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50 Years Later: Black Crimes A Slap In The Face
Published:
7/9/2014 3:23:25 PM

By Beverly Gadson-Birch


I am not ready to give up on our youths. I know I have been standing on my soap box lately because of the number of black against black murders and I have received quite a bit of feedback ranging from I hear you to you might as well give up.

I will never give up on our youths. There are awesome young people that never make the news.

They go to school, do an excellent job and very seldom does anyone give them a pat on the back or a word of encouragement. On the other hand, bad behavior tends to make headline news.

Several weeks ago, the Emancipation Proclamation Association awarded three scholarships at their annual Scholarship Brunch. Over the years, the association has awarded more than a hundred scholarships to successful students.

Many of the students were from single parent families, performed numerous hours of community work and held down part time jobs all while maintaining a 3.0 GPA or above. The common thread among every one of them is they attended church or Sunday School or both.

There is nothing old school about church and Sunday School. The Church has always been the solid foundation of the black family and many of the pastors served as community advocates increasing awareness and bringing about changes to improve the lives of their parishioners.

Children were taught the 10 Commandments and the Golden Rule. They were taught if you live by the sword you die by the sword. Even children feared the consequences of violating God’s commandment.

Today, children have no fear. They think they are invincible. It’s no more about if you step on my foot, I step on yours. It’s at the point if you step on someone’s foot chances are you just might end up dead.

This type of insignificant offense in earlier days was settled with a simple excuse me or a little push and shove.

Now, there appears to be a renewed violence among young people that transcends any other time in our history.

It is not just happening in Charleston it is happening nationwide. It’s getting dangerous just to live in your home.

Hoodlums just break into your home or shoot through your door not even taking the time to find out if they have the right address of the target of their revenge. Where is all of this hostility and retaliation coming from?

In addition to stronger and more involved parenting, I still maintain that education and significant jobs are the keys to turning some of these youths around.

What is happening in Charleston and major cities around the country is just the tip of the iceberg and if we don’t try and curb the violence now it is only going to get worst which is evidenced by the 15 year old that was shot dead on last week.

The shooters are bold enough to shoot and chicken enough to run. If you are man enough to do the crime then be man enough to turn yourself in and do the time. One of the worst crimes I have witnessed in Charleston is the retaliatory killing of two mothers and the shooting of another.

So, if I can’t get you, I will get your mother or family member. Is that what it has come down to?

In the past just mentioning someone’s mother in a negative light would have gotten your butt whipped. Now, the lady you once held in high regards and defended is being gunned down out of blind stupidity.

USA Today reported in an article on “50 Years Later”, …….When President John F. Kennedy called on Congress in June 1963 to pass what would eventually become the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he rattled off a string of statistics intended to highlight the nation's continuing racial divide a century after the Emancipation Proclamation.

African Americans born that year, Kennedy said, had "about one-half as much chance of completing high school as a white baby born in the same place on the same day, one-third as much chance of completing college, one-third as much chance of becoming a professional man, twice as much chance of becoming unemployed, about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year, a life expectancy which is seven years shorter, and the prospects of earning only half as much."

The irony behind black violence is while this nation celebrates 50 years of the signing of the Civil Rights Act that puts a halt to white folks beating, fire hosing, setting dogs upon and lynching blacks for no reason, now you have blacks killing blacks for no reason. That’s right, for no reason!

You call not paying five dollars in drug money reason to kill? There is no reason you should be selling drugs in the first place.

Are these killings not a slap in the face to all of those innocent folks, black and white, who fought for blacks to have equal rights in this country? Thomas Jefferson in 1776 recognized equality in his Declaration of Independence speech “we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal”.

The term “self-evident” which we often gloss over is such strong language and is the basis for equality. In other words, it is just plain ole obvious that every man was created with the same rights.

The Civil Rights fight was not a black fight but a fight to ensure equality existed for all people.

And 50 years later, some blacks are making a mockery of the sacrifices of those valiant freedom fighters because someone short them five dollars for some drugs. Give me a break!

Thug violence is a slap in the face to all freedom fighters that lost their lives so we could be free.
 

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