A man whom I hold in high esteem once said, ” We black men have a hard enough time in our own struggle for justice, and already have enough enemies as it is, to make the drastic mistake of attacking each other and adding more weight to an already unbearable load.” That man would be none other than El Hajj Malik Shabazz also known as Malcolm X.
There is a war out there in these mean streets of society. There is no color line. No determining factor rather it is just violence. I was 12 years old when I lost some one to a violent crime. Granted, he was at the wrong place doing the wrong thing there was no excuse at how he died…at the hands of some trigger happy police officer. Like KRS 1 said….”WHOOP, WHOOP that’s the sound of the police. WHOOP, WHOOP that’s the sound of the beast.” At that time when I was so young and still so innocent I lacked the ability to examine the politics surrounding his death. As I grew in age and wisdom I came to an understanding. No matter how heartless and tragic his death was, he had a part to play in it. To some that may sound cold. Let me apologize before you get up in arms. I’m not saying that he deserved to die rather I am saying that he played a significant part in his death. The fact remains that had he not been at the wrong place doing the wrong thing he may have gotten another chance at life. Unfortunately he was and he did so now we remember him in passing as we discuss the follies of our youth.
Ready or not, here I come. I’m gonna find you…I was 27 when I received a call from a residence that was on my caseload. The manager made small talk and then she said, “I have something to tell you.” Thinking that she was about to tell me one of my consumers had passed I took a deep breath and said, “what happened?” Never in a million years could I have imagined that the words that had passed her lips would pass her lips. She said, “Elijah’s was killed.” My breath stuck in my chest. I thought it was a dream, an alternate reality. Point blank, I just knew that she was mistaken. No I didn’t have a crush on Elijah so I wasn’t devestated in that way. Rather I was devastated because here was a calm, quiet man who believed in family and stepped up to the plate in his role as a father. I didn’t accept his death as a reality until I saw him lying bloated in a casket. I wish that I could blame it on racial profiling and say that the bullet belong to those officers of the law
PIGS. I’d be lying if I told you that. The bullet belonged to an ordinary person living what he deemed as an ordinary day. The bullet belonged to some one whose race was the same as Elijah’s. The bullet belonged to a fellow black man who saw nothing wrong with killing another black man over a disagreement.
Growing up in the 80’s and 90’s I saw how violent of a society we were against our own people. Filled with a self-hatred we saw nothing wrong with killing ourselves by ourselves. No need to have the powers that be contain a population that if they had their way would still be toiling the fields picking cotton and shouting yes a massa. Go figure, who better to kill a population than for individuals of that population. It is the perfect containment method. You hear stories from our parents of how they used their words and their fist to settle a score. Yes people got shot but more often than not beef wasn’t settled by pulling the trigger and letting loose.We don’t handle our disagreements this way anymore. Rather it is easier to get a gun, point and shoot. Problem solved, beef settled. Truth be told, these senseless acts of violence amongst our own people are no better than the enslavement of a people. Instead of being enslaved by others, we continue to enslave ourselves all the while murdering ourselves. Pretty soon, the powers that be will get what they really want. A world without us.
This past weekend, what should have been a fun occassion in the life of a college student turned tragic. Parents send their children to school in the hopes of laying a proper foundation for them. They hope that college will prevent them from being just another statistic. It’s one thing to hear that while at college your child may have been in a terrible accident and succumbed to their injuries. It is a whole other animal when you get a call that your child was murdered because the murderer was kicked out of a party.There used to be a time when college was sacred. College used to be fun. Street people didn’t come to college and if they did no matter how much the street was in them they knew how to contain it. In a society where public schools have metal detectors it is becoming more of a reality that there is a war out there and we are being held hostage. People of color committing senseless acts against other people of color is an everyday reality. There is a war out there and no one is excluded.
My mother used to say, “What is going to hit you won’t miss you and what is going to miss you won’t hit you.” While that may be the case why is it that all of the hots occurring look like the mirror image of the victim. As much as cops irritate me, the fact remains that there are those of us who have become beastly and protection is needed. While I am all for the upliftment of our communities the reality is that there are some of us who don’t give a damn. Until we all unify and realize that we are succumbing to the master plan of those that would like to see us fail we will never be on top like the Kings and Queens that we were. Sad to say but I’m sure as I wrote this somewhere in this country another bullet flew from the hands of a person of color hotting another person of color. It is a war out there where the color of our skin means nothing. There is no such thing as mi familia.
I say a prayer for all of the victims in this war where there is no discrimination. Rest in peace!