philosophizing about major issues in our community and we never come up with a plan or action steps to improve the situation or solve the problem.

We love to talk about what is wrong with our educational system, our economy, our neighborhoods, our jobs, etc.

Everyone weighs in on the problem. We often use the expression, “We know we are preaching to the choir.” But we continue to do it.

We run away people who may have solutions because they become discouraged at no action plan.

In February, St. Luke Community United Church held a discussion on the “New Jim Crow.” Over two hours were spent talking about the causes of the problem – the justice system, the school system, the church, our elected officials, teachers and parents.

But we left the meeting with no next steps – no action plan. What needs to be done and more importantly who is going to do it.

Sometimes we’re so busy assigning blame that we forget it takes every individual to make the community successful. We can blame the justice system for not being fair when it comes to jury selection of our peers or giving stiffer penalties to Blacks than Whites, but how willing are we to sit on a jury or make sure we vote for judges that we feel we can trust to be fair? After all, if there are judges that we do not trust that are currently seated, we can vote for another candidate and continue to do so until the seat is filled with a fair and impartial judge.

The same goes for the rest of our elected officials. Some of our elected officials are doing a good job. However, we cannot just complain about those who we feel are not acting in our best interest, yet remain unwilling to vote in order to make a change.

Another hot topic has been the public school system. The entire system is failing our children. Yet, we want to blame the parents, or teachers and other educators, or the curriculum, etc.

We once lived in a society when any adult who saw a young person misbehaving would chastise the youth and then tell their parents. Today, we look away due to concerns that the parent will become upset if we get “in their business.” So who is watching the children of working parents? And who is willing to stand up for those children that want better but do not know better?

At the same time, are teachers today teaching with the same passion as they once had? Do we, as a community, encourage and applaud those teachers who are making a difference in the education of our children? Teachers sometimes spend more time with our children than we do. Are we empowering our teachers to help us instill common values, such as: Be honest, be polite and always do your best? Are teachers willing to take on these simple, but important roles?