Sorry folks, but I cannot in fair conscience brush the issue of unsolved Black on Black crime under the rug, hoping that it would go away; it just keeps on happening.
Following the wake, church service, burial and even repast for our most recent Black crime victim, Nathaniel Reid, I was approached by several mourners eager to get their say on the matter. Incidentally, the mother of the deceased made an impassioned plea to the attendees for a halt to this type of violence.
Sadly, but not surprisingly, a common chord persisted throughout all the dialogues—shifting of blame. Needless to say, even at the risk of appearing laconic, shifting the blame for unsolved Black crimes does not resolve the problem at all.
From my perspective, it is blatantly apparent that when the residents have a stake in the community, such as a high rate of home ownership, the neighbours in that community are more likely to be active in trying to solve Black crimes.
Conversely, in those neighbourhoods with a high concentration of rental properties, residents are least likely to establish active neighbourhood watches, and above all are the least likely to speak to the police (as informants) when it comes to criminal activities.
If you sell drugs (weed included) to our people then you are part of the problem. If you support criminals, hide criminals or knowingly buy from them—even your baby cousin Shevaughn— you are part of the problem. If half of the time you do not know what your children are doing, or for that matter, where they are, then you are part of the problem.
If you make excuses for our people when they commit crimes, or find it exciting then you are most certainly a part of the problem. If you purchase video games like Grand Theft Auto for yourself or your children that degrade women, or promote the commission of crime, you are part of the problem. If you set a bad example, refuse to make your sons pull up their sagging pants, allow your daughters to dress like call girls, you are part of the problem. Oh yes you are, yes categorically, YOU.
African-Americans are not responsible for creating the socio-economic conditions that cause our young people to be programmed to degrade themselves and see no future; our sons are emulating thugs and our daughters are emulating not so lady-like models. This is being done through subliminal messaging, peer pressure, video games, music and poor role models, to name a few. They live for today, want everything now, and are not afraid to kill or maim to get it.
Regrettably, the thug boss and gangster lifestyle with the hoochies on the side is eroding what little morals we have left in our Black community.
What then are the answers?
Elementary my dear people: You are the solution, at best or at least a proactive You. Above all awareness is a solution. Stopping the negative programming of our children is a solution. Adults must act like mature adults (not like overgrown teenagers) and setting good examples or being a role model is a solution.
Holding our children to a higher standard and expectation of themselves is a solution. Preaching from the pulpit, writing, speaking about this topic on radio and social media is a solution. Open forum discussions, seminars and conferences are solutions. Refusing to blame others for what we should be doing is a solution. As for how we implement all of these, well, to be honest, that is another article for another time. But we can start now by coming together, having honest discussions and adding to this list.
Through the continued non-solving
Should we not be acknowledging the problem and accept collective responsibility sending a message to mothers, grandmothers, grandfathers and children, especially in inner city communities that they do matter?
Aleuta—- The struggle continues…