Two media appearances over the weekend for Uptowners talking about the recent events in our part of town:
- James Cappleman will appear on Outside the Loop radio, airing Friday night at 6pm on WLUW 88.7-FM Chicago, and podcasting afterward at OutsideTheLoopRADIO.com. (OTL has featured extensive Uptown coverage over the years; we look forward to another interesting show).
Update: The podcast is already up and can be accessed here (at the bottom of show #152, under the heading "Uptown: WTF?"). The mp3 file can be downloaded here, as well. James's segment comes up around the 19:10 mark. He talks about why residents are angry, points out (correctly) that it was the media who mobbed Ald. Shiller on Monday, and makes an announcement.
- Joe Gray, the videographer of the gang violence video, will appear on NBC5's "The Talk" on Sunday, at 7:30am. The show is a local program that looks back at the week's most-discussed topics. If you're not an early riser, well, that's why there's TiVo, TiFaux, and VCRs, right?
We all need to thank Joe Gray for his part in cleaning up Uptown.ReplyDelete
Slightly off-topic, but since this IS media-related,I just wanted to point out that Buena Park is the "profiled community" in the Homes section in today's Trib: http://tinyurl.com/lcqrajReplyDelete
It mentions pros/cons of Buena park, as well as how residents look forward to the new Target, and "talk" of a future Broadway streetscape to increase foot traffic.
Yes, Ed, I read that Trib article too. Nice to see how St. Mary's Church is featured amongst the "pluses" of BP (for Catholics anyway). However, the article glossed over the major negative aspect of the community: the subpar performances of the public grade schools. There's Disney Magnet and...all the others.ReplyDelete
And let's face it, one of the bottom-line issues with both the recent concern over crime, and the need to keep middle-class families living in the district, is the local-school issue.
A community whose grade schools properly educate most if not all children, regardless of socioeconomic status or ethnic background, is less likely to have "young thugs" taking over street corners and more likely to have well-behaved young people engaged in positive after-school endeavors.
And a condo-owning family that lives within a couple blocks of a public school is more likely to send the kids to that school if they know that more than 25% of the student body achieves at grade level.
But this "denial syndrome" has been characteristic of most of the Trib's recent neighborhood profiles. They'll talk about the nice people, the nice houses, the convenient public transportation...oh,yeah,and the schools. The River in Egypt flows right into Lake Michigan.
Gayle, excellent points, but to be fair to the Trib, this is not an expose. It's the real estate section and they want to sell properties. So the rosy story it is.ReplyDelete
NBC 5 studio has a view of the sidewalk doesn't it?ReplyDelete
Shiller Milk carton signs in the video shot.
Hey Brennan: Interesting thought, but the show is pre-recorded (taped this AM) and doesn't feature the street as a backdrop. So set your Tivo, and sleep in.ReplyDelete
Gayle, education is a two-way street. Children have to be willing participants and if they aren't they have to be held accountable. Simply passing students along takes away their accountability.ReplyDelete
"A community whose grade schools properly educate most if not all children, regardless of socioeconomic status or ethnic background, is less likely to have "young thugs" taking over street corners and more likely to have well-behaved young people engaged in positive after-school endeavors." GayleReplyDelete
Thanks, Gayle, I agree totally about the need for a good education. Last month, Uplift with Kumba Lynxx held a peace rally for the students with Ald. Shiller in attendance. At this rally, children were given information about what not to say to the police when they are stopped, information about joining their local Communist Party, and the art project was a lesson on using spray paint to make some graffiti art. Make no mistake, there are many fine points about Uplift, but I am disturbed by the reports I hear about violence occurring when school lets out in that area and the events at this rally did not appear supportive of parents in their role of caring for their children.
Now, in another area of Chicago with much higher crime, students at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School spend long hours in school 4 days a week, and work as a student intern in a corporation the other day. The money earned goes toward paying their high school tuition. Students are not allowed to be in gangs, associate with gangs at anytime or anywhere, or dress like gang members. The boys wear ties to school and tuck their shirts in. All students there live in poverty, no exceptions.
Now where would you want your child to go to school to prepare for adulthood?
Uptown is an area where we have some hot spots of high crime. Many parts of Uptown are safe, but we do have areas that desperately need our attention. We need to work together.
Playing down the problem does not address it. Admitting the presence of crime is not an indictment against families living in poverty. We all want the neighborhood to feel safer.
NBC 5 studio has a view of the sidewalk doesn't it?ReplyDelete
Shiller Milk carton signs in the video shot.
That's something to keep in mind for September 8th.
Mr. Cappleman, I don't have any sort of allegiance to Shiller, nor do I want to provide aid and comfort to criminality. That said, I do take issue with some of what you said.ReplyDelete
AS to your comment re the peace rally, I saw your more extended comment on this topic on the Tribune breaking news board, and was disturbed because it showed a fundamental ignorance about what some people who work with youth and in the legal profession have been doing to creative positive empowerment for young people, who, as you know, have no political voice, and so often don't matter to many politicians.
Re your comment about teaching kids what not to say when stopped--you're referencing something called Street Law, and folks do have varying opinions about it. But I can assure you, as someone who has worked with law students and youth in this area, it is not about teaching youth how to be dishonest or be bad citizens. These are lessons on how any citizen--young or old--can assert their constitutional rights in a non-confrontational manner. Such programs respond to the reality that, yes, sometimes people, including young people who are not involved in criminal behavior, are stopped without any real cause, and some youth (and adults) are harassed. I'm not getting into the whole all cops good/all cops bad thing (for the record, I don't think they're all bad, nor does Street Law teach kids that all police are bad), but I see no reason to portray teaching young people about the law, their rights and responsibilities as citizens and how to safely interact with the police if they are stopped (with or without probable cause) as something suspect. I really think you should educate yourself a bit more on this topic before suggesting that something as seemingly benign yet powerful as teaching kids their constitutional rights (pesky things) is a cloak for violence.
And re your comment about the spray paint--this is nothing to do with gang "tagging." If you do a little work educating yourself on what some youth agencies are doing to have a positive impact on youth (in Uptown and other parts of the city), you'll learn that the this "graffiti" art has nothing to do with criminality, and no young person (including even a gangbanger) would make such a connection. That graffiti art you saw is often taught as an aspect of hip hop culture, of positive creative expression, along with hip hop as dance and music/performance. You can certainly google to learn more about the "why" of the graffiti--and you still don't have to necessarily agree with it--but you should at least gain enough knowledge about it to know that it is not part of criminality. Quite the opposite: it's part of positive creative work, requiring training and discipline (in conjunction with the dance and music). It might be a controversial medium, but it's not an expression of criminality and has nothing to do with gangs.
Clearly you don't agree with Shiller--but please become a little more educated about all of your potential constituents and their concerns, and some of the positive and creative ways people teach youth to be positive, educated, disciplined and contributing members of society.
Also, re Cristo Rey, to be entirely fair, Mr. Cappleman, comparing Uplift to CR is comparing apples and oranges. CR has a heavily invested corporate component--basically it's able to offer a private school experience in an inner city setting because of partnerships with corporation, which started as a way to primarily pay for costs and turned into this work-study program. Corporations get labor and diversity, students get money toward college and work experience, which is not a bad deal. It also has support from the Gates Foundation. Not really a fair comparison. Frankly, I think Uplift gets "picked on" a bit by some people on this site because they don't like some of the adults involved. But you know, Uplift really, truly is not about Helen Shiller. Mr Cappleman, you mentioned Uplift has its finer points--mind sharing some of those?ReplyDelete
Uptown Writer, the problem I have with Uplift is the kids who tear up the neighborhood because they can't manage to walk the three or four blocks from school to the Wilson el without fighting and brawling. If you've ever been anywhere on Wilson or Leland after school gets out, you're familiar with what happens, and why the police have standing orders to be there at that time of the day.ReplyDelete
Then there's the little darling who brought a gun to graduation ceremonies at the Peoples Church. And the ones who shot up Weiss Hospital after an after-school fight.
Uplift may have good points, but I surely haven't been seen them. Frankly, the chaos that necessitates police overseeing their after-school activities are enough to persuade me to stay clear of anything and anyone having to do with Uplift.
Want me to change my mind? Then Uplift needs to teach their students to behave and respect the neighborhood in which they are guests each school day.
Uptown writer, thanks for your input. I come from the perspective of a social worker (and former teacher) who has been heavily influenced by Murray Bowen’s family systems theory. I can’t summarize my years of graduate study in a couple of sentences, but I can say that what I believe about what’s best for children goes well beyond any opinion I happen to hold.ReplyDelete
When I was at the University of Chicago Medical Center, I was a family advocate. I taught doctors and nurses about working with families from the perspective of the parents. I believe (and my work with parents in high poverty areas validates my belief) that parents are worried about the effect gangs have on their children. So anything I do, I want to be sure I honor the parent’s concerns about the influence of gangs. I cringe when a school or organization encourages graffiti… not because of my own thoughts about it, but because it insults the parent’s role as the one who works hard to keep their children out of gangs. Because Uplift is located in an area heavily populated by gangs, it’s natural for parents to be a bit more sensitive about graffiti.
Certainly I want children to know their constitutional rights, but even more importantly, I want children to know that the police put their lives out on the line to protect them and their families. I also believe that parents are much more concerned about the negative effect gangs have on their children than anything the police may do to them. The chance that an Uplift student will be hurt by a gang member is hundreds of times greater than this same child’s chances of getting hurt by a police officer, yet look at where Uplift places its emphasis. What message are we giving to our children? What values are we reinforcing? But most importantly, do parents experience our support?
As far as Cristo Rey goes, there's a clear reason why Bill & Melinda Gates and other corporations are pouring money into this school. It has a mission and philosophy that is supportive of what most parents want for their children. It also promotes accountability; something that all children need in order to succeed into adulthood. Should Uplift adopt the same philosophy, I believe money and volunteers would come pouring in as well. I can say this though…. a sign-up table for joining the Communist Party won’t attract support from the likes of Bill & Melinda Gates.
I want to make this very clear... there are many wonderful things about Uplift and I've heard the teachers are incredibly dedicated to their students. However, I see more potential.
TSN, you are really going to malign all kids who attend Uplift based on the behavior of a few? Are you implying Uplift teachers and administration condone this behavior? Have you been in Uplift, gotten any information on what is taught, or do you just let your clear dislike for SHiller and anything you think is connected to her guide your thinking? Comments like yours unfairly malign all of these kids--and you will not convince me that ALL of these kids are bad and engaged in fighting and violence. Stop letting your dislike of Shiller influence your perception of ALL Uplift kids. It just strikes me as a really low blow to categorically classify all of these kids at Uplift kids as bad and insinuate that these teachers and administrators like this violence. You hate anything connected to Shiller, without question or further investigation. But you know what, it's one thing for you as a resident to have a narrow-minded and uneducated opinion; it's another for a potential alderman to be satisfied with partial knowledge. Mr. Cappleman is trying to be Alderman, and I think if he is to be taken seriously as someone who seeks to represents ALL Uptown constituents--and not merely be a mirror image of SHiller-- he would not follow your lead, TSN. I would sincerely hope that he would go to Uplift, get to know what's going on in the school and the adults involved; who knows, maybe they want more assistance, maybe they are trying ways to respond to conflict and violence within the school. I think as a potential ALderman, it is incumbent upon Mr. Cappleman to be curious enough to want to find these things out.ReplyDelete
JC said: "Certainly I want children to know their constitutional rights, but even more importantly, I want children to know that the police put their lives out on the line to protect them and their families."ReplyDelete
Mr. Cappleman, I do not understand why you think these are mutally exclusive concepts. Here's the reality--yes, police engage in a dangerous profession. Yes, most police officers are simply trying to do a good job, protect the public and get home safely. However, please do not deny the reality of some of the kids who have dealt unfortunately with some of the bad apples on the force. Police are human; some humans are bad. Some police can be bad, unfortunately. Most are not. But regardless of the character of the officer, kids can learn about the law, gain greater respect for it, and how it allows society to function. Parents and youth can also work with law enforcement to deal with crime--these concepts do not conflict. Social justice--which is part of Uplift's focus--is about figuring out what causes crime, conflict, how do we respond to it, how do we resolve it, how do we stop it--and I will tell you now that I know a little about the school because I had a sibling who attended Uplift for several years. And no one was trying to turn him into a cop-hating communist. The emphasis was on reading and education, you know--school. Also, the emphasis was on making sure kids received good health care services, making sure homeless kids could still receive an education, and maximizing partnerships with local schools, universities and park districts.
As for Cristo, what I saw from the website is that is started as sort of a corporate partnership. The success of the partnership--and infusion of money--helped with its success, thus drawing more attention of people such as Gates. How do you know Uplift does not teach accountability? My understanding, last I heard, is that Uplift tries to deal with conflict using restorative justice principles, a key component of which IS accountability for one's wrongful actions.
Now, I've laid out what I recall being some of the principles behind the school. It's sad that you all are more distracted by Che and Mao than the kids are. But please, expand on its positive points. You seem invested in pointing out the negative, yet you won't lay out for these people--this community of potential voters--what the good things are, thus giving aid and comfort to ignorant statements suggesting that Uplift is filled with violent students and teachers who somehow encourage it. Uplift would be your constituent, and I personally think you have a responsibility to delve a little deeper into what goes on there--and then tell us about it.
Uptown Writer, please point out where I connected Shiller with Uplift or even mentioned the alderman's name in my response. Please point out to me where I said ALL, or even a majority, of the students who attend Uplift are guilty of bad behavior.ReplyDelete
What I said, and what I'm paraphrase for you since you didn't understand it the first time, is that the behavior of the students who act like thugs and who make a police presence necessary at the school are responsible for making me steer clear of Uplift and everyone connected with it.
First impressions are lasting impressions. The first impression that Uplift presents to the community - guns, brawls, and police - is not an appealing one. If Uplift wants people to seek out and discover its good points, it's going to have to work harder on the public image.
Right now, that image is squad cars and police escorts, punctuated by brawls in McDonalds, banishment from the mom-n-pop stores along Wilson, and arrests in front of the Red Line. Not a pretty picture.
One may have an immaculate house, but if one's front yard is full of weeds and the windows are dirty, no one's ever going to be able to see the beauty within.
You've obviously got an agenda here, so this is all I'm going to say on the subject. Go ahead and have at it. You can have the satisfaction of the final word and sleep smugly tonight.
"However, please do not deny the reality of some of the kids who have dealt unfortunately with some of the bad apples on the force." Uptown writerReplyDelete
There may be more agreement than disagreement because I agree that we should never deny the reality that Uplift students face every single day. If I were to rank the issues faced by these students, I would place gang recruitment miles ahead and I believe the parents would as well.
The police have an Explorers Program that seeks to enhance the relationship between police officers and students. Perhaps the new principal at Uplift would be open to allowing this program at Uplift because it has not had such support in the past.
We both come with a different emphasis to address a problem. My training places the primary emphasis on strengthening family dynamics so that students have the needed support to make the right choices in their lives. The promotion of graffiti, the Communist Party, and the distrust of police may seem trivial to you, but I view it as creating further separation of the child from the parent because those trivial things are not supportive of what most parents want for their children.
Gangs thrive because of the breakdown of families. We should be doing everything possible to support families rather than throw obstacles in their path. Your support of Uplift is commendable. My major focus of support is on the families who want their children to be safe from violence.
I'm not going to sabotage this board and get in some long-winded debate. We both share some similar values but there's some disagreement about how to support them. Uplift is fine. I just want to see it get better.
A sign-up table at Uplift for kids to join the COMMUNIST PARTY? Why does that not shock you "Uptown Writer?"ReplyDelete
The communist tent was at the "anti-violence" rally.
That surprised and angered me, and tainted the entire event.
People are entitled to their political opinion, but at an anti-violence event, promoting (or allowing to promote) the image of a man who murdered tens of millions of people completely destroyed any integrity that event may have held.
I truly appreciate Uptown Writer's postings, intents and civility (thank you), but let's look to that rally as an example of anything but a success.
The gang violence which sparked the events of last week stand as testament to that.
As for Uplift, I live next door and will say that a majority of the kids I run into are decent enough kids. I could do without the litter, of course; but I'll take that over gun shots -which were heard and results seen in the shattered glass at Weiss (even though a spokesperson for Uplift incorrectly stated no gang violence in the past year).
The teachers and staff are also pleasant and polite.
The administration, however ...?
I called once to inquire as to the band's practicing schedule.
I was able to reach an understanding, and an agreement, with the woman I spoke with; but, only after she yelled at me for a few minutes.
Just sayin' ....
JC said: "The promotion of graffiti, the Communist Party, and the distrust of police may seem trivial to you, but I view it as creating further separation of the child from the parent because those trivial things are not supportive of what most parents want for their children."ReplyDelete
Mr. Cappleman, you seriously distort what I said. Distrust of police is not trivial--yet you trivialize it when you run from the fact the some people (with some reason) do have distrust for the police. You raised the issue. If you're going to raise these issues, sorry you've got to respond with more than vaguely drawn conclusions. Street Law is not about teaching distrust at all, and it is really sad that you think working with kids, responding to their realities, teaching them rights and responsibilities seeks to--and has the effect of--distancing kids from the parents. Also, you persist in completely minimizing what I said to "promotion of graffiti"--did you even take two minutes to google and see how this form of "street art" has had a long recognized role in "old school" hip hop, and how that is incorporated into programs meant to offer positive structure and positive creative outlet to youth? It's not that hard to become a little more educated about these issues. As a future hopeful representative, I hope your response to a concerned citizen and potential voter is not always to explain how you already have been trained in x, y and z, and so that's how you're gonna do it. It's never too late to learn something new. And if in fact you've not been able to make in-roads to Uplift, maybe some people sense an unwillingness in you to hear their perspective, and to be somewhat dismissive if their philosophy is not in perfect alignment with yours. But you know what--if Uplift is going to be your constituent, you need to try harder. Certainly no one wants a thriving gang culture in any community--I certainly do not-- but if you think teaching a young person about the law and "old school" hip hop somehow dilutes family bonds---well then I really don't know what to make of such a position.
And as for TSN, this is what you said: "Uplift may have good points, but I surely haven't been seen them. Frankly, the chaos that necessitates police overseeing their after-school activities are enough to persuade me to stay clear of anything and anyone having to do with Uplift.Want me to change my mind? Then Uplift needs to teach their students to behave and respect the neighborhood in which they are guests each school day."
From that any reasonable person can conclude you see nothing good about Uplift, its students or "anyone having to do with it." This board is notorious for snarking on Uplift (at least in the comments), including suggesting it's some sort of training ground for Shiller voters. This is a neighborhood school, with neighborhood kids--and based on you, TSN, we should just forget about the whole lot of them. Whatever.
I've no agenda, TSN, except as a citizen and resident of the Uptown community, with loved ones who work and live in the very areas of which you speak, to make sure if someone is going to hold themselves as representing all residents, that this person is more than just "not Shiller." Sorry, that may be good enough for you, but not me.
And in case some of you want some more education on the issues Mr. Cappleman raised:ReplyDelete
(Check out Alt.'s After School Enrichment, Connect Force program description)
Sometimes it's worth it to look beyond the "first impression."
Sometimes it's hard to look past the 1st impression when all this was started more or less in front of Alternatives. I'm just sayin'...ReplyDelete
Education is a tricky one in this city. 1st off, the city's priority is standardized test scores.I know what you are thinking, big deal.
I have to proctor 2 different tests 3 times a year. Again, big deal, right? Well, each test must be given 1 on 1 and the lesser test takes 10-15 minutes per student, the other can take up to 25 minutes. I had 29 students last year, you do the math. The bottom line is that I spend more time testing than teaching, and I am at an acheiving school. Imagine what would happen if I had to do this at an underperforming school.
I am all for progress monitoring, but 2 seperate tests a year is a bit excessive and time consuming. Some schools even have their teachers do weekly progress monitoring (see the 10-15 minute test one on one and you get a picture of the tip of the CPS time and money wasting iceberg). Oh, BTW, these tests cost a huge chunk of the CPS budget. Surely, there must be a better way?
Well, kinda like the cops that are regular contributers to this site stress: the community needs to stand up and take back the neighborhood, parents need to stand up and make their child's education a priority. It's not just the teacher's job.....really.
I worked at a school a few years back where the I only saw parents at report card pick-up. I know it's hard to schedule meetings, but I couldn't even get them on the phone in the evening.
We all have some blame to go around with all of our neighborhood, city, country, world issues.At least somebody is talking about them here, not just bitching anonymously, like we were accused of at the rally. We are taking responsibility and discussing possible solutions. It's gotta start somewhere...
GJ: "Sometimes it's hard to look past the 1st impression when all this was started more or less in front of Alternatives."ReplyDelete
GJ, what is the "this" you refer to? If you are saying some kids starting fighting in front of Alternatives--I don't applaud the fighting. But it's a little far-fetched to blame Alternatives for it.
Also, GJ, I respect that you teach and I agree we should all be looking at how all of us can play a part in improving conditions. My issue was with the potential distortion of certain activities--namely Street Law and the "graffiti" art/hip hop--as things that are used to create anarchy and detract from family, instead of examining those as programs that are also being used to pull kids away from the streets.
My point is if you are seeking to be an elected official here--and you talking about programs about which you may be showing a lack of knowledge--then you have a responsibility to find out more about what you're seeing, talk to people (ALL your constituents), understand what's going and why, etc.--you know, the same things Shiller is accused of NOT doing. I don't think that's asking too much.
I did visit the website.
Where was Street Law's support of the anti-violence rally held last week?
Based on the mission statements and programs listed on the website, it would only seem logical for Street Law to want to get involved with a community looking for help in finding solutions to youth violence.
It would only seem logical that this organization get in front of a situation like this.
Also - I see more defense of the rights of the gangs and communists in this area in your comments, moreso than I ever do the defense of the rights (and safety) of law abiding civilians.
How do you, and/or Streetlaw reconcile this disparity?
Another point: Uplift, as has been noted to me by the administration staff is NOT a school of neighborhood kids, but of kids from across the city.
A final point: Why is it that that the hip hop culture has been the default culture for urban youth, while other genres like jazz, r&b and soul are ignored?
I rarely see/hear/witness anti-social behavior stemming from Ray Charles, or Winton Marsalis; but, see a never-ending stream of anti-woman, anti-cop, and racist behavior being portrayed and possibly even endorsed in the world of hip hop.
First, you're off base saying I defend gangs and communists in my comments--that's distorted and silly. I witnessed the aftermath of gang violence, and it's not something I wish to see again. Disagree with me, but do not try to distort my words to make some sort of point. Also, I do not represent the Street Law organization, so don't try to attribute something to them via my comment. I speak as someone who knows and has worked with people who have taught Street Law, but please be very clear: I am NOT Street Law, nor did I represent myself as such.
Second, Street Law is an overarching name for a program geared toward educating the public about the law and their rights and responsibilities. This one can get from the website, if one bothers to check it out. Schools, or youth groups, for example, can specifically request Street Law education. The idea is that it teaches rights and responsibilities, and is also responsive to the needs of the particular population. So I would imagine that if a community wanted to become educated in a Street Law curriculum, the first thing would be to reach out and request it. Street Law is not like Superman, swooping in on neighborhoods and schools.
Uplift contains neighborhood kids as well as some outside of the boundaries. Neighborhood kids are given preference in admission, as I understand it.
As for why blues, jazz and R&b is not as popular as hip hop, I really
couldn't tell you, except that maybe hip hop become so firmly entrenched in youth culture, maybe it presented itself as a more expressive form. Or maybe it was new--why don't kids rock out to be bop anymore? Why aren't these darn kids doing the lindy? Because each generation wants to have its own thing. Even the hip hop of my youth is not the mass marketed "hip hop" that you hear on the radios. ANd programs using hip hop usually build on "old school" and not the new hip hop that presents as almost a form of porn. If you want to know more about it, I'd suggest you read a book.
Fine. Maybe "defend" could have been stated differently; though, you do mention a lot of mass murders without mentioning that they were mass murderers, and then state support for kids to make up their own minds.ReplyDelete
Maybe it's me, but if someone walked around with a huge poster of Newt Gingrich during an anti-violence, I'm sure you'd blow a blood vessel.
Or, if someone were to preach from the soapbox of Palin, I'm sure you'd detail your displeasure for such, especially if there were kids around.
You don't represent yourself as being from Street Law, but you're doing a lot of pitching for it.
I simply thought an organization like that, with that list of members and supporters, might be interested in some place like Uptown.
I guess my assumption was incorrect.
As for reading the website, I did.
I see Janet Reno is an honorary board member.
And nothing says justice like sending in federal troops to pull a little kid out of closet with an automatic rifle to his face like Janey Reno.
As for hip hop - you cannot deny that the hip hop culture, maybe akin to the rock n' rock culture decades back, has put some serious scars on culture in general.
I see a lot of hip hop influences with kids, and rarely does it come across as positive.
Additionally, I remember when adults tried to "cool up" social teachings with popular culture and it didn't work back then, either.
But hey - that's a divergence of experience, I guess.
All I know is what I see, and with the amount of violence in the streets I'm seeing a lot failure, and I'm tired of watching people walk around in circles and cough up rhetoric after a kid is shot, only to have another kid shot soon after.
Whatever we're doing ain't working.
Yo said: "Fine. Maybe "defend" could have been stated differently; though, you do mention a lot of mass murders without mentioning that they were mass murderers, and then state support for kids to make up their own minds."ReplyDelete
Really, Yo, I mentioned a lot of mass murderers? Look you can't be afraid of learning these people existed and even of the social systems in existence. Let me say it really slow and clear: I am not championing communism, Che or Mao. However, it seems the adults are the ones getting distracted, and it my experience the kids often are little more savvy at picking up on the right and wrong. So, yes, I do believe ultimately kids will have to learn how to think and make up their own minds and draw their own conclusions. I learned about socialism and communism in college. Found the systems themselves were not frightening--but people with too much power (in those systems) were. Did it make me want to abandon democracy and distract me from other issues? Nope.
As for Street Law--I hope to take away some of the fear about the program as I know it and as colleagues and youth workers have utilized. I felt Mr. Cappleman's take on it was a little simplistic and thus tending towards leaving people fearful about something that is not a negative thing. Clearing up potential misperceptions about it is not the same as pitching for it.
And as for hip hop, if you really want to get into the roots of it, hip hop does come from a harder urban culture and experience. Hip hop in its original incarnation gave voice to people that a lot of folks did not give a damn about. Hip hop as it is practiced today in the U.S. marketplace is a cynical co-opted hip hop, in my opinion, one used to move products and feed into fantasies about "urban culture." If that hip hop has "scarred" American culture, I think you have to look into the marketing of present day hip hop--I'm sure you know there are black artists, including hip hop artists, who struggle to get deals and airtime because they aren't deemed commercial enough. However, if you really read what I said, you would see that these programs often try to move kids away from a lot of the crap on the air, and instead move them toward the "old school" hip hop and its fundamentals, which was far different than what is on the air. I'm not talking talking integrating weird watered down raps into a lesson plan--I'm talking about teaching hip hop as genuine American creative art, rhythm and dance form founded in the streets, and copied world wide.
"Really, Yo, I mentioned a lot of mass murderers? Look you can't be afraid of learning these people existed and even of the social systems in existence. " UWReplyDelete
The rally was not a civics class. Its purpose was to promote peace. When it comes to promoting peace in an area with high gang activity, my tendency is to seek an approach that supports what parents are teaching their children. When that type of an approach is taken, it further reinforces the role of parents in the family.... and reinforcement of the role of parents is sorely needed in areas with high gang recruitment.
Inviting children to join the Communist Party, learn graffiti, and reinforcing the need to be leery of police doesn't strike me as being supportive of what parents want for their children. In my line of work, I have come across children critically injured and killed because of unnecessary gang violence. My experience with parents is that they are more concerned about the influence of gangs and drugs than police brutality. I'm not saying police brutality doesn't exist, but I do believe parents would be grateful if our priorities lined up more with theirs for their children.
UW, I fully understand you will not be in agreement with my beliefs. We will have to agree to disagree. We do want what's best for these adolescents and I will continue to advocate for routes that strengthen families.
And nothing says justice like sending in federal troops to pull a little kid out of closet with an automatic rifle to his face like Janey Reno.ReplyDelete
So, you're all upset about some outfit telling kids they don't have to consent to a search, but you condone defying the Feds with arms? Are you a G. Gordon Liddy supporter?
Elián taken by Federal authorities
After being informed of the decision, [Elián's cousin] Marisleysis [Gonzalez] said to a Justice Department community relations officer, "You think we just have cameras in the house? If people try to come in, they could be hurt."
Pepper-spray and mace were employed against those outside the house who attempted to interfere. Nonetheless, a stool, rocks, and bottles were thrown at the agents...
INS also stated in the days after the raid that they had identified as many as two dozen persons who were "prepared to thwart any government operation," some of whom had concealed weapons permits while others had criminal records.
Guys, this is getting really off-topic. You wanna discuss Uptown? Great. Federal raids and Elian Gonzalez... take it to the UU Forum, please.ReplyDelete
"Inviting children to join the Communist Party, learn graffiti, and reinforcing the need to be leery of police doesn't strike me as being supportive of what parents want for their children."ReplyDelete
Fine, Mr. Cappleman, ok, you still persist in severely reducing my explanations to communism, graffiti, and distrusting the police (not at all what I was trying to get across). Parents want a lot of things for their children, safe homes, safe streets, safe creative outlets. I have also worked in programming involving youth and adults--yes, work with kids as part of a family unit, but you cannot ignore the youth as part of a peer group. Giving youth a sense of empowerment, responsibility, and positive creative outlet and other positive adult role models--things that Street Law and "hip hop" training (not just teaching graffitti)-- is another way to reach youth on their terms--it connects them to something positive in addition to the family (not replacing it). Youth need support in all realms in which they exist so they don't succumb to bad influences.
I still hope, as you pursue your campaign, you learn a little more about what these youth workers and legal professionals are doing so your view of what they try to do and what they accomplish is not so reductionist.