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Young Black Immigrants Are Dreaming Too

Stephanie E. Williams

Stephanie E. Williams

By Stephanie Williams

They are Black! They Are Beautiful! And, they too have a dream!

The current tension over protecting the dreamers is merely an extension of an historical conflict between those in America who support the sentiments espoused on the base of the Statue of Liberty and those who want a country that fulfills the most egregious desire of White Supremacists, to purge the country of non-white residents on their road to fulfilling their vision of an all-White America.

Last week, the nation bore witness when the president dispelled all doubt about the racist ideology that undergirds the agenda of his white house. Trump allegedly demanded to know during a White House meeting on immigration, why he should accept immigrants from “shithole” (Black) countries like Haiti or Africa–I’m not sure if the president realizes Africa is not a country but a continent—rather than White countries like Norway. 

This was not the first time the president put his full racist attitude on display. The country saw it throughout the 2016 presidential campaign and again and again since he took office.

The president’s apparent attitude toward people of color is not only telling but also threatening to the hundreds of thousands of dreamers at risk of deportation since he ended DACA last September. Although the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals blocked Trump’s efforts to stymie the DACA program last week, the ultimate fate of the dreamers remains uncertain.

Amid the discussions on the probable racist ideology permeating the white house and the president’s implementation of obvious racist immigration policies that have resulted to date, there are nearly 3.7 million Black immigrants who account for about 8.4 percent of all immigrants—many of them from the very countries the president recently disparaged.

According to a report by the Center for American Progress, among the largest groups of Black immigrants, 48 percent are from the Caribbean, 43 percent from various African countries, and 3.6 percent from South America. Black immigrants also make up 25 percent of at least five major metropolitan areas including Boston, Miami, Minneapolis, New York, and Seattle.

The president has also inferred that immigrants from countries like Norway are preferable. He never qualified that statement. However, if his preference is based on qualifications rather than race, we must assume he is unaware of the fact that Black immigrants have as high a rate of education and employment as any other group of immigrants.

For example, 29 percent of Black immigrants have a bachelor’s degree or higher compared to 30 percent from White nations, and at least 29 percent have some college or an associates degree compared to only 19 percent from other countries.

Another area where the president is ill informed is in regard to employment. The reality is that at least 73 percent of Black immigrants sixteen years of age and older are employed, compared to 67 percent of all immigrants and only 64 percent of those born in America.

Currently, there are about 11,000 Black immigrants under DACA protection, although the Migration Policy Institute has estimated there are 36,000 African immigrants eligible for the deferred action.

There are those who believe African Americans should not sit idly by on the issue of immigration. Make your voices heard on this issue. Call your congressman, attend a rally, raise your voice in this discussion.

As the president and his supporters continue to push their racist agenda, minorities can not afford to sit silent. We have learned from history—to be silent is to be complicit. We must speak out before silence morphs from complicity to something more sinister. As history has also taught us—silence, equals death.

You can reach your U.S. representative by calling (202) 225-3121, and your U.S. senators at (202) 224-3121. Ask the operator to connect you to the individual office. To find out the name of your representative, enter your zip code here www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.


Stephanie E. Williams is an award winning investigative reporter, editor and activist who has contributed to several Inland Empire publications. Williams spent more than thirty years as a middle-manager in the telecommunications industry before retiring to pursue her passion as a reporter and non-fiction writer. Beyond writing, Williams’ personal interests include stone-carving, drumming and sculpting.

Letter to the Editor: Babysitting Can Help Girls from Becoming Victims of Sexual Assault

By Brian Presley

Young women and teen girls have always had it tough and the recent Hollywood scandals illustrate the types of problems women have had to face not only in entertainment, but in many other industries as well.  There is; however, a long-time activity that can help young women from becoming a victim and that’s babysitting.

Most people may dismiss babysitting as just a part-time job for a teen to make a few dollars but with the proper training and experience, a young woman can develop her confidence, a higher level of responsibility, leadership and life-skills that she will use for the rest of her life.  

Being a babysitter is more than just putting the kids in front of the television and then to bed.  A babysitter is responsible for the safety and well-being of another human being.  It looks simple because in most cases, nothing goes wrong.  The importance of having a properly trained babysitter is evident when something does go wrong.

There are hundreds of babysitting courses available across the country.  They teach how to properly handle, feed and change babies, how to deal with toddlers and many other situations that can pop up.  Many babysitting programs also offer emergency first-aid and CPR courses that could help save a kid’s life.  

Just like anti-bullying programs, all the speeches, skits and cheers that kids are exposed to are useless unless that person develops their confidence and has a high level of self-esteem.  In most cases, victims have the opposite.  The majority of people who complete a babysitting course and learn first-aid and CPR do develop a sense of empowerment.

Knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is empowering.  Knowing that you can help save someone’s life helps build confidence and although they may not realize it, learning first-aid and CPR also builds and develops their leadership abilities.  

A young woman with these skills is less likely to be a victim.

For parents, having someone watch their kids so that they can leave their home is like having a mini vacation.  For many others, a babysitter is needed so that they can go to work to earn money to pay their bills.  As long as there are kids, there will always be a need for babysitters. 

A few of the skills that being a babysitter can develop include:

Communication Skills:

It is extremely important that the babysitter is able to understand and communicate clearly with the adults as to what needs to be done when they are gone.  She must be able to ask questions before the adults leave and must also be able to explain to the parents if they are not able or comfortable with something they’ve been asked to do. 

It is also important for her to clearly explain any situations or events that have happened while they were gone.  It could be something as simple as an appliance not working or even noticing the kid developing a rash.  Parents need to know.  

It is also just as important for the babysitter to communicate with the kids as well.  Just barking orders won’t work but being confident in giving them directions will.  Kids will ideally be more cooperative if they feel like they can talk to her.  

Organizational Skills:

A reliable babysitter is organized, prepared and on time.  

Prior to the job, the babysitter must have everything they need for the time they are there.  That may include a change of clothes, a fully charged cell phone and a way to get there on time and a way to get home safely afterwards. 

The parents may also have a number of tasks for the babysitter to do while they’re gone so it’s important to be able to do them properly especially when it involves something important such as giving medication.  Being organized is important for a successful babysitter. 

Responsibility

For some teens, this is the first time that they are really in charge of something important.  

First and foremost, they are responsible for the safety of the kids.  The tasks assigned to them by the adults are not always suggestions and must be completed to the best of their abilities.   

The babysitter must also be responsible enough to tell the parents that they are not confident or even able to do something they are asked to do.  It’s important for the babysitter to be honest with the parents and to themselves about her abilities. 

The babysitter must also check on the kids regularly even after she puts them to bed and be there to help them if they get up in the middle of the night.  It may be boring to be sitting in front of the television but a responsible babysitter knows that they are always “on duty” even when the kids are asleep.  

Problem Solving

You hope that everything goes smoothly but as parents know, it’s not always the case.  Unexpected things happen and a babysitter must be able to adapt and solve problems as they come up. 

She must be able to understand the situation, come up with a solution, implement it and hope that the problem is resolved which may not always happen. 

Being able to find solutions to problems now may help her to solve larger issues in the future as an adult.   

Confidence

Confidence is a skill that is developed over time and as a babysitter, she must be responsible, be organized, solve problems and be able to communicate.   Having these skills and using them will help her to build confidence in herself and increase her self-esteem which will help her throughout her life.    

Not every decision she makes will work out and not every decision she makes may be the right one for her at that time but at least she was confident enough to make that decision.  Deciding about what is good for her will come with time, maturity and experience. 

Kids with confidence are less likely to be bullied and are more likely to succeed at what they do.  Young women who have developed a high level of self-esteem are less likely to become a victim of predators as well.  

There are many other skills that a babysitter can learn but the most important skills they can learn are the ones that will make them a better person as they get older so when you do hire a young woman to look after your kids, remember, you’re not just giving them a job to look after your kids, you’re also helping them to become better prepared for life.  


Brian Presley is a stay-at-home dad, former youth worker and leadership councilor and is currently the president of What To Do With The Kids®, the website that adults go to when they want to know what to do with their kids.  WTDWTK’s Sitter Advantage app is designed to help babysitters become better at their jobs while providing parents with the peace of mind of knowing that their kids are happy and safe when they’re not there.  Visit www.whattodowiththekids.com for more information or on social media at #WTDWTK. 

What It Do with the LUE: The Stage and The Mic

By Lue Dowdy

The Stage and the MIC is WHAT IT DO! With it being a new year LUE Productions artists Mack Pepperboy, Gwaap Fam and West Tantrum is ready to go ham on the stage. Each artist from the L.P. camp have been working diligently on their individual projects and their craft.

We’re excited to see them in their element on Saturday, February 3 in the city of Victorville at the Smokin’ Wagon Saloon. If you like rap and hip hop our Kings will not disappoint. Come out and support our movement if you’re available. Doors open at 6 p.m. If not please share it with others.

Follow our artists on all social media sites under @mackpepperboy @gwaapfam @westtantrum and @lueproductions, and please make sure you checkout the music. Now hug somebody and tell them you love them.

Until next week L’s!