Let’s face it, there has never been a tougher time to be a black man in America. As leaders in the community we have surpassed the time to stand up and make a difference for our young men. It is no longer just about the right the vote or the right to be treated equally, we are now faced with a fight for the right to exist. It is almost as if we are being exterminated like vermin.
- We are in jail and prisons in record numbers. Some are incarcerated for crimes they were no guilty of, while others are sentenced for being black and being in the wrong place. There are even a few in jail serving time for selling and possessing a piece of grass that is now making millionaires in Colorado and Washington State.
- Some are being jailed for wearing sagging pants and they can’t pay the fine.
- The police are using our young black men as punching bags and shooting targets and vehicles in which to vent their aggressions and what are we doing…
Marching against racial injustice.
Marching against inequality.
Marching just so we can be seen because we sure as hell aren’t being heard.
Marching is great, but it is usually done after the fact and after our young men have been persecuted, electrocuted or executed.
I know a great number of you are busy with your family and your job and your life, but stepping up just may save one. If you can save one, then he can save one, and I can save one—now we have saved three.
It doesn’t have to be anything big, but you have eyes, you can see. The mother down the way that works two jobs to keep the lights on. You know her boys are there alone at night. Even if you bring them over to show them how to use the mower so they can cut their own grass, it is a start.
Other ways we can be better:
- Start a belt drive. Go to Goodwill and buy every belt in there. Print posters, flyers, hit the high schools and tell these young men to pull them up. The days of showing your ass are over.
- Start a tie drive. Same principle, but this time, show the young men how to wear a tie.
- Get with your local barber and teach the young men, if you are going to wear locs or dreads, how to look professional.
- Etiquette classes for young men. Especially how to handle adverse situations. I know you are angry- hell I am angry, butthere is a time and a place to say what is your mind. Speaking your mind and showing aggression in front of a cop looking for a reason to take your life—isn’t the time or place.
- Interview techniques. A job interview is nothing more than an audition. Teach the buzz words to enhance your ability to be successful. “You know what I’m sayin’?” Is not going to get you a job.
- Teach financial and fiscal responsibility. Just because you have $100 doesn’t mean you need to spend $80 on a pair of sneaks. What are you going to do for the rest of the week.
- And last but not least, wrap it up! Three minutes of pleasure will bring you 18 years of fussing, fighting and another child you have no interest in, because you truly didn’t like his mother that much to start.
Somewhere in the midst of all the colleges, fancy jobs, nice cars and big houses, we are as a people stopped supporting each other and our communities. Our communities are dying along with our young men. We can stop it, if we start doing more.