The story about Jeremiah Tilmon being arrested on charges of underage drinking at Mizzou by Kara Berg is not news.
Born and raised in East St. Louis, I graduated from Lincoln Senior High and received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the nation’s official party school, SIU-Carbondale.
Maybe I’m impartial because I was an underage drinker like many who read this article listed under crime. I don’t know Tilmon, but as a son of East St. Louis, I’m coming to the defense of my little brother.
Tilmon didn’t live up to the low expectation for young black men from East St. Louis and Baltimore. He isn’t a hashtag in body a bag or a picture on a T-shirt. He isn’t a high school dropout. He didn’t go to prison. He did the reverse; he graduated high school and went to college on a scholarship. Too often the press and black community focus on every insignificant minor infraction by young black men as if they’re being reminded that nothing good comes out of East St. Louis.
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Well, Tilmon floated to the top. He came out of East St. Louis, like his coach Cuonzo Martin, a bright light out of a dark place saturated with jealousy even for young people who succeed.
Tilmon isn’t alone. Many young black men’s success stories aren’t told. I am saddened by this attempt to criminalize and cast a shadow on Tilmon’s future before he even gets started. The real story is he made it.
Apostle Kinji P. Scott, M.A., Baltimore, Maryland