There are so many problems facing the African-American community in the inner-cities across America and one problem that hardly ever gets any attention is the living environment that black youths are exposed to and the effect it has on their overall health. Race and racism is talked about ad-nauseam by activists, community leaders, politicians, etc but our society as a whole is ignoring a major problem that has been prevalent for years in minority communities and that is that life in the inner-city is very traumatic youths and adults who live there. According to a study published in the U.S National Library of Medicine written by the National Institutes of Health “African American and Latino populations living in urban areas appear to be exposed to extreme amounts of trauma”. These individuals experience levels of violence similar to a soldier at war and in turn are just as susceptible to stress-related psychiatric illnesses such as PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder).
African-American youths are in a horrible situation, I don’t buy into the idea from some liberal politicians or progressive activists that everything wrong with the black community is due to racism and race. Let me be clear to spend so much time talking about race in the black community is counterproductive, our children, our families need us to step up to the plate and stop wasting time focusing on the past and try to save their future. I understand the civil rights leaders and activists and organizers, authors, speakers, etc in the black community would love to spent another 100 years talking about race but enough is enough. The issues facing minorities youths are so vast, I know this personally I have members of my family who work at youth shelters and are social workers and the stories I hear are beyond belief and only the tip of the iceberg.
Most blacks and Latinos don’t realize that they are stressed out, many may not even realize they have a form of PTSD. Just imagine your 16 years old, you go to a school in the inner-city, your afraid to go to school because school is not safe, the teachers barely pay attention or notice problems going on and there is no one to protect you if someone decides they want to beat you up. Imagine how stressful it is for a 16 year old just to walk to school, take the train or bus. Imagine how stressful it is living in a drug infested gang infested neighborhood, imagine how stressful it is to hear about someone you know being shot and killed almost every week. I can’t stress this last point enough, the more death you experience at a young age can have a profound affect on your mental state, your attitude and overall health I know this personally because I experienced it myself. You can’t possibly expect to perform at your best with these types of issues going on around.
I don’t quite understand why more schools don’t have people available to talk with these kids, in my opinion every child living in a violent neighborhood should be in therapy PERIOD. This is not a race issue, the community has allowed criminals to take over and there is NO LEADERSHIP in any urban community around this nation except for the gangs and thugs who control things. Our children are dealing with:
- Sexual abuse
- Mental Health
- Sexual identity
The lack of parental guidance, support for African-American and Latino youths is at a crisis level, basically our children have no one to love them like a good parent would, to protect them and make them feel safe. We really have to take a long hard look at the black community and wonder are we really focusing on the right issues? I understand politicians and activists would love for the focus to remain on race, racism, institutional racism and the like but are these issues at play currently in the black community and are they the reason why day after day someone is being murdered leaving blood on our streets? Are the thugs in Baltimore and Chicago really killing each other because of race and racism? Do the Bloods and Crips really fighting each other because of so called racist Donald Trump? Are the gangs in Chicago really concerned with Donald Trump’s so called “hateful” rhetoric is that why they are on a killing spree? It’s very hard to connect the dots to what is going on currently in the black community and actual real racism. I know someone is going comment about cops killing black people and how white cops are shooting unarmed black people. I will address that in another post and I do agree that this happens but my concern is on the things that we can do ourselves in the community RIGHT NOW and not something that we need to protest and persuade other people to assist us with. No matter how much we protest in the streets our children are suffering RIGHT NOW and there are plenty of things we can do right now to help improve our own communities but does the black community have the courage to do it?