As I contemplate many things, per usual, I do so while listening to music. At this very moment, I’m listening to R. Kelly’s new album, The Buffet. It’s a good album. A thought occurred to me as I enjoy the tracks: what’s going to happen in 2016 for Black folks?
2015 has been a most violent year, indeed. We’ve seen so much bloodshed in various parts of the Black community by law enforcement; one can only wonder if some government order has been initiated against our people.
As the music grooves, I’m casually wondering what issues will be on the forefront. 2016 is an election year and African Americans could most definitely impact in a major way. We turned out in a major way during the 2004 and 2008 elections for Barack Obama, but can either a Republican or Democratic candidate motivate the community? Many are skeptical of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.
And what about the police violence. There must me a national response. There have been too many incidents and silence is acceptance. We can protest and march but there must be structured implementation and sanctions on those who abuse their power.
The lives of Freddie Gray, Walter Thomas, Sandra Bland, Sam DaBose, et al, ended because of white police officers attitudes of “fearing for their lives”. However, each of these people were not threatening them at all. There were many more cases that didn’t make the news, but the threat of death hung large in every community from New York to Los Angeles.
Because of the police violence, a young guy from South Carolina named Dylan Roof, walked into a historic African American church and killed 9 worshipers who were all in prayer at the time he came in. It was blatant, premeditated and sent a subliminal message from White America: “We’ve had enough of Black people telling us what to do; and we’re taking back power–anyway we can.”
With this one audacious act, it motivated the Black Lives Matter movement even more. They have a prolific presences, but can we take it higher and mobilize this collective participation into something even more constructive and permanent. So far, it’s been subliminal.
Our politics must engage a mission of changing laws, participating more in our neighborhoods, taking initiatives of economic change and investing in our own lives more. WE can become the change we want to see, but there has to be a unilateral understanding and compliance for this.
To borrow a thought from Anthony Assadullah Samad, “Central to solving any problems in the collective black community is correcting the mental and physical state of Black America. The figurative state of Black America is reflective of the literal state of Black America’s health and mindset, both of which that causes us to think and act in ways that are counterproductive, at best, or destructive to the notion of unity in our communities. It is time for us to admit the black people, in their current condition, are every bit as sick, physically and mentality, as the forces that created our societal circumstances.”
I totally agree with that.
We have value and it’s high time we start acting like it.