I’m speaking out for the children who are bombarded everyday with visions and sounds and negative images that can change who they think they are, before they know who they are, in this world. I’m speaking out for the children who have been told that they can’t be what they want to be by the media and thus by their parents, caregivers and guardians who allow them to be exposed to the media without supervision and proper guidance to ensure they understand the messages they are receiving. As adults we sometimes feel we can do what we want, listen to what we want and take our children to see what we want without any negative consequences. We play all kinds of sounds and images that can do serious damage to our children’s emotional growth, damage that we may not see until they are teenagers and adults and find it hard to “cope” with society and the people who make up our society. I’m speaking out for the children no matter what color, race, creed or age, they are who are forced to see movies, videos, DVDs and listen to music that degrades women and men. Movies such as 12 years a Slave that place negative images in the minds of not only the adults but the children who see it because their parents either took them to see it “for educational purposes” or because it’s playing on the bootleg DVD in their living room or downloaded on the computer that they use daily. We are downloading negative images and sounds into the minds of our children which change who they are as a person. I’m speaking out for the children who start off their morning happy with the knowledge that they are safe and secure in their world only to have that belief shattered by watching movies such as the Oscar winning 12 years a Slave. A movie that tells African- American children, that they can be enslaved at anytime. A movie that has the White House, where a Black President now lives, shown in the background of the plantation where the once free now enslaved black man lives; chained, bounded and beaten. I’m speaking out for the children of all colors and races who now have the images of brutal slavery of African Americans planted deep into their brains. I’m speaking out for the children who have seen this movie and now have either fear or distrust for their classmates. We have black children now in fear and we have white children now either in fear or having feelings of shame and guilt regarding a situation that they haven’t participated in to cause the mistreatment of another human. We now have children, both black and white, who may become angry and confused because of this movie. Black children, thinking they are less than, and white children, thinking they are superior than each other based on the color of their skin. I’m speaking out for the little black girl who saw a woman of her color, her mother’s color, her grandmother’s color, being beaten worse than people beat animals. I’m speaking out for the little black boy who saw this same image and now believes he won’t be able to protect his sister, mother or wife if they are beaten in the same manner by a white man. I’m speaking out for the black children who know that the only way our “people” will get honored in the movies is if they play black policemen who are crooked and evil, black women who lay up with white men who kill their children, or slaves who are beaten and called the “N” word and worse on a daily basis. I’m speaking out today to say that in our society we as adults must take control of what we are downloading into our children. We must take control over what they see and hear in the media because it will affect how they react to the people in their world and how they feel about themselves inside as a person. We must stop taking our children to see movies that call black people the “N” word 126 times in a two hour period. I’m speaking out for the children in regards to 12 years a Slave and asking if we can’t, please, start giving honor to movies that portray African Americans with dignity and respect? Can we please stop giving “honor” to “dishonorable” movies that portray black people in such a negative light? Stop “downloading” negative images into our children’s brain. Stop being a part of why the “powers that be” feel they are allowed to only choose these types of movies to honor black people at the Oscars.

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