By Pastor Rasheed Z. Baaith
“Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” (Psalms 127:3)
The greatest danger from the Trump Presidency and those he has chosen to help him put his vision of America in place is its ability to impact people is some many different ways. Including those who work for him. When Gen. Kelly came to the White House, he brought with him a sterling reputation. Known as a man who was hard but fair, he has, under the influence of the President, devolved into a vulgar, pretentious, untruthful individual who, like the President, has decided that truth is whatever he says it is. And he can now name call with the best of them.
And while we watch the chaos in the White House, there are children in America who are on a road to destruction , and very few of them will be able to get off without the kind of help this government will never give. One of the places we can see these children and this road each week is on television. They appear in a searing, brilliant, painful program entitled “The Chi” on SHOWTIME.
Here we watch African Americans, Hispanic Americans, Arab Americans children and young people try to navigate the dangerous waters of life on the south side of Chicago. Everywhere they turn from the moment they leave home and sometimes at home, they are surrounded by death, violence, guns and street kings, corrupt police, and street kings. They see unconcerned politicians, teachers dedicated but over whelmed; police who want to help them but cannot because no one trusts them enough to believe their concern is real. .
There are children who curse as easily as they breathe. There are young girls who learn the power of their bodies before they become fully adolescent, young boys who are taught that violence is a language in which they have to be fluent. Yet like children everywhere they laugh, make fun of the world and each other, go to school and dream of life being easier than it is.
There are adult role models. A father who lived vicariously through the athletic accomplishments of his murdered son, mothers who work tirelessly to provide for their children; a teen father who is raising his son without help of the mother, while working and hustling on the side; men who find life bearable only if it can be viewed through the lens of eyes that are glassed over with a narcotic patina. Life for these men most times is a shadow. Still, there is a vibrancy in “The Chi” that is undeniable; there is a drumbeat underneath all that is being presented of hope and love.
Multiply those conditions of drugs, violence, despair and diminishing life choices for children by a thousand be-cause all over America, in cities north, south, east and west, we will find what we see in Chicago. We can find them in Fort Lauderdale, in Miami and in Palm Beach and in our cities things are getting worse.
So how do we make things better for our children and ourselves? First of all, we stop looking for help from those who could help us because they’re not; next, we stop believing that because someone looks like us and is in a position to assist our children they will. Then we start demanding accountability from those we give our votes to. Voting is transactional and most times, we aren’t getting anything back.
That thought falls in line with we need to get away from political labels and parties. We need to support those who will support us or we need to start a new political party.
You think that cannot be done? They said the same thing about Tea Party and later about the Presidential candidacy of a man named Donald Trump.