The Message

Since the death of Jonathon Matondo this city has been simmering like a tinder box with its tit for tat attacks and opposing factions growing daily. Many parents are scared and stressed out every hour that young men from many families are not close beside them. Some see the younger generation as completely out of control.

What is startling for us all is the explosion of acts of violence.

Today the taking of life is becoming so easy, many families are now in a state of red alert and the violence we are up against is becoming the norm. We are seeing African, Somali, Asian, Arab and African Caribbean British-born descendents, fighting, stabbing and shooting each other. A situation that we fear will only end leaving very few of our young men left standing, before some see reason to stop.

Some of the root causes and issues that need to be addressed have always been with us. We must look hard at where this rot has begun and how to reverse it.

We have watched the system contribute to decaying parental infrastructure and discipline with a high level of increased financial greed.

Console games, film and music industries also contribute by controlling and blighting the minds of our young with negative messages and images.

The end of apprenticeships and traditional industries, YTS and even youth centres, has left many young people vulnerable and without the support and means of gaining financially, or steady employment. They see little future alongside an older generation of brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts and parents in the same situation of unemployment.

This financially unstable lifestyle, reflecting down on their children, does not allow parents to portray a proper role model for this fiercely financially driven generation. Although a few of the older generation can be seen as working hard; achieving goals; gaining mortgages and even TV and sports fame, so many of our generation have subconsciously succumbed to the barriers placed against us making those achievements. Barriers that can be seen when we witness how few from the black community are in senior or management levels in Sheffield.

In this situation, many families can no longer control the frustration of young men and woman, who are unable to aspire to mortgages; yearly family holidays or business ownership.

If we are to survive in a system that's running into chaos, then these barriers must be lifted, both physically and mentally.

We must begin to address these issues, not as one community leading and feeding off the dire situation others find themselves in, but by working fairly and equally together.

We must be prepared to look at history to see where the rejection of society by young British born Black people began.

Rob Smith

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The content on this page was added to the website by Douglas Johnson on 2008-07-18 21:42:13.
The content of the page was last modified by Douglas Johnson on 2008-07-21 14:47:35.

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