Friday, May 1, 2015

"Thugs" Are Nothing But Children in Transition

Whenever there is urban unrest following a death of a young man at the hands of law enforcement, especially a young Black man, the word "thug" is brought forth, not only to dismiss outpourings of rage and violence the death might inspire, but to imply that the person dying some how deserved their fate and would not be missed.

I cannot stand silent when the term is used that way. It was the same term applied to many of the young people I coached and mentored during the 15 years I was coaching and running sports leagues in Brooklyn from the early 80's to the late 90's.

There were many young men in our youth program, which was based in Park Slope, but drew from Red Hook, Boerum Hill, Bedford Stuyvesant, and occasionally as far away as Bushwick, who were feared by other coaches and parents, and occasionally by teachers and school officials. Some of them were the most talented athletes we had; others were merely angry, troubled young people looking for a physical outlet for their emotions.

I refused to give up on them. Working with other coaches and league directors, some of whom were police officers, who believed no child was a prisoner of their fate, we created spaces where these young men could express their emotions without destroying the atmosphere required to maintain a team or a league; where they could find an outlet for their energy and athletic talents, where their leadership skills could be recognized, and where they could find love and support and mentoring when they were desperate. Sometimes that meant more than sports- it meant taking them into our homes, getting them tutors, organizing them into reading groups, finding the right schools for them.

And lo and behold, many of these "thugs," over time, underwent profound personal transformations, becoming star athletes at their high schools, attending community colleges and four year schools, entering the work force and becoming parents themselves. None ended up in prison.

The faces and names of these young people, and the fear they once inspired, are etched in my memory as a reminder that no child- and teenagers are still children- should be written off because they are angry and rebellious, much less defined for life through their actions in such a way as their deaths can be justified.

Every child is precious. Every child has potential. Every child in trouble should be viewed as someone in transition to a better place, not someone who deserves a life of misery.

That was my philosophy as a teacher and a coach.

It is also my mantra as I survey the current political landscape.


Unknown said...

thanks for the Awesome post

SSC CGL 2015

vivek said...

Good Information...
SSC CGL 2015 Notification/

Unknown said...

Thanxs Good Info...

Employment News This Week

Ansh said...

Nice post,For FCI admit card please visit

pratiush said...

thanks for this information ,really i like this information ,thanks for this information sir

Joseph said...

Valuable info. Thanks for sharing.

UPSC SCRA Result 2015

pratiush said...

thanks for this information ,really i like this information ,thanks for this information sir ok

Unknown said...

nice post thanks..........DDA Recruitment 2015

Unknown said...

wow super job thanks a lot.....Kerala PCB Recruitment 2015-

Unknown said...

thanks for the information....IOCL Panipat Refinery Recruitment 2015

kranthi said...

thank you posting Latest Govt Jobs

pratiush said...

thanks for this information i really like your posts thanks sir

pratiush said...

happy independence day 2015

Jugnu said...

CBSE 10th Date Sheet 2016

Unknown said...

I KNOW YOU REALLY HARD WORKER AND nice information friend indiaresults

Unknown said...

nice information friend indiaresults
nice information friend indiaresults
nice information friend indiaresults
nice information friend indiaresults

Unknown said...

I visited your website and got something, so for thank you so much for sharing this.

employment news this week

Unknown said...

Very nice information in the post, thanks for sharing!

Sarkari Naukri

pratiush said...

nice sir thanks for this useful information- and how can i get my merit list

pratiush said...

nice sir thanks for this useful information- and how can i get my merit list

d said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
d said...

Wonderful to share this article with us!!! rojgar samachar

Unknown said...

Very nice information in the post

Kuldeep said...

GCF Answer Key
Kerala HSC Date Sheet
MAH HSC Date Sheet
MP Board 12th D
ate Sheet

Raj University Result

Unknown said...

GSSSB Assistant Technician Pharmacist Recruitment 2015

Thanks to sharing this nice information....

Unknown said...

Assam 10th Result
ICSE 10th Result
HP Board 10th result
RU MA/MSC Previous Geography Admit Card
RU MSc Previous BOtany Admit Card
JAC 10th Result
CBSE 10th Result

Unknown said...

RRB Bhubaneswar admit card
RRB Chennai admit card
RRB Kolkata admit card
RRB Mumbai admit card
RRB Patna admit card

Mridul Saikia said...

Here you can get all the latest update for 2016CBSE 10th Results 2016
CBSE 12th Results 2016
Jobs in Assam
SEBA HSLC Results 2016
Happy New Year 2017 Wallpaper and Images

Unknown said...

Really nice post about the overall development for job applicants especially people expecting govt jobs will like this site very much. Thanks a lot.

Unknown said...

10th SSC RESULTS 2016

Unknown said...

|TS 10th RESULTS 2016

rocky stallone said...

nice one !!!

Karnataka SSLC 10th Results 2016

Goa board HSC 12th results 2016

Goa Board SSC 10th Results 2016

Bihar 12th class results 2016

Tamil nadu sslc 10th results 2016

West bengal madhyamik pariksha 10th results 2016

UP board 10th results 2016

Andhra pradesh Inter 2nd year results 2016

Andhra Pradesh Inter 1st year results 2016

CBSE 10th class results 2016

CBSE 12th class results 2016

west bengal hs 12th class results 2016

Andhra Pradesh ssc 10th results 2016

Maharashtra ssc 10th results 2016

Telangana SSC 10th class results 2016

advitha said...

Thanks for the useful information in the article

Latest Movie News

theprimetalks said...