“Unacceptable,” cried one mayor, “This must cease” demanded another, and “We’re not going to allow this to happen in our city,” said one police chief, all in response to the spate of gun violence that left 14 Chicago youth dead, and another three dead in Atlanta, over the Fourth of July weekend, killings that have become all too common. And while they all are no doubt very sincere in their pronouncements, reality should have dawned on them by now.
The answer for inner-city gun violence is — there is no answer.
The havoc will continue unabated in black communities no matter how much opprobrium is heaped upon the heads of the youthful gangbangers by elected and appointed officials — and it’s hard to believe that said officials are not aware of this reality. While I won’t go so far as to accuse them of grandstanding on the issue to gain or maintain the approval of the electorate, I do sometimes wonder what is going through their minds as they are standing in front of the microphones poking holes of indignation in the air with their fingers.
But allow me to back up a bit. There actually is a solution to the problem of inner-city gun violence. The problem is America has not been willing to devote the requisite resources required to bring about a cession to the havoc and chaos since solutions take time, dedication and action.
Instead of instituting real solutions to the problems created by 400 years of oppression in America, too many members of the majority are willing to throw up their hands and posit, “You know, you just can’t help ‘those people’,” as if certain segments of the black demographic are simply born with a propensity for violence and criminal behavior. Additionally, when an Obama comes along to shred their racist views to pieces, what do those on the right do? Become agitated that he and his family — similar to three-quarters of the nation’s black population that is firmly in the middle-class — gives the lie to their racist views.
The prevailing racist opinion that “nothing can be done” comports nicely with bigots’ views since it abrogates, at least in their minds, any necessity to put forth efforts to fix the systemic problems they created. But we know that nothing is wrong with us; instead, something was done to us. And it was slavery.
However, by all outward appearances and recent events, America is on the cusp of a moral awaking, perhaps finally willing to shake off the shackles of our racist past, a past that was created exclusively out of one human weakness: Greed. However, to systematically exploit a race of people for centuries a country must, out of absolute necessity, come to despise them.
So, while the Civil War freed my people, its outcome only increased the despising by many in the majority culture. We’ve been hated for simply yearning to be free and that hatred has created a permanent underclass of blacks who are, for the most part, responsible for the inner-city gun violence.
While my family ancestors — similar to a majority of other black families — seized the opportunity for freedom by the throat and hung on tenaciously through thick and thin, unfortunately, some of my black brothers and sisters are descended from folks of lesser intelligence, fortitude and grit. Sadly, their forbearers internalized the message that had been pounded into them incessantly that they are not as worthy as whites and therefore are deserving of their substandard condition and position in life.
Part Two will begin to set forth solutions to the current morass.