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Enough!

Posted by Richard on March 25, 2007

Last Friday, ABC TV broadcast another great John Stossel special, this one entitled "Enough!" It showcased some people who'd had enough of something and decided to take action. My favorites were:

  • New York Knicks star Stephon Marbury, who remembered growing up poor and asking his mother in vain for some $200 Air Jordan sneakers. The kind some kids have been beaten and even killed for. After Marbury became "Starbury," earning $17 million a year, he decided to come out with his own line of sneakers. They sell for $14.98. And he plays in them.

Starbury's sneakers have been a big hit. One fan is Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, who wears them, loves them, and said about Starbury:

… "They're aren't many things we will do in our lives that will have an impact on culture and social change. To be able to send a message to kids and sell millions of shoes so the message gets through saying, save that extra $85 and buy your kid a guitar or some clothes. That is huge."

"You can look at 'NBA Cares' all you want. You can look at the things I've done for charity all you want. The NBA has never done anything as impactful as what he has done."

  • Chicago restauranteur Dan McCauley, who got fed up with out-of-control kids in his A Taste of Heaven cafe. He told one mother, whose kids were climbing the wall while she paid no attention, not to come back. Then he posted a sign that said, "Children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when coming to A Taste of Heaven."

There were the predictable expressions of outrage from the parents who think saying "stop that!" to their kids is a form of child abuse. But the surprise was the tidal wave of support:

Letters applauding the restaurant's stand against rowdy kids began to arrive from around the country, some from as far away as Singapore and the United Kingdom. McCauley even received some small checks from supporters worried he would lose business.

Macauley didn't lose business. People are flocking to his cafe, grateful for a place where they can enjoy a peaceful, relaxing meal. Some of them are parents with children taught how to behave in public and how to be considerate of others. What a novel idea!

  • New York writer Maryann Reid, who was bothered by the fact that 70% of children in the black community are born to single mothers. She decided to do something about it:

"There is no stigma anymore in the black community about having a child out of wedlock," said Reid, which led to the creation of Marry Your Baby Daddy Day. For those who don't know, Reid explains that "a Baby Daddy is simply…an unmarried father. But they've become caricatures in the ghetto."

Reid said, "Enough of that! Enough of upholding this 'baby daddy' and 'baby momma' as the norm. I am really just fed up with…the decline of marriage in the black community…It's about bring black love back in style. And that's what I want to do."

Reid persuaded a bunch of wedding industry people to donate their goods and services for her project. The first Marry Your Baby Daddy Day was in September 2005, and ten couples were wed. All are still together. She's currently screening couples for the next one, this September. Meanwhile, she's also got a novel and a website promoting the idea that mommas should marry their baby daddy.

Of course, I'm just hitting the highlights. And there were other good segments, too. If you missed it, keep an eye out for a rerun — it was an uplifting hour about some decent and interesting people.

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