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A White Man’s Perspective on Black Children

September 2, 2010

Dear Mr. Robinson,

I have just read your article in the VIDaily News. Your words are powerful and indeed timely as our economic crisis is at hand.

As a white man, working for a black boss, I am not sure my work situation fits in to the context of what you are trying to express. The man I work for is where the black culture should be looking for guidance. Well dressed, fiscally responsible, community oriented, breaking down the very barriers of which you speak.

I, on the other hand, am well aware of what you are saying. Everyday, I work with inner city youth trying to impress upon them the value of working. Not just from the monetary sense, but also from sociological and economic ideals. Everyday I fight the battle of the last forty years of welfare that has weekend the black community and enslaved it once again.

My reasoning is this, many, not all of the black community have become accustomed to the hand outs of the welfare system. It has weakened their resolve in retrospect. Sure it has kept them alive but at what price? It has created a self reliance on Government as their caretakers. It has weakened the black culture mentally and created the motto “Why should I work when I get a check every month”. I know this because I have heard it from the youth I serve.

Breaking the cycle is one of my main goals and strategies with my job. It is not easy for a white man of 51 years to convince a 17 year old black youth that this job that pays $7.25 an hour is going to change his life, when most of his immediate family is sitting on a porch drinking beer all day collecting $1200.00 a month on welfare and disability. Or one of his friends is selling crack and pulling down $30K a month.

It is as simple as creating a bond of trust with that youth, to let him know how important he is in the scheme of how that company operates. I want to build their inner confidence of accomplishment, which is when we start rebuilding the values that will hopefully start a fresh thought of self empowerment.

I will continue my quest, one youth at a time.

Warm Regards,

Matthew B. Kramer

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