There has been another life taken too soon; another life lost to senselessness. But, again lies the question of what next. What are we going to do to change our condition? And when will change come? I learned long ago that people do not change because things happened or because we ask them to. People change when they choose to. I can only speak from my position as a black woman, an African woman living in this desolate country of America. And this morning, I am angry. I am angry that we as a community, the diaspora has not found the love that was lost back on the plantation. We still are suffering from the effects of slavery. On the plantations, we were property and a life could be taken at any given moment. Years of abuse, rape, and forced servitude caused our psyches to morph until the point of us now being uncaring for one another. Our lives were not valued and we began to believe the same as what was given, that we do not matter and a dead black man is the best condition for a black man. We lack love because to love is to sacrifice and to lose that which you love can break you. We were sold away from family, stripped of every bit of our identity, and thus, we never recaptured the essence of true community. So, we stopped loving. We stopped seeing each other as brothers and sisters. And many of us still see each other as 3/5 of a human being. Many of us still have a “crabs in a barrel” mentality, in which envy and jealousy drive us to depths of instant insanity. That momentary insanity is why right now we are killing each other.
The systemic genocide of the people has caused a huge rift and we continue to feed into the curse. And our men are being murdered by their own African family at an alarming rate. But, there is hope, as long as there is life, there is hope. We must begin to love on one another. Teach our children the value of their lives, as well as the lives of others. We must resolve clean up our neighborhoods and communities. My grandmother used to say “Sweep around your own front door before you tell your neighbor to do so.” Demand that the elected officials of the towns and cities in which we live are held accountable. Make them get the guns off the street! And when you see those in your communities who are breaking the law and acting a fool, report them. Go to your city and county council meetings and let your voice be heard. There are city council meetings for a reason; instead of these officials focusing on drugs and nonsense, let’s work towards getting the guns off the streets, economic development, and educational programs and outreach. Let the religious leaders come forth and assist. There are far too many talkers and not enough doers.Call your Senators and congressman and request bills for stricter gun laws and for reform. Be active in your local and state government.
Black man rise up! There used to be a time when you protected us. We need you in our communities right now. Your presence is so needed. It has been proven that communities that have a strong male presence have lesser crime. You must be the model. Time out for childish games! And we as a people must begin to focus on the issues—our people are struggling for survival. Instead of hating your brothers and sisters, love them. When will we realize that we are all we that we have? Help them when they need it. When you see these teenagers doing things that you know they have no business doing, talk to them or at least reach out to their family so they can. Don’t your dare turn a blind eye for another day! And for those of you who walk around with rose-colored glasses on, it is high time that you took them off and faced facts. We are dying! And if you are going to be complacent, you are a part of the problem!
At the end of the day, someone else has been killed. The blood is calling out from the streets asking for change. Let’s not go another day without starting to change. Please hear me. If we do not take a stand-who will?