America’s Children Want You to Know We Either Pay Now or Pay Later!

by Teréza Eliasz-Solomon (HeiressMommy™)

School_HouseI sat nearly paralyzed with disgust and a profoundly deep sadness while listening to National Public Radio’s This American Life story [Sunday, 17 February 2013, #487] about Chicago Harper High School.  Look,  folks – as my many blog post reference – despite privileges, I am NOT naive nor ignorant about what REAL America is all about. My civil rights activist (late) Father’s insistence that we, his children, not be unknowing of those less fortunate and my own determination to not, while enjoying my life’s many luxuries and benefits, be a proverbial “ostrich with head in the sand” concerning our national disenfranchisement of so many groups, has all kept me keenly aware of these unequal and REALLY divided States of America. While international concerns must and should be addressed in relation to young people’s plights around the world, how can we ignore or marginalize that which occurs routinely in our inner city neighborhoods? At best that makes us hypocrites and worse it makes us dangerously racist elitist and self defeating idiots. This great nation needs all its citizens to be attended to, guided and made whole – every life interconnects either directly or peripherally in some way and at some time. This post is not a liberal feel good manifesto or guilt trip – it is specifically a REALLY blunt assertion that all is not well for America’s young people and the end result will affect us all.

America wake up – our children are being killed and gun violence is only a method but the disease is deeper and more insidious. While indeed better enforcement of gun laws will obviously eliminate some access to deadly weapons, the REAL problem is our national malaise, indifference and even moronic uncaring disconnect from those other than our own insulated group.  Violence is an everyday milieu  – our movies, television shows, video games, etc. all glorify the “might is right” tonality that inspires action at all costs in our young people. Obviously much needs to be done to curtail the ideas that social media promotes in the lives of America’s youth but there are more fundamental REAL problems that must be addressed as well. There is a REAL war going on in this country – our young people are fighting for their lives and no foreign entity – no terrorist extremist is involved; the enemy is within – it is us and if left unattended this cancer will spread to all of us for in the loss of one, the demise of many comes to eventual fruition.  Do not delude your bourgeois mind into thinking it is “those people” who have such problems in their schools as that highlighted on NPR American Life this week … no, no, no – it is not drug ridden, sloven lazy communities that this report focused on.  Certainly not wealthy and for the most part struggling parents and neighborhoods have been the center places for horrific and ongoing student violence but many are hard working and striving for that all glorified “American dream“. There is at most schools, as with Harper High School, dances, football and for this Chicago school and other similar the most amazing, devoted and super heroic teachers/staff – yes my dear readers, the REAL average U.S.A. high school experience at play. Yet students die routinely from gang violence and fear walking home or sitting in parks or even their own front porches – can we really tolerate losing an entire generation to such tragic endings? Trust me – we all pay $$$ – coming in or going out … why not just face the hard facts and get to work funding outreach and empirical studies to get to the base root of this American tragedy? Put the money into these children in productive ways and then you will not need to spend tax dollars prosecuting, jailing and caring for them long term in hospitals, etc.. If not the moral imperative as your impetus, than let the practicality at hand rule your decisions on this national matter of urgently needed action!

P.S. In my soon memoir, Heiress Mommy … A Modern Super Woman Life! I will explain why my husband and I despite planning on private school and (G-d willing) Ivy League University educations for the children we struggled to have so late in life, both REALLY believe [as my parents did] that all Americans should contribute to a national education system. Real estate geography should not determine a child’s quality of education in this nation. After all, “separate but equal” was declared inherently unconstitutional in 1954’s Supreme Court case, Brown v. Board of Education … by the way, my activist father said my being born and that wonderful legal finding made 1954 a REALLY fine year in history – at least to him and my Mother!!!

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2 Responses to “America’s Children Want You to Know We Either Pay Now or Pay Later!”

  1. Tereza, I plan to listen to the second episode Friday. From what I’ve heard so far, the basic change has to begin with all the kids in the neighborhood. They have to agree to stop getting involved in this. We cannot do it for them. I do agree with the fact that we have violent video games, television and movies. I do have some questions for the people who did the series. Are those who work in Harper High in danger in the neighborhood? How many of Harper’s grads get decent jobs and eventually move to better surroundings? I agree, the staff at Harper are heroic. How do they do it, day in day out, without feeling it is hopeless amazes me. I am proud of them. The way Part One of the show described the kids though, the gang violence is just sort of accepted. Putting money into it. I am not sure what you would put the money into. I am also not sure what studies you could do, that haven’t already been done. We all understand improving our schools helps all of us. The solution of the kids and students working it out themselves is just for this particular situation for Harper High School and the Englewood section of Chicago. I want these kids to succeed, but the way I interpreted what I heard is that it has to start with the school and the kids.

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