There is such a difference between the Black folks who grew up during segregation and those who were born after integration.
Integration was one of the best things that happened to Black people, and to a degree, has become one of the worst things that have happened to Black people. There was such a strong sense of community and Black pride that has slowly eroded over the decades following integration.
I am constantly miffed at how many folks in the Black community constantly whine and get upset with issues perpetrated by others outside the Black community, yet remain mute and silent about the things that are perpetrated by those within our own race.
It’s as if we turn a blind eye to the things that happen “in-house,” but get all bent out of shape when someone that doesn’t look like us, crosses the line and violates us.
We aren’t dumb. We know most of the things that go on in our community and unlike our predecessors, we sit idly by and use justifiable reasoning as to why we should keep quiet and not say something.
Some call it ‘snitching,’ but I call it being a village.
There was a saying that I grew up hearing, which is that it takes a village to raise a child. Nowadays, however, we rely on the media, sports and the entertainment community to raise our children and blame everyone else for what happens with those children. Where is the accountability?
We see the drugs being sold in our communities and we know who is using and abusing, but instead of checking ourselves, we will say crap like, “We’ll we aren’t the ones bringing the drugs into the community,” or “We don’t have planes and ships to bring the drugs into the country.”
The end result is often always the same; rampant drug use, ruined lives, incarcerated loved ones, increased crime and violence.
We see the gun violence that is destroying our communities daily. We see the number of guns that have infiltrated our community and we turn our heads and say stuff like, “Well, we aren’t the ones making the guns and shipping them into the neighborhood.
The end result is often always the same; murder, ruined lives, incarcerated loved ones, increased crime and violence.
What happened to the people like Ms. Leola?
Ms. Leola was my next door neighbor growing up, and she would keep an eye on everything that was going on in the neighborhood and miraculously report it to all the folks and parents on the block. I couldn’t stand it.
She was the absolute master of looking out of her window at any time of the day and night, and seeing almost EVERYTHING that was happening. And you know how the story goes; she would report EVERYTHING back to her respective neighbors and to all the parents on the street?
Folks like me would catch a whooping; get mad at Ms. Leola; and figure out how in the world she even knew what we were doing.
She was the absolute truth and put the fear of God in everyone who knew her.
We all knew that she was going to ‘snitch’ on us if she saw us. Even the adults in the neighborhood were careful not to do any of their dirt in plain sight of her. We respected her “snitch game” so much that we made it a point to speak to her and treat her nice.
We became so paranoid and found ourselves looking towards her right-side window to see if the blind was moving. If you had a neighbor like mine, you would know how to look for that movement in the blinds…..LOL.
Although I didn’t like it or understand it at all then, I can look back and appreciate what Ms. Leola was doing for her community and for us. She wasn’t doing it to hate on us. She was doing it to protect us and the community that she cherished. Truth be told, she really saved me from making a lot of bad decisions on several occasions.
I will make a bold statement here.
If you know things are happening that are causing harm to your community and you choose not to address it, you are just as guilty as the individuals committing the act. Many of the issues that plague our communities are the direct result of the people within our community having the wrong mindset.
It is your issue. It is your problem. It should be your concern. It is your community.
Stop running away from the issues, because you can’t escape them and they will eventually show up at your doorstep. Just keep living.
But then again maybe we should just shut up, pray and say nothing. Besides, we are dealing with a different breed of Black folks these days.