Saturday, August 19, 2006


Now Sharpton Sounds Like a Leader

: "Many black youths fall under a spell of 'gangster mentality,' preventing them from becoming leaders and making a positive impact in politics, the Rev. Al Sharpton said. The civil rights activist faulted Hollywood and the record industry for making 'gangsterism' seem cool and acceptable.
'We have got to get out of this gangster mentality, acting as if gangsterism and blackness are synonymous,' Sharpton said Thursday at the annual conference of the National Association of Black Journalists.
'I think we've allowed a whole generation of young people to feel that if they're focused, they're not black enough. If they speak well and act well, they're acting white, and there's nothing more racist than that.'
The key to leadership is taking the initiative to change things, said Sharpton. He said his National Action Network is just one group willing to help young black leaders get into politics.
'Nobody broke in my house in Brooklyn and dragged me out the projects and made me a leader, I wanted to do that. Clearly, we would work with young people who want to do the work,' he said."

Though I would say that some of these negative beliefs about intelligence, etc. are not all of Hollywood's fault and are perpetuated in the groups and friends in the neighborhood, I would also agree that there is plenty of potential in these people that have all but been cast aside. If he can get in there and make a difference in a few as models of what can become of kids in the worst of areas, then I will support this effort. Not all kids from bad areas should be lost causes and he seems to be saying the right things to give some of those kids opportunities. Let's hope so.

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