Friday, January 25, 2008

The Fight For The Soul Of Black America

For the past decade there has been a struggle for the soul of black America. This struggle has been waged on the social, psychological, spiritual, and economic fields of the black community. As the black community continues to evolve there is a growing gap that is developing between the haves and the have nots. As more and more blacks are able to escape the inner cities for the suburbs they are leaving behind a growing number of poorer and less educated blacks. To many this may not be news since there has always been the desire for many blacks to escape the poverty, inferior schools, and lack of jobs of the inner city, but the numbers have been escalating over the past two decades.

In Los Angeles, the proportion of blacks is 9.9%, just over half what it was in 1970, although the number of blacks remains relatively high — 366,000, according to 2005 Census estimates. And in Chicago an estimated 1 million blacks remain — about one-third of the population — even though more than 55,000 have left since 2000, says Kenneth Johnson, a Loyola University Chicago demographer who analyzed 2005 Census data.

While I would never cast aspersions on any black person wanting to escape the dangers, blight, and inferior education of the inner city, what this flight has created is a vacuum for those blacks that are unable or unwilling to leave. As more and more neighborhoods lose upper and middle-class blacks this results in the further deterioration of the neighborhoods and a reinforcement of this “gangsta” lifestyle that has taken over many of our neighborhoods. There are becoming fewer and fewer alternative narratives to the “Get rich or die trying” scenario, thus leaving many young blacks with only one translation of the American story. The black community has a rich and multi-faceted history. We have endured many internal and external attempts to minimize and marginalize us. Throughout our history there have been many voices who would have us to believe that our dreams are unattainable and we should just give up. And just like in the past we must not listen to those prophets of doom today.

There is an African proverb that says it takes a village to raise a child, well if the only input that child is getting is negative what result can we expect. I remember growing up and how important it was for me to see black people who were successful around me. This was during the time when blacks had to live around other blacks and one could see the whole social-strata in one community. Most everyone took pride in the accomplishments of others and made an effort to strive for their own success. I don’t know why but for some reason the blacks that have reached a modicum of success today have surrendered the black narrative to those who want to exploit it. It is almost as if to say that if they haven’t made it by now they aren’t going to make it, so f ‘em. Unfortunately, my faith and who I am do not afford me that luxury. I don’t know what the answer is, but I know doing nothing is not an option for me.

Rather than criticize we need to develop and implement strategies that have been proven to increase high-school graduation, college preparation and graduation, also job skills and opportunities. One of our main problems is we have too many young men without jobs and without hope. The “dream” of America means nothing to them because they have no way of realizing it. The lure of the street with its easy money and excitement is not being met with any opposition, because we have none. Instead of promoting truth, too many of our so-called leaders have been promoting some “pie in the sky” formula for restoring our communities. We must begin to accept some hard truths about our leaders, our government, and our own conduct.

Many of our leaders today have become nothing more than black faces who are paid to appear whenever a black face is required. Instead of demanding support for our communities they demand support for themselves. It is time we stop waiting on others to do what we must do for ourselves. The government cannot be counted on to provide for all of our needs and concerns. They have disenfranchised so many of our men that they can now ignore our communities because we can’t even vote. So the people who need to vote the most can’t vote. It is sad when you consider the number of people who died just so we could have the right to vote and today we surrender it so easily.

And finally we must begin to stop doing those self-destructive things that continue to increase our problems. It used to be a stigma was attached to having children outside of wedlock and it was frowned upon. Today we have gone from acceptance of this behavior to promotion and enthusiasm. A woman doesn’t need a man to have a baby. Wrong the statistics and the problems in our communities say otherwise. A woman may not need a man to have a baby, but a child needs one to grow up with any chance of success. The drugs and other poisons we are taking and selling must be given up. How can any black man feel good about making money killing his fellow black man?

There is a war and right now the forces of evil that would tear us apart are not only winning, they are routing us. It is time for all good people of conscious to begin to stand up and say I’ve had enough! No longer will I remain silent in the face of evil, we are in a fight for our children. It is time to show them they are worth it.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my view on drugs is that the market is controlled by the powers that be. i have a right to an ancient legacy completely muddied by things as they are now. the work ethic likewise is so thwarted. there is a place for responsible address of earthgiven substances that enlarge, enlighten, and connect us, but such place is now beyond defiled. what we have instead are drugs, body, drugs, literally bad drugs. smack, crack, crank, pills, booze, all these by their very nature spit in God's eye and any decent human's as well. these are not substances the earth wishes to speak to us through. and yet the whole subject progresses and proceeds on that question of earth's and ours substantial dialogue.

i believe we must understand the difference, and the responsibility involved. i believe that is what drove the protestant reformation in the very first place, such as it was. we are sovereign individuals, sovereign consciences, soveriegn consciousnesses, given free will for due reason that we might choose things for ourselves and manifest the will of all of creation under god's will as it unfolds as it should, despite us and such choices as we individually make...

legal or illegal, things like cannabis should not be so trivilaized. certainly it shouldn't be lumped in with body drugs.

our legacies are a very many thousands of years old and will play out on as broad a canvas of time...

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