MANSFIELD: No Short, Easy Answers

Over the last three days many acquaintances have called me to ask what the hell is going on in Hough with all the shootouts, where numerous innocent bystanders have been shot and one 10-year-old boy is in critical condition after being seriously wounded while sleeping in his bed. While I know the reason for the violence, I’m not optimistic that it’s going to abate anytime soon.

If there was a “quick fix” to the spate of retaliatory gun violence we’ve been experiencing it would have been implemented by now. But the answer to the violence is — there is no answer. At least not in the short term.

The gun violence that we are witnessing in inner-city Cleveland (as well as other cities across the country with substantial black populations) is due to a number of societal factors, but the end result is that we are witnessing is a totally new and heretofore unknown phenomenon: Black Self-Genocide.

Genocide is something one ethnic group does to another group, someone they perceive as enemies, as the “other.” It has been repeatedly carried out in various places around the globe for probably as far back as the beginning of recorded history. But what we are witnessing with young black males in America increasingly, senselessly shooting each other is something that has never been seen before in the annals of humankind: A distinct group of people that share the same ethnic roots and heritage, literally killing off their own tribe.

The pathologies that are causing this sick behavior among young black males are numerous and multi-faceted and it begs the question, “What the hell is the matter with these young fools?” But that’s actually the wrong question. The question that should be asked is “What was done to these young men of color to turn them into monsters?”

Know this: No race of people have ever set out to destroy their own tribe. So what makes young black males the exception? While those opposed to black progress will gleefully posit that these young men were born to be killers, that something genetically is wrong with them, they are only attempting to exculpate themselves from responsibility regarding the conditions Eurocentric culture created and has maintained for hundreds of years.

Also know this: There is nothing genetically wrong with these young brothers (just as nothing is genetically wrong with Native Americans who also have participated in a form of self-genocide with alcohol and family violence) but indeed, something horrible was done to them and we are in the process of raising future generations of young black men that will continue this self-genocide. They don’t know any other way. We have to teach them, and that takes time.

Fifteen years ago rapper 50 Cent dropped an album Get Rich or Die Tryin’ and too many young brothers believe they can sell enough dope to flip a new (or used) Benz, buy their momma a house, and maybe two other fixer-uppers as rental properties, thereby fulfilling the dream of being ghetto-rich. The only problem is, less than one percent will realize even that meager dream (but hey, “wealth” is a relative term) and the ones that are truly lucky get busted and sent off to a safe prison where they at least have the opportunity to come to their senses and grow out of their murderous behavior. But as recidivism rates attest to, not all boys grow up while behind bars.

While lack of education, weak family structures and poverty can all play a role in the negative and dangerous behaviors young black males too often exhibit, another factor is often overlooked: These dudes actually enjoy being shot at and shooting back.

It’s a known fact that the brain doesn’t fully develop until the mid-20s, and men don’t mature until age 43 (11 years after women). Part of the reason for the gunplay is thrill-seeking behavior.

Recall the TV show from almost two decades ago, Jackass, where overgrown adolescents engaged in all kinds of stupid — and oftentimes dangerous — stunts? Many males simply love risk-taking, that’s why the military has little trouble filling its ranks.

And young white males often channel their wild energies into socially acceptable behaviors such as skydiving, bungee jumping, rock climbing, etc. But inner-city black males usually are limited to two behaviors: Racing dirt bikes through the streets while popping wheelies, or popping caps in each other’s asses. The only problem is that far too often innocent people get hurt or killed.

The answer is simple: Replicate the Harlem Children’s Zone. If you’re not familiar with it, look it up. It truly is the only answer to black self-genocide.


From CoolCleveland correspondent Mansfield B. Frazier Frazier’s From Behind The Wall: Commentary on Crime, Punishment, Race and the Underclass by a Prison Inmate is available in hardback. Snag your copy and have it signed by the author at http://NeighborhoodSolutionsInc.

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