Accountability Within Our Community
Before we begin, let’s make reference to the elephant in the room. As individuals of the black community, we SHOULD all be aware of the shortcomings of law enforcement, the judicial system, and many other government practices that are put in place to try to keep us at a disadvantage in society. Some would even throw religion in there, but that’s a topic to discuss for another day. The question that a free-thinker would be inclined to ask is, despite the issues that we are trying to eradicate between us and the system does not give us an excuse to vindicate or not hold accountable certain members in our community as a whole? When their actions can be seen as counter productive to what we are striving for? Lets dig a little deeper.
Often times the conversation can be heard about the standards that we must hold each other to. For example, As a young black man growing up on the streets of South Central Los Angeles you understand the culture of gangs, drugs, and everything else that comes along with the street life. As I began to travel and expand my mind, I had to do some self reflecting and figure out why was I so numb to it. Why was I so quick to turn a blind eye to what was happening? Sometimes in front of my eyes from my friends and family. Did I feel that I would be less “real” if I called my boy out for not stepping up and being a father to his child? Or how could I tell somebody who was in the streets, that we as black people need to put these guns down and stop this senseless killing in our communities, all the while law enforcement officers are killing our people in the streets like animals and constantly getting away with it, legally. What should come to the mind is an old saying, “stand for something or you will fall for anything”. In no way should we come off as condescending to our brothers and sisters, but accountability is key. It’s understood that growing up in most of these affected areas, that we feel the anger, and frustration of a lack of opportunity, proper education, job resources, etc. but somehow we must emphasize that the quickest outlet doesn’t have to be gangs, killing, drugs, prostituting our sisters, or anything else that can distract us from striving for greatness and building up our community, and realizing what our strength could be.
Lets us not only restrict our accountability to just one type of social or economic status. What are our kids to think when they turn on the T.V. and see a multi-platinum selling rap artist making song after song about killing, getting high, selling drugs, and the constant disrespect of our black women? Let’s be honest for a second, rap music has always been most of our guilty pleasure either presently, or during sometime in our past. Is it wanting too much to feel as if the platform of hip-hop should be used not only to sell records and make money, but bring more awareness to what’s going on in our communities with out coming off as exploitive? Don’t get me wrong, there are still some artist that are doing that, but the gap between the ones that have a household name, and who doesn’t are far and few in between.
The fact of the matter is, the majority of us love our people, and want our people to win. Actually, I love everyone, and I want everyone to win, no matter the color of your skin. I just want to see my people win a little more, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. For that to happen we must hold each other accountable for our actions, and making each other mindful of the impact those actions can have whether it be violence, drugs in our community, prostitution or any other form of a lack of respect for our queens. While remembering, that just because we do so, doesn’t make us any less conscious to the issues in society that are affecting us, and the oppressor that is oppressing us. Steel sharpens steel.