It could be any street in any inner city. School is out and there are not enough summer jobs. A youth is walking down a street with his girlfriend. They stop to speak to some friends sitting out on a stoop. Another youth coming from the other direction passes by, and for a brief moment, his eyes meet the eyes of the girl whose boyfriend is busy kicking it with his homeboys. She smiles, feeling good that at least someone is paying her some attention. The youth going the other direction, walking alone, smiles back and continues walking. He walks about a block when he hears someone calling him in the background. He continues to walk because he knows that he doesn’t know anyone living in the area. So, he felt that they must have been calling someone else. Moments later, he decides to turn around anyway, just in case, and sees the girl he smiled at earlier coming toward him with three other young males. One of them steps forward and says, in an aggressive manner, Why did you dis me back there? Why did you smile at my girl? At this point, the lone youth decides to act macho and say something that increases the potential for conflict or violence. At this time, the girl’s boyfriends homeboys begin urging him to act by saying, Kill the guy. Hurt him. The girl turns to her boyfriend, perhaps to say something to defuse the situation. At that very moment, a loud noise erupts. Everyone thinks it is a firecracker at first, until they all see the red smudge begin to appear on the girl’s white blouse. Everything seems to go in slow motion.
The lone youth who felt so compelled to carry a gun has now used it. He can be seen putting the gun back into his waistband while running away from the scene. The boyfriend catches his girlfriend as she falls into his arms. He begins screaming for help as his friends stand there in shock.
This kind of thing can and has happened when fear and aggression meet without the necessary social skills, values and information needed to defuse the situation. Unfortunately, because of the issues above, many of our youth are being the basic literacy skills to effectively distinguish fact from fiction.
As we know, this increasing trend toward youth violence, child abuse, crime and drug addiction will continue until we deal with the root causes, such as the lack of education, unemployment, low self-esteem, youth idleness and lack of values. This value deficiency has been allowed to fester into a value system, which is totally alien to the values we grew up to respect and emulate.
Community Academics, Sports and Health Inc.’s mission is to help change this negative youth mindset by using martial arts as the vehicle. We clearly understand that moral and character building should be taught at home, however, because of drug addiction, child abuse, neglect and a number of other societal problems, some of our children are being left to fend for themselves.
Here’s how the previous encounter should have happened: A youth walking in the other direction passes by, and for a brief moment his eyes meet the eyes of a girl standing with a group of young males. The girl smiles back. The lone youth walks about a block when he hears someone calling him in the background. He continues to walk because he knows he doesn’t know anyone living in the area. Moments later, he decides to turn around anyway, mainly because he has a feeling something is going to happen. Coming toward him is the girl he smiled at earlier. Three other young males accompany her