From Black Voices — When I saw this video (you can watch the clip after the jump), I was hesitant to write about it because in some ways it’s just another embarrassing example of the disaster some of our children are growing in to.
Besides, watching the Egyptians make a first step toward true democracy and freedom was so inspirational — why tarnish this moment with a bunch of ignorant foolishness from some potty-mouth tweens?
It dawned on me, however, that the awe and inspiration our country felt as we witnessed the Egyptian people scratch and scrape for basic freedoms is EXACTLY why I should write about this video.
This video represents the confluence of every negative message and hip-hop song and age-inappropriate movie our children have ever heard or seen.
It is truly heartbreaking to see such young girls spouting the type of ignorant foolishness that almost certainly guarantees them a life of regret, despair and worthlessness. You just want to reach in to the screen and take them out and kill them show them that the way to excel is not through threats and violence and name-brand clothing. You want to show them that education, hard work and the belief in their own potential is the key to success.
As much as we want to blame the schools, the media, the white man or whoever, the blame falls squarely on our shoulders.
Somewhere, these girls have parents, yes, two of them, and it is the failure of parents and aunties and uncles and grandparents everywhere that we have an epidemic of like-minded kids displaying themselves all over cyberspace.
And I know it’s impossible for parents to regulate every moment of their children’s waking lives; yet, there is something about this video that is so familiar: The video of these three young women is the product of every hip-hop song I’ve heard on the radio in the past five years. It’s the product of every “Maury” show, every ride on the public bus and every other page on the Internet.
You can’t blame the kids for that.
However, you can blame the parents, and most importantly, the community that allows, and often invites, these negative images in to or homes and our cars. You may like it, but do you ever think how playing Nicki Minaj in the car with an 8 year old may shape his or her mind?
We cannot continue to blame technology.
As technology improves, so must parenting.
As access to negative influences become more accessible, parenting must become more vigilant.
Think about it.
Have you ever considered that your child may not need a phone and a computer in his or her room? Have you ever considered they may be in there watching idiots like this and taking notes? I know having computers and TVs in your kid’s room keeps them occupied so they are not bugging the hell out of you while you’re trying to watch “The Game,” but that’s what you sign up for in 2011 when you become a parent.
And perhaps you DO need to look at your kid’s history on their computer and maybe you DO call every number on that child’s cell phone log to make sure you know who he or she is communicating with.
Yes, it will take a while and embarrass your child, but so what? It also lets your son or daughter know that your are invested in knowing who they are talking to on a regular basis and what behavior on-line and off-line is and is not acceptable.
It is our responsibility to be the gatekeepers to the negative forces that so easily influence young people.