As a young black man, I understand that I can be VERY harsh on social media. Obviously, I’m not a big fan of #BlackLivesMatter. But I am harsh, because even though it doesn’t appear like I care, I actually do. Somebody has to spread the truth. I hate seeing people of my race engaging in foolish behavior, because it gets us nowhere. I want to see everyone of every color succeed, especially African-American boys and girls.
I have a theory. If Black Lives Matter wants to be taken seriously, then the group needs DRAMATIC reform. I understand that they are focused on stopping police brutality, but the group also needs to be more focused on stopping black on black crime and violence in the community, and focus on other issues in the black community.
I understand that there are a lot of African-Americans angry with what has been going on lately, and I may not agree with some opinions, but I do respect them. And I understand that anger may cause one to not think clear about their actions, but here’s a few questions I have:
Is burning communities to the ground, dragging innocent motorists out of their vehicles, and assaulting them going to help improve our deteriorating race relations?
Is looting, destroying cop cars, throwing stones and other debris at the police who protect and serve the community going to make others respect your movement and make others want to join your cause?
Is tearing down other black folks and calling them “coons” and “sellouts”, and lashing out at people for calling them out for their behavior going to help? They’re calling these goons out for a reason.
The answer to ALL of these questions should be NO. It has not done a damn thing to improve relations so far, and if this keeps up, it is going to make relations deteriorate further. There are better ways to deal with anger and injustice.
I fully understand that there are some barriers that African-Americans face, but acting out negatively makes us no better than our “oppressors”. In order to break down those barriers, BLM needs a new leader. A movement that is more focused on uplifting the black community instead of tearing it down. A movement pushing for PEACE and not hate. The movement must disavow and condemn people like Assata Shakur, who is currently on the FBI’s Most Wanted List. This movement must enact a zero-tolerance policy for violent, racist and disruptive behavior. In my mind, it is best for the movement should be politically neutral and not allow race-baiting figures such as Shaun King and Al Sharpton to infiltrate it, so they can line their own pockets.
-Where was BLM last year when 9 year old Tyshawn Lee was murdered in Chicago? Or 3 year old Major Howard in Cleveland? Or 9 year old Jamyla Bolden in Ferguson? Were there any nationwide hashtags for them? Where were the protests for THEIR deaths? Or countless other innocent black victims? Where was Al Sharpton? Shaun King? Deray McKeeson? Even Talib Kweli? Nowhere. And that needs to change.
More citizens need to speak out about the black on black crime that has torn cities apart. Too many innocent lives are being lost due to the “Snitches Get Stitches” mentality that discourages the black community from reporting crimes, for fear of retaliation. This has been going on for far too long. Nobody should be scared out of reporting a crime.
Black leaders in this movement need to be more focused on building a strong and peaceful community. They should motivate kids to stay on the right path in life by urging them to go to school, looking up to positive figures, such as Dr. Ben Carson, LeBron James, Thomas Sowell, etc. The movement should also motivate youth to stay away from drugs and gangs, and having respect for authority figures even if they disagree with what they are being told. Most importantly, the new BLM must push for respect of ALL races and differing opinions, and stop calling for riots and destruction.
The leaders also need to focus on helping fix the ghetto. Here are some ideas:
-Raising funds to fix homes, apartments, etc. There are far too many broken-down and boarded up homes that are lining in urban communities. Fixing up those houses would also create more jobs in the community.
-Keep having community events and festivals to bring people out. One particular festival in my neck of the woods is the Woodhill Festival on Labor Day. A house united will stand, and a house divided will fall.
-Highly promote two-parent households. Too many black kids are growing up in single-parent homes. Have parents become more involved in what their kids are doing in school. A good PTO would increase the probability of raising funds to provide after-school programs for inner city youth (Art, Sports, Debate, etc.) If kids have something to do after school, they can burn off that extra energy and use it as a force for good.
-Work hand-in-hand to establish a dialogue with police, city leaders, etc. to help stop crime in inner-city communities. The police are not perfect, but they are there to protect and serve the community. This is important because cooperation is key. Citizens should be encouraged to report crimes in the community without fearing retaliation, like I said earlier.
-If and when the inner-city communities get cleaned up, more business will move into the community. More businesses means more jobs, and more jobs means more money flowing into the community. The more money flowing in, the better the chance of the community climbing out of the hole.
If Black Lives truly matter to BlackLivesMatter, then ALL Black Lives should matter, not just certain ones.
What do you think? Would a drastic reform for BLM work out? What, if anything else, can the African-American community do to improve? Feel free to comment below.