Urban Decay

This isn’t meant as an article to disparage Jim Brown. His football career is impeccable. His community activism is 2nd to none. His place in the pantheon of greats of the Black community is unchallenged. I would never disrespect him (or Ray Lewis who also met with President-elect Donald Trump) by calling them sellouts. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing: to better the Black community. What this article is about is just to express my extreme annoyance at this notion that condition of Black people is in such disrepair and that this misery and crime, exclusive only to us apparently, is due to us not taking advantage of the gains of the Civil Rights Movement. This annoyance sickens me for the simple fact that it ignores a key issue plaguing our community that we continue not to address which is racism! Racism is what helped to undue some of the gains of the 60’s. It lead to the problematic War on Drugs which helped further cripple the economy. Recessions and inflation that adversely affected ALL Americans killed jobs. Yet we were made the face of crime and shiftlessness. This imagery of Blackness is so pervasive that we have adopted it amongst ourselves!

Show me a poor community with no jobs and I’ll show you one plagued with crime. I watched a video on The Young Turks where they interviewed a guy from Altoona, Pennsylvania. This gentleman stated how jobs were leaving the town, particularly steel and railroad jobs, and that crime had increased. Keep in mind that Altoona is predominantly White (92% to be precise). Where is this talk of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps? What about fixing Altoona and creating jobs and getting the people there off welfare? The onus appears only to be on fixing those savages in Chicago! The goto city used to denigrate our community. I could publish countless research articles on the role segregation plays in how wealth is dispersed in certain neighborhoods but you have access to Google! I’ve posted links to stuff on my blogs. Read and written papers on them, etc. Yet here we are with Jim Brown, Kanye West, and Ray Lewis meeting with our President-elect who still has not completely disavowed the white supremacists that hold Nazi rallies in his honor. Do you think Donald Trump or any president really will do anything to help our community?

On one hand, I understand meeting with him. It appears to be a step to finally get the highest office in the land to help the people. Much remains to be seen as far as what will go on. But if Trump’s early cabinet selections are any indication, it’ll be more of the same in Washington and this meeting will be for naught! In the meantime, we cannot allow for people to continue to talk our community down so much! That narrative only serves to justify the racism perpetuated against us and buttress white supremacy. That doesn’t mean we act as if Black people are above reproach. It means that we tell the truth about what’s going on. All of America is poor! Broke! Losing jobs! Can’t afford shit! Profiled by police! Not paid enough! I could go on! Yet it seems that the only group of people that get blamed for it is us! Enough is enough!

In 2018, I’ll finish my MBA. There are only two other Black people out of 50 in my entire class. There aren’t many of us, but we’re our here! Far more of us than the media cares to showcase. My wife, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, has a degree as does her brother (no drugs or crime here!). I have seven cousins that attend prestigious universities. This is happening more and more yet we talk about it in our community less and less! Is it because their killing off our resources? Yes! We need to create jobs in our community while diversifying and modernizing the local infrastructure. But this is true in ALL communities! I’m not complaining “what about us” right now. I’m pleading with the Black community to actually get around the community! Get involved! As our initiative to help out in Chicago (De.shie) continues to take shape, let’s remember that the very thing that got us here in the first place was racism! Yet we still shine in all arenas. Imagine if we actually said that about each other instead all the negative things what we’d do?