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How to Heal a Divided Nation After Covid

Beware of politicians telling us they will make life better. Their primary goal is to be reelected to maintain power and control. They often increase taxes, legislate reforms and pass new laws to control people’s behavior which makes Americans weaker and more dependent.

The summer of 2020 saw fringe groups in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Kenosha, Washington DC, and other cities riot, as they burned and looted stores, clashed with police, and even took over city blocks in Seattle. (The Guardian stated, “At least 25 people were killed during protests”- The NY Post said, “More than 700 officers were injured.”) Politicians blamed police and released vandals without consequences.

Americans were shocked again to see Republican fringe groups break into the US Capital, steal property, and clash with police. (CNBC states, 50 officers were hurt, and 4 people died.) President Trump was blamed for the violence.

We are ALL responsible for our own behavior! This is a battle between good and evil for the soul of America, “spiritual warfare.” “We the people” must listen to each other, help heal fears, debate issues, work together to solve problems, and stop being divided into political camps.

Some concerns in 2021 include:

Poverty: Americans saw a gradual change over the last 50 years as politicians stepped in to fix us. Since the “War on Poverty,” taxpayers have spent $44 Trillion to “help” underprivileged Americans. (Hoover Institute: “more money than all the wars since the American Revolution”) Today’s politicians demand more funds. Yes, there has been some good, but no one talks about government funds creating corrupt politicians and leaders in cities. Is this Evil? You decide!

Fatherless Families: In the 1950s, 65% of children were raised in traditional families, only 22% today. Taxpayers pay mothers with babies who don’t have a father in the home. This policy has contributed to 18.3 million fatherless children. Fatherless families add to our social problems with a higher risk of poverty, girls becoming pregnant, abuse, behavior problems, drug abuse, neglect, prison risk, crimes, and school dropouts. (Source: National Fatherhood Initiative) Young people are vulnerable to drugs, sex trafficking, gangs, and violence! Is this Evil? You decide!

Pornography: Americans are the biggest consumers of Pornography!  There are 4.5 million porn sites on the web. Sexual violence against women has increased. Today, 79% of children are exposed to porn and the average age is 11 years old. Girls are using pornography to learn how to meet boys “expectations.” (Source: Enough is Enough) Is this Evil? You decide!

Hollywood, magazines, and TV promote sex and violence because “sex sells.” It should be noted that men’s weakness is sex and women’s weakness is tempting men which has been exploited by Hollywood moguls. Men and women bought into “hookups” and out-of-wedlock sex which can destroy families, children, and how men treat women. Is this Evil? You decide!

What changed and how to move forward? The 1950s are called the golden age of America – Stable families, rising incomes, wholesome TV shows, religious attendance, and low crime rates. During the 1990s Americans experienced the highest crime rates. However, as crime went up, citizens got involved, and, over the years, we’ve had a gradual decline in crime. Americans became better informed about the importance of neighborhood involvement. Citizens worked with agencies and started support groups for rape victims, child abuse, gang violence, drug abuse, and mental health. Credit goes to involved Americans for reducing crime in neighborhoods and individuals in nonprofit groups and school activities which made communities safer. That’s what Good people do! You decide!

Example: Barbara, a mother of two, was irate when she came into the citizen’s crime prevention office. Her city council voted to erect a fence around the park to keep out drug dealers because police didn’t have needed resources. Staff suggested she organize neighbors, play cards, or walk the dog in the park and takedown descriptions, license numbers, time, and date without being noticed. Within 3 months, the police and citizens celebrated because the park was safe again. Neighbors went back to the city council and the money for the fence was used for a new swing set and tables. Barbara discovered she was not powerless and later became the mayor of her city.

Our problems can NOT be fixed with money or laws alone. Let’s discuss the power of the human spirit to overcome any obstacle.

There are hundreds of thousands of churches, mosques, and synagogues. Religious leaders can talk about the power of the human spirit and encourage citizens to get connected and “Love thy Neighbor.” Volunteer to make America safer for youth! We need Americans involved to continue reducing crime, drugs, and violence. Everyone can start where we are by talking to neighbors about keeping neighborhoods safe.

We all have the power to create change! Cities need good people to serve on school boards and start neighborhood projects. Nonprofits need help to support families with drug education, stopping child sex trafficking and suicide. Volunteers are needed in community centers, religious groups, retirement homes, food banks, homeless shelters, and advocacy groups. That’s what good people do! You decide!

Politicians have limitations but when we work together, “we the people” can empower each other and create “good” as we become safer, healthier communities for everyone.

As soon as public service ceases to be the chief business of the citizens, and they would rather serve with their money than with their persons, the state is not far from its fall.

–Quote from “The Social Contract.”

Stephanie L. Mannhttps://safekidsnow.com/
Stephanie Mann co-authored, Alternative to Fear: Guidelines to Safer Neighborhoods,” which helped launch the national “Neighborhood Watch” Program. Within 2 1/2 years, involved residents in her community (17,500 residents) decreased crime 48%, WITHOUT a local police department. Mann worked as a community leader, neighborhood organizer, county coordinator, state consultant and authored, “Safe Homes, Safe Neighborhoods: Stopping Crime Where You Live” (Nolo Press 1993) In 2010, while working in Richmond CA, with “Mother’s Against Senseless Killings,” Mann saw people too scared to be involved or report crimes. She wrote, “The Adopt-A-Block Guidebook,” with an easy-to-follow guide for existing groups and “My first steps to a safe neighborhood” for citizens. These booklets give individuals and groups the tools to reach out and bring people together to help each other. Stephanie started a homeless men’s support group while working with “The Mary Ann Wright Foundation” in Oakland CA. She recognized the need to support children at an early age and wrote, “Street Safe Kids: 10 Step Guide for Teens and Adults” (which has been used in after-school programs) to help youth grow strong from within to develop self-esteem and stay centered. Book available on amazon.com The Safe Kids Now National website states, “Every child needs a healthy family and neighborhood to stay safe.” In partnership with the CARR Foundation, a binder, “Safe Neighborhoods: Access to a Healthy Community,” was created for city leaders to make neighborhoods safer for families and neighborhoods. Stephanie’s books strengthen families and can decrease the social isolation that fuels bullies, domestic violence, abuse, drugs, gangs, and other destructive behaviors.”

1 COMMENT

  1. Hi dear Stephanie,

    Another powerful and courageous article. In the 1980s, the social workers used to acknowledge that a child born to an unwed mother had a high chance of living in poverty. If they had a second, they indicated that it increased their chances markedly. They no longer state that because of political correctness and moral relativism.

    I used to work with some of these children having children. It did not bode well! Once I was on a home visit with a colleague, and the child-mother of a baby, living with the grandmother, was treating the baby like a doll. She put a sticker on the baby’s forehead, and the baby cried. I said, “Stop doing that.” My colleague said nothing, the grandmother who had been cooking, turned around but did not interfere, and the child-mother while I was present stopped her childish behavior. As we know, this casual approach to having children does everyone a disservice. Even from just an economic standpoint, this is a lose-lose situation. There are so many issues here I could comment on, but you have addressed much of it. Keep writing my friend.

    With a smile,

    Darlene

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