Folks, Y’all Better Get A Grip!

By Beverly Gadson-Birch

Happy New Year!! While some folks were preparing for Watch Night, others were gearing up for parties or both. I am wondering just how happy 2019 will be with so many problems plaguing the Black community and this country. We ended 2018 with a partial government shutdown. President Trump is so child-like. If he can’t have his way, he will just shut down the government. He doesn’t care how it impacts people’s lives. Folks have mortgages or rents to pay. They have car payments. He just doesn’t get it! He doesn’t understand that millions of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. He doesn’t have a clue what that means because he is chauffeured or flown around the country at these very same poor taxpayers’ expense.

Although Black communities are troubled on every hand, the most pressing problem as I see it is the escalation of gun violence permeating mostly Black communities by young Black males. I don’t hear mayors or legislators addressing the problem. Something must be done. Gun violence is getting closer and closer to Holy City residents’ doorsteps; of course, “Holy City” is relative and debatable. If Charleston is so “Holy” why is crime so rampant? Why do we cheat children out of a substantially adequate education? Why are Black men being picked out to be picked on? Why are guns so plentiful in Black communities? Why are predatory lenders on every block? Why are the poor charged more for goods and services? Why are grocery stores absent in predominantly Black communities? And, the list goes on.

We are burying far too many Black youths before their time. Where are the guns coming from? Why are Black youths killing off each other in record numbers? Now, y’all can sit back and act like y’all don’t know. You need to understand how the system works; it’s by design. If you kill off the “head” of the Black family, the tail eventually dies. If you kill off “strength” you end up with “weakness”. If Black contractors are not awarded meaningful contacts, they will never be financially solvent. If banks refuse to loan Blacks money, they resort to predatory lenders. And, if guns and drugs are dropped off in Black communities, it’s so Black youths can kill off each other. You see, drugs become territorial. The money looks good enough to drop out of school. The money youths are making selling drugs are more than they can make at fast food restaurants. Y’all can sit back and act like you don’t know what’s taking place in Black communities around the country, it’s not by happenstance that Black men are being destroyed, it’s by design. Are y’all listening?

Is there a reason why mayors, legislators, pastors and some of y’all “so called leaders” are not addressing the problems? We are in crisis mode with Black males killing off each other and you have one or two voices “crying” out in the wilderness. Where are our Black leaders? Why aren’t Pastors speaking out? If y’all waiting for another Dr. King, wait on.

Black mothers and fathers, where are your sons? Who are these young men living under your roof? Do you even recognize them anymore? Whatever happened to the beautiful bundles of joy you couldn’t wait to see take his first step? You are the first contact with your child. If you don’t have time to parent, you shouldn’t have children. You must set guidelines for your sons. Why are your fifteen and sixteen-year-olds in the streets at night and not at home? Where are they getting guns? You are part of the problem. Don’t act like y’all don’t know what’s up and where your sons are! If they are not at home at night, where are they? Where are you when your sons are driving by someone’s house or pulling alongside someone’s car shooting up like they are in the wild, wild west? Where are you, parents? Where are you when your son comes home with all of these bling-bling things, where are you? Where are you when your son pulls the trigger and kills someone, where are you?

Parents, as long as Black youths kill Black youths, the system doesn’t care. Stop aiding and abetting your sons. The system is doing enough damage to them. Y’all had better get a “grip” before the “grip” gets y’all.

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