An article in the Tuesday, June 21, 2011 issue of The Los Angeles Times by columnist Sandy Banks tells a story of a 20 year old young lady named Jasmine. Jasmine is a mother of two who, when she found herself with a one year old child and an unemployed “baby daddy”, realized the only marketable skill between him and her was her sex. She and the baby daddy decided that Jasmine would become a prostitute. At the time Jasmine was 14. So by now she has been turning tricks on the streets for four years. It is not clear how old the boy (her pimp) was, but neither had an education or training in any trade.
What this story points out is that for some young people there are not a lot of choices and so they choose anything. The article points out that parents, like Jasmine’s, and the schools are failing our children. The churches aren’t doing a lot for young people either.
Sadly, Jasmine’s mother watches Jasmine’s two children while Jasmine turns tricks. In a sense it could be said that Jasmine’s mother and her baby daddy are all employed as a result of Jasmine’s work. The article points out that Jasmine was not on drugs and, even though the boy friend is in my opinion a pig, he doesn’t physically abuse her. She simply is convinced that she has no other skills or choice of work to make money to feed, clothe and house her children.
Everywhere you look today there is talk of schooling and jobs or the lack thereof. The July 4th issue of Time magazine lists jobs in an article called “Where the jobs are.” Prostitution or pimping is not on the list. Those jobs that are in double digits include Government jobs, health services, manufacturing, retail, professional and business, hotel and restaurants. Other job categories on Time magazine list of where to look for work include mining, education, finance, Real Estate, arts and entertainment and construction. Before you jump in, get some education, experience and/or training.
One caveat: Don’t look for the public schools to guide you toward a career. They are too busy trying to build semi-private Charter schools that exclude more children than they admit. They are doing this rather than being committed to training and educating all children who enter the system. Their plan will lead more Jasmines onto the streets and, ultimately, to hospitals and jails. The Charter school movement is just the latest way to take money intended for public employees and divert it to private corporations with no guarantee better results.
It’s like the Post Office versus Federal Express or United Parcel Service. Either one can get the package where you want it to go, but the price of the private companies (Fed Express and UPS) is three times the amount. As a further note, as long as we used the Post Office, it provided a job for millions of Black men and women to feed, clothe, and house their families. I still use the Post Office 90 percent of the time; just as I try to buy domestic made products, as it promotes domestic employment.
On August 20, 2011 The Journal sponsored, PROFESSIONAL CAREERS INSTITUTE will sponsor a seminar on training for careers in health care, the hair care industry, marketing hair care products marketing, and paralegal training. Also, information will be provided on other occupations and careers as well. Watch The Journal for more information, or call 626-798-3972. Start training for a career now and avoid the trap which Jasmine fell into.