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Blacks are still not free, a speaker said.

Published: Thu, January 2, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

151 years after emancipation, full freedom for blacks questioned


Youngstown Councilman L. Nathaniel Pinkard, D-3rd, left, and Mayor John A. McNally participate in the annual Emancipation Proclamation and Installation Service at Price Memorial AME Zion Church in Youngstown. The Wednesday service dealt with the state of the black community 151 years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the historic document freeing slaves.

By Sean Barron



The nation’s first black president points to progress many blacks have made in 151 years, but it’s only part of a dichotomy that also sees a disproportionately high number of black men incarcerated and unemployed, a longtime pastor contends.

“It appears to me to be crystal clear that we’re still not free,” the Rev. Roderick C. Pounds Sr. said during Wednesday’s annual Emancipation Proclamation and Installation Service at Price Memorial AME Zion Church, 920 Dryden Ave. on the East Side.

Sponsoring the gathering were the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Youngstown & Vicinity and the Baptist Pastors’ Council of Youngstown & Vicinity.

The two-hour program and worship service celebrated the 151st anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.

The executive order called for slaves to be free in so-called rebellious states, though it applied neither to border-slave states such as Kentucky and Missouri nor to parts of three Confederate states under Union control.

The Rev. Mr. Pounds, pastor of Second Baptist Church in Akron, cited Michelle Alexander’s book, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” while noting that nearly 1 million black men remain behind bars, many unjustifiably.

“More black men are incarcerated today than there were slaves in 1868,” he told an audience of about 200.

Nevertheless, Mr. Pounds referred to Jeremiah 29:11, which points to God’s promise to bring certain oppressed people a future of hope and success instead of suffering.

It’s also important that Bible interpretations are coupled with social justice, which, he said, is “at the heart of what Jesus talked about regarding reaching out to the poor and incarcerated.”

“The Emancipation Proclamation was not a law passed by Congress, but a wartime decision made by the president,” noted the Rev. Dwight Dumas, founding president of the Commission to Pursue Reconciliation.

The Rev. Mr. Dumas called on the guests and parishioners to remember their ancestors’ struggles and celebrate the accomplishments of leaders such as South African President Nelson Mandela and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

In addition, he said, people should try to recognize how they can help such struggles, including having a positive impact on their communities and further reaching out to young people.

Kicking off the program was the Rev. Dr. William King, Price Memorial’s pastor.

The Rev. Mr. King read a portion of Martin Luther King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech that pertains to freedom, which the late civil-rights leader gave during the Aug. 28, 1963, March on Washington.

Providing the musical selections was the Emancipation Community Choir. To honor Mandela, the group inserted his name in its interpretation of the popular 1968 Dion song, “Abraham, Martin and John.”

Additional remarks came from the Rev. Kevin Crum, pastor of New Hope Baptist Church and BPC president; Elder Rosetta Carter, associate minster of Greater Friendship Baptist Church; Rev. Gena Thornton, pastor of Grace AME Church in Warren; Rev. Robin Woodberry, assistant pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church; and Rev. Lewis W. Macklin II, IMA president and pastor of Holy Trinity Missionary Baptist Church, who also gave the benediction.

Reading of Scripture was from the Rev. Robbin Del Nagro, Mahoning Valley Association of Churches’ executive director.

Performing a liturgical expression was Shanika Jordan with Progressive Kingdom Ministries.


1Ypboy(64 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

This Rev. pound sounds just like all of the other black leaders. Always blaming someone else for their failures. The black people in this country need to 1) get an education and/or develop a skill, 2) no sex until they marry, 3) marry only after age 22.
It's called personal responsibility. The democrat party has been responsible for the demise of the blacks and the blacks continue to support the democrats. Go figure!!!!!

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2ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

The blacks in Youngstown are free enough to arm themselves and shoot their "brothers". They are free enough to find and use illegal drugs. They are also free enough to obey the laws of society and act in a responsible manner. If you engage in the first two you lose your freedom. If you engage in the last one you don't. That is the order of thing. Learn it, love it, live it!

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3DaddyD(24 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Ypboy you say:
The black people in this country need to 1) get an education and/or develop a skill, 2) no sex until they marry, 3) marry only after age 22.
It's called personal responsibility. The democrat party has been responsible for the demise of the blacks and the blacks continue to support the democrats. Go figure!!!!! The same goes for the Whites they are just as bad or worst!!!! The blacks are getting the guns and the drugs from the White man. Just as many Whites are having all these kids and on welfare as blacks. Go to the Welfare office and you'll see just as many whites as there are blacks. The Republicans are not any better than Democrats they just have more money and make their own rules. We need to get all these old racist Congressmen and Senators out of office and start from scratch

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4dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

This all comes down to personal responsibilities and morals. It has nothing to do with politics and/or race. Be responsible for you and your family, it is the only way to change the status quo.

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5eagleye(59 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

NEWS FLASH! YOUNG BLACK MEN COMMIT THE MAJORITY OF CRIMES. That's why they are in prison. Most of their victims are BLACK!!! If the black community wants to find the root cause of their inability to get their act together, just look in the mirror. The whites don't tell you to have bastard babies, the whites don't tell you no to show up for jobs, the whites don't tell you to commit crimes, the white don't tell you to act like uncivilized humans. The time is LONG overdue to get you heads out of your posteriors and get you act together. We're tired of paying for your welfare, school preferential treatment, preferential contract awards, preferential minority hiring programs, and all the rest. If it's a preferential program it means that someone else is being discriminated against. Got that???? As MLK said, "be judged by your character and not by the color of your skin". Get a grip. There's an old saying that states, "If you want respect, you have to earn it." Get busy and stop the constant whining, playing victim, and blaming everyone by yourselves for you plight. We're tired of it.

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6walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

These kind of services make me laugh. Rev. Pounds says that it is crystal clear that "we" are still not free. If that is true, how did a "slave" rise up in these United States, become a US Senator, and get elected President twice? Last time I checked, doesn't Barry Soetoro qualify as a black man since he is at least 50% black?

Sorry, Reverend, there are no more excuses. Tell your flock to look in the mirror to find the cause and solution to their problems.

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7YtownParent(1003 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Instead of playing the race card and making it a focus of "our people" the good Rev. Pounds should have stated that slavery is still alive and well. The larger focus should have been on the scores of illegal slaves of all races that are trafficked and kept in this country today. Those people are not free.

Yes the black community is still discriminated against, but there is a marked difference between discrimination and slavery. Slaves have no access to the legal mechanisms to fight back and stand up for themselves. He would have done better to draw the distinction and challenge the discrimination. Like why do black first time nonviolent drug offenders go to prison and white ones go to drug court? Why are white couples with 5+ kids on welfare protected for exercising their catholic/evengelical beliefs against birth control while blacks are called lazy sluts. Those are discriminations, yes, but they are a far cry from the hell of the thousands of captured and held sex slaves and household servants of all races in this country today.

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8republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Back in the late 1960's blacks cried about discrimination and whites tried to change this.
Now, 50 years later, Vietnamese, Hispanic, Middle East immigrants have catapulted past blacks in the socio-economic landscape and have done quite well in pursuing the American dream.
But blacks still populate the bottom rung economically. It's time they looked inward and quit listening to the race baiters like Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton and MSNBC.

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9justanotherface(5 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Blacks are not "free"...? Please .... no one is "FREE" get over yourselves. if you want to really look at it who is really "Free"... the black people that are incarcerated are obviously there for a reason .. the white people that are incarcerated are obviously there for a reason... and all the other races that are there are incarcerated are obviously for a reason.... people do what they want when they want ... just like all the killings in youngstown its MOSTLY all black ... gang, hate, or just no reason for killing someone.. it is terrible .... they need to stop all of it and these little "GANGSTERS" need to give it up also ... Black people think their sh*t dont stink and bring this all on themselves ... so EVERYONE needs to get over it .. for christ sakes its 2014 ... the people that are not free are the gay americans .. AND NO I DO NOT WANT TO GET INTO THIS ON HERE thanks... just putting my OPINION out there ... have a good day....

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10doubled(210 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

if someone breaks the law and is convicted, they go to prison, and rightly so, no matter their race. and yeah black guys commit a lot of crimes, and yeah people shouldn't have a bunch of kids if they don't have any way to support them,. I agree with all that. But after reading this article I figured the response would be quick and typical. I was right. having said that, and after reading the comments - made by the usual suspects, it's my opinion that almost every one who posted here is a complete dick. but robx may be the biggest of them all. blaming American slavery of blacks on blacks. nice try, dbag.

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11IslandMike(764 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I'm not naive enough to say the system is "fair" when whites are punished more leniently than African-Americans, but most crime is black on black. What ticks me off is how we de-criminalize white collar crime (Wall Street) and then give a crack head 20 years for an armed robbery he committed because he needed to support his disease (addiction). There is DEFINITELY a double standard when it comes to crime, but no one is stopping African-Americans from getting an education. The President is a Harvard alum and also African-American.

Excuses, unlike an education, need not be earned.

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12DSquared(1778 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Of course the Reverand speaks the truth. All of my neighbors and relatives own slaves. My wife and I have 5 ourselves. Most of my friends own at least a half dozen. But they have more because they have a much bigger yard than we do. You don't think we all do our own housework and chores do you? That would be crazy when we have all this free slave labor. It's great because all we have to feed them is the dog's leftovers!!!! The Reverand and all the other "preachers" should turn in their collars immediately!!!! I guess the "Race Hustlin" industry pays pretty good these days!

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13paulydel(1598 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I agree with most all of the statements made. For these guys being reverends they are racists. If the blacks are committing the crimes who do they think should be arrested? The blacks have the same opportunities as anyone else. There are no free rides. Nobody wants to hear that we are racists those in the black community that spout that crap are the racists.

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14JoeFromHubbard(1776 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Yes, some Youngstown officials in church, "playing the race card" in an attempt to keep peace in an explosive atmosphere.

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15dateline111(41 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Blacks must stop voting 99% democrat
So called Black Youngstown clergy need to apply and teach their congregations basic biblical principles
2nd Corinthians 5: Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Stop all this slavery talk, reparations, Jesse, Al and T.D are making millions selling dumb negroes to the democratic party who are killing are black babies and making sissies and dikes out of blacks!

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16ytownsteelman(680 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

There were no Kwanza celebrations downtown because those who celebrate it decided not to hold any. All of the downtown events are put on by people who work damn hard to organize them, they just don't happen. Work with the downtown events coordinator to schedule a date, then work your butt off for a year to put on a successful event. That is how its done.

Knowing what I know about the crime rate in Youngstown and the demographics of the perpetrators, I will of course keep a wary eye toward any young black male that I encounter. To not do so would be irresponsible. Want to change that? Then stop committing crimes!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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17dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

@dateline, your comment made no sense whatsoever. Not to get into a biblical battle, but that scripture is talking about once you become saved, you leave your life in sin behind you and start new. It doesn't mean that all history prior to that point is erased.

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18Silence_Dogood(1670 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Ianacik what racist stated the following, "There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery. Then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.... After all we have been through. Just to think we can't walk down our own streets, how humiliating."
I will give you a clue, he is a Reverend with a bastard child that was born to one of his many mistresses. Also his Son is a convicted felon who stole campaign contributions to buy expensive jewelry for his mistress (like father,like son).

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19dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

@Silence... yeah, but I am sure that the white man put him and his son (Jacksons) in that position to where he had to steal. (sarcasm). I'm not as naive as the Repubs who celebrated Rosa Parks for ENDING racism, I know it exists. I see it and hear it from white co-workers, friends, and even family. I hear a lot of racism from blacks onto whites as well. It is what it is. Unfortunately that is life. But as a black person, you can either accept it and overcome it, or you can use it as a crutch or an excuse to why you have not been successful. I'm sure the President and other very successful black people has faced racism frequently in their lives, yet they chose to overcome it. The choice is yours.

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20JoeFromHubbard(1776 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Racism, always has been.

Always will be.

It's human nature.

Get over it.

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21contour96(1 comment)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I say we's free we's free now mo than eva. Give God da glory!

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222muchtax(895 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Rev pounds we just heard this crap from Jessie Jackson complaining about What Phil Robertson said. Reverse racism, I am sick of hearing it especially from Jessie. Jessie needs to preach to his convict kid. Here is a clue if you want a job stay in school, be able to pass drug tests, apply and interview for them. Then show up for work and work hard.

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23andersonathan(683 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Only this type of thinking is what is enslaving themselves.

And now Pounds can add to the thinking to keep the chains of mental bondage strong.

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24Attis(1129 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

How ironic that this gathering proclaiming emaciated emancipation of Blacks in America took place as one Black thug (Larry Johnson) was beating a mother to death in Youngstown and two other Black thugs (Deon and Eric Hendon) shot four persons in their Barberton home, killing three of them. The four victims, including two teens, were "free at last", never to breathe again thanks to institutionalized freedoms to create murderers.

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25HSG(185 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I heard the producer of the film "Twelve YEars A Slave" say recently that he hopes that the film helps to engender a national dialogue on slavery.

Young people know as little/much about Slavery as an institution in the US as they do most other topics, sad to say.

What people are upset with is the entitlement culture which enables some people to have constant and continuous access to 'government programs' which others NEVER USE It is not particularly difficult to understand why this creates resentment and hostility.

The real unfortunates here are those who are lumped in with the systemic abusers, those who pay tax, (heavy tax at points), vote, attend church, work every day, and behave as dedicated citizens.

The reverend's remarks DO belie the simple fact that the US has progressed to the point where a black man can be elected president, two times 4 years apart, with the majority of white votes cast for him. Race has become MUCH MORE of a local issue, FAR LESS part of the national dialogue.

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26thirtyninedollars(605 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

still playing the race card are we?
Still playing the victim card?
Get over it already, act human and you shall be free. You know who isn't free? The white man who has to work 10 times harder for a job because people of other color and women get the first shot at a job before the white man.

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27Askmeificare(1167 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

UH, did I see in the photograph of this article, Mcnally was in church?

Shouldn't that warrant a news briefing in and of itself?

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28republicanRick(1716 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Foreign born blacks earn 30% more than the average American worker. How could that be if they are discriminated against?

Easy. They were raised in a different culture overseas that valued education, work, and families.

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29prodigy37(2 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

OMG......REALLY.. I am so tired of the race card being thrown..Slavery was a thing of the past the long long ago past.Get the F**k over it.. First of all everyone has the freedom to make their own choices white,black.purple,green, IDGAF what color you are. If you choose to rob,steal,murder,and slang dope then yeah incarcerated is exactly where the punks need to be and there are as many whites as blacks incarcerated so dont give me that boo hoo story oh were still not free.If you feel your not free GTF out of this country..Always wanted something handed to ya'll and if you dont get youcry racist.Well there is just as many racist black people as their are whites.Live in the here and now not in the past and look towards the future and make it much better whites are no different then blacks we all bleed the same so all you racist people need to grow up and STFU and maybe this world can learn to love eachother and become a better place when you all realize it has nothing to do with skin color.For Damn Sakes its just a COLOR...

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30prodigy37(2 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Rasicm is a vicous neverending cycle. This is what racist people teach their children skin color..Well its not about skin color. if this world would just come together and break that cycle and teach their children to love eachother for who they are not for their skin color. This world would be a more happier place. Their is nothing I cant stand more then rasicm. It is stupid and ridiculous..We are all the same inside.. We are all human. Change the world for our youth so they can have a better place to grow up and live..Quit crying about slavery and being free and start doing something positive to change yourself..SMDH..

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31dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

You are naive if you think that there isn't still a lot of racism in this country. The country has come a long way, yes, but there are still a ton of racist, ignorant people. That is white on black, black on white, etc... Of course Eivo with his wisdom that he heard from Rush, is going to post next that 98% of racism is just imagined. Hey it is out there. There are a lot of stupid people in this world.

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32dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

And right on cue! You probably don't see it a lot because you don't leave your house but to get groceries and gas. I work in an environment with multi races and I can tell you it does exist. IK Republicans stated that a Rosa Parks ended racism, but it isn't the case. Is racism falsely perceived at times? Of course. But actual racism happens all the time. I hear it on a daily basis.

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33dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

JS, maybe that is the problem, you don't know what racism is. You think that there has to be a sign in the window that says "whites only, no colored folk allowed" for it to be considered racism.
@eivo, it has already been established that you don't have a job, unless you consider doing yard work at your residence a job.

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34dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I work 40 to 50 hours a week evio, nice try. You never deny that u don't work. You tried lying once, saying you just worked the late shift while I was posting, but yet your shift had to be 3 hours cause that was the time between your last post. What's your occupation where you work the 4pm to 7pm shift? I thought so. So continue to be a hypocrite.

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35westcomm11(23 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Buy a police scanner and count how many times you hear Male black in a 24 hour period ,
and you black people want to be felt sorry for ,take a look at your own people.

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36dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Bill was wise in his statements, received a lot of flack for them, but he should be considered a leader and a role model for the black community.

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37steelwagon(284 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

The medical tech who works for my doctor is an African American.
She and her husband are raising their 4 children.
The two older kids are in college earning degrees.

The two younger kids go to school and are involved in the Inspiering minds and other after school programs.
Last year on take your child to work day I met one of the young kids.

The young lady I met was very bright,respectful and as smart as a whip.
Without a doubt this young lady will accomplish her goals and be a great success at whatever she does in her life.

We had a wonderful conversation and she was a true pleasure to talk to.
How and why you ask.....
A two parent home where mom and dad know where their kids are,what they are doing and who they are with.

High standards have always been expected of their children and mom and dad will settle for nothing less.

Yeah how novel personel responsibility all the way around.
That system works in all races imagine that !!

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38kurtw(1759 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Good comment, Steelwagon. You might be describing the Obama's. Same Formula- Married Couple. Parental Responsibility, stress on Education, etc.etc.

Anybody who follows that formula- regardless of race- most likely will do well because that's the way life works. I know plenty of middle class black people doing a good job raising their families who got where they are by practicing it.

On the other hand, I know lot's of white's who are complete F---ups- screwing up their own lives and the lives of their children- by not choosing to follow the Formula: Married Couple- Parental Responsibility- Stress on Education, etc. It's not that complicated: it starts with getting an education and finding a job that pays decently. Isn't that what the Obama's and other successful black couples did?

Those are good role models for black people to follow- good role models for anybody to follow.

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39kurtw(1759 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

I just read in post#64 the complete Cosby statement- never had before only snippets. Wow! That is well said. Applies to everybody really- a lot of young white people as well handicap themselves the same way- the way they act, the way they dress, the way they talk- make them virtually unemployable.

Lives ruined- talents wasted- by embracing the wrong attitudes. Bill is a pretty good role model for all us- black or white.

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40walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Cosby speaks of some obvious truths. First, if an individual has any desire to be successful in these United States, they must be able to read, write and SPEAK the English language correctly. I worked with an older gentleman 30 years ago who told me that if one does not master the English language, they are doomed to stay in their ghetto, be it a black ghetto, Polish, Irish, Italian, etc. Those that came from overseas that never learned English could not function outside of their neighborhoods unless helped by someone else.

Second, shame is dead in this country. When I was a kid, we were expected to behave in a certain way whether our parents were by us or not. In school, the teacher was to be respected as if they were a proxy for the parents. So, you would go to school, not get in trouble, get good grades, and make something of yourself. It was big news if a girl became pregnant as they disappeared for a while as they brought shame on to the family. Now, these kids are held up as a badge of honor for these kids and leach off the govt because "you can't blame the kids!"

Keep embracing the victim mentality and you will never get anywhere in this life!

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41dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

true dat! I mean, that is the truth.

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42dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

Good attitude donfun. You can achieve your goals if you focus and sacrafice...

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43dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

personal responsibility and parenting won't change anything? Personal responsibility and good parenting kept me from getting in trouble, and the sentences were the same or less extreme than they are now.

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44dontbeafool(2065 comments)posted 2 years, 5 months ago

JS I agree. Don't do the crime and you won't be oppressed!

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