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A Serious Plan Needed To Stop The Slaughter
1/22/2014 3:35:57 PM

By Barney Blakeney

Folks, we need a revolutionary plan. When a group of young Black men break in on a family, assaults them, then take a four-month-old infant child away with them because they were frustrated at the net gain from the endeavor, it’s time for Black folks to come up with a plan.

I’ve been fearful for my people for some time now. I’ve lived all my life in America where Black people are subjugated through injustice, inequality and inhumanity. I learned that the American system is one that exploits Black people.

I learned about the horrors of that system - first slavery then Jim Crow laws and now the new socio-economic dehumanization of Black people. I learned about horrific acts of violence against Black people in America and I learned about some of the methods used to facilitate that dehumanization, exploitation and violence.

I’ve seen how the American system turns Black folks against each other. I’ve seen how Black folks, most unwittingly but many with selfish goals in mind, participate in their own exploitation.

I learned that Black folks however, are among the world’s most intelligent group of people, gullible, but intelligent.

Black folks can figure their way out of anything. Even while shackled with the physical trappings of slavery and Jim Crow, Black folks were able to rise to unmatched levels of accomplishment.

Black folks, we’ve got to again call on the wisdom of our God and ancestors to deliver us from this new plague that is the violence our young perpetrates upon our community.

In recent weeks I’ve been stunned by the wanton violence being perpetrated in our communities. It ain’t just in Charleston, North Charleston or Walterboro. It’s all over.

Somebody said the wanton violence we see has its roots in the elimination of prayer in schools. Somebody else said the decline of the Black community began with integration. And still another somebody said the unbridled violence being perpetrated by young Blacks comes because white folks prohibited corporal punishment of our children.

All those rationales suggest some sort of plan was developed and initiated to produce the result we see today. My good white friends tell me there has been no smoke-filled backroom conniving. But my public school learning teaches me that social engineering is a reality. It’s time Black folks do some social engineering of their own.

When young Black men commonly use indiscriminate violence as a means of conflict resolution, it’s time for Black folks to realize this can’t be allowed to go any further.

Because we had other things on our minds and allowed other folks to miseducate and fail to educate our young, we have a generation of young Black people out there who can’t think.

It’s not that they’re dumb. Those cats know how to take $10 worth of dope and make $500 off of it. They know how to survive on our mean streets with little or no formal education and no support from mothers or fathers. These are smart cats, but they’ve been raised on violence. That’s what they know and that’s what they put out.

I talked with Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen the other day. He said family units have collapsed, children are raising children and churches no longer are a part of people’s lives. Violence has become normal behavior. Disrespect is a reason to kill, he said. I asked Mullen why is there so much Black on Black crime.

He doesn’t know, but offered that contributors may be in the fact that a lot of young Black men have grown up without fathers and come from homes where their mothers have had children by multiple men. He added that many have not completed their formal educations. Their only outcome is to become involved in illegal activities, he said. Mullen was saying a lot of stuff I’ve heard before. You can hear the same thing spoken by Black men under any neighborhood tree in Charleston.

We know the deal. But how do we respond to the recent rash of violence gripping our community? We hold another ‘Stop the Violence Rally’. Fortunately there are some folks taking more meaningful steps.

For about three years the Charleston Area Justice Ministry, an organization of local church congregations, has met to formalize a plan of action to impact education and criminal violence. That’s a cool move. But folks, we have to step up the pace. Since the ministers have been meeting some 60 Black lives have been snuffed out through wanton violence just in Charleston County. We need a revolutionary plan of action.

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