Bobby Bradford letter

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Letter to the editor

‘Six-9’ speaks out, urges corporal punishment to avoid greater hurt

The Serenity Prayer
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
–Reinhold Niebuhr

 Friends have asked me to voice my opinion on all the violence that has happened in our city this year. After a lot of consideration, I have decided to express my feelings not about the individual incidents themselves because in reality, we don’t know and may never know.

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But it’s about what is happening to our young people in general. I wish parents would discipline their kids more. There are laws out there that may discourage parents from whipping their  kids.
My generation got whipped. Our parents used switches and even extension cords. That wasn’t child abuse. That made us do right because we knew that the whippings hurt.

No, we weren’t hit in the face or anywhere above our shoulders with those things because that would have been child abuse even in those days. They made us pull our pants down and went to our butts and legs.

But if parents do that these days, he or she might be punished by the law while the kids continue to do wrong.

I remember one morning my brother didn’t get on the bus. My mother was looking out the window. She ran outside and stopped the bus driver. My mother whipped him right there in front of all of the students. He was more embarrassed than he was hurting, but you know what? He never tried to skip school again. I bet you that a parent now would be locked up by 9 a.m. that morning.

Another problem is these 14, 15, 16 and 17-year-old kids look up to the wrong people. They have uncles and cousins who have been locked up for 5 or 10 years and some, two or three times. I hear kids tell their friends, “Yeah, man, that’s my uncle. He just did ten in the pen. He had it going down there.”

They want to be like their uncles or cousins because their uncles and cousins aren’t telling them all the bad things about being locked up.

I am not saying kids walk around wanting to go to Parchman, but whether they realize it or not, they are doing the same things that their uncles or cousins did that got them locked up.

On the other hand, I have known some people who have gotten out of prison and changed their lives. That’s the people these kids should listen to. I had an uncle who spent most of his life at Parchman. He died in his late 50s while he was locked up. He did over 20 years in the pen. I hate to admit it, but I was scared of him because he was locked up. I loved him, but I didn’t want to be around him.

I want all of you young people to keep this in mind: When something bad happens to you — you go to prison or worse, put yourself in a situation to be killed — it is your parents and grandparents who will have to suffer.

Last Thursday night (March 29) when all the shooting first started I was walking out of my cousin’s house. As I walked downstairs a friend of mine was coming out of her mother’s apartment. I guess she had heard about the shootings, because she asked me if I had seen her grandson.

I told her no.

She was really worried about him. She got on her phone, calling around. She had no luck. About 45 minutes to an hour later, the grandson she was looking for (the youngest one) and his 26-year-old brother (another grandson) were murdered.

Everyone knows who I am, and you can talk to me anytime. (662-654-5918 or 662-609-3287). I would like to end with this poem of my own:

Between the violence and woes,

Things are getting way out of control.
With killing, poverty and despair,
It does not make sense; we should all care.


Bobby “Six-9” Bradford