“The Current” Says WE Care About Amber Cole (And Our Boys)

 

Last night, 10.26.11, I was a guest on the BlogTalkRadio show “The Current,” hosted by Kenda Bell.  The topic for this  show was “I Care About Amber Cole!” and was driven by the video of a 14 year old girl performing fellatio on her ex-boyfriend.  This act was performed in front of their school in broad daylight, with at least one other teenaged boy filming it on his phone, and several other boys sitting in plain sight of Amber, watching and laughing.  The show was also driven by a thought-provoking article written by my fellow guest, Christelyn Russel-Karazin, a columnist for Madame Noire Magazine.  Her article, “Our Apathy: Amber Cole and the Disvaluation of Black Girls,” inspired Kenda to put it on The Current’s agenda.

See Christelyn’s article here.

Listen to The Current show archived here.

What made the show so poignant was that each of us came at the issue from different perspectives, adding different points to the discussion.  While Christelyn and Kenda spoke eloquently about their outrage at the vitriol aimed at Amber for her actions, I pointed out that the “young men” in the video were still stuck at “boy” stage, and that their participation in this horrendous act spoke to the same need for attention and love attributed to Amber.  The fact that any of them engaged in this and went so far as to post it on the internet raised some serious red flags about their levels of self-esteem, pride and self-awareness.

A hot topic tossed about the show was the idea that the video and its participants were symptoms of much larger community value issues playing out across the country.  Questions and answers (not all agreed upon), were raised concerning who was responsible (parents, schools, the community?), what were the root causes, and how to proceed from here; for us as a community, for this country, and most significantly, for Amber and these nameless boys.

Several guests called in and added tremendously to the conversation.  Among the callers were Mia Miata, who spoke about our need for self-evaluation as a community, and PeaJae Cannon, who spoke about the process and need for healing.  I should point out that Ms. Cannon and I had a rather hot but respectful debate about the role of historical context in the Amber Cole incident, and whether or not remembering our past means continuing to hold onto pain that stunts our ability to move forward.  There were several other callers, and I ask their forgiveness that I do not remember their names.  TUNE IN AT THE LINK ABOVE TO HEAR ALL OF THE CALLERS AND THEIR GREAT POINTS.  I will do the same so that I may hear the show as a listener for fresh perspective.

Kudos and a heartfelt thank you to Kenda Bell for hosting the show, to Christelyn for a great article and commentary, and to all of the callers and listeners.  So…now that the show is over…WHAT DO WE DO NEXT?

Sound Off!

Broadcast Your Inner Champion

 

 

 

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