02/22/11 — A good start: Talking about concerns for youths a good way to start

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A good start: Talking about concerns for youths a good way to start

The easy part is talking about what is wrong with black youths today and how so many of them seem to be lacking the guidance and support they need to make lives for themselves.

It is even easier to rage about the fact that there are more and more drug, assault, theft and other crimes associated with younger and younger offenders.

And then there is the whole notion of respect -- for themselves and their elders.

But to get the work done, to make a difference and to save some of these children and teens from lives of crime or worse, there has to be more than just talking. There has to be action.

And this week, the black community -- and others who really care about this issue, too -- are taking the first steps toward finding a way to address it.

The meeting being planned for Herman Park Center in the coming weeks should be on top of every city and county leader's "to-do" list.

And anyone who works with these children and teens -- and those who might see them in their neighborhoods -- should be there, too.

There will be discussions that will make some people uncomfortable -- and some conclusions drawn that some people might not want to hear.

But in the end, unless there is a real, no-holds-barred discussion about not only the cause and effect, but what to do to turn the tide -- it will just be a bunch of politicians blowing more hot air.

We need action, not just talk -- and this is exactly how you move from theory to practice.

Published in Editorials on February 22, 2011 10:41 AM