Monday morning was the first weekday after the latest tragedy involving violence with young people in the
We know it’s the lack of opportunity for well paying jobs that's caused by a dysfunctional education system. We are aware of the fact that there seems to be an over abundance of drugs and weapons floating around our community even though we don’t grow any drug crops or make any guns. We have acknowledged the fact that there is a problem with absentee fathers and a breakdown of the family structure. All of these things are true and if we fixed every one of them there would probably be hardly any crime at all in the black community. The problem is that those are some very big and complex problems. Even if we all got together tomorrow and marched on Capitol Hill to persuade the government to put the laws and money in place to correct these things it would be ten years at least before you could see tangible changes. If changing all of these issues is the only solution to solving the problem then we have to be willing to concede a certain level of violence and murder while we work out the details to bring that about. That’s not acceptable.
Could it be that we use these factors as a way to relieve ourselves from guilt and personal responsibility? If disenfranchisement was the validation for this level of self hate and violence then the murder rate during the Jim Crow years would have been over 80% and hardly any of us would be here now. I don’t know if I am where I am supposed to be at this stage of my life. Some of it is due to my own decisions. Part of it is being born without money and being a young black male growing up in a city where your obstacles increase as your financial status decreases. I am aware of that and I never minimize it’s impact because I know too many people that have struggled because of it. I was dealt a better hand than some because I had parents that were involved. It is a reality that some of these kids don't have many options or many people involved. At the same time that shouldn't give them free reign to be as destructive and ignorant as they want to in the name of the disenfranchised black man. We also shouldn't address their situation in a way to make them think it is okay to act that way.
Before we do anything else we have to calm down some of the madness and to me the only way to do that in the short term is tell these young boys that even though all the bad circumstances they were born into were not in their control, it’s not a free pass to ruin lives and families. It's time to zero tolerance within the community. I don’t think the fight for changing the environment is going to go as well as it could with babies dying all the time. You would think that would be a signal for urgency but to some people that’s validation for not doing anything at all. That’s the way the world works and we have to deal with it. Until the time comes when we have conquered these big problems the only thing we have control over is our own actions and that has to be the number one focus. We have to make these young men and women understand and accept the reality that at the end of the day the decision to commit murder or harm their community falls mainly on their shoulders. They have to start feeling personally responsible for this mess and want to change it. If the conditions of the world around us are going to excuse our bad decisions and lack of self control then trying to stop what is going on might be a hopeless cause.