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My Nephew Said He Doesn’t Wanna Die

It breaks my heart to know that our children are being raised in a world where they have to be alert at all times in order to remain alive. The other day I decided to hire my nephews ages 5,7 and 8 to clean out my car. Their fee was a total of 3 bags of fruit snacks. While cleaning out my car and finding joy in having an eventful task to complete as a team, we were interrupted by gun shots.


My nephews knew to run to the back and get down. My best friend and I dropped low immediately. We know the routine. We are used to it. There is a purple cross nestled between a school and a church on the corner. It hurts to know that this is a normal way of life. When you drive down the street in my neighborhood you watch and make eye contact with everyone to make sure they know you’re not a threat and they are watching you to make sure you’re not about to shoot them. There are unwritten cultural codes to survive in the “hood”.


A beautiful lesson about hard work and a reward was quickly replaced by a conversation with my nephews proclaiming that they don’t want to die. It made me think about the firecracker study that I read on Facebook where the author found that urban minority youth responded negatively to the sound of firecrackers and felt threatened immediately while suburban youth enjoyed the firecrackers and thought the behavior of the “black” kids was absurd. The emotional pollution that’s injected into our young people is causing immeasurable consequences.


While listening to the radio I heard a soul stealing melody that paralyzed me. A chant about a young man named Timmy Turner being spoken with such emotional turmoil by the artist named Desiigner that echoes pain and defeat. The lyrics tell the story of a man who finds comfort in his role as a killer with a thing for money and girls. A mindset common to many young people who grew up in similar neighborhoods.


This is a reality that is preventing many from reaching their greatness! It’s my job to reach as many young people as possible to help them understand that the music you hear glorifying such a horrible way of life is really therapy and not a playbook for how to live. It’s hard to get the right imagines in front of the right population that can offer emotional, educational and a spiritual balance to calm our youth. This weekend during memorial weekend, I’ll host a meditational workshop with the young people of Austin to provided them with a way to help them deal with stress!

Watch Desiigner explain the song #TimmyTurner



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© Copyright 2017 - Jessica LaShawn the Social Entrepreneur Mentor
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