Archive for June, 2010


Everyone Doesn’t Get a Second Chance

Kanye West made an album called "The Graduation"

 

Today is graduation day for students who have completed the Cook County Sheriff Day Reporting Center Program.  I couldn’t be more happy for the students who are graduating today.  I’ve been there mentor for a couple of months and within that time frame, have seen these guys at low points in their lives and some at high points.  They’ve had to overcome some tough obstacles, but no obstacle bigger than themselves.  The guys at this program for the most part were raised by the streets and acted accordingly.  This caused them to go through the judicial system, some multiple times and ultimately drop out of school.  For these guys though, they’ve received a second chance.  They were able to complete the school portion of the DRC program and have now received their highschool diploma. 

Coming into the program, the students are pretty young and very immature.  They’d practically kick n scream everyday b/c they wouldn’t want to wake up for the program; because they didn’t want to be apart of the morning meetings; because anyone who tries to help them was considered the enemy; or practically feel that no one or nothing can help them.  Then came the cross roads: It’s either school or jail.  Students had to overcome their street mentality and ways, let go of their pride, and realize that they have to complete this program in order to compete for jobs, trainings, and acceptance into college.  

 

All in all, in the end I hope the guys who have completed the program understand that not everyone gets a second chance in life.  You may have made one mistake but learn from it and don’t fall into the same trap as before.  The ball is now in your court. 

-Ron

Everytime you turn on the local news in Chicago, u hear about it.  Another person being shot or killed due to gun violence.  As the summer heats up, the streets seem to get even hotter.  Youth especially are dropping at an alarming rate.  Whether we look at how more than 36 CPS students died in 2009, or how more than 40 people were shot this past weekend, something has to be done.

Mayor Daley and a host of others have proposed a Chicago Handgun Ban throughout the city.  The purpose behind the new law is to decrease the number of guns on the street, while creating harsher punishments and consequences for thugs or delinquents who possess weapons.  I like the means behind the idea but it also put many at a disadvantage.  The biggest problem w/ the new law though is that its unconstitutional.  Chicago citizens have a constitutional right to keep & bear arms.  The other huge problem w/ this law is that now everyday working class citizens have a true reason to feel unsafe.  If a gun-toting home invader walks into someone’s home w/ the intent to steal, what leverage does the home owner have? It’s illegal to have a weapon in one’s own home, according to the new handgun ban.  This law makes home owners and citizens in general very uneasy, considering how often some see and hear about violence in their neighborhoods. 

Imagine, gang members & other criminals walking around w/ illegal weapons but you have nothing to fend for yourself nor family.  It’s a scary situation.  Even though the Supreme Court has struck down this handgun ban, something has to be done.  Mayor Daley plans to revise the ban but I don’t think it solves the bigger issue at hand.

Any suggestions???

-Ron

The 2010 BET Awards aired on Sunday night, and while I’ll say I wasnt that much impressed, a few performances did leave a lasting impression.  It was good to see Kanye West finally back in the spotlight, after the whole Taylor Swift fiasco.  His performance though was pretty dull and boring, kind of like watching wet paint dry.  Alicia Keys was probably one of my favorite performers of the night, as her tribute to Prince was amazing.  How many pregnant women do you know, who can climb atop a piano and still perform at a high level.  Other notable performances included El DeBarge (who went through his old hits and some new music), Drake (new artist sensation who performed “Over”), Ludacris, and Dirty Money (who had the most smoke I’ve ever witnessed during a performance).

The performance that left a lasting impression though was Chris Brown’s tribute to MJ.  It served as a transformation period for the young star, and left many wanting more.  It was almost eery to watch him imitate MJ’s every dance move, including the moonwalk.  He seemed effortless and back in his element (as a performer on the big stage).  When he had the chance to woo the audience even more, he began to breakdown and cry.  Perhaps due to the fact of how he idolized MJ, or maybe b/c he felt sorry for all his mishaps.  Whatever it was, he sure made a lasting impression on everyone who witnessed his performance (some good, some bad).  Maybe, he’ll be able to make a comeback after all.

-Ron