I started to write this article while I was waiting to board a plane to Germany, my native country. My topic is helpfulness. I want to define the cultural differences around giving assistance between members of different nations. I want to share a few experiences here in the United States. They show a level of caring that’s really new to me.
The Campaign to End the Death Penalty sponsored a presentation entitled “Lynching Then Lynching Now: the Roots of Racism and the Death Penalty in America”. As the title of the workshop affirms, there is a direct link between those executed on Death Row and racism. Racism still permeates many levels of all our institutions, but there is no more glaring injustice to all people, especially to persons of color, than our criminal justice system. Just as lynching was an integral part of southern culture during slavery and the Jim Crow law, so has the incarceration of persons of color (and at every phase) become our new lynching – the history of the Death Penalty as it manifests today.
No More Roadside Shrines: So No Parent ever has To Hear The last Words, “Bye Mom” From Their Child.
Makeshift memorials are reminders that we must put an end to drunken driving once and for all. How tired are we, and weary of riding, driving or walking past flowers and wreaths, hung on poles and laid by roadsides. They might be considered pretty, if not serving as reminders of young lives lost to DUI (driving under the influence) accidents and vehicular homicides? These memorials stand as a warning to further deter these senseless deaths and injuries.
The problem lies mostly with the boys, but girls, too, are aggressive, prone to bad language and general destructive behavior. Bullying smaller children, fighting among themselves and surliness toward adults is common to both sexes.Yet to all appearances, these children seem normal. Some are deceptively lovable, polite and well-mannered. They smile easily and give the appearance of friendly, gregarious young children of ages from eight to twelve-years-old. Whatever their outward aspect, they are also emotionally distraught, street savvy, proficient liars, thieves and con artists.
When I arrived at Chattanooga’s Second Missionary Baptist Church, A true Southern gentleman, The Rev. Paul McDaniel, met me personally met at the door. Born in Rock Hill, South Carolina, Pastor McDaniel has been part of the Southern landscape and its African American community for most of his life. After attending Morehouse College in Atlanta, he received a Masters of Divinity degree from Colgate-Rochester Divinity School and a Masters of Arts degree from the University of Rochester in New York. A Chattanooga resident since 1966, Rev. McDaniel is stepping down from his post at the Second Missionary Baptist Church after almost 50 years of service. A larger-than-life figure in the community, I share our conversation in his honor.