Thursday, August 9, 2007

How Do We Fix This

Over the past few weeks there has been story after story of murder and violence in the blogosphere and in the MSM. It seems like everywhere you turn there is another story more horrendous than the last one. I can’t even do any political stories because of all the murder and mayhem going on in my community. I for one am sick and tired of it. But unlike many of my brothers and sisters, I can no longer just sit back and complain about it. For some reason we Black folks do a lot of complaining, but very little action.

Even though arrests have been made in the Newark case[1], it will only be a matter of a few days before the next atrocity grabs the headlines. This story isn’t about who is at fault, because God knows there is enough blame to go around. Playing the blame game has not resulted in one less murder, so let’s try something different. Let’s look at the problem, let’s define it in a way we can all agree on, and then let’s come up with some solutions that we all can take and implement. It is unfortunate that in order to get attention I will eventually have to post this on some white progressive blogs, but I am willing to do whatever it takes.

I will try to frame the problem as I see it and hopefully with feedback from all concerned citizens regardless of their race or gender, we can come to define the enemy. Unless we know what we are fighting, we have no chance of defeating it. The killings in Newark are not isolated incidents, but a growing pattern of lawlessness that has been brewing in our communities for years. Ask any “old school” person in the neighborhood and they will tell you that the level and the gruesomeness of the violence is at a place they have never seen before. How have we allowed things to get so bad?

The problem as I see it is we have groups of angry young blackmen who are unemployed and many who are uneducated wandering our communities with guns that have been too easy to acquire. These youngmen, many of whom are selling drugs have created an atmosphere of fear and terror. They have no hesitancy to use these guns not only on themselves, but anyone who would stand in their way. There does not appear to be any code of honor, in that everyone is a target. These youngmen appear not to value their lives or the lives of others.

Feeding this problem is a mass media that promotes violence in movies, games and videos. We are being bombarded by this prison, gangster mentality that life has no value. There is this get them before they get you attitude. There is this street code that rewards violence and punishes those who would obey the law; hence no snitchin. These gangs are hiding behind the mask of racism, that by reporting a crime you are turning another young blackman over to the white majority regardless of what he has done. You have these stars in videos and on cds promoting this gangster lifestyle of slinging dope and killing folks. Today’s youth are unable to distinguish the hype from reality.

Many of these youngmen are being raised without fathers. Many of their mothers are either too busy or too tired to supervise their behavior. I know in my city that late at night there are groups of youngmen and women roaming the streets, some no more than 12 or 13. These children do not have enough opportunities to better their lot in life and many have given up. How sad it must be to know that your life is over at 13 or 14, no wonder there is such rage. There appears to be an I don’t give a f**k attitude towards everything that is not gangster related.

Many of our youngwomen have now taken to imitating the youngmen, not only in their dress but behavior as well. I guess if as a girl the best you can hope for is to be a bitch or a hoe, it’s better to be one of the guys. Some of these youngwomen have demonstrated just as much fury and brutality as the youngmen.

Now at this point I would like to hear if anyone has anything else to add to the problem. Again, I hope we can frame the problem without playing the blame game. Let’s just define the problem first. The question is why is there so much violence in our communities? What is the cause?


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