Friday, January 22, 2010

Teenage Gangs-The New Family Structure?

"Young men ... you have value.
You were not born to snatch the life
out of people you don't even know"

In July of 2007, Rev. Ora Stearns-Smith got the worst possible call a mother can received. Her son, Aric Jai-Shon Lexing, had become the victim of a teenage gang shooting, and had died from his injuries. Jai was not a gang member ... not then ...not ever. No, he was a young man who had said yes to someone he barely knew, who asked him for a ride home after a party. Apparently, the passenger was on a local gang's hit list. As Jai and his passenger pulled up and stopped the car, the shooting started and the gang got their target ... and took Jai's life as well. Ironically, Jai had just received his Masters in Criminal Justice just two months earlier in May, 2007, and was waiting to pursue a career in law enforcement. Sadly, the lives of everyone that Jai had touched would be changed forever.

Teenage gang-related statics are truly no more than best estimates. The obvious reasons are that it's not realistic to believe that people can go door-to-door and gather information any more than it is to think that there is an office where gangs and gang members go to register their activity.

According to one online statistical source and a 2009 estimate, there are approximately 24,500 gangs in the U.S, and one million gang members. It would be wonderful, since these are estimated numbers, if the statistics represented were overstated. My fear, however, is that they could actually be understated.

So, the obvious question is what should we, as a united front, do about this? We all do a lot of gasping, shaking our heads, and talking about it. But, what are we doing about it? And who is to blame for the increasing number of teenagers (and much younger) choosing gangs as their family. Is it the parents, the school system, movies, t.v, music, the lack of teenage role models (I mean the good kind), the law and lack of stricter penalties......or is it....etc...etc...and so on.

I don't pretend to have the answers. I am asking you. Who do you think is responsible for the increasing number of violent gangs in the U.S., and what do you think we should do about it?

I will take this a step further and ask you to join us next Thursday, January 28, 2010, at noon (12:00 pm EST) as we discuss this very topic in our segment of Teenage Gang Violence at I encourage you to call in and talk with us at 1-347-994-3835. It's not an interview, it's a conversation, and I would like for you to be a part of it.

Just talking about the problem falls short of actually eliminating the problem. That will take action on everyone's part. But talking about it is a good beginning.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

"I got a black magic woman
Got me so blind I can't see
That she's a black magic woman
She's tryin' to make a devil out of me"

I am delighted to say that 2010 has started out with a real "Bing Bang Boom" on our Three Wise Girls Show. Our show with Christophe Van Der Hogan-Landry took us into the very core of a social and political movement that is sweeping the country, led by this dynamic young man. Our second segment of the year, In Dreams, allowed us to talk about dream experiences with others who have had similar experiences, without the risk of being scoffed at.

And, there is no doubt our third show is going to be no less controversial, or sizzle with less "Bing Bang Boom".

There is a new feline species evolving, and it is preying on our innocent young men.

Now that I've got your attention, I'm talking about Cougars. No, not that kind. I'm talking about the 40+ year-old gorgeous single women out there that are ready for some good times with younger men, and don't feel like they have to apologize to anyone for it. Oh, and the "innocent young men" part, you didn't think I was serious, did you?

The word Cougar, as defined in this blog, conjures up visions of women running in packs, and hitting the bars in search of younger men with which to quench their thirsts. (In more ways than one.) Ah...but what about the ones in the office, the boardroom, your neighbor, or maybe even ... your friend? Cougars are global, and not confined to a specific region or country.

The truth is that there have always been older women who have had secret trysts with younger men. The thing is ... it wasn't as trendy as it is now. We have film stars, movies, and T.V. to thank for bringing this new form of entertainment to the forefront and making it downright trendy.

But back to real life, what about the young women out there? Are they growing resentful that these older and bolder women are splashing into their pool of "love princes"? Are the kids of these self-professed Cougars reading up on the emancipation laws of their states in hopes of changing their names and moving to another state where no one knows who their mother is? Is there a stone-faced mother out there this very moment opening the front door to find Junior standing there with a silly smile on his face, and his arm wrapped around the waist of a woman who just happened to graduate in the same senior class with her?

Who knows? But, I bet there is a 40+ beauty sitting in a bar, a restaurant, or maybe a private club, who doesn't care what the world thinks she sits there smiling alluringly into the eyes of her adoring young suitor, while she leans over and whispers ..."the next round is on me. "

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Update on Big Dog

"You just call out my name
And you know wherever I am
I'll come runnin' to see you again
Winter, spring, summer or fall
All you have to do is call
And I'll be there
You've got a friend"

A Very Special Update!
(see previous post on Big Dog)

I called the animal shelter providing care for Big Dog. I wanted to how he was doing, and if I could finally drop by to see him. I was put on hold for a few minutes and I was getting my jacket on, looking for my keys, etc., when the very nice lady came back to the phone. She let me know that Big Dog was no longer there.

I'm happy to report that Big Dog's owner did come to the shelter and I'm sure it was a happy reunion. I only hope that Big Dog left with a microchip and that the owner left with relief and love in his/her heart for Big Dog.

I am personally so thankful for the help from my neighbors, and everyone who helped in getting the word out about Big Dog. I've had many conversations with people that I've never met before, and that I now consider friends, bonded by a common love and respect for dogs ( and all animals).

Strange as it may seem, I am going to miss Big Dog. I never knew his real name, or anything about his life, or his owners. But, he will always be "Big Dog" to me. And I'm so glad that Big Dog choose to spend Christmas with me.