This week, the remnants of a neighborhood are still smoking in ashes. When was the last time? Ferguson, New York, the Watts district in California? The issue is certainly contentious. Police Brutality against black Americans is seen as the cause. But what does the aftermath teach us? Instead of being outraged, and rightly so, the focus shifts from the root cause to the destruction of the very place where the people affected live.
Businesses burned and looted, and a senior center destroyed. The argument rages on both sides, one as outraged as the other about the conduct on both sides. I should be clear about one thing; I do not bemoan the death of a drug dealer, I hate the fact that this person lost his life, regardless of his race, color, or creed. Why? Was he involved in criminal activity? If so, the Baltimore Police have a job they must perform. Most unfortunately, the result of this action causes a neighborhood to go up in flames.
Within hours the rap sheet of the dead man had been released on social media. "Well," say residents "We have got to survive, and selling drugs is the way we do it." Really? You don't know me, but I have met more than a few of the bottom dwelling scourge to the human race; those that feed on the weaknesses of others. I am not a cop, but that token answer is on the lips of every hood you will ever meet, white black Asian, native American, etc. Conversations with these yo-yo's usually go like this; "You have made allot of money...why don't get out of where you’re at? Start fresh; change your life, you obviously have got the cash." The hood shifts in his seat and nervously avoids the question with; "well, you know...it's not that easy" Uh-huh, why not just say you like the life? Admit it. And this is my point; the mother who caught her son out contributing to the riots exercised her parental authority by letting her son know that it wasn't right. Unfortunately, no matter how good a parent you are, your children will one day decide, on their own, what is right for them.
Do I believe all the dis-enfranchised are stuck with bad parents, certainly not! That mother in Baltimore is living, breathing proof that just because you live in a poor neighborhood, doesn’t mean you don’t have ethics or morals and it certainly doesn’t mean that you haven’t been active in the lives of your children. The death of any man in this situation should be investigated, but let’s ask the uncomfortable questions. Where would Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. have stood? The harder thing to do would have been restraint. It is harder not to destroy. Organization and pulling together the neighborhood to protest, that would have garnered results that would have been more effective. It was the destruction of a life under unknown circumstances that has started the chain of events that has thus far led to the same conclusion no matter where the violent protests originate. Dr. King was a man who knew how to effect change, In the times that have followed their were those who tried to fill his shoes, but their message became clouded in the inconsistency of their messages and actions. Where is the next Black American leader who will make a difference? Just who really is rushing to judgement? Who is going to rebuild that neighborhood? Who is going to replace the jobs and services lost? The drug dealers? I’ll bet you they’ll be there for you when get depressed because your life has been damaged and you need a little pick-me-up, but that’s all. I will also bet you the young man who died, has already had his position filled.