you should be pissed.

 

It’s time I point some fingers. I’m the kind of guy that doesn’t like to be argued with so I prefer to state more fact than opinion. There’s been a lot discussion about racial inequality, lately…again. Yea it comes up every time something happens to a black kid AND THE MEDIA DECIDES TO COVER IT. The latest catalyst of discussion is the Ferguson incident. Now see, that’s a fact, it is an incident. If I was stating opinion, I’d call it the Ferguson Murder and ongoing Cover-up. Since I don’t have all the facts,we’ll stick with incident. But I’m not gonna talk about that anyway, we all know where that situation is. This incident has re-fueled discussion into one of America’s most pressing issues, racial inequality.

I’m a life coach so I like to focus on things that we actually can change.  By we, I mean members of the black community that want to reverse the stigma that comes with being a young black man. The reputation they have. Black people make up 13% of the United States population, and, here it comes, from 2008 to 2012,  were responsible for 52% of the murders in the U.S. and 47% of the murder victims. Now ignoring the fact that young black men are rapidly killing themselves at a rate much faster than any police department, I want you to consider a scenario;

Say there are hypothetically 3 or 4 cab companies in your town. One of those companies makes up 13% of the cabs driving around the city but is responsible for over half of the cab related accidents. Now are you gonna judge that cab company negatively, will you use their service just to give them a chance to prove themselves? Probably not. If you say you would you’re probably lying. This is essentially what’s going on in America. No wonder people have a certain opinion of young black men. Now I know the racism doesn’t stop with young black men but I’m trying to keep this short, cause I’ve got shit to do today.

Oh there’s more. Every ethnicity has it’s degenerates but let’s keep it on black and white America. Here come some more facts, you already know black people make up 13% of this country’s total population, according to a study done by Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and reported on by The New York Times in this article, black people make up 22% of this countries poor, and receive 14% of total government benefits dispersed, while white people make up 42% of the poor but receive an extremely disproportionate amount of government benefits, 69% to be exact. These aren’t my numbers. Now obviously white america needs to be working on shaving that number down a bit but the real issue here is perspective. White people, and other ethnicities, shun, ridicule and distract everyone from their lower class members, black people put them on pedestals. There are more successful black people than we let on. We make it appear as the norm is for us to be on welfare, living in the ghetto uneducated, with a bunch of babies and no daddy. This is the image we CHOOSE to portray the most. The thug, (or criminal) life is celebrated more in black communities than the college life. That’s our fault. Can’t blame that one on whitey.

The idea that one group in this country wants to hold down another is illogical. Of course there are those few haters, but as a majority people want people to prosper. Not because everyone wants everyone else to be happy and well cared for and shit, we’re more selfish than that. But because I want your family to be doing well so I don’t have to worry about your son climbing in my window to steal my TV. People don’t want to feel afraid when they wander into the wrong neighborhood, and if everyone was doing well they wouldn’t have to worry. The better off people are the lower crime is. We all want that.

In 2004, Bill Cosby gave a powerful speech at a commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Brown Vs. Board of Education. Many in the black community shunned him not because he said that black people need to take responsibility but because he said it out loud. White people heard him. Now they know that we know we need to practice personal accountability. It’s a conversation that needs to be had simply to bring a problem to light. Until a problem is acknowledged it can’t be solved.

For those that are driven, motivated and responsible, personal accountability is mandatory. They can’t live without it. The idea of putting their livelihood in the hands of someone else is just scary. For those that are lazy, unwilling and in denial, personal accountability is frightening, blasphemous, even sacrilegious, “how dare you tell me I have to be responsible for myself?” kinda shit.  I know there are still social inequalities, I know that white privilege is real. Now I know some of you are already forming an argument, maybe even denying that it exist and you know what, that’s fine. I’m not even gonna try to explain to you what it is. I actually can’t, as a black man, put it in terms as eloquently as this blogger did in her blog about parenting 3 blonde children. Just know that it does exist and it’s everyone’s fault. Yes everyone. But stop letting that be your excuse for inaction. Do something anyway. Change the dialog.  Be brave enough to express your disdain for all things criminal especially in the urban areas. Encourage Programs in those communities if you don’t know of any The P.A.T.H.S. Project always delivers.

 

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One thought on “you should be pissed.

  1. Thanks Kevin. Appreciate your very different perspective and angle on this much talked about topic – have been reading up a bunch on this since the whole Ferguson incident happened, especially as a white South African who has just left Americaland after three years of working with non-profits there to return to South Africa and the ongoing race conversations we need to be having here. Wrote this piece on White Privilege to hopefully help my friends and others to engage in conversation and hopefully action on the topic: http://brettfish.wordpress.com/2014/09/03/im-not-sure-youre-against-that-thing-you-think-youre-against-white-privilege

    so thanks for your words and the important reminders
    love brett fish

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