By A.F. James MacArthur Ph.A.L.
|You'd be smiling too if you just beat a murder rap.|
Every publicity seeking politician and pontificating, pimping-in-the-pulpit preacher who's suddenly seeking a soap box, needs to sit down and shut up! If you haven't been active in your community, making moves and taking substantive action, attempting to alleviate social and economic injustice, you look like nothing but an opportunist.
Young Black men continue to die violent deaths in numbers that are far too high. This didn't start yesterday. Will we rally, riot or protest about the conditions that contribute to this?
"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted; A time to kill, And a time to heal; A time to break down, And a time to build up; A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing; A time to gain, And a time to lose; A time to keep, And a time to throw away; A time to tear, And a time to sew; A time to keep silence, And a time to speak; A time to love, And a time to hate; A time of war, And a time of peace." - Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 NKJV
Poverty and joblessness, already disproportionately high in the Black community, has increased under Obama, but other than mostly outspoken, radical right wingers, how many will admit it?
All the protesting, marching and demonstrating in the world won't change the verdict. Meanwhile, grave institutional injustices continue, and they don't get one-tenth the attention the Zimmerman case has drawn.
There are those in power, having ulterior motives, who want to milk this situation for all it's worth. Meanwhile, our problems persist.
This is what they want. A big fat distraction, drawing your eyes, ears, your time and your mind astray. While inequities, oppression and violence continues to shatter and shear our community.
Life Isn't Fair
Am I pleased with the verdict? Not hardly.
Were I a kid, minding my own business, walking to my dad's house and some guy aggressively ran up on me
late at night, I'd probably be defensive. If I felt threatened, not wanting to give an assailant an advantage, I might even swing first.
If the so-called unidentified watchman -- not in a uniform -- were so closely invading my personal space, that I could actually connect with him, my assumption would be that this guy is up to no good. I'm about to become a crime victim. I'd be in fear of my life. I'd attempt to STAND MY GROUND.
Does this mean, being unarmed, I'd deserve to get shot? I've literally been Trayvon. I think of how many times as a young Black man, I've I had a nervous cop pull a gun on me. More times than any confrontation with criminals, that's for sure. For no good reason. Doing what? Walking home late at night after work, among other things. Yes white America, this really happens!
Funny thing is, the immediate reaction of some people would be, well I'm sure there were other factors to the circumstance. When a woman gets raped, is the immediate appropriate reaction; oh I'm sure there was something you were doing that contributed to this happening? Really? For too many, it truly is inconceivable, that law abiding, Black youth, doing nothing but just trying to get home are still often viewed with unwarranted suspicion.
The truth is, there are harsh realities faced by young Black men in this country every single day. Some of it is unfortunate with no easy solution, but what about the things we can actually do something about. The Black community has got to do a better job of addressing internal issues.
Baltimore City has one of the highest rates of, out-of-wedlock, teenage births in the country. Being a majority Black city, guess what, most of the pregnant girls are Black too. Anyone not thinking this has a direct long term link to increased suffering, crime and juvenile delinquency is in denial.
But on the other hand, despite the many difficulties of a downtrodden people, between societal injustice, and socio-economic inequalities, there's a part white people play too.
Far too many are too quick to instantly dismiss any cries of foul by a Black person. As if all unfairness has just magically disappeared, many whites have a knee jerk, negative reaction when a Black person complains of injustice.
We'd love to pretend 'post racialism' has meaningful significance, but depending on how you look at things, little progress has been made since America decided to face civil rights head on in the 1960's. We all have to stop pretending these problems don't exist. Internal issues within minority communities are real. So is mass denial of injustice by many. In this regard, we're all guilty. Yes, things are better in this country than they once were, but we still have a long way to go. Denial or grandstanding will never get us there. Let's stay focused.
Community activist, independent journalist, and entrepreneur, A.F. James MacArthur's roots run deep in the world of underground, alternative publications. First publishing a print newsletter with a small international following in 1991, his path has since taken him on a vast array of varied media projects.
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