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diaryofanegress

Observations of an Invisible Woman

Black on Black Crime

When we were slaves, the master used to have us fight one another for his enjoyment, sporting events and for betting purposes. We were told that our people were worthless and therefore deserving of death. We were brainwashed to debase and devalue our own kind. When redlining and white flight( which are illegal but still happens…it’s just cleverly hidden ) were put into practice, we had no other choice but to live in the ghettos. With a poor educational system and no prospects of jobs or betterment, we did the unthinkable; we turned against ourselves. Gangs were formed out of the need for family and power, drugs were peddled to babies( they were manufactured by wealthy, white men to be sold to inner city blacks and Hispanics but that’s another post )women were beaten up by the disenfranchised husband who couldn’t find work and essentially, the streets ran red with blood. We hated each other. We couldn’t understand the crux of the “problem with no name” so we blamed our brethren. Why does this matter in modern-day AmeriKlan?

Because after all this time, after all the books and talk shows, after all the schooling and degrees, the black race remains a race plagued with: crime, drugs, poor health conditions( a post coming soon ), gang-related shootings and most important, self-hate. Many will read this post and claim that we are the way we are because we have an intrinsic affinity for violence, drugs, rape and self-destruction. “But, but….what about the many immigrants who come here and start over with no problem? Why can’t you people do the same?”

Because the many immigrants that came here and continue to come here do so of their own FREE WILL. That is very different than being forced to bend against your will. Did I ever tell you that I traveled extensively? Well, I did. I’ve met and befriended a lot of people from all walks of life. Some good, decent and hardworking and some…well, bad. I met a young, black man once, a prisoner, in fact. He was out on parole. He was a tall, good-looking, strapping youngster who got caught up in the system. I questioned him honestly about why he ended up in prison, why he made those choices and if he could, would he take them back.

He looked at me with serious and intelligent, soulful, brown eyes and spoke with amazing clarity. He said, “When you live like an animal with no hopes of tomorrow, anything seems better than the situation you’ve got.” My heart jumped. I understood that better than he realized. He spoke of having no dad, his was in prison. He spoke of the uselessness of education, they won’t hire him anyway. He spoke of the usefulness of gangs, they provide you with a family to lean on, support, respect and power. He spoke of his dream to be an engineer but he had no money for school. And besides, selling marijuana on the streets required no education( street smarts is a different kind of education ), no application to remind him of his failings, no embarrassment and anxiety and no feelings of sadness when he wrote down the address of the broken-down building he lived in.

I listened intently. I wanted to understand why we turned on each other and why they felt it was “necessary” to do so. I tried that old argument that I’ve heard my whole life, “If you’d only tried harder, you wouldn’t be in this mess.” But he did try. He told me of the warehouse job that paid 9.00 an hour from which he was the first to be laid off. Apparently, blacks seem to be last hired, first fired/laid off. He told me that “something is happening here”. Something that sets black men, especially black men, up for imminent failure.

Turning to a life of crime seems “easier”. Hmmmmm…..I tried to think objectively of my own life as a black woman. I felt the coldness and the racist attitudes of corporate America my whole life. I take only on-line studies now. Classroom discussions were uncomfortable for many factors; my speech and ability to debate on “their level” being one of them. Then there’s the actual job, which I liken to the Jungle; Eat or be eaten. And finally, my entire life in brown skin…Yes, I can see why we turn on each other. I don’t condone it. I don’t practice it…I love my people.

But I understand.

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23 thoughts on “Black on Black Crime

  1. Once on a bus, I asked a Brother what he would define his life purpose as. He answered ‘survival.’

    I never expected something so–base–and yet it was completely reasonable.

    He wasn’t the felon-type. Though on a normal outing, I wouldn’t say a word to him. He seemed open about his interest in Japanese cartoons, but on the surface he didn’t seem peculiar. Just a nondescript African who just as easily could have been whomever is reading this comment.

    “Survival.”

    It’s absurd to me that one’s life’s purpose could only be ‘survival’ but it makes perfect sense.

    Our problem is one of a lack of communities. When we learned of Europeans in Universities, we learned of Durkheim and the European urbanization of people. He related the word “anomy.” Therein he explains how contrary to the rural environment, where everyone knew everyone. In the cities, everyone knew no one, and thus violence, crime, pollution were the mainstay of city living.

    It’s not entirely economics. Because most people going to cities try to flee poverty, not crime.

    And yet, we sort of contribute to our own economic downfall.

    The person whom you speak to expresses how Gang members employed him. And he expressed the conditions: Low education.

    But what other Africans are employing us? And what are the educational qualifications there? Where are our urban farms? Where are our peanut sellers? Where are our men making toilet paper?

    How easy it is to create a reputable hustle for our people but how much do we disagree with the premise. When some of us can leave the ‘ghettos,’ we purchase houses upward of $200,000. If three of us instead invested that money in sixty families instead of three how much could we climb?

    Black on Black crime is a response to a kidnapping and a mis-education, but we have to try to improve our lot somehow.

    That’s what we need to be about. That’s why I organize for the African Blood Siblings.

    Thanks for the article,
    Hotep!

  2. Wow. Thank you for a great response.
    I find that those of us that are trying to improve our situation are met with envy, fear and mistrust from our own kind. Again, a learned behaviour from 400 years ago.

    How does one propose a real plan to stop this destruction of our minds? We can reach out to as many coloureds as we can but the first step must be theirs…

    My only thought about why we fail so miserably with each other is there are 2 groups of blacks.

    The first group knows of the plan and wants to go down fighting. Education and continued success will be in the horizon.

    Th second group has already given up.

    What do you think?

  3. I’m speechless. This is a magnificent post. I don’t know what to add to this, it’s so good.

  4. ****blushes****

  5. Onitaset,

    You mentioned, “Black on Black crime is a response to a kidnapping and a mis-education, but we have to try to improve our lot somehow.”

    It’s true, and I think part of the reason goes back to the enforced programming of self-hatred and this nation’s constant stance on individualism as opposed to collectivism. Some Americans view the latter as nothing short of socialism or communism which were both considered naughty words to Americans in the mid to late 20th Century.

  6. We have different experiences.

    But as I informed a Sister; in a war, a lost battle is due the Generals, not the Soldiers.

    When met with fear, envy and mistrust correct your approach. As I emphasize in “the science of struggle,” we need to listen before we expect others to listen.

    It’s not necessarily a symptom of our enslavement. Certainly there were laws to make us betray one another, yet we’ve done great before, post-enslavement, and we can do great again.

    The first steps in a war are the Generals’, not the Soldiers’. First collect your (12) ‘elite’ Soldiers. With them you can wage on a battlefield.

    As far as two groups, I never saw either. I’ve never met one who ‘knows’ the plan, and I’ve never met, save the Elderly, one who gave up.

    There are free Africans and their methods are time-tested. I named my book after their success: Maroon and Build For Self.

    Once you gather your elite cadre, some 13 people including yourself, you’re set for any design you please. Believe that. Any thirteen Africans, organized under the African Blood Siblings can, through even light commitment, make an effective impression toward our liberation. It’s a matter first of getting those thirteen and working in harmony with one another.

    That’s my experience in the struggle.

  7. Gathering the 13 will be a challenge since many are afraid to take that first step.

    When I look at a city like Atlanta, which is practically run by middle-upper class educated blacks, I wonder why we struggle so much in say, NYC? Or Philly? Or any black oriented place. What is the difference between Atlanta and Chicago?

    I’ve always thought that we can govern ourselves with our own banks, schools, medical practices if we just worked together.

    How to convince others that this is a real possibility?

  8. Precisely. Too many of us go into the struggle without a team. That’s partly why I emphasize twelve partners; that and the balance formed when we realize that our people look at problems through at least four different sciences in different combinations: Psychology, Sociology, Ecology and Ethical Philosophy, the last encompassing the former three.

    It’s the balance of these viewpoints which make an organization aspire to liberation, and it’s the recognition of these differences which make the African Blood Siblings an organization following the Laws of Harmony.

    Elsewhere, our hostess differentiates the self-loathing Wall Street type, and many of us, especially averse to what we understand as ‘racism,’ try to distance ourselves from these people. Yet, they are oftentimes ecologically oriented, or economically astute. When we distance ourselves from their self-hate, we turn away from an aspect of our people which can be turned to our favor and grant our creations that much more longevity. In other words, they have a place in a team. Not a cultural role, but a role toward economic growth.

    This is what I am uniquely teaching.

    I enjoin anyone to inquire further. Either way, I encourage all to aspire toward creating their own teams, their own groups, their own brotherhoods and sisterhoods; so as to accomplish their goals more efficiently.

    Speaking of which, Brothawolf, in the comic industry, in your experience, do Africans work collectively or individually? If the former, is a gathering of like minds or a diverse team talented in different aspects of the industry (distribution versus artwork, for instance?) More, how large are these teams usually?

    Thanks for the respect,
    HTP

  9. When Du Bois writes on Mammonism, he’s writing on Atlanta.

    http://africanbloodsiblings.wordpress.com/2011/11/29/an-excerpt-on-mammonism-from-the-souls-of-black-folk/

    Du Bois forewarns the end of the race in our lust for gold. To think that Du Bois wasn’t even a fan of African people!

    The other day, I stopped an African in the park to sign him up for my newsletter. I told him that we have the money but we don’t have the mindset.

    I pointed out how, for example, the Latina pushing the ice cream cart sold overpriced ice cream to us and we went along with it. I explained how easy it was for one of us to do the same.

    He retorted that he doesn’t know any Africans so willing to do that labour.

    In a sense, he’s right. This is what Carter G. Woodson pointed out in “The Mis-Education of the Negro.” Too many of us prefer to start at the top, rather than work our way up. When we look at the biography of certain European millionaires, for instance, they’d start out with minimal profits and now they sit on money.

    But really he’s wrong. Many of our people are over zealous to ‘hustle.’ We simply don’t have the investment or the organization (or organizational mindset) behind us. There are numerous examples of successful ‘hustles’ by African people. But it takes a commitment, too many of us are skeptical about.

    Which is why every reader should get up and start organizing. It’s no longer the next person who will do it. It’s virtually you or no one.

    So how to convince? Listen first, then Speak.

    I personally stop people on the streets and sign them up for my newsletter. I concede that it’s not the most effective tool. But mine is a goal of proliferation and mass education. It’s a different struggle.

    If you, for instance, want to start up an After-School-Program. Talk to people on the streets about the state of our education. Get twenty phone numbers and maintain a rapport under the pretext of discussing the problem. Always mention your living room and coordinate availabilities for teaching classes to willing students. The rest is in the cards. Of course, contact me so that I can evaluate the strengths and weaknesses; and design the projects and the roles of the membership. But that’s counting chickens before they are hatched.

    Get their phone numbers and talk, have meetings and such, until it happens.

    Angela Davis related the difficulties of ‘struggle’ recalling her Panther days. Sometimes she’d have to speak to the same person 30 times before she gained a commitment.

    It shouldn’t be that hard in the age of text messages.

    The struggle is with the soldiers. So if you want to do something, get the soldiers.

    Good luck. 🙂

  10. Thank you , Onitaset.
    I have that book by the way, The Mis-Education of the Negro. I have yet to read it.

    I’m still working on Strange Fruit, I know why the Caged Bird Sings, Killers of the Dream and the New Jim Crow. I just finished re-reading Black Like Me.

    Thanks for all the advise.

  11. GrannyStandingforTruth on said:

    Great post!

    Btw, diaryofanegress, I tried adding you and a couple of other people’s blog to my blog list yesterday, but my add button is malfunctioning again. It has did that before and I’m trying to remember how I fixed it. Anyway, I am going to add you as soon as I can work that problem out.

  12. Ms TBT

    Thought provoking as always!

    I have to say that I wholeheartedly with Onitaset. We all know what has brought our community to this point. What is most frustrating is the lack of willingness on our part to change our reality. I refuse to believe that our destiny is not in our hands. The Arab Spring revolution didn’t take place over a series of months it took years of local grassroots community leaders building enough of a following to create a movement. We need to apply this approach to our current economic and political situation.

  13. wilson on said:

    My thoughts…

    Well I think the main reasons are Self-Hate and Economic reasons(survival).

    On Self-Hate…

    In the American Ghetto, you are taught to hate, hate yourself for being in such a situation, “you are in that situation since you are black, look around you, other black people.. What does that tell you about you and your race?” You can see this, when you turn on TV, watch a Movie, White is always projected as good in comparison to black, Black is projected as Bad. Then you can see the correlation in the ghetto compared to an affluent white neighbourhood. If you are black stuck in the Ghetto, you know you most probably can’t get out, since you are black and as a result you begin to hate, hate your race for putting you in that place, a jail you can’t escape from(the colour of your skin).

    On Economic reasons…

    The white economic system is well suited to the white person, it is all about individualism. Not community. It fosters aggression, competitiveness, deceit, manipulation, lack of concern for others etc. In order to succeed and make alot of money you need to excel in all the above. So even if more blacks get into the capitalistic system, it won’t act to bring the “community” together into a unified entity, what it’ll simply do is foster the above qualities.

    You see what unites white people into a Unified Cohesive Entity is there hatred for non-white races. This meant they could be fighting against each other in Europe(power-plays) but acting as a “whole” in colonial adventures. Whiteness gets its identity from its view of others as weak, racially inferior, uncivilized. It gives them a sense of purpose. So the ghetto is very important to them, every time they look at it, it affirms to them there superiority which in turn gives them their identity.

    The black or African community is not political or ideological thus it has no defense against the white community which is not really a community but a collection of individuals united by there image of themselves as “superior” and “civilized” which is underpinned by the whiteness of there skin.

    Finally,

    Blacks can’t come together to improve their situation, because the problem isn’t BLACK. By that I mean, the problem is INDIVIDUAL in nature. There is no conspiracy against black people. This is what they say and will say if blacks come together to improve there situation. You see, race doesn’t really exist in america, not today, that’s what whites like to project. So if blacks come together to improve there situation, they’ll be accused of racism because it’ll imply a) the problem is racial in nature and b) denial of the american way of life i.e. individualism. Blacks can come together in a non-official way but not in an official(economically-driven) way for these reasons.

    So in conclusion I think “black on black” crime is manufactured rather than inherent in black genes in order to unify whites and affirm what they think of themselves. It is also locked into place by the safety mechanisms in society meaning it’ll only increase or remain constant at best, due to self-hate(which white ppl don’t accept as a real phenomena since racism is dead for the most part) and the fact blacks can’t come together in an official way to create wealth.

  14. OK. Great. Thanks.

  15. I know, I know…
    Change seems slow especially when you’ve been desiring it for a long time. Thanks for responding.

  16. Fantastic response, Wilson! I’ve seen the Eat or Be Eaten mentality in the white corporate world for 20 years and they are plagued with anxiety, depression and a multitude of other illnesses.

    I’m writing a post on that very topic. Good reasoning as to why the ghetto exists.

  17. isme on said:

    It’s always seemed very odd to me how it’s supposedly shocking when a member of one minority group commits a crime against another from the same group. I suppose it might be because they are somehow supposed to be monolithic and all that, and not a collection of individuals, but I suspect it’s more to allow other people to be shocked at them over something, the better to reinforce any number of prejudices.

  18. You mean like the Zimmerman/Martin case?

  19. Yes you are right but revolution starts with one small step. The beauty of your blog is that it forces me to think deeply and that’s a credit to you. You may not know it but you are in your own way bringing the onset of change.

  20. Thank you. What a lovely compliment.

  21. Tyrone on said:

    Onitaset

    Fast Life…Fast Mouth…Fast Death. We see all the bs, talk about it, bitch about it, yet, the same mindset exist at all times. There is no growth spiritually and mentally speaking. 80s babies, 90s babies, the same bs. Blackwomen controlled by politicians and madison avenue, blackmen controlled by sports and hip-hop. This ish is stranger than fiction blackman.

    Tyrone

  22. All the more reason to stop listening to White folk. We all know about China town, Little Italy, German Village and so forth. But there are few “Little Africas” and most of those aren’t “African” in the “descendants of enslaved people” sense.

    So the best thing to do is tune out the White folk. When we’re there, we can take further steps to reconnecting our people.

  23. I’ve taken your advise and the advise of others and stopped conversing with whites in a debate about who we are. I’m focusing entirely on my people now. I’ve learned that whites are not interested in changing.

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