The Urban Time Bomb
The UK is witnessing a significant rise in gang culture and the urban violence is spreading through our inner city streets at alarming rates. Post codes have become red flags and our youth are becoming increasingly synonymous with bulls raging in a bid to defend their own territory. Our children, our teenagers (and oftentimes even younger kids) are caught up in an environment that remorselessly breeds societal depravity and decay. Our babies are having babies, drugs are readily available, promiscuity is commonplace, racial prejudice is still a part and parcel of todays society and peer pressure is running amok in high schools all across the UK. Nothing shocks our children anymore and its getting worse by the day. Smouldering just under the surface of almost every inner city pavement in the UK is an urban time bomb just waiting to explode in our faces.
There is no denying the fact that rising unemployment levels, the lack of positive role models (particularly male role models), limited recreational resources, peer pressure, diminishing family values and the sheer fear of the unknown can cause alienation from what we have come to know as mainstream society. And this in turn contributes to todays youth seeking to find a sympathetic ear on the street as some sort of a survival mechanism. Many of our children are turning to the concrete for guidance. The urban time bomb was penned with parents and teenagers in mind with a view to addressing the problem two fold. As parents we need to take responsibility for the social development skills of our offspring, encouraging, educating and cultivating their minds from a young age. This book is a critical and poetic look into todays youth
Please help to stop the violence on our streets...
Too many young lives have already been lost in postcode clashes and colour wars, despite the fact that our children dont even have a say in where they live as they are reliant on their parents choice of address. So why are we killing over the matter of a few miles and in some cases just a few hundred metres?
Whether our children live in Raphs or Monks Park, Mozart or South Killi, Church road or Bridge, Peckham or Brixton, Tottenham or Edmonton, whether their area is deemed as Red or Blue is ridiculous; they are all living wherever their parents decided they should live. They are all enduring the same struggle that every youth faces daily, lack of resources, lack of recreation, lack of role models, and lack of encouragement.
The Reds ( Bloodz) and the Blues (Cripz) ) originated from LA, California as early as the 1960s but became prevalent in the 80s for cocaine distribution throughout south central coining the phrase East and West side, which was divided by 2 freeways... The Harbour Freeway on the West side and the Long Beach Freeway on the East side. LA is 5456 miles away from London so, how can our children have any allegiance with this at all? Yet people are dying all over London (and the rest of the UK for that matter) for the colour of their bandana or shirt or for the areas that their parents choose to live in.
It is believed that drugs are at the epicentre of the UK gang scene and research shows that the changes in gang behaviour have been linked to the development of the drugs market, which in turn has been linked to the postcode clashes. So how does it all work? Well the Youngers protect a postcode, making sure that the drugs are being distributed and that the olders are being protected. Research also shows that at least 40% of young people are "reluctant gang members" - teenagers with no criminal record, but are scared of acts of vengeance if they leave a gang or disagree with its philosophy. Gang association often becomes a form of protection for them and their families.
Im not saying that all of our children are in gangs or on the periphery of gangs, but what I am saying is that our children are living in a society whereby gang affiliation is growing, partly through fear and partly because it is becoming more socially acceptable. So as parents we need to be aware of the peer pressure they face on a day to day basis. Many kids dont even understand what they are getting into when the join a gang as they are just looking for somewhere to belong. Our children associate with gangs for a multitude of reasons but some of the key factors appear to be family problems leading to their dependence on friends and school problems such as exclusion, leading to feelings of isolation.
Im no expert, I am just an ordinary woman, a mother and a poet but in my opinion, this has gone on for long enough. I feel that as parents we need to re-educate our children and lead by example, providing safe and secure homes for our offspring. We need to nurture and protect our children and encourage them to do well at school from a very young age. But most of all our kids need to feel that they belong and to understand that regardless of where they live, they are all in the same situation.
They are all just young people trying to get by in a dog eat dog world and they need to realise that those postcodes and colours have nothing to do with anything...Because when they breath they all breath the same air, when they cry they all cry the same tears and When they bleed they all bleed the same colour....