BLACK PEOPLE MUST WALK AND CHEW GUM

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A controversy has arisen in the Black community that is pitting groups of Black people against each other in the midst of a pandemic, economic upheaval and the devolvement of the United States. Things are crumbling because of misbehavior at the highest levels. The mess at the top definitely has an impact at every level of society. Currently, confusion reigns and people are behaving in such a manner that the future is full of questions. What is not questionable, though, is the violence that is permeating our country and our planet.

This last point is crucial – the same violence that is apparent elsewhere is seen in the Black community. All over people are demonstrating against police violence. As a result of recent high-profile murders, the Black community has gained a large group of multi-race allies. This changes the speculations about the future, and this situation was basically unexpected, so much so, that many Blacks are extremely skeptical about the sincerity of the new allies who are expressing support.

The lesson that remains to be learned when looking at what is happening can be summed up in a statement made by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan during his July 4th address to the world titled “The Criterion.”

He said basically that hatred is “the abomination that brings desolation.” This is so true, and you can see it at every level in our lives. The hatred is what we see in the behavior of white supremacists who seem to be determined to make sure that they do not have to share their environment with others. Some of the unprovoked killings of Black people by police officers is probably borne out of this mindset.

On a local level, Black communities are involved in their own struggle with hatred. It comes in various disguises – Crips against Bloods; straight vs gay; light skin vs dark skin; and more. In fact, hatred is alive and well in the Black community to such an extent that murders have been the mainstay of every weekend in some urban areas and are creeping into mid-week episodes. Some people attribute these murders to revenge killings. Others think that people are masquerading as Black people and are creating havoc in our communities. Whatever the case, Black people everywhere have the same problem: that of overcoming hate!

The argument that is splitting the Black community is that the threatening forces outside take precedence over addressing the malevolence within the community. Some folks think that it is ridiculous to discuss Black-on-Black crime while fighting white supremacy. They take it as a form of deflection that bears no resemblance to the problems of violence coming from white people. In other words, Black people killed by whites demand far more attention than Blacks killed by Blacks. In fact, some derisively say there is no such thing as Black-on-Black crime.

When that argument falls flat, they say that white people kill each other all of the time, and that the media plays up Black-on-Black murder to make the community look bad. The result seems to be that it is all right to fight violence outside of the community, but that which occurs inside the community is verboten, i.e., forbidden.

This jaded thinking will have to change in light of the weekly double-digit murders that are occurring on a frequent basis in some cities. It is said that more Blacks have killed other Blacks than the Ku Klux Klan has in its 155 years of existence! One thing is certain; something will have to give, we can’t go on like this. Not only will we participate in our own genocide, we stand to lose the support of allies who wonder why they should face possible martyrdom for our cause while we are killing ourselves.

The Black community must figure out a way to deal with external violence while at the same time deal with the problems within. It is possible; we can walk and chew gum, we can multi-task. It will not be possible to sustain ourselves without doing this. If we are successful against our external enemies, our internal ones threaten to destroy us. We must come together to develop a strategy to deal with these problems. A Luta Continua.

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