My generation was birthed by the Civil Rights generation and as we grew up, we enjoyed the fruits of struggle that our parents and grandparents fought so hard for. We didn’t have a worry or care about tomorrow–our parents worked hard, gave us what they didn’t have, and taught us to believe in the impossible–we could achieve anything with hard work. To be young, gifted, and Black was a good thing.
Well, that was then…and as I look at what is going on in Ferguson, MO: the 0utcry of the Black community there to the shooting death of Micheal Brown, I have to wonder, are young African Americans even allowed to be so carefree in what they believe today, given the grim reality of being young in 2014.
What happened to the dream?
These children, most of whom were born in the eighties and early nineties, don’t seem to be able to have much fun. They are bombarded by realities that my generation knew of, but were told to avoid if we wanted to be successful, happy, and prosperous people. These kids were abandoned and the realities of being young and Black are dismal: http://www.juancole.com/2013/07/african-american-numbers.html Here’s another: http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/race/news/2012/03/13/11351/the-top-10-most-startling-facts-about-people-of-color-and-criminal-justice-in-the-united-states/
America has failed them, but worse than that, so have the African American community.
How can you give birth to children that you don’t empower?
They have become targets.
As I watched the situation in Ferguson, MO unfold, paralleling the trial of the white man (Theodore Wafer) in Dearborn, Michigan who shot Renisha McBride to death while she made the mistake of knocking on his door one night–this seems to be more than a pattern–it’s an attitude in white people that young Black people are a threat–even when they are not.
We love to blame white people, but this is a problem in the home that has impacted the community. Not to blame poor people for much of what ills this nation, of this would be too simple, however, the systemic nature of larger institutions creating stumbling blocks that cause disenfranchisement, must be recognized as well. This is done deliberately to inhibit people of color achieving. Still yet, poor people often times participate in their own destruction for lack of knowledge.
For one, too many young Black girls are having babies, not marrying, and thus, creating an unstable community. As they grow older, they choose men to be in their lives that are not always stable figures nor good examples for their children. They endanger not only their own lives, but the lives of their own children.
This is slave behavior. Slaves weren’t allowed to marry during our ancestors enslavement in this country, but they were encouraged to co-habitate and impregnate women, as to add to the herd, so to speak, for slave masters to have more bodies to sell.
Dr. Umar Johnson remarked that the school system today is literally becoming ground zero for the penal institution.
Yet, when we talk about race being a factor, white folks have the audacity to get offended, calling us racist. We must stop giving a damn what white folks think.
We must change, people.
Our children are endangered and the focus must be on taking charge and helping our children be all they can be–BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.
Family is sacred and if we don’t care about our children, don’t expect the world to.