Monday, February 2, 2009

Notes on Teaching Youth

Notes on Teaching Youth


Marvin X

Be humble at all times, your future is in your hands, no matter what else, you will not be here always, a new generation is upon us that must be taught our traditions, all the technology of the global village, high finance, the essentials of capitalism no matter if we call ourselves Communist, Socialist, Pan African, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu.

There must be some economic system whereby men and women can engage in commerce, sell, barter, consign. We don’t give a damn what you call it; just organize a way to deliver goods and services to the people.

We only know this: no one should starve in the village, nor be homeless, or illiterate, or in ill health without a medical plan.

Your children shall need your counsel and advice always, so be there for them, first setting example, we know words are cheap. Let the children see us doing the right thing for ourselves, and then they will know what to do, more than likely they are doing the right thing already, just might need a little common sense advice.

In teaching youth, we should consider their level, not our superior educations, whether academic or self taught in the model of Merritt College students Huey P. Newton, Bobby Seale, Ernie Allen, Marvin X, et al.

Was not the purpose of those rallies on the steps of the old Merritt College on Grove St. /Martin Luther King, Jr. to “break it down to the masses”? And so we must break down abstract terminology such as freedom, slavery, racism, capitalism, socialism, Pan Africanism, white supremacy.

Give definitions, break words into syllables. Do not assume a twenty-five year old male or female has any knowledge of the above subject matter. Do not assume they can read. Do not assume they have traveled ten miles out of their turf. Do not assume youth living in Newark have visited New York. Do not assume youth in Oakland have visited San Francisco. I took a twenty-five year old female to San Francisco recently, who grew up in Berkeley/Oakland. When we came up from the BART or rapid transit system, she said, “Wow, look at these big buildings. Wow, they are so tall. Wow, look at all these people on the street. Look at these big banks on every corner. And they treated me so nice at the bank, not like Oakland and Berkeley. I didn’t know this world existed. I have to come over here more often."

Mayor Jerry Brown, now California Attorney General, used to say Oakland was closer to San Francisco than San Francisco, in his racist attempt to gentrify West Oakland. But how often do West Oakland youth get on the BART for a visit to San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, a romantic city based on tourism, yet how many youth are plugged into the multi-billion dollar tourist industry, mainly they are at the wharf as dummies, robots and hip hop dancers. Thank God for that.

But how shall we teach them economic self sufficiency? Get a job and be pimped for life? Become a wage slave and teach your children to go to college so they can also become a cog in the wheel of capitalism and slavery (C. Eric Williams, who himself became a victim of capitalism and slavery as prime minister of Trinidad, see Marvin X, The Black Power Revolt In Trinidad, Journal of Black Poetry, circa 1972).

Micro Credit Loans for Youth

This is a process of loaning small amounts of money, say one hundred to three hundred dollars to youth so they can “come up” in a legal endeavor, not selling drugs, pimping, murder, but some project to deliver what the people need, such as food, clothing, shelter.

Visit the cities of America and we shall see what needs are addressed on the street, not to speak of inside businesses.

On the street youth sell T shirts, incense, oils, jeans and other urban gear. They sell books, especially in New York. And there are Latin youth selling fruit, vegetables, DVDs and CDs, black youth do this also to a high degree, to the point police do not harass them since they are doing something for self and not causing mayhem.

Absent Fathers

No matter the age of your children, connect with them, they need you, whether they say so or not, no matter if your children are 20, 30, 40, 50, they need you, your guidance, wisdom, love and attention. Sons need you, daughters need you. Tell them what a man must do to be a man. Ask their forgiveness for your unmanly or unwomanly actions. And clean up your act. Do better. Make a visible recovery from your wretchedness. Let your children see that you love them and that your love is unconditional, no matter what they do, success or failure, you are with them to the very end of time.

Black on Black Crime

Black on black crime is symptomatic and problematic of the perilous condition under which we live on a daily basis in the hell holes of America. We shall continue killing each other until we come to know who we are as Divine beings in Human form, that our bodies are the temple of the Divine, our bodies and minds, thus we should delete all negative thought such as hatred, jealousy, envy, and other negative thoughts that prevent us from enjoying the Divine plane of life.

On the matter of murder, my wise adviser told me, “When you kill your brother, you kill yourself. Two of you are dead. The killer is a dead man walking. As the Bible says, As Thou Hast Done, So Shall It Be Done to Thee.

Don’t be hypocritical, youth and adults. I know so many youth and adults who have lost loved ones to violence. No one is rioting over their loved ones, no one is protesting their lost. No one cares. The relatives and friends suffer in silence. They cannot discuss their grief with anyone, no one wants to know of their lost.

There are few mental health and grief counselors in the hood. The Oakland Grief Centers the City set up are a good example of what must be done to alleviate the trauma of life in the Wilderness of North America. What can we expect? More importantly, what can we do to advance our agenda for the masses, the wretched of the earth? No struggle, no progress, power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and never will—our great ancestor Frederick Douglas told us this in the 19th Century.

There must be a higher level of organizing than rioting through the streets. If and when they come down on the people, do you have food, water, generators in reserve? Do you realize one flush of your toilet consumes five gallons of water? Do you have five gallons of water to drink, let alone in your toilet? Have you heard drought and famine are coming? Are you prepared? They taught us in Boy Scouts to be prepared.

Of Scholars and Teachers

Oh, my God, in the spirit of David Walker, let the poor righteous teachers do their duty to children and youth. We honor them and pray they shall remain on their posts, teaching the uncivilized youth who truly seek wisdom and knowledge. One need only converse with them in a moment of quiet, such as jail, prison or a depressed moment in the hood, away from peers and parents, on the street as I have encountered so many times on the streets of Oakland, especially at 14th and Broadway, my outdoor classroom, aka, Academy of da Corner, and the main scene of rioting over the New Year’s Day murder of Oscar Grant by the BART police.

Teachers and scholars must teach a new way. A radical approach is needed at this time, surely we all agree on this? We must at least have food, clothing and shelter, basic needs. All else is talk, hype, sham, don’t believe the hype!

Shall our children and youth be homeless, abandoned, school dropouts, prison bound, or shall we speak to them with parental authority, warning them of death on the streets, in unsafe sexual encounters, hanging out with drinking and gambling buddies. And please consider the tone test when encountering the police. They can kill you, jail you or release you, depending on your tone of voice. You must pass the tone test with another brother and sister as well. Everybody is on edge, stressed, so watch your tone of voice, watch how you look at people, don't stare. Many people come on the street in a mind-altered state, thus they often imagine you have said something you didn't actually say, or they assume you were staring at them when you weren't. So be cool on the street. Teach youth how to act to survive in the urban jungle. There is no other lesson.

Take Advantage of Obama Drama

Youth should take full advantage of this critical moment of change in the history of America and the world. In the next few months, take advantage of economic and educational opportunities the government will offer as a way out of the depression caused by greed and other cancers of the addiction to white supremacy, especially during Obama's reelection campaign. He will spend a billion dollars to get reelected or reselected, so figure out how much of that billion you can get hustling Obama gear, T-shits, caps, buttons, photos, etc. Don't sit around like a frog on a lily pad. You can copy color pictures of Obama for 35 cents, get picture frames from the dollar store, then sell them for $5.00-10.00 or more. Life is a thinking man's game, so think! You can do it, your ancestors did!

--El Muhajir/Marvin X

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