Guest Editorial…Impatiently waiting

by Shannon Williams

“There is no hardship that will not end, no trouble that will not retreat.”

While this proverb from Namibia is certainly true, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m one person who is impatiently waiting for some adversities of the world to end.

Earlier this week, I received an e-mail from Recorder Publisher and President Carolene Mays that was troubling to say the least. The e-mail included a 12-second video that showed President Barack Obama during a recent trip to Russia. As Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev entered a room, there were several Russian politicians in the receiving line waiting to greet the leaders. Obama extended his hand to each man. One-by-one, each man refused to shake our president’s hand. By the time Obama and Medvedev made their way to the end of the line, the look of disappointment was apparent on Obama’s face. Despite the disappointment, Obama maintained his composure in the cool and collected manner that has become his trademark.

I can imagine the hurt and anger Obama must have felt. To hold the highest office in the United States, yet still be disrespected in such an overt manner by people who are supposed to be dignitaries is surely enough to evoke such emotions. The Russians’ behavior was insulting for not only a man who happens to be a standing president, but for any human being.

To see such disrespect given to a head of state was frustrating, but it was also eye-opening because I was reminded yet again, of how such hatred and disdain remain a reality for Americans in general and Blacks specifically.

I’m impatiently waiting for people throughout the world to respect our president, even if they don’t agree with his policies.

High-ranking officials aren’t the only ones who deserve respect: children and teens do too.

I once asked a friend’s daughter what was one of the most challenging things about being a teenager.

“Going to school,” was her quick response. At first I thought she meant physically going to school and completing the required assignments. However, after more probing I learned what this Atlanta teen’s comment really meant. While like most teens, she’d prefer to have less coursework, her main problem is having to protect herself from jealous female classmates and boys who often make unwanted advances at her.

By no means is her school a modern day “Lean on Me,” rather it’s a respectable school with caring teachers and involved parents. Needless to say, however, maltreatment of fellow students can happen anywhere.

A horrific example of this is the recent gang rape of a California girl who was assaulted for two-and-a-half-hours by multiple boys outside her high school’s homecoming dance. As many as 15 male bystanders watched the assault, but none called the police. Instead, they left the girl unconscious and “brutally assaulted” under a bench. Police were called to the scene only after someone heard witnesses reminiscing about the incident.

I’m impatiently waiting for parents to teach their children the importance of proper behavior as well as the need to stand up against injustice—even if they’re not the one being treated unjustly.

I’m also impatiently waiting for people to act as responsible adults by legally working to supply their own needs, rather than forcing a child to be exposed to acts that children should never know about.

The FBI announced Monday the recovery of 52 children who were used as child prostitutes. Sixty pimps were arrested the same day.

The recovery and arrests were part of a nationwide law enforcement initiative conducted on the federal, state and local levels. Operation Cross Country IV is part of the FBI’s ongoing Innocence Lost National Initiative that was created six years ago with the goal of ending sex trafficking of children in the United States.

Other things I’m impatiently waiting for is an end to poverty, corruption and genocide in underdeveloped countries.

I mean really, how much more evidence of wrongdoing and suffering does America and other countries need to see before a concerted effort is made to combat the problems.

I’m confident that once corruption in these countries is addressed, poverty and genocide will decrease drastically. It’s because there are no fair and credible officials leading these areas that such adversities occur in the first place.

I can only pray that something is done soon to address all of the aforementioned problems that we’re faced with today because as human beings, it’s our duty to help and respect one another.

Like the proverb suggests, hardships will end—eventually; until then, however, I suppose I’ll continue to impatiently wait.

(Reprinted from the Indianapolis Recorder.)


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