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Posted by on Aug 13, 2017 in About Blackacre, Adversity, Black Issues, Black Lives Matter, Black on Black Crime, Blackacre, Civil Rights, Domestic Terrorism, Jamal Dunn, Justice, Leadership, Leo Barron Hicks, Opioids, Progressive policy, Progressive Think Tank, Public Policy, Race, social welfare, Terrorism, The Alt-Right, Virginia | 2 comments

Children Without Conscience, Response and Reply

On August 1, 2017, we published a post entitled, Heartless, Children Without Conscience. The piece took to task a group of 5 African American teens, who offered no assistance to a drowning man. They instead mocked, ridiculed and verbally abused him. We received multiple responses to the article, one of which was noteworthy. The issues raised by both the article and response, coupled with the recent invasion of Charlottesville, Virginia by white Supremacist and the carnage that is Chicago demand a reply.

The Respondent began her commentary with the assertion that “yes, White America is never more pleased when we (African Americans), discount the many injustices perpetrated in our communities, blame the victims, and then call for the solution to be anyone but the true culprits.” The author expresses the frustration of living black in America and concludes by stating “racist White America does not get a pass. It is time to place both the blame and solution for the callousness, addiction, dysfunction and violence of some African Americans squarely where it belongs, on the shoulders of those who cause it. That and that alone should be our charge.”

There is no debating our history of racial injustices. America was founded on white superiority and race is the one issue that cannot be discussed dispassionately. Even the professional class resort to angry diatribes for the mere offense of disagreeing. Witness the televised shouting matches that have occasioned discussions regarding the Charlottesville matter.

Additionally, the issue of how African Americans should best deal with the legacy and reality of racial discrimination has been long debated, by the likes of Frederick Douglas and Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington and WEB DuBois, Marcus Garvey and Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. It is now contested by Black Lives Matter and beyond. Still, we fundamentally disagree with the Respondent’s position.

We are not blind to reality. A review of Blackacre blogs reveals a well-documented history of exposing institutional racism and censuring the agents of bigotry and oppression. The latest such post was the July 7, 2017, article entitled Crack vs. Opioids, the Arbitrary Nature of the War on Drugs and Social Rejection.

However, while we have been historically victimized, self-identifying as victims is not a solution to the problem of racial discrimination. It instead surrenders our strength, power and self-determination, our ability to grow and prosper to the very forces which oppose us. This, pleases our adversaries far more than reasonable self-reflection and the insistence upon personal responsibility.

We also fail to see how the young men who refused to render aid and assistance to a drowning man; who mocked and ridiculed one of their own for the unpardonable sin of drowning are victims or how calling them out for their inhumanity to a fellow human being constitutes “blaming the victim” or gives a pass to “the white man”.

Insisting that African Americans treat other African Americans with kindness and respect is not an act of ethnic betrayal. It is instead a recognition of our minimum duty of care to each another, even if our breach of said duty is exploited by others.

We are equally confused as to precisely how we can erase the past, make others love and respect us when we demonstrate so little for ourselves, guilt people into doing that which they are disinclined and/or unable to do and/or force others to assume responsibility for our families, our neighborhoods and our well-being?

To feel aggrieved is completely understandable. To demand justice and fundamental fairness is more than appropriate. To contest racial injustice is an act of moral courage.

However, we are not defined by our past. We are not controlled by what others think of us or the challenges of today. Rather, we are judged by who we choose to be. We are measured by what we do now. And we are ill-served by bitterness and hatred. Love will prevail.

In conclusion, African Americans are a people of immense talent, strength and resolve. There is nothing we cannot accomplish. Yet, we control only ourselves and our maltreatment of each other is neither excused nor justified by pointing the finger of blame at someone else.

We are therefore ethically obligated to refrain from harming one another, despite the forces aligned against us. Hence, while we respect the Respondent’s position, Blackacre is moving in a different direction.

We nevertheless invite the Respondent or any other follower to comment as appropriate. We welcome the discussion.

Respectfully,

Leo Barron Hicks, Founder and CEO
Blackacre Policy Forum

2 Comments

  1. What is likely the bigger problem is seeing these injustices as our past. Philando Castile, a well loved employed Black man, on the way to dinner with his girlfriend and a mere child who witnessed his brutal killing took place one year ago. The killings of Eric Garner, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin walking home from the story, 18-year-old, college bound Michael Brown, a college graduate looking forward to her new job, Sandra Bland, 12-year-old Tamir Rice shot in the park by police within seconds of arriving for playing with the same type of toy guns as the NRA markets to his White contemporaries, of a young, 22-year-old new father, John Crawford, shot dead by the police in Walmart over a knowingly false report that he was wielding a gun. They didn’t bother to determine that it was a bb gun sold by the store, they rushed to legally murder one more Black man in cold blood, all taking place in the last few years. They lynch us by gunfire and leave our bodies hanging on the ground for hours, bleeding out before our young children who continue to live with the trauma when they return to school the next day, and the next, and the next year, and for life. They show up to a protest with torches and bats just as they did sixty years ago and have the President of the United States send them dog whistles from the pulpit our tax dollars support. They still create cultural deficiencies that all but guarantee that over policing, over charging, over prosecuting, over convicting, and over sentencing, will leave families without fathers to guide them, contribute to the household budget or the economic base of the neighborhood. Today, 150 years after the Emancipation Proclamation, the United States imprisons far more African Americans than were enslaved when it was signed. MORE African Americans are providing forced labor and other economic benefits through Unicor.gov and state and local jails. Our children are still struggling through school with multiple traumas that they experience every single day in a society that is proving to be every bit as racist as it was during Jim Crow. Unemployment is real TODAY at more than twice than that of Whites, education deficiencies are real TODAY, with billions cut from education budgets and redirected to prisons. The affects of the drugs infused in Black neighborhoods as a precursor to accommodating private prisons, continues to have an economic, physical, and social impact on Black families and neighborhoods TODAY, and the Black bodies that were sold on courthouse steps are now essentially sold on NASDAQ with the rise in occupied prison beds representing a rise in stock prices. And though I could go on for paragraphs about the impact of racism that is occurring every single day in America for far too many people, but if that reality, and that of the millions of Black families who struggle to live the American dream, and the millions of neighbors, underpaid teachers, coaches, non-profit employees, volunteers, clergy, and churches who strive every single day to rescue victims of TODAY’s racism is not apparent to you, nothing I said in the previous response or this one will awaken you. You are not interested in lifting African Americans from the pit of hate, it is too easy to overlook what millions of us are doing to do just that while you blame the victim and let the racist over which you feel powerless off the hook.

    You can remove me from your list. I am far too busy trying to help Black America not blame it for where centuries of hate have driven too many.

    • You should first be advised that I need not be awakened. I need not be reminded of the historic and present day injustice visited upon African Americans. I too am black and have lived with the causes and consequences of racism as have you and every other African American. I do not surrender my “license to be black” merely because we differ on the best way to move forward. .

      Next, I do not overlook your efforts or that of anyone else who is trying to make a difference. I accept the fact that you are operating in good faith and that you sincerely believe in the validity of your position.

      However, neither you nor I have a monopoly on the truth. No one does. Thus, while I respect your perspective, I am not obligated to embrace it. And doing so does not make me wrong, you right or either one of us any less committed to making a difference than the other. We simply disagree.

      I value your contribution and would prefer not to lose you. However, I do not believe that we are best served by adopting a victim/entitlement/enabler mindset, that we can avoid taking personal responsibility for how we treat each other, that we are helpless victims, or that all of our challenges can be laid solely at the feet of another.

      If this to you constitutes blaming the victim then so be it. If you wish to remove yourself from our mailing list, you may do so from your computer.

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