As a professional racism chaser and super blogger, I hate pointing out the occasional story of someone of color being killed by the occasional not-so-racist, but overly overzealous white person. Why do I hate these stories? Because as sure as there are sixty minutes in an hour, in the back of my head, I know someone’s commentary will make note of rampant black on black crime. Often the person who does this — on this blog, or any other online news site — will be someone with a melanin deficiency. Of course there is the occasional misguided black person who will say something like “Why are y’all worried about racial profiling or Trayvon Martin wearing a hoodie when brothers kill brothers who wear hoodies err’day in the hood, son?” A rhetorical question of course, but the fact that this is true cannot be dismissed. As much as I question the motives the individuals I have described — often they simply seek to derail the conversation as all trolls do — the truth is, there is indeed a black on black crime problem. Of course I’d like to think of it as solely a crime problem, but the history of racism, racial injustices, and lynchings won’t allow me to go there.
That said, it’s perfectly understandable to see people who look like me (and the many hipster white liberals out there) a bit riled up when a black kid is shot and killed by a white man over something as simple as music being played too loudly in a parked car. Anything other than that? Well, you know, the victim just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time just like Hadiya Pendleton. Unlike Pendleton, however, many other victims of urban violence are hardly a blurb on the conscience of society; and, for said victims, rest assured their funerals are not attended by someone who lives in the White House. But, I suppose the fact that “They don’t know, don’t show, or really care what’s goin’ on in the hood,” like my man “Dough Boy” in Boyz In Da Hood once said, is yet another reflection of the apathy of residents in the hood. Thankfully, however, we’re not all apathetic, desensitized, or unmotivated to affect change. That said, in steps the following story featuring a concerned black man in the city of Philadelphia recently.
Watch the video:
Personally, I think what this gentleman did was genius. In a society where the issue of black on black crime is discussed as a pathology, it’s good to see someone going to the lengths as this brother has to be heard. He is absolutely correct when he notes that there is a black hypocrisy, complacency, and apathy that runs rampant within communities of color associated with crime. And yes, this is of course one helluva marketing stunt to sell his documentary. But, the fact remains: it is time for us within the community to speak truth to power on this issue.
What I mean, is that as a community, we need to speak up and out about the systemic forces that produce the environments within which certain behaviors thrive. Yes, we can sit around and circle jerk all day and discuss or critique the behaviors of certain black folk; but, the truth is, to do so solves nothing. Ironically, I had this discussion with fellow blogger, my man Field Negro a few weeks ago on Madness & Reality Radio. The discussion centered on the current gun control debate. At the end of it, we all agreed that aside from personal responsibility, something needs to be done; and that something, has to be a holistic approach to the problem that is violence in urban communities across the country. You may not agree with me, and that’s perfectly fine. However, please don’t make the mistake of shooting the messenger as some of the folks in the above video made the mistake of doing. Why? Because at the end of the day, we need more black men wearing KKK outfits toting hat very same sign on every Philly street corner; as well as, in any hood across the USA. Question Sixx King’s tactics and motives if you will; but to me, to do so is a waste of time.