Thursday, April 6, 2006
Letters to the Editor
Partnership For A
In 2005, Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist, 3193 Marianna Rd, Holly Springs, MS applied for and received a faith-based grant from The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. I must confess, I was more than a little skeptical about how The Partnership, an organization dedicated to preventing and stopping the use of tobacco in the state of Mississippi, would be of much help in our church’s youth program.
After being notified we had indeed received the grant, the first thing we had to do was attend a mandatory meeting in Jackson. It was at this meeting that it became clear to me that it was not by chance Mt. Moriah was chosen as a faith-based partner with The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.
The information provided through the day long workshop and training sessions opened my eyes to the fact that Mt. Moriah’s and the Partnership’s goals were much the same in the area of rearing, not only spiritually sound youths, but also equipping them with factual information and tools needed to make healthy life changing decisions by saying no to tobacco products.
Through this program, we have served over 70 youth since August 2005. If we have influenced just one child to make a healthy choice and choose not to use, then the work was not in vain.
As our contract nears its end (May 31, 2006), we would like to express our sincere thanks to Angie Williams, Faith-Based Director for The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi. It has truly been a pleasure working with such an energetic, spirit-filled individual.
If your church would like to partner with The Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi, please contact David Johnson, Community/Youth Partnership Project Director for Benton, Marshall and Union Counties at (662) 266-3768.
There are many interesting facts that revolve around the lives of the people in Marshall County, in our state of Mississippi and the United States, as well. Here are some facts. I can see why many in the local, state or national Democratic party do not want black Americans to learn about or even hear the truth about many of these Americans.
I would like you to read these names. Please see if you know what they have in common: Ida B. Wells, Blanche Bruce, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, A. Philip Randolph, Booker T. Washington, Sammy Davis Jr, Lynn Swann, Jackie Robinson, Denzel Washington, Don King, Rod Paige, Carter G. Woodson and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. -- just to name a few.
Have you figured it out yet? They are all Republicans! These black Americans had a choice and they chose to be Republicans! They wanted to succeed, they made their own way and stood for what they believed in. They did not allow anyone to tell them what to do. They were their own people; they all made a difference in our lives and still do.
Just take Ida B. Wells. We all know her story; or do we?
Ida B. Wells was a journalist, advocate for civil rights and an anti-lynching crusader. She was born in Springfield, Mississippi and helped to found the National Association of Colored Women in 1896 and the Negro Fellowship League. She worked with the white Republicans who started the NAACP on February 12, 1909.
She was forced off of a train for refusing to sit in the “Jim Crow Car” designated for blacks and was awarded $500 by a circuit court. That decision was overruled by the Tennessee Supreme Court in 1887, a rejection that ultimately strengthened her resolve to devote her life to upholding justice. She reported in two black newspapers, the New York Age and the Chicago Conservator, about the violence and injustices being perpetrated by Democrats against African Americans. In honor of her legacy, a low-income housing project in Chicago was named after her in 1941, and in 1990, the U.S. Postal Service issued an Ida B. Wells stamp.
How about United States Senator Hiram Rhodes Revels; do you remember him? Hiram Rhodes Revels of Mississippi was the first black United States Senator serving from 1870-1871 as a Republican. The only other African American to serve as United States Senator in the nineteenth century was Blanche K. Bruce also a Republican from Mississippi.
Revels completed the unfinished term of Jefferson Davis who was the former president of the Confederacy. In the Senate, Revels supported civil rights for blacks. Born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, attending Knox College, he became a minister of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. After completing his term in the United States Senate, Revels was named president of Alcorn University (now known as Alcorn State University).
These are but just a few famous black Republicans. There are many more. Some have passed and many more push forward. If these facts intrigue you or you just want to know more, please visit the following website. Or if you would like, please attend one of our meetings. They are open to the public. You can find the details in the calendar of events.
What can adults
Regarding the article “Officers nab four on drug charges”:
In Marshall County four men from the ages of 43 to 51 were arrested for selling crack cocaine. As a concerned citizen and fellow human being I am appalled at the idiocy of individuals who, at the ages of 43 to 51, would have the audacity to help destroy our young people, especially young black men, when the plight deepens in this country for those of color. Why be a part of the killing machine that is at work?
You (four) and any like you who are not aware; please allow me to enlighten you. This information is from an article printed in the New York Times March 20, 2006: “There’s something very different happening with young black men, and it is something we can no longer ignore,” said Ronald B. Mincy, professor of social work at Columbia University and editor of “Black Males Left Behind” (Urban Institute Press, 2006). “Over the last two decades, the economy did great,” Mr. Mincy said, “and low-skilled women, helped by public policy, latched onto it. But young black men were falling farther back.” “In response to the worsening situation for young black men, a growing number of programs are placing as much importance on teaching life skills — like parenting, conflict resolution and character building — as they are on teaching job skills.”
The share of young black men without jobs has climbed relentlessly. By 2004 up to 72 percent, compared with 34 percent of white and 19 percent of Hispanic dropouts. Even when high school graduates were included, half of black men in their 20s were jobless. Not to mention the incarceration rate.
The choices that individuals make are personal ones, whether good or bad. However, one must be responsible for his decisions when those decisions affect more than oneself. Is it necessary to add to the pervasive sense of hopelessness? It may be in your hands to turn things around. Instead of putting more weight on the shoulders or our young ones we should be ready to help carry it by showing them a surpassing way.
We all have a responsibility, especially those of us who think of ourselves as nurturers, to teach, protect and provide a way of escape for those running for their lives. Our young people need our help, not our hurt and certainly not their slavery to drugs. This is not a color limited issue but the ones more greatly affected are of color.
If joblessness is the greatest part of the problem for young men losing out on life, and I do mean decent paying jobs, then you who are in positions of power must relinquish a little of the hold that you have. This will not hurt you but more likely will help everyone, including yourselves.
We are told that the jobless rate in the US is fairly low, therefore this should be reflected by fewer individuals seeking illicit means of making a living. By using drugs as a means of income families involved are put in the position of shame which adds to low self esteem. When low self esteem takes hold self worth is defeated, thus the downward spiral leading to death; more clearly, genocide of the young black man. Tell me, is it necessary to buy into such a fate? I will answer — No!
When individuals get arrested for drug sales or possession it is said to be “the war on drugs.” Consider this: The first American anti-drug law was an 1875 San Francisco ordinance which outlawed the smoking of opium in opium dens. It was passed because of the fear that Chinese men were luring white women to their “ruin” in opium dens. ‘Ruin’ was defined as associating with Chinese men.
Cocaine was outlawed because of fears that superhuman “Negro Cocaine Fiends” (actual terms used by newspapers in the early 1900’s) would take large amounts of cocaine which would make them go on a violent sexual rampage and rape white women. There is little evidence that any black men actually did this.
Marijuana was outlawed in 1937 as a repressive measure against Mexican workers who crossed the border seeking jobs during the Depression. The American Medical Association specifically testified that they were opposed to the law. When the supporters of the law were asked about the AMA’s view on the law on the floor of Congress, they lied and said that the AMA was in favor of the law because they knew the law would never pass without the AMA’s endorsement. The law passed, and the AMA later protested, but the law was never repealed.
In both cases, newspapers across the country carried lurid stories of the awful things that these drugs did to racial minorities, and of the horrors that people of racial minorities inflicted on innocent white people while they were under the influence of these drugs. Later research has shown that not a single one of the stories used to promote these laws could be substantiated. There never was any scholarly evidence that the laws were necessary, or even beneficial, to public health and safety and none was presented when the laws were passed.
To those of you who are selling drugs to and encouraging young ones to do the same, are you sure you want the responsibility of putting the rope around their necks. This is what the drug policy is doing to black communities: At present, one-fourth of all young black men in America are either in prison or on parole. Most were arrested on non-violent drug charges. Two-thirds of all of today’s black male high school students will be dead, disabled, or in prison before their thirtieth birthday. The majority will go to prison because of non-violent drug charges. For every black man who goes to college, three will go to prison. Most of those who go to prison will be released into society again. Because they are black men with a prison record, they will be permanently unemployable.
Come on, we are smart enough to see what’s happening. Do seasoned adults need to help this system in the slaughter? Think about it!
(662) 252-4261 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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