Friday, November 29, 2013
Sadly enough with this game young people (teenagers) have been assaulting innocent bystanders by deliberately catching people off-guard and striking them with their fists. The aim of the game is to 'knock out' the bystander to the point they become unconscious.The assailants then post video footage of the assault online.
Victims of this sick and senseless game have included individuals like Diego Moya, a chef from Manhattan and possibly an elderly woman in East New York. Along with these individuals Phoebe Connolly, a young lady that was biking in the Columbia Heights areas of Washington, was "punched in the face" by a teenager. Connolly reports that the teenager laughed. Thankfully Connolly was not seriously injured.
According to Jeff Rosen and Avni Patel from Today.Com, the assailants involved in these attacks are even targeting women and children. They go on to report that "cases are piling up, and police are on high alert".
Activists like the Rev. Al Sharpton and Tony Herbert of the National Action Network have denounced the attacks calling them a form of 'cowardice'. Herbert has called on social media websites to take down videos of the attacks.
I want to join the chorus of individuals that have come forth to denounce these senseless acts of violence. I don't want this cowardice form of behavior to grow. Yet at the same time, one wonders whether this aggressive behavior is symptomatic of the larger violent culture that exists in the United States. According to Mel Schwarz, a Psychology Today contributor, the United States is "easily the most violent high-income society on the Earth". Schwarz goes on to say that "when a system—individual, family, or culture —adapts to and normalizes grossly abhorrent activities, that system is terribly impaired. This condition is known as normosis, whereby we make normal that which is indeed aberrant. As a society, we find ourselves in just this circumstance".
Indeed, we as a society cannot allow the Knock Out game to fester and grow. I think the most important thing to do here is to first of all raise awareness on this issue. If you don't what's going on, you can't take action. So, let's get the word out there. The second thing we need to do is call a spade a spade and publicly denounce this behavior, whether it be by the water cooler at work or at the barber shop or beauty salon, or in the school cafeteria, the culprits behind these cowardly acts must be shamed. They must know that this is not acceptable. And a big first step in that direction is to have social media sites like YouTube take these videos off their site. By doing this, we can send a loud and clear message that cowardly and thuggish behavior cannot stand in a civilized society.
Monday, November 25, 2013
What if Trenton re-opened all five public libraries?
What if Trenton had more jobs than people?
What if Trenton had low property taxes?
What if you didn't need to ask the circulation desk for toilet paper at the Trenton Public Library?
What if our city's mayor wasn't under federal investigation?
What if young people felt safe going to school?
What if Trenton Central High School wasn't in deplorable condition?
What if there were more churches in Trenton than liquor stores?
What if the city's Marriott didn't need a bailout?
What if the city's youth didn't loiter in front of different small businesses?
What if Trenton High had a 100% graduation rate?
What if Trenton had incentives to attract small business and aspiring entrepreneurs?
As a blogger here in the city of Trenton, I like many others am left with a lot of 'what if's'... but you know what, deep in my heart, I do believe that Trenton can get better, I can imagine a different Trenton, a Trenton where people can feel safe, work, get a high quality education, have a good time, and do business... what about you? Can you imagine a different Trenton?
Thursday, October 24, 2013
TRENTON-- So, it's a Thursday night and I'm on Facebook running through the news feed that never seems to stop and I stumble across a relationship blog cipher happening at the Trenton Social in just 30 minutes. I hop in the car and head right over because I recognize that despite feeling like I have a firm grasp of what it is to be in a quality relationship, I understand that sometimes feeling like you know something doesn't necessarily mean you really do.
Indeed, relationships at times can be hard work. I don't have to tell you this, we hear it all the time at the barber shop or at the hair salon, around the water cooler at work, at the church, in school, in the news, you name it, the issues surrounding relationships are all around us. But being an African American male, the issues in Black Relationships trouble me in particular.
New York Daily News Columnist Ralph Richard Banks reported in 2011 that roughly 7 in 10 black children are born to unmarried partners. Conditions like this almost always lead to children being raised by one parent, which believe you me, can be a struggle and a strain on families. So, I said all that to say that the more we talk about these relationship issues, the more we can begin to address to them and not deny their existence.
Indeed, that's a big reason I went to the Relationship Blog Cipher hosted by Neisha Kelly, a relationship blogger. I wanted to hear some thoughts and feedback on what's happening in our relationships. I wanted to receive some insight on some of the dysfunction plaguing our partnerships. And after going, I can definitely say my expectations were met. During the Cipher, we talked about a whole host of issues and topics. The subject matter ranged anywhere from whether it was necessary to have a 'checklist' of things you want from a relationship to whether relationships should be liberating or restrictive.
The discussion was on the one hand refreshing because it truly felt like a sigh of relief to get some things out in the open and clear the air about relationship concerns yet at the same time our exchange was somewhat challenging to the extent it got me to give careful thought to my ways or habits in relationships. The Relationship Blog Cipher is a conversation that needs to be continued and from speaking to the show's host Neisha Kelly, there is more yet to come...