We are the Best Agents for Change

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BY KATHY MCDONALD

When one is continuously exposed to the senseless killing of Black males by police in the US, Canada or any other jurisdiction, one is usually filled with a sense of rancor, hopelessness or even apathy. I on the other hand, when my emotions lessen, get energized from the pursuit of spreading the gospel of education. The way I see it, it’s quite simple. To effect change, real meaningful change, the Black community has to look within and effect the change we want. There are a myriad of ways to do this: protest, peacefully or not so peacefully, create solutions to the problems, demand accountability from the powers that be, get to social media to spread the message and increase awareness of pertinent issues or we can empower ourselves, join the arena and become part of the solution. In my humble opinion empowerment is the most sustainable response. I saw a great twitter post that depicted two Black boys as the stereotypical gangster and two Black boys as graduates. Below was a picture of a Black Judge convicting two corrupt White Cops. The caption read: “Instead of this [hand gun] get educated [diploma] and position yourself to make real change”. I loved it. I can’t express how important a great education is, how powerful a great education is and how impactful a great education can be when used wisely.

Have you noticed that a lot of the inventors of our modern day gadgets and technological advances don’t allow their children or severely limit their children’s access to the same technologies that they are selling to our children? In a perverse way we are buying their “contraband” for our children. Numerous actors will appear on television and promote their show and during the interview will proudly state that their children are not allowed to watch their show as they deem it inappropriate. Yet we have our children watching these shows. The exact same can be said for singers and song writers. According to the Onion website, Eminem whose real name is Marshall Mathers was horrified that his teenage daughter was dating a guy that grew up listening to his music. He admits that his lyrics are misogynistic and violent and very degrading to women. Video games that we are letting our preteens play are written for the adult gamer and many of the creators of these games are baffled that small kids are partaking in adult entertainment.

Have you noticed that “society is falling apart, going to hell in a hand basket”? Well who is this society? Dare I say we are. Who is this mysterious “they” that keep saying all these sayings? Dare I say the “they say” is we, us, parents. Parents are part of today’s society, we are part of the “they say”. Let us not exclude ourselves from the conversation as we are an important part of the solution. Parents, we are the ones that have to reach into those less fortunate communities and evoke change. And each one teaches one philosophy. Parents, we truly need to educate ourselves about all the negatives messages we are exposing our precious kids to; through our own examples, printed media, music, art, social media, video games movies and television. We need to empower our children and bombard them with positive messages. Let us flip the script and change the narrative. Our amazing, beautiful and creative children are full of potential. The sky is the limit. Now we have to make them believe this. So Walk Good, Belle Marché

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