As of late, more and more, I find myself compelled to speak out. These are my truths, and by no means do I mean them to be absolute. However, I do believe that the only thing that is absolute is the fact that we were all born with a purpose. While we are all born with a purpose, some of us may have neglected our purpose, thereby, restricting our ultimate potential. These are my truths.
I believe that the Black Lives Matter movement should expand beyond police brutality and begin to examine the horrors that our people are exposed to in our own communities. Why? If black lives truly mattered, they would matter to US FIRST. If Black lives mattered, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, DC, Richmond, Little Rock, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Memphis, Montgomery, San Francisco, Atlanta, and all other major Metropolitan cities would be safe for Black people, for it is there that many of us reside. If Black lives mattered, we would not only police, but ensure that OUR neighborhoods were safe for OUR people. We should not, nor should we ever expect anyone to take care of us. WE should take care of US. We are no longer slaves. Slaves needed a master for direction, protection, and ultimately, provisions. A free man or woman only needs an opportunity, and they can take it from there. If Black lives mattered, we would pay greater attention to what OUR CHILDREN are seeing, hearing, and most importantly, believing about what it takes to be successful. Simply put, if the oppressors can control what our children see and hear, they can also control what they think. Maybe this is why the majority of their music and musical icons are dedicated to not only the destruction of OUR own people, but also the destruction of OUR communities. Gang banging, drug dealing, hustling, boosting, robbing, and murderous individuals should NOT BE WELCOMED IN OUR COMMUNITIES! I say that unapologetically. Sure, some rappers have saved themselves from physical incarceration and murder by rapping instead of gang banging and hustling. However, their safety has impeded hundreds of thousands of our children from recognizing their potential one dab, nae-nae, drip walk, and hit the quan at a time. Our kids can dance, but many of them can’t read. It is our responsibility to clean our dirty laundry. WE must clean it. I am outraged by the recent increase in assassinations of Black men by police officers. This is what I believe to be true:
If you are a pastor who cares more about your bottom line than the spiritual, mental, and communal well-being of your parishioners, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! Sure, God wants his shepherds to be successful, but he also wants the same for his sheep. With that being said, let not your increase be directly contingent and synonymous with their decrease.
If you are currently selling drugs in your community and making decent men, women, and children not only zombies, but addicted to your product in order to increase your bottom line, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING!
If you are a gang banger who hates other people who look just like you because they are from a different neighborhood and have chosen to wear a color that is contrary to your own, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING!
If you are an African American teacher who chooses to not only remain silent, but compliant with the ridiculous expectations they are placing on our children in the modern day classroom in order to “keep your bills paid”, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING!
If you are an African American boy who has dedicated himself to sleeping with as many women as you can in order to keep your braggadocious numbers in tact in order to impress your other boys, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! I use the word boy because a man takes care of a woman, boys play with them.
If you are an African American woman who is dedicated to mentally and emotionally dismantling every African American man who comes in your way in the name of tangible and economic-independence, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! Queens not only watch Princes grown into to Kings, to some degree, they also help with the process. Understand this; in many instances, if you meet a King who is willing to lay with you, understand that he already has a Queen. Therefore, you will be nothing more than a concubine.
If you are an African American politician who cares more about the rights, privileges, and protection of your white constituency, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! Understand that your endorsements are more than believing in a particular product or service, it is also a commitment to the ideals of the endorser as well. We need real leaders, not puppets who will do anything to be accepted at the golf club by people who believe that you don’t deserve to be there anyway. Tiger and OJ dedicated most of their professional lives trying to appease white Americans. How did it work out for them? (Take Note)
If you are an African American entrepreneur, business professional, or legitimately successful by any legal means, yet you have never returned to the place that made you to not only invest in our children, but also assist them along the way because “you got yours, so they need to get theirs,” YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! Understand that we are free. Who cares if the elite don’t like you. I believe that it is better to be respected than liked. If you are willing to give up not only your self-respect, but also the respect and commitment to your own people, you are a well-dressed, mis-educated slave. You don’t feel that you deserve what you’ve gotten, and you also believe that you must dance to keep it. Carter G. Woodson was right, “there is a distinct difference between having an education and being educated.” If the above mentioned describes you, you indeed have an education. I believe a simple education is nothing more than modern day freedom papers.
If you are a real housewife of Atlanta, New York, Potomac, Beverly Hills, NBA, NFL, MLB, loved and hip-hopped (really rap because truth-lies= hip-hop), or reality TV’d into your success without regard for the fact that our children are watching you, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! Ratchet is not the new righteous. Understand that the media is interested in your ridiculousness rather than your intelligence. Remember that BET was sold to Viacom. The Viacom board and leadership don’t look like us, so why should you expect them to really care about us. For them it’s about the expansion of their bottom line, not the improvement of OUR communities.
If you are an athlete who has dedicated most of his/her life to entertaining your master for profit, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! While kneeling during the moment of silence is a form of protest, we must be fully committed to the mental, spiritual, economic, societal, and physical liberation of all of our people, not simply those who have been assassinated at the hands of under-educated and afraid white police officers.
If you are a parent who makes sure that your child has an iPhone and Jordans, but they don’t have a three ring binder, pencils, pens, paper, or books, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! I firmly believe that just because you look good, it doesn’t mean that you are good. I have personally witnessed students who care more about their appearance than their future. This is quite scary, and it must stop.
If you were born in Africa, yet you loathe the African American for not being white, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! Africa is, in my opinion, the richest continent on earth with the poorest people. How did that happen? Understand that the power that white people possess is a bi-product of their ability to work together and our inability to do so. We are all brothers and sisters, and we need to begin treating each other like it. Our dark skin is beautiful, not reviling.
If you are a white teacher, parent, politician, or neighbor to Black people, and you think that those aforementioned roles give you permission to speak frankly about the Black experience, YOU SHOULD BE QUIET! SAY NOTHING! Honestly, you can take a white man or woman, clean them up, and educate them, and they will be considered professional. However, as Malcolm X stated, “you know what they call Black people with Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees…..” If you want to work with us, legitimately work with us. Don’t consider doing so a form of community service.
I realize that this may have stirred quite a few feathers, but right now we are in desperate need of real leadership, real goals, and real objectives. We need to stop protesting and start lobbying. We need to start voting. We need to start not only respecting, but loving our people and ourselves. WE are the only people who can fix US. It’s OUR job. America has never been fully great for us, and when Donald Trump speaks of making it great, I think that we all know what he’s talking about. He couldn’t fix his marriages, so how in the world do we expect him to fix our country? Come on. Stop it Donald.
I am not perfect, yet I am willing to work towards the improvement of our community. Remember, the quickest way to destroy any community is to pervert them to the point in which they become the instruments of the own destruction. If there was ever a community that this has happened to, it is ours. We can fix it. While I don’t have all of the answers, I sure do have a lot of questions. If we are willing and committed to change, we should RAISE OUR VOICES AND SAY SOMETHING! Together, I believe that we can make these wrongs right. Who’s willing to work with me? Let’s start today…….