Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Burden We All Carry But Won't Admit

Random deaths on the block, young nigga packin glocks
Picture me a TRU nigga, visualizing fools dying quicker
Murder murder's in the heart of every killer
Take a look into his eyes, it's evidence of a homocide
Life's get tooken faster then the egg leave the womb
Consider me in danger cause I know I'm dying soon
Twenty five years incarceration if I pull it
Bring the yellow tape, niggas can't overcome my bullet
Went to jail tryin to get paid, still on my rampage
Jump behind some bushes, dodging cops, another close shave
I'm bumpin heads with the reaper on a daily basis
Can't sleep with nightmares of dead faces
Fuck the man in the mirror, I don't trust him
Check his weapon, he's ashamed, got his boy blood on a muzzle
That's why I turn my head and leave him lonely
He phony, he got the whole hood waitin on his ceremony

C-Murder ...Like a Jungle

I have a blog friend who exchanges emails with me throughout the week, He will remain nameless because he already thinks everything he asks me about is racist (they are not) and I don’t want to put him on blast without his permission. He asked my why don’t more black bloggers speak out on murder in their community. I have been thinking of how to answer him. I could have just given him links to the dozens of blogs I have written about the topic but I am just one guy from New Orleans. Personally, I don’t know what else to say anymore. I could only come up with one conclusion. We don’t know what the hell to do about it.

I was reading The Book's site this week as he recounted all his former classmates and friends that were involved in some of the major murder stories in New Orleans recently. People in New Orleans think that somehow this is a problem that is confined to their city. The Field Negro keeps a running count of the murder rate in Philadelphia. The last count is 101. The First 48 show on A&E follows murder cases in a host of cities like Dallas, Cincinnati, Miami, Memphis, Kansas City, etc. The victims and the accused usually all look the same, black and brown men.

We have this situation today where we have more opportunity to succeed than any other time. There is a significant black middle class who really want to move past the hood mentality. We want to redefine the agenda and the outlook of our race in spite of how many people still struggling and dying. If we can do it then they can too. We might even have a black president who's approach reflects that promise of moving forward. All of that is wonderful but as long as the lives of our young people are not worth fighting for with the same vigor we have behind getting people like Don Imus off the air or calling people like Tavis Smiley sellouts for criticizing Obama we all have a burden to carry. No other group in this country has came to a comfortable level of violence against one another like we have. We romanticize it and legitimize it so much that even though there are millions of us that have never committed a crime there is a strange heroic reverence for people who do. That baffles me as I sing the words to my favorite Lil Wayne song.

Before you think I am trying to throw stones I am not. I have a few songs on my mp3 that brag about the ability to take another brother out. Last week, when I read the story of those guys that kicked in that door on Laharpe St. and shot those three people, the first thing I thought about was “well, at least they didn’t shoot the baby. Had they shot the baby too, we would have been outraged because the baby is not part of the game. Since they let the baby live, there is part of us that considers that kind of event part of the life those folks choose to live. The question is how can that be ok when the folks in question are our family, friends, classmates, and neighbors. How can we be so close together and have that big of a gap in our mentality? Maybe we are closer in mentality than we can admit in public without looking sad. Sad is how I feel when I can’t make sense of it.

2 comments:

mominem said...

I wonder how community can survive with as much violence in it as the New Orleans Black Community. It seem to reach in all parts of the community.

That same community has given the country many special and unique things music, food and art. It has also developed a tolerance for violence.

I think of Tootie Montana and his work against violence.

Wet Bank Guy said...

A comment that ran away and became a post:
http://toulousestreet.wordpress.com/2008/05/08/the-hard-questions/