Self Inflicted Wounds

fb_img_1451360049232.jpg

There are things that plague our community and we thought injustice and police brutality was tops on the list. In fact, it sparked a new movement entitled “#BlackLivesMatter”. This past Holiday season has opened my eyes to an even bigger problem. We seldom value our own lives. In the fight for peace in our neighborhoods, we are losing daily.

The man pictured above is Anthony Tolson. Arguably Detroit’s best on bass guitar. The truth of that statement may never be known now. Last Christmas eve, Anthony was shot and killed by thieves who carjacked him for his truck. The truck was found. His children’s gifts and his bass still in the back. One of the young men arrested for his murder indicated that they only wanted the rims. A few months later, A young man was shot and killed at Eastland mall. It was over a minor dispute in the mall but I continue to read his mother’s major heartbreak on Facebook everyday. Every week since then, there has been a murder here in Detroit, 90% of those under the age of 30.

It’s not just here in Detroit. Chicago, Miami, and Memphis have seen some of the most bloodiest days in their history in the past month. Guns are easy to get and easily stolen. Now that Micheal Jordan has released his latest color of his old throwback gym shoe. To my knowledge, there have been 3 fatalities due to being robbed for those shoes at gunpoint. These factors have driven people to the gun stores at record numbers. It feels more like we have given up.

We have given up raising our kids, We have given up mentoring our teens. We have given up passing knowledge of self and community. We have abandoned the notion that we can control our own; raise our own; provide for our own. We want to fight mass incarceration yet give into mass neglect. We, yes WE! We are the key to everything. Not lawmakers or lawmen. We who are in the neighborhoods everyday. It is We who must teach what really matters. Not Jordan’s, expensive rims, not even foolish pride, but the lives of every one who looks like you, lives like you, and in the future…will learn to believe in you. Holla if you hear me!

-K  Greene

 

 

The Non-Advancement of American Colored People

wpid-photoart_06112014141758.jpg

Every February our country celebrates “Black History Month”. Its the usual celebration of our heritage and honoring those that trail blazed our road to freedom. Speeches by Martin Luther King and Malcolm X are replayed as reminders of our struggle. For that entire month, we remind the nation what it means to be black. After watching the news lately, We have only proved what it means to be fooled.

My heart sank at the news of the South Carolina Church Massacre. As if Eric Garner’s death at the hands of police wasn’t enough. Ferguson, Baltimore, Trayvon Martin, and recently Kaleif Browder, Headline a long list of examples of institutionalized brutality against African-Americans. Now, we have a pre-meditated act of terror against innocent African-Americans murdered at church. While institutional racism is nothing new, The South Carolina church massacre sheds light on the bigger problem that is at the core of it all. The Civil Rights Movement was pacified and we have gained nothing in 50yrs.

Many people see the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) as the leader in African-American rights and representation since it’s founding in 1909. The NAACP was highly involved in the organization of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960’s and very involved in politics. Being highly involved in politics is a good thing. Many white politicians consider an endorsement from the NAACP a priority in securing the African-American vote. The problem here is while the NAACP endorses these candidates, The African-American community receives nothing from these candidates. You can go to any city and see the evidence for yourself. Especially here in Detroit.

I can easily blame ourselves for how we vote but I want the NAACP to be stronger with our voice. It’s been a year since Ferguson and another unarmed black college student is killed, protesters are arrested, and police brutality continue to plague our community. Be the NAACP of old. Lead us, organize us, force legislation! Official statements are useless. Holla if you hear me!!!

-K Greene