This weekend, six children were murdered in their neighborhoods throughout America. Although their names and faces were shown on CNN, there were no marches. Although their killers are probably still at large, there were no cries for justice. Although their families are plagued with the dreadful tasks of burying seeds before they had the opportunity to fully blossom, there were no riots or protests. Why? We are the criminals. We are the guilty ones. It is us who has remained silent while our streets are saturated in drugs, guns, gangs, miseducation, apathy, poverty, and crime. We have remained silent. The door that George Floyd’s death opened is indeed wide enough for us to address the issues that exist on our side of it. Black Lives Matter. As I have written in the past, I will write now. If Black Lives Truly Matter, as African American people, the time has come for us to take better care of each other. Stop hurting your brothers and sisters in order to improve YOUR bottom line. Stop taking from those just as poor as you in order to give what you have taken to someone who’s not only richer, but seemingly has no interest in you. Sadly enough, not even your money. In the past, how many brands came out and said that they didn’t make their products or goods for minorities? There were so many that I can’t even begin to mention them all. However, despite that blatant and disturbing fact, we continued to purchase their products and goods anyway. In fact, to a very real degree, we were, and some still are, willing to kill and die for them. Enough! We are all extended family members, so I believe that the time has come to act like it. While I realize that we all want more, I also understand that more doesn’t come easily. I understand that you have to work for it. I understand that you have to sacrifice for it. I understand that you have to wait for the harvest of your labor before you can enjoy the fruit. It is time for us to address our own issues, mental health, challenges, obstacles, and fears that, to a very real degree, are seemingly self imposed. It is time. Right now, we need leaders that are both uncompromising and unwavering in their beliefs. We need inspiration more than we need endorsements. We need access more than we need ads. We need hope more than our need to keep it “hood.” What happened to us? “Back in the sixties our brothers and sisters would hang. How could you gang bang? I never ever ran from the ku klux klan, so I shouldn’t have to run from a Black Man.” Those words from Kool Moe Dee were profound then, and they are still profound now. Brothers and Sisters, I can honestly say that there have been times in my life that I have been more afraid of you than I have ever been of the police. There have been times in my life when I felt like a prisoner in my community rather than a Free Man blossoming in my neighborhood. As someone who works with children on a daily basis, I experience first hand the horrific ripple effects of what is really going on in some of our neighborhoods. As a Proud African American Man, I shouldn’t feel compelled to leave my community for safety, better schools, better treatment, and more opportunities. The time has come for us to stop giving away crowns of glory to fools and buffoons. A shiny car, bright jewels, clean sneakers, and fancy clothes doesn’t make people good. The world has quite a few bad people with shiny cars, bright jewels, clean shoes, and fancy clothes. Because this is my truth, I’ll go as far as saying that one of them is living in the White House right now! Our no snitch policy isn’t working for us. There, I said it. It’s not working. I don’t want to live next door to a murderer any more than I want to live next door to a neo nazi. The time has come for us to stop creating music that glorifies our destruction. The time has come for our Women to be worshipped for the Goddesses they are rather than being objectified as nothing more than objects of our desire. That’s not love, that’s nothing more than primal lust that dances on the verge of complete disrespect. Women, the time has come for you to stop allowing men who seemingly have more tangible things than you to treat you like you are one of those things that he forgot was in the closet. You’re supposed to be his blessing, not his burden. If you’re being treated like crap, don’t accept it, be grateful, or unwilling to leave. Sometimes, a step backwards is a step in the right direction. Men, let’s tell the truth; many of us are hurt, scared, and uncertain. We survived slavery, we thrived when the doors of opportunity were cracked, and we flew when the playing field was slightly tilted. We are the descendants of Royalty. It’s impossible to wear your crown while looking down. Pick your heads up and unite. If we don’t do it, we are nothing more than adjunct members of the organization that once hanged us from trees and burned down our homes. Do you know why Harriet Tubman carried a gun? She wanted to protect us from us… We are better than this, and we need a True Revolution Today. May that day be today, and may the True Revolution begin with me. Black Lives Matter…..Patrick
As always, this week, please do something for someone other than yourself for no other reason than to make their lives better. Also, if you make it to where you’re going, please don’t forget to leave a map for the rest of us. Always Choose Love….