A NEW MILLENNIUM
I am not here to quote statistics or bemoan the false sense of comfort and security we have lulled ourselves into. But as everyone celebrated the New Millennium last night, did anyone stop to murmur a prayer for us as a people? Have you, reader, as an individual, as black person, but mostly as a human, ever stop to reflect where we are socially, financially and economically? They are still spending more tax dollars on building prisons for our black men, than schools for our black children. The police are still murdering (lets keep it real and call it what it is) our people for sport. Blacks are still receiving higher sentences for crimes that whites are only getting a slap on the wrist for. White children are rarely held accountable for their actions, especially if Dad is ?connected?. For example, ? Little Johnny has his whole life ahead of him, I'm sure there's something we can do to work this out, He didn't mean to steal that car? or how about ? He's a good kid, who comes from a good home, he wasn't really going to sell that bag of dope, all kids try drugs, it was peer pressure.? But what about Lil Rashaan? Perhaps he doesn't have a father that's a cop; who can ?fix? things, perhaps he began fending for himself at a young age, and is functioning solely on the basest of survival instincts? Lock him up because he comes from a broken home on the ?other? side of the tracks? Where is his second chance for making a silly mistake? How come he can't get ?hooked? up like Johnny did?
Sure we can sit anywhere we want on the bus, but other than that, how far have we come since the Civil Rights Movement? The enemy has been successful in striking deadly blows at the Affirmative Action programs. Diminishing the welfare rolls can be positive thing, if done with cultural sensitivity and education, and I stress the word if. Now they want to redraw the voter districts, which will once again, in some areas, all but nullify the black vote (they have obviously felt and recognized the power of our vote, and are now attempting to quell it). They have created ?Zero Tolerance ? policies in the schools, and studies are already showing the arbitrary implementation of these policies against African American children, yet its not our children blowing their classmates and teachers to kingdom come, for fame, notoriety, movies or just the hell of it. When Colin Ferguson shot all those folks on that commuter train in Long Island a few years ago, the media instantly labeled him an ?animal?. These are not my words; this is the terminology that's commonly used by the media. Yet when Susan Smith, who drove her car into a lake, with her two children strapped in their car seats (her initial claim was that she was car-jacked by a black man, setting a small South Carolina town into ?lynch-mode?). Her lunacy was due to a bad childhood. Same for the white boys in Jasper Texas, who, dragged and decapitated a black man by chaining him to the back of their pickup truck. One father his son's issues were due to an absent mother! Hell they debated the cost of a capital murder case versus 1st degree murder, and it was iffy for a while if they were going for the death penalty. Now let that have been black men, and a white victim. The cost of a capital murder trial would never have been an issue. The scream for blood from white AmeriKKKa would've been deafening. My point is, isn't either of those crimes just as heinous and depraved? Why is it that when white folks go on their killing sprees and their true barbaric murderous nature arises, its attributed to bad childhood, music, video games etc.? Yet when the perpetrator is black, there is no excuses offered, as if its just our nature, and we are instantly transformed into beasts, uncontrollable and dangerous.
Folks, we have been sleeping on the enemy. Trust me when I tell you, that they are NOT sleeping on us. When Ronald Reagan and George Bush were given the rare opportunity to nominate Justices to the Supreme Court, it was no coincidence that all were conservative (the politically correct way of saying racist). There is still only one token African American Justice, which means nothing, because he's about as out of touch with his heritage, as Tiger Woods and Mariah Carey. Thurgood Marshall kept the dogs at bay; Clarence ?Uncle? Thomas, on the other hand, has thrown us to the dogs and forsaken us at every turn. These are the people that govern the laws of the land. Scary isn't it? Are you thinking yet?
For the past 30 years, what have we, as a people, done to further the cause of the Movement? What have YOU done to ensure that Jim Crow or slavery for that matter could never be re-enacted into law? I know I for one, am too cute to pick cotton okay? It's still about ?We shall overcome?. The basic issues haven't changed just the date. Thirty-five years is nothing on the scale of time. Realize that it was just that recently there were stand-ins, marches, beatings, dogs, and fire hoses. Realize that a lot of those perpetrators are still alive, and passing those same sick values to their children. Don't think that just because you are living in a nice home, or driving that nice ride, that we have arrived. How can we arrive, when we too are clutching our purses when young black males walk by, or assume that just the Jones got that car, by selling drugs? How can we arrive when we get too big for our drawers and wont associate with members of our own family when we no longer deem them equals, socially? Dr. King once said, ? If ONE black person is down, then we are ALL down?.
We as a people have what is called ?crab barrel syndrome?. Next time you're in the fish market, check out the crabs. As soon as 1 gets halfway up the side of the barrel, the rest reach up and snatch his behind back down again. We need to help each other, come together as do other cultures. The Hindus, for example, will live 20 people in a house for a few years, and the next thing you know they own chains of Duncan Donuts, gas stations and other prosperous business?s, and its because they pulled together and helped each other. There was no individual; self was eliminated from the success equation. Why are we lining Donna Karan, Prada or Tommy Hilfiger?s pockets while living in the projects? Paying a mini-mortgage for car notes, yet still renting or on Section 8? How did cars or clothes become more of a priority than the pride of home ownership and self- economic sufficiency?
Somehow we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into this false sense of comfort. (I know I said I wasn't going there, but?) We have gotten so comfortable, lazy even, that we assume things are far better than they actually are. Things can get worse rapidly, if we aren't careful. If we don't learn from our history, we are condemned to repeat it. I don't want to cliché you to death, but I feel compelled to remind you that, if you don't stand for something, you will fall for anything. They have a plan, do we?
May The CREATOR continue to bless and keep us as a people, in this new millennium, for we know not what tomorrow brings.
HAPPY NEW YEAR