I'm ready to be mad, smart and determined for a cause
Published: Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 14:02
Will we be the generation that brings an equal mix of anger, knowledge and determination to the fight ahead?
Often times people in ‘Generation X’ ask why were blacks or African Americans so angry in the civil rights era, and if ‘Generation Y’ and the ‘Millennials’ will come fighting with just the anger.
Have you ever considered when discrimination (mainly racism) was so pervasive that it became a part of your every day life?
Where it dictated what drinking fountain you used, restroom you could use, what entrance of businesses you could enter, what fee you would pay for access, or even whether you could go where you wanted to at all…
In the 50’s and early 60’s anger was a motivator to accomplish what those before you couldn’t, fight for rights not given but, stated, and as Martin Luther King would say- cash a check that was marked insufficient funds.
Those who grew up immediately during and after this struggle benefitted from the battles already fought but, still faced the war.
They were now allowed but not tolerated, they were invited but not welcome, they were separate but equal.
From the Southern sit-in sixteen to the Greensboro nine to the integration of Central High in Little Rock and High schools and colleges nationwide; the battles had just begun.
When reading the stories of how they were abused and neglected and intentionally driven away, how could I not be angry at the faces that came from the opposition?
When anger and brutality killed Emmett Till, The ‘four’ little girls in 16th street Baptist church, Medgar Evers and numerous others on Black Sunday; how can the anger not be answer to retaliation?
In the late 60’s and 70’s the battle became making a way for African Americans professionally; with many industries still segregated.
Training and professional experience became a factor of discrimination.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities’ enrollments increase and students are involved in black movements creating professional organizations to lift as we climb.
Knowledge in the black community became the new power to affect change and create representation and response in our lives and leave a lasting legacy.
If knowledge was powerful enough to create professional and community movements to advance a race that was once unwelcome in the very country they were brought to, shouldn’t be powerful enough to continue the legacy?
Shouldn’t knowledge be a factor in the continued fight?
The 80’s, 90’s to the early 2000’s, the country shifts from a paradigm aimed to creating a better world and the spread of democracy and peace, to a focus on economic prominence and the rule of capitalist America over all.
Hip Hop culture is now popular and we have to fight the same portrayals of the minstrel, magical negro, mammy, drug dealer, pimp, and sexually promiscuous and sexually objectified women from our own race.
Some ignorant and others in pursuit of the mighty dollar without the hindsight of the effects on their community; selling records, albums and videos of black men degrading black women and with no consequence to portrayal of what others think, but are afraid to say.
We are creating and perpetuating stereotypes and generalizations.
Just as the problem was not created overnight, the solution will not happen in such a short time.
Isn’t determination needed to counteract this spread of ignorance and vicious cycle of enslavement by our own?
Shouldn’t we be determined to shed a new light on our race, culture and socialization other than drug users and dealers, pimps and whores, poor and poorer, beggars and homeless, buyers not sellers, and thieves not heroes?
2008 to the present- The Barack Obama era, or as some expected ‘let’s elect Black Jesus so he can save the black community,’ the black community is in more trouble than ever.
Socio-economic status, educational background, voting records, arrest records, social media presence, religion and sexual orientation have become the new racism.
The odds are stacked against the less socially and professionally conscious.
With a large percentage of our community living uneducated and incarcerated, who is with their children making sure they don’t fall into the same trap?
With a large percentage of our community in debt from cars, clothes and faulty investments, who is educating their next generation so they can be debt free?
While more children are being raised in single family households without the presence of one parent, who is fighting for these children when they need help?
We are too busy concerning ourselves with what everyone doesn’t do for us, instead of what responsibilities we have to ourselves.
We are socializing our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren with the idea of an ideal society where someone else will take care of them, instead of rearing them to speak, hear, question and understand for themselves.
We are still stuck blaming the ‘white man’ that died off with his sins years ago for the barriers and barricades we put up ourselves.
If this was a war we would have retreated before the enemy arrived, and what happens when you retreat?
If we are going to throw in the towel in the ring we should at least have the courage to get knocked down first. The problem is we stepped in the ring , saw the opponent and ran the other way.
Whether we fight for ourselves or not, there will be a winner and a loser.
After all, if we learn anything from the past shouldn’t it be that the war is not over until we stop fighting?
If you want to win, will you bring the equal mix of anger, knowledge and determination to the fight?