The rites of autumn

September 12, 2014

Fall-photoThere are certain events that take place without fail to announce the fall season. The NFL football season starts at the beginning of September. Children head back to school around Labor Day. There is the annual march to stop violence or reclaim neighborhoods in the African American community. The yearly traditions keep repeating themselves over and over. The NFL kicked off the 16 week American Revolution where 32 city-states go to war with one another. For the next six months the vast majority of Americans will watch NFL teams play for 60 minutes, then relive the action for seven days. The battle for football supremacy will end when one contestant holds up the fabled Lombardi Trophy. Then the fans will go through withdrawals from football for five months until the season begins again. The blessed children return to school. This yearly rite of passage is always viewed with optimism. Children are sent off to freshly clean marble palaces to enlarge their knowledge base. The majority of children will have on new clothes for the first few days. School staff may even smile for a week or two. It is the beginning of a nine-month trek for students and staff that ends in the promotion of the child. The children and staff will then take a well-earned break before the next school year begins anew. Unlike the NFL and school starting the marches have no ending. A march has no winner or promotion to the next grade. The social reasons that lead to the formation of a march are the same. These issues have been the same for decades. One of the key issues that have led to marches has been violence in the African American community. The last march held was focused on taking the community back. The million-dollar question is, from whom? There were several hundred people who marched and stood on 35th Street September 6, 2014. These people were using the fabled march tactic to make a change in their community. The focal point of the march was to unite to take back their community. The one question no one wanted to answer was, from whom? Who is this enemy these people feel they have to take their community back from? Have the Russians landed and taken over Washington Park? Has the Taliban infiltrated 35th Street and put up barricades? Who is the enemy these people have to be free from? The answer is one of their own making. The answer is the children, teens and young adults in Milwaukee. Are these people ready to take the steps to regain the community? The problems in these areas are people some residents have known for years. Some of the problems live with many of those who marched. Some may be neighbors who have looked out for the victims before. Are the residents ready to truly take back their neighborhoods by getting rid of these people? Many are fine when the police drag off someone else’s child but the rules change when it’s their loved one. It’s time to face the truth. Residents in a community usually know who and where the problem is. Many parents look at their child and turn a blind eye when they see what their offspring is up to. Have you seen a parent on television announcing to the world they just turned their child in to the police? How many parents refuse to buy the clothing that labels children freaks or thugs? How
many residents report criminal hot spots to the police? Exactly. The choice of how to kick off fall is up to you. The NFL is always an option. School for the children is always a great start. If you own stock in Nike the marchers will keep your pockets full wearing out their shoes, which makes for a nice Christmas. Frank James IV © 2014

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. Being Frank is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.