It looks as though spring has finally sprung here in Chicago. Chicago is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. We can’t ever talk about the beautiful aesthetics of the city because we are too busy talking about all of the murdering and shooting and non-sense that goes on here.
I know that a lot of people would like it if the world believed that African-Americans were Chicago’s crime problem. I know that they would also like to say that it is because of the self-destruction in the African-American communities that the crime rate is sky high.
Don’t believe the hype. Chicago has been plagued with crime since its inception. I am not for one minute saying that there is not a black on black crime problem. What I am saying is that Chicago has been riddled with bullets and a reputation for murder since the days of Al Capone and probably before that.
The African-American community is one that will soak up feelings and emotions and we will carry burdens that do not belong to us. We will do all of this, but it seems that we will only do it for those that are not directly affected by whatever the issue at hand is.
Why are we willing to overlook the faults of others, but we won’t forgive a neighbor the simplest of things? Why do we think that we have so much to gain from people that have proven time and time again that whatever investment they seem to be making in us is and will be short-lived? Why do we trust a stranger before we trust our own? Why won’t we support black owned businesses? Why don’t we understand that in the beginning we may have to pay a little more for a cup of coffee from a black owned coffee shop, but the more we patronize it the less likely we will be to have to keep doing so?
Do we not understand how hard it is to have a business? That sometimes those little shops and stores have to pay more for their merchandise because, number one they might be buying less due to having less financial support from small business loans and number two they are probably being charged more for the goods in the first place.
I feel like we misunderstand money as a community and because of this we are rarely ever able to sustain a business or to stop living from paycheck to paycheck. We can’t tell us anything! That’s too bad, because we have a lot to learn.
If we keep killing and in-fighting over street corners and neighborhoods we are enslaving ourselves. For years we have been saying that white people are keeping us down. Well, they don’t have to put much effort into it because we have done a damn good job of it ourselves.
What black business do you patronize? Can you name one? Can you name two? Have you told anyone about that business? Have you visited that business with a friend?
Come on people. Tomorrow is not promised. We have got to rise up and take responsibility for the areas in our lives and in our communities that belong to us. We don’t need to take responsibility for anyone else’s mess.
We did not start the violence in Chicago, but we have done a great job of making sure we keep it going. Why? When we kill our youth we shorten the possibility of “what if”. How can we be so sure that these young men that are dying on the streets every day will never amount to anything?
We see all of the time that innocent black men have been imprisoned for years for crimes that they did not commit. Those are lives squashed by the system and then the system guesstimates how much their lives may have been worth based on their financial status at the time. That is craziness. The system has taken away the “what if” factor and that can never be given back. What if they happened to play the lottery and won? What if, they accidentally created a cure for cancer or HIV/AIDS? We have no idea what could have happened because that opportunity was snuffed out.
What happened to, “Keep Hope Alive”? What happened to, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”? What happened to, “Each one, teach one”? What happened to, “It takes a village to raise a child”?
We better not forget where we came from because if we do then we are subject to end up right back there.
How can you make a difference? It starts with your mouth. Speak up and speak out. Stop with the snitches get stitches. The good got gone, so stitches might not be so bad. Speak to each other. Be kind to each other. Ask the hard questions and give back the hard answers. We have to make a change.
Don’t do it for me. Do it for the babies. Do it for the generation to come. Do it for yourself. Just do it.
Peace and love,