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Thursday, March 23, 2023
HomeNewsArchivesThere's Some Truth in the Mapp/Liburd Ad

There's Some Truth in the Mapp/Liburd Ad

Dear Source:
I would like to commend Ms. Shomo on her eloquent assessment of what we need to provide our young men and women of this Territory in an effort to "turn around" and improve the current conditions…."the plague", if you will…that has run rampant within the society of our youth.
Truer words have never been spoken than those written by Ms. Shomo regarding what needs to be provided this sector of our society:
"Let us provide our young black men with excellent schools and abundant opportunities for athletics, music, arts, water sports and other extracurricular activities; let us build a university that is the best in the region – and thru it, create an atmosphere of learning and love of knowledge that permeates the entire territory; let us encourage brilliance and mandate creativity; let us strive harder to keep guns and drugs off our streets and out of young men's reach; let us make our islands safe, once again, for the young men; let us show all our young people – not just the males, but our young ladies too – thru word, action and deed that they are the future; that they can be a part of a community that wants more economic opportunity and inclusion for its youth; that we are a people who would rather spend on schools and education, instead of prisons."
Who, with any level of compassion or intelligence can argue with this assessment? I am in full, heart-felt agreement, but am also very aware of the necessity for us to finally take our collective heads out of the sand and also come up with an accurate assessment of not only what is needed, but also to look around us and admit to ourselves the horrid reality that exists.
While there are countless young men (and women) of the Virgin Islands who are responsible, respectful, progressive, proactive, and honorable members of our society, so many of their efforts are stifled and overshadowed by the innumerous young men (and women) that have chosen (for whatever reason) a life that doesn't represent any of the aforementioned attributes and character traits. These are the ones that were accurately represented in the Mapp/Liburd ad.
I, too, am the mother of a much loved, incredible young black man. I have provided a loving, safe home. Gave time, attention, guidelines, moral guidance and spiritual direction. Strived to instill a necessity for knowledge and education, community responsibility and involvement, as well as what I consider to be a life mandate of giving back to our communities and those less fortunate. And, with all of this, still found myself in a position that I HAD to conclude that it was to be to his benefit and SAFETY that I send him stateside at the age of 16 to finish out his high school years. The negative peer pressure and influence of what has become the "real world" for the young men (and women) of the Virgin Islands began to be too much for me to battle…too much for me to chance. Being forced to make the decision for my beloved son to be sent away from home broke my heart. The conditions that required it still make me mad as hell!
I, for one, do want to see "DECISIVE ACTION!"
It is this reality that I think is represented by the Mapp/Liburd ad. A reality that we must admit exists. A reality that we must wage war on. Not focusing on what we would like to see, but focusing instead on what is, and doing our damned, level best to overcome this plague that has attacked our youth and turn this situation around. We do, indeed, need a new approach to law and order. We do, indeed, desperately need decisive action. The weapons of war that will ultimately insure our youth become victors are represented in Ms. Shomo's very adequate assessment of what we need to provide…need to create.
We must first, however, admit to ourselves the very real, very ugly reality that exists.
Bridget L. Cox-Dawson
St. Croix

Editor's note: We welcome and encourage readers to keep the dialogue going by responding to Source commentary. Letters should be e-mailed with name and place of residence to source@viaccess.net.

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