Friday, July 22, 2005

Social Commentary I

Why am I fighting to live if I'm just living to fight,
Why am I trying to see if there aint nothing in sight,
Why am I trying to give if no one gives me a try,
Why am I dying to live if I'm just living to die.
-- Jonny Lang

Most of you might have heard this sampled on the Tupac/Biggie mix that was out last year. Well i've heard the actual song the sample may have come from.

I think it if you look at this statement, you'll see a great comment on society today. Especially when talking about Black youth. I've been talking to Headliner lately about the ills of our community. We both have a broad scope of where the problems are stemming from, but we both define the problem in our own different ways. There is an epidemic of death and destruction going on in urban Black America. You turn on the news and you see folks killing each other. KC is up at arms that the homicide rate is increasing, but it only seems to be affecting the black community. Back in NO, my mom tells me police leaders are threatening the jobs of sergeants and others because of the murder rate. Like it's their fault. They can't be everywhere all the time.

I look at the problems of Black youth and think about the lyrics above. Where is the hope? What do they have hope for? The sytems set up for them not to succeed. Their parents aren't helping them any because they can't help themselves only being within a stones throw of adolescence themselves. All they can do is fight. Fight to stay alive as long as they can. Most have no hope of leaving the ghettos because being in the ghetto is so engrained in their culture. It has gone from a short term fix to a long term problem. And now they are tearing down ghettos to create multi-race, multi-income housing. Like the poor folks are all of a sudden going to start acting "good" because there neighbor makes a little more money than they do.

So is there blame in all of this. Blame can be shared by many and all parties. I blame racist whites for creating an unjust system in the past and expecting everything to be ok now that Blacks have rights. Oh yeah, after years of setting folks back, now you want to try to play by the rules because you have to. Because it's socially unacceptable to now create laws to restrict the freedoms of people. Now whites say blacks have every opportunity to accell just like whites. Except that blacks don't have the years of social benefits, years of wealth building, and years of better funded schools. It's like telling blacks to start a race by runnig uphill while whites are on a level surface then letting blacks run on that same level surface after whites already have an almost incirmountable lead. Don't think that's very fair.

But don't worry, I have more blame to pass around. It's not just for white folks as blacks have to take our share of the blame. Look out for future commentary. Any comments on this piece? And don't be scared because you're not black that i will be offended. Remember, this is all about the dialogue.


Blogger ET said...

I agree with most of what you say except that whites think that blacks now have every opportunity to excel. I think many white people realize that even though everyone is facially on equal footing, that is far from reality. I think the problem lies in not knowing how to fix the problem, so instead, we just keep on keepin' on and nothing changes. That's just off the top of my head... I think I need to mull over this a bit more still...

10:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think for a second that blacks and whites have the same equal footing to start from and I don't think that it is fair to expect that blacks acheive that smae as whites, but I do think that it is more fair to compare blacks to other minority groups in america. Ask youself this, who are you ( I don't even know that answer) and why have you succeeded? Why are you sitting in an office orhome somewhere on your computer, using big words, and being very clearly educated... meanwhile, why are other black folks scraping along the bottom of the barrel that is our society in America? Why? I don't know. I do know that there is a lot of history that creates barriers for blacks in America, but in light of the Indians, Asians, Mexicans, Persians, etc etc etc, that have found a way to succeed in this country as immigrants, I think that you have to take a look at that ask ask why they have been successful. What lessons can be learned form them and from you about how to succeed? It can be done. Some people just dont do it. If more people did it, the number of middle and upper class black folks in america would increase, and then change could really happen. More role models, more people to mentor, more people to fund and lead grass roots movements. You're a middle/upper class black person ( I presume) what are you doing to help this problem?

8:42 AM  
Blogger The Underdog said...

Thanks for the thoughts anonymous. You touched upon what i will get at in following posts. I do agree that it is fair to compare blacks with other minority groups, to a certain degree. I would feel safe with comparing blacks with hispanics, but not necessarily with asians. Asians have come to the states with a completely different mindset than other minority groups born in the states. Asians have come in, kept the money in their own community and flourished. That mentality has been fostered through the generations, although i think today it's staring to weaken. Blacks and hispanics are more "Americanized" to be individualistic. That's what this country is about. Having your own property away from others. Unfortunately its hard for minorities to be as individualistic as white folks probably because of the factors you mentioned before. Do I feel what the Asians have done is right. Yep. I beleive in keeping a good chunk of the money in the community to try to help bring up the next man. Now that doesn't mean don't go to Old Navy because it myght be owned by someone white. I would like to try to give more of a preference to black businesses trying to make it.

As for questions you've asked about he middle class, educated blacks, such as myself, and what we are doing; I'll address that in my next piece.

Keep it coming.

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