Death is a constant.
One of the preachers at my church likes to remind the congregation that ever minute you're living, you're also dying. Every day brings us closer to our last breath, and none of us know when that last breath is coming.
I'm reminded of that constantly.
I see death all the time at my job. It's just a part of the fabric of what I do. I see the mangled bodies, I see the bloodstains and I see the families left behind to cope. Typically, I see the broken, black families left behind to cope.
Emphasis on the word black.
I believe that far too much focus is placed on black pathology in the media. However, that doesn't mean that I'm blind to the fact that black communities, particularly working class and poor black communities, have some real issues.
As one lady told me recently, "It's a war zone out here."
I hate harping on the violence. I'm sure most of y'all are tired of hearing about it. But the violence won't leave us alone. It's a parasite, gradually getting bloated on the underbelly of our communities. Eventually, like many parasites, it's going to kill the host.
It's time for a purge.
I watched this mother cry about her children. I watched her wonder what more she could have done. I watched her tears, and I felt the pain coming off of her body in waves. And I was powerless to help.
It's a terrible feeling y'all. Just a terrible feeling.
Pain should be personal. But, when your children are gunned down in the street, your pain become public. Your horror is part of the spectacle. How do we amplify and disseminate that pain to the masses to make them understand that something has to happen? That it's going to take the entire village of the United States of the America to heal what ails our youth. How do we do it?
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Thursday, November 19, 2009
The Truth From Big Man at 12:00 AM
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I hear your frustration. It's mine as well. To be sure: The problem is a difficult one to grapple with.
Had we the power to look ahead, to see how far the infection would spread without intervention, we could have taken steps then.
But we didn't.
As we concentrated our energies and collective resolve to fight and defeat the external forces that sought to destroy us, we neglected the forces from within.
The problem as I see it is this: GIGO.
"GIGO (gī'gō, gē'-)
n. Computer Science
An informal rule holding that the integrity of output is dependent on the integrity of input."
Or to put it more graphically, "Garbage In, Garbage Out."
We are what we value. And values are instilled early in a person's life. He or she that gets there first, gets to shape the eventual outcome of that person.
It works that way most of the time, but, of course, not all the time. There are glaring exceptions. Always, there are glaring exceptions to any rule, solution, or remedy.
Having an intact family is not always the solution. It's the family that models certain values, and pass them on to their offspring.
And we know that generations have rebelled against certain values, but mainly did so because the values that their parents sought to inculcate, the parents, themselves, didn't follow, and the hypocrisy invalidated the values, and brought about a backlash.
As you suggested with the "village," nothing short of restructuring our society, and the family model, will bring the healing we seek.
It's not a black problem or a white problem; the problem of our youth is a national problem.
Until we see it from that perspective, I'm afraid that the problem will persist, and grow exponentially.
We all have to get involved in the rearing of our children. We first have to see them as the national treasure that they are, and put a large part of our energies and resources into spiritually, intellectually, and physically enhancing each successive generation.
We can no longer leave that task to the nuclear family construct. Children need many mommies and daddies from those in society who have lived long enough to gain wisdom, as well as intellectual and spiritual prowess.
I agree man, I agree completely.
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