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Laguna Mobilization 2/21 Writers Group

The Way I See It

Conflict Resolution- by Jack Crawford

"I'm really sick and tired of being sick and tired" ... So said an NAACP leader regarding the media's propensity to report negative stories about African people. But why do we kill one another? In a recent tragedy, a young 17- year-old brother stopped a bullet while shielding two young sisters. They were victims of being in the wrong place at the wrong time because most of these young hoodlums that "carry " really have no idea what to do with a gun or how or when to use it. Some fool started shooting because someone spilled beer on his shoes. He had no better way of showing his displeasure? He was angry so he pulls a gun. Now, as Minister Farrakhan says, "He feels invincible... because he has a gun and the power to decide who lives or dies..." Get a life young brother!!

We need to offer crash courses in conflict resolution as a part of the ordinary curriculum in or before the sixth grade. There must be intermediate steps between an argument or other minor disagreement and killing. Our kids have been exposed to so much violence that this seems to be the preferred way of handling conflict because it earns respect. NONSENSE. It ain't respect to take someone's life over a stain on a pair of sneakers. It's stupid. Our values somehow have been lost among certain of our young.

We need to learn how to apologize. We must learn how to say "I'm sorry" and mean it without feeling that we have lost face. We must stop showing hero characters that never take any stuff from anyone because these images are becoming the father figures to young men who are not being properly guided by their own fathers. Conflict resolution. If you offend someone, apologize. Abide by the simple principle: "Do unto others..." It really ain't complex. In my mind, any person too small to apologize, when he or she has offended another, is weak.

This manifests itself in our male-female relationships. Take note of how our people seem to have a strong need to dawg each other on TV shows like Love Connection. We probably dismiss the behavior as no class. But if you apply it to our people generally you see why we can't get along. Do the males and females have to compete at such a negative level? Why can't we appear to support each other at least in public. If these folks can be that rude in public, what happens behind closed doors? Everyone wants to be macho, the best of the lot (usually at the expense of others).

If we could concentrate on making ourselves better people and assisting each other at every opportunity, we could all prosper. It has everything to do with love. Love of self, love of family and love of our people. This is not only the right thing to do, it's the intelligent thing to do. As long as African people allow this world full of white supremacy cause us to hate us, we will always be at the bottom of the pile. We'll just keep bringing each other down.

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