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Young People to Jin Cheng Yu -- Keep Your Head Up

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia , Commentary, Various Authors Posted: Apr 23, 2010

Dont Take Your Frustrations Out on the African-American Community

Dear Mr. Yu,

First, I want to send you my heartfelt condolences. Losing a parent is complicated no matter what. When you lose a parent to violence, confusion is added to the list of heartfelt emotions.

However, I plead that you dont take your frustrations out on the African-American/black community.
I know stereotypes will have you thinking African Americans are ignorant, uncivilized and violent.

Regardless of the worlds perception of American Americans, we should be known for the loving, intelligent, and peaceful people that most of us are. All cultures have downfalls, but whats most important is how we as individuals carry ourselves. So please direct the feelings of anger you have to those two individuals, not all African Americans.

I cant explain why those boys decided to try and prove themselves by bullying you and your father. Some young people do it for street credibility. Others do it because they feel disrespected and their role models have taught them to defend their respect by any means necessary. Most of these young men dont realize the life-long consequences they will face from making one bad decision.

Sadly, I feel that the African-American community has failed to mentor and give our young people the hope to believe they can be more than the stereotypes that depict us on television.

Culturally, we African Americans are accustomed to disciplining our children. We traditionally believe it takes a village to raise a child. That means that when we see a child we know acting out, we make it our personal responsibility to discipline and teach the child right from wrong. Somewhere over time, weve stopped caring about everyone else and started focusing on ourselves. This shift has been detrimental ever since it started happening.

My generation is currently lost, but we should still be held accountable for our actions. Im not trying to persuade you to believe it wasnt those kids fault for the death of your father. They must be held responsible for their actions.

I can understand why your father tried to protect you. Its innate to want to protect youth, no matter how old you are.

In the African-American community, it's an unwritten rule that you are a weak person if you lose a fight. Furthermore, if you are thought of as weak, you are more likely to be harassed by others. So they figure the only solution is to fight to the death. Like I said, your father was a victim of this senseless mentality.

Individuals such as myself are making it our own personal responsibility to teach young people idioms, like, A true friend will never lead a friend to danger and Youre only one choice away from a bad decision. Although we cant stop violence completely, we can do things to slow it down.

I apologize that your family has to go through this pain because these young people were not taught the value of life. I hope that you will remember all the positive memories of your hardworking, protective father.

With Sympathy and Heartfelt Compassion,
--Alicia Marie, 20 

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