BLM vs Black on Black crime

This is a  is NOT mine…this is a repost authored by Maceo Willis…I don’t know the brother but thank you.

“This is long but I really don’t give a damn because I’ve had it with these idiotic “Black on Black crime” statements. So you know what? I will break this down, just this damn once. You read it? Fine. You don’t? Fine too. This is therapeutic for me because I’ve been wanting to get this off my chest for a long time.

There is no such thing as Black on Black crime. To understand the social and psychological construct and intention of this term you have to go back to the end of enslavement. When enslavement ended there were three things that the white Anglo Saxon power structure feared:

1. Black people getting revenge for being enslaved.

2. Growth of Black communities in the South

3. Growth of Black political power in the South.

White America also had to answer the question of how they were going to replace their free labor. They came up with the answer in the form of sharecropping and the 13th Amendment. The loophole that allowed any person convicted of a crime to be sent to jail and served in forced labor. While that took care of that in terms of policy (also policies such as the pig laws, black codes, and of course Jim Crow) the challenge was creating the narrative to justify such actions.

And with that comes the movie “Birth of a Nation.” There is no movie ever created that has had more of a long-lasting influence and impact on the moral and psychological consciousness and policy construct of America in history. In one felled swoop it framed Blacks in government as corrupt, Black communities as lazy and ignorant, Black women a subservient and yes, the big one, Black men as evil, bestial, vile criminals and rapists.

And with this movie, the incarcerations of Black men skyrocket. Lynchings catch on like wildfire. The destruction of middle-class Black communities such as Tulsa, Rosewood, Wilmington, strike in tactical precision. Even when Black people tried to leave the south they were met with Redlining in the north. The economy and some can argue far more evil and sinister twin brother of Jim Crow.

So let’s get into that.

The reason for Jim Crow in the South and Redlining in the North was to contain Black communities in areas where cities can cut off their access to the economic centers. To INTENTIONALLY keep these communities in poverty. Why? For one, whites did not want to see their economic status threatened. But secondly, because the “ah-ha” moment came. Poverty is profitable. In the case of crime, where there is poverty there is crime. This is not a Black thing. This is a universal law. When you cut off people’s access to those limited resources necessary to live people go into survival mode. The more scarce the resources the more human beings act in a primal state.

So now, if I create communities that are INTENTIONALLY cut off from those resources, I have INTENTIONALLY created a state of scarcity and survival. If I do that, then crime is going to happen and when it does, the powers that be can profit off that.

Don’t believe me about poverty? Take a look a Dublin Ireland, Mumbai India, towns in China, the Middle East, etc. etc. etc. Give me any country and its poorest towns and I will show you where the highest rates of crime happen.

So if that’s the case why call it Black on Black Crime? Because the narrative created isn’t about bringing awareness to crime in the Black community but to psychologically equate Black people with crime (Black = Crime) as a way to justify the policies of injustice, inequality, and incarceration against Black people without consequence. THAT’S WHY.

So when you repeat this narrative, which seems to only pop up when Black people start getting close to attacking the systems of oppression that created the state in which many Black communities live, you reinforce the psychological perception that to be Black EQUATES to being a criminal. Thus you become an unwitting accomplice to white supremacy and white oppression of Black people and render invisible the policies that have been enacted and still on the books for over a century that have created these environments.

So if you really want to do something about the CRIME you see in the Black community don’t attack Black people. Attack the City Council, attack the mayor, attack the policies of redlining. Attack the remnants of Jim crow. Attack the banks that purposely devalue homes in the Black community. Attack every policy and system that cuts off access to the necessary resources and opportunities the Black communities need to grow and evolve economically. ATTACK those.

Not your own damn people.”

 

MPM

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No one listens to WHY!… Black Lives Matter

Black men have understood police brutality and abuse for centuries.

Most, if not all of us, have had to deal with the hyper scrutiny of police as a part of life, I’ve known it through verbal testimonies of grandfathers, uncles, cousins, friends and coworkers.  I’ve become impatient with the discussion because there’s always a counter-narrative that justifies police behavior.

In spite of social media allowing anyone the ability to now PROVE the subjective nature of police, there still is defending discussion of the mistreatment of black people.

A close friend spent an early morning, 1AM, responding to a woman about BLM. I love her response…it provides patience and understanding to a problem black men know all to well.

The response grants patience where I’ve exhausted mine.

“…the reason that many people are protesting (at times even violently- and this is assuming that all of the “violence” is done by BLM supporters/protesters because in many cases it is not- is because Black people have spent decades trying to have conversation and education. PEOPLE ARE GETTING KILLED AND HUNTED DOWN IN THE STREETS!! PEOPLE ARE USING THEIR GENDER AND WHITE RACE AND WEAPONIZING IT (Ie. Amy Cooper against chrsitian Cooper in Central Park) And this is all done with reckless disregard of any pursuit of justice and acts are swept under the rug as “procedure” or with justifiable cause. It is only after people protest when incidents are properly investigated. Sometimes all we want is a proper investigation! There have been documentaries, movies, speeches, campaigns, news reports, and straight pleas, you name it- and no one seems to listen. So like many things in life, sometimes you have to scream to be heard. That is the only time when people stop and listen. So while I don’t condone the “violence” or anything related to it, I do think people are tired and talking is not getting anywhere. NO ONE LISTENS.

I live in Washington DC- and do well for myself and my daughter is in a private school and I am a lawyer and a professor at a University but I can give you an entire book chapter about the ways either myself or my family members (all equally educated and financially secure ) have suffered merely because of the color of our skin. This is not only about police brutality, but about systemic racism which impacts economic prosperity- this is why many “smart blacks” cannot get ahead. Our country and its system are not designed for us to get ahead. And I am not writing from a “victim” perspective. I’m considered as someone who is “making it”. Take a look at the 13th amendment. It abolished slavery except for while imprisoned. And that might be ok except for the fact that Black and brown people are imprisoned differently and at a higher rate than their white counterparts. Post slavery it started with the Black code (if you don’t know- look it up) then later segued to Jim Crow laws and now it has morphed into mass incarceration as a result of way Black and brown people are charged with crimes and later sentenced. While we may have the civil rights act of 1964 and the voting rights act 1965 there have been current attempts (and some success) to dismantle pieces of that. Redlining still exists. Redistricting based on race (but of course they don’t say it’s for race) still exists. And while BLM missions stems from brutalities by vigilantes (Ie. Trayvon Martin or Ahmad Arbery ) or police (George Floyd and sooooo many others to name), the affects of the “cause” stems farther. I invite you do some objective research rather than simply looking at the heightened emotions that follow a killling, then you will see the broader cause. https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/

And John Yawn This is NOT about Black on Black crime because we are not discussing the systems that place people in such a degree of dispair that result in such acts (and I am so tired of hearing that argument- Black on Black crime has nothing to do with police brutality and to a lesser extent, two wrongs don’t make a right). This is really about the fact that you cannot have a whole (All Lives) without a part (Black Lives). It is the fact that most people, and in most cases, white people, have the privilege, power and standing of being able to separate themselves to be able to make such a dismissive comment. In essence, if it doesn’t affect you, then You can deflect. Or to say that “the blacks are just as smart..”. (The audacity of that comment is astounding, by the way!!) I don’t think anyone is looking for validation of their intellect. I know i surely am not. At the very least, my 3 degrees gives me that validation among other things. But the thing is, none of my pedigree matters if I get pulled over by the police. It doesn’t matter where i graduated from , what kind of car in drive or who my kid goes to school with, or how many properties I own. What matters in that instant is how I submit (notice i say submit- because submission is what is required) myself before an authority figure who wants to make sure that i know that they have complete authority over me and everything that happens from that point. And that reality of inherent fear is extremely unique to black and brown people. And when my 10 year old highly privileged child can take note of this, and can speak about it in school when they are asked to speak about a time where they have experienced or witnessed racism, then it is something to take consider.

So Black Lives DO Matter. And whether you want to outwardly support the group or not (and note, I am not a “member” of the group) it is important to completely educate yourself. Watch The 13th on Netflix. Read the New Jim Crow or the Color of Law. There are countless others. Then talk to severel African Americans (both men and women) about their experiences. And to be honest, many of us are still processing our experiences because there are some things that happened during our youth that we didn’t even realize were problems until you look back on them. We are now realizing how these experiences have shaped our perspectives. (It’s kind of like the rape victim who didn’t realize that they had been raped). And know that Black people are not monoliths- we do not all have the same experience.

Come to DC and really experience the National African American Museum of History and culture. Go back the next day. Go back the next day (you can’t do it all in one day- or two- or three). And then talk to people again.

We Black people know white culture- we live it every day. We learned it in school and now are trying to unlearn it because we realize how narrow the perspective was. It’s time for you all to take the time to learn ours (and don’t look for us to teach you because that is exhausting too— and some of us are still learning). I hope this gives you another perspective.”

 

Please do as I did…copy/past this response when people find some reason to contradict BLM.

MPM

Thank you Nicole!

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My marriage argument…part 3 Gender Roles

I headed to the cafeteria about 12:50pm, I was anxious, not sure why.

When I got to the area where we sit I noticed there were more people, more women sitting in the area. I guess that’s why I was anxious…the word got out. I got nervous so nervous that I walked past the group. I don’t know if I got caught up in looking for a seat or the numbers of eyes looking at me. Some of those eyes weren’t comforting, some of the glances had that latency of disdain. It’s going to be a long lunch, I know that look. Luckily the microwave was nearby so it appeared that’s where I was going. I heated up my food again…turned and saw them setting up the chair at the end of the table. It felt like I was being strapped to the electric chair but I was excited, my adrenaline was flowing…stay focused grasshopper.

Coming from the microwave, sitting down with my sirlion burger over rice I made the night before, ripping the little free packets of pepper, feeling eyes on me. I look up…one of my male homies is looking at me with the wide eyed, “dude it’s about to go down” look. I hear someone say, “That’s him.”

“So y’all think I’m looking for perfection?!” I jump right in.

The comments flooded in like I ripped duct tape off their mouths, “Mmm Hmm”….”Kinda”…”Get a white woman”….”Unrealistic”…”Go to Brazil” …”He must be muslim”…”Ain’t nobody perfect”

While the comments were coming back, I burned the roof of my mouth, shouldn’t have microwaved my food twice. “Men can’t handle a strong black woman.” one of the women throws out. That got my attention.

Most of the men roll their eyes or shake their heads…or both. “You mean an angry black woman.” I didn’t say that…it was someone else, male of course. I hear a lot of teeth sucking and the body language of the group was not that usual cool fun crew. It was suddenly contentious. I mean there was civility but this was no longer checkers or chess, this was a street fight. I’m in with both feet, “You think black men can’t handle a strong black woman, are you serious?!”

“Well,” same woman.

I respond, “Who do you think raised these men?! More importantly, in what society do you think these men were raised? Do you think this American society is kind to black men? Do you think we’re appreciated, honored, respected, or loved in this society?”

“Not really”…”No”…”Mmm mm”

“Oh you want a woman to submit…to OBEY,” a woman snaps “…men have dropped the ball.”

“Ooooooooh” chorus the men.

My homie gives me the “I’m your boy but you on your own” look. I felt like Malcolm X in the Audubon Ballroom. I respond, “No…not exactly but you can’t have two bosses. If I fight to exist, just enough to survive in this society, then why am I in a rush to come home to a strong woman that wants to fight?”

She responds, “I didn’t say fight.”

“Then what do you want to be strong for?…for me or for yourself? It’s my job to protect you and our family. I’m not saying to be weak and humble, I just don’t want to fight. If I make you the queen in my…sorry, OUR castle then why can’t I be the king?”

Feeling like I was responsible for this negative tone I try pacify the group, “Like I said, you can’t have two bosses. I’ll give you an example…a woman spent the night. Next morning… I’m washing her car while she’s in the shower. The night before, she mentioned that she was going to get her car washed in the morning after she left my house. I didn’t volunteer that night because I wasn’t sure if I’d feel like it but her dirty rims were bothering me so I washed her car in the morning. When she got out of the shower she saw me out back…drying her car.”

A woman in the group was like, “That’s what’s up.”

“Wait…that’s not the point I’m trying to make…wait for it.”

I continued, “as I was drying the car she leaned out the door and asked, How do you want your eggs? I didn’t immediately know what she was talking about…cause I didn’t know she was cooking, then realizing it I said, ooooh cool, scrambled baby…she grinned cause that was the first time I called her baby.”

One of my boys joked, “That’s pretty Smitty from Philly!”

That statement brought some levity but I continued in between chuckles…

“It was a quid pro quo yes but it was reciprocated. My point is…we didn’t discuss it, she didn’t feel like I’m “too strong” to be cooking for a man, it was just the roles we fell into and we were comfortable with ourselves doing what was natural.”

She continued, “Oh so you want the woman to cook?”

Now I’m kinda annoyed, “You’re killing me, NO she doesn’t have to cook but damn if you’re sitting there not doing anything while I’m washing your car, maybe I won’t wash your car next time…maybe there won’t be a next time.”

“I can wash my own car.” she is keeping it going.

“You know you’re making my point…right.” I quipped.

She’s not done fighting, “I’m just saying, I don’t need a man to wash my car.”

“Men have to feel needed…” stirring my now warm food.

“Cause I can get a man”

Now I’m pissed, Yes anyone at this table can get a man, but can you keep him?!”

“Let me ask you, where has the new found strength in women gotten us, where are all the successful marriages with these strong women? All I see is broken families, ‘Me Too’ movements, child support payments, brunches and girls trips.”

I respond, “The problem with society’s strong black women is they want to wear the pants and also get the benefits of a woman when it’s convenient. They want a gentleman to treat them to dinner but want to make the same salary and not pay for the date. You can’t have it both ways.”

“Real strong black women don’t ever have to say they’re strong black women, you just know it.”

“My concern is that the gender roles are screwed up. Women have become so independent they don’t know how to be vulnerable. Men are dealing with a generation of women that have been raised hearing, “Don’t depend on no man, get your own” Fathers raising their daughters to be strong, almost like young men. On top of that, women are in the workforce dealing with leadership positions, that “I’m a BOSS” syndrome, so they get home and can’t or don’t want to turn that s#@% off…just my opinion.”

Another woman in the group said, “It’s hard to let your guard down sometimes.”

“Ok…but you’re sleeping with these men…but NOT letting your guard down?!…I’m asking.”

“Hey…NOT judging cause I’ve been the guy slept with! I’m just saying, don’t you think that’s backwards?! Society has hardened our women, some of you have masculine energy.”

One of the new women repeats a question from before, “What are you looking for?”

I respond,

I’m not looking for a perfect woman I can live with

…I’m looking for a woman I can’t live without.”

“Preach brother Preach!”

We laugh until he someone brings up Gayle King and her insensitivity to the tragic death of Kobe Bryant.

“I’m done with Gayle King, I’m boycotting anything she is associated with…done.”

MPM

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My marriage argument…Part 2

https://middlepassagementor.com/2020/01/20/my-marriage-argument-part-1/

Eating my chili con carne, trying to dismiss the sting a little bit, “I’m 49 thank you, I’ll be 50 next year.”

I continued, “I didn’t plan to be single and without children at this age. It just happened…timing, career and maturity, I don’t know. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to profess to be blameless in this situation.

I’ve been in bad relationships and stayed too long…

and been in some good relationships and didn’t stay long enough.

Like I said, timing, career and maturity, but yeah but after it’s all said and done…I’m not unhappy.”

She kept coming at me, “So are you scared of marriage?”

“Well…I didn’t succumb to the pressure of getting married or have kids just to check off a box in my life’s accomplishments. I’ve witnessed, in the last two decades, the integrity of marriage disintegrate. There’s almost an assault on marriage, like marriage has become obsolete with women and their new independence. Divorce parties, monthly child support payments, cheating, work husbands and work wives…man please.”

Noticing attitudes in the air, “I’m not saying it’s all women’s fault, it’s just that women have changed. Women have the option to cash in and take half the assets on the way out.”

The “marriage is work” dude said, “That’s scary bro.”

This was chess and she was pursuing my king, stopping all the side conversations she said, “You didn’t answer the question, are you afraid of marriage?” eating her salad, not looking at me but definitely understanding her tone and relishing in the quiet of the table.

I was a little annoyed, “No…I’m not afraid of marriage…I’m afraid of divorce.”

“Damn…that’s real.” someone(male) said.

I continued…”I know 4 men that are going through divorces…right now! Two of which are very close friends of mine and they are in pain. I’m not talking about who’s fault it is cause I don’t live with them…I’m talking about dividing up a family. One friend who went from a three thousand square foot house to renting out a room in a townhouse.” He told me, “No one wins in a divorce but the children definitely lose.” He also told me they spent, collectively, ninety thousand dollars on the divorce in legal fees. He told his wife, “We spent 90k on a conversation that we could have had ourselves… we could have invested in the kids…his ex-wife said to him, “I was mad.”

So with society’s casual disrespect to marriage, I’m not in a rush to get into a contract that I hope doesn’t get derailed by emotions.

A married man told me…

“Women marry with hopes the the man will change..and they don’t.

Men marry with hopes that the women won’t change…and they do.”

Looking directly at her I said,

“So let me ask you a question…”

waiting for some of the side conversations to stop,

“…did you plan to be divorced with 2 kids at your age?”

The women in the group were revealing, in their body language, the pain and reality of the question. The tilted heads and stealthy side glances at each other but not at her. There was also a slightly uncomfortable silence at her end of the table, so much that people, all of us, realized we better get back to work.

I continued, “You had the option of moving on because he makes payments for his kids, but he is handicapped financially with the threat of jail time if delinquent. Now you both have to explore options of a blended family, not to get in your business but I don’t want to do that to my family…ever.”

“I don’t want that for me, my family or my kids. I don’t want abbreviated visits, trading weekends and intermittent time with my children. Yeah maybe it’s old fashioned or traditional but that’s how I was raised. I don’t bend to every societal whim, sexual swinger trend or gender confusion. I believe until death do you part. I don’t want marriage if me or my potential wife immediately see these exit strategies as options.”

Checkmate.

Another woman in the group said, “You seem like you are looking for perfection.”

I wanted to address that but I saw my boss glance at the clock when I was leaving the office to go to lunch.  Someone, right on time, said, “We want to keep our jobs right?…let pick this up tomorrow.”

As people were leaving, a couple people asked, “What time you coming tomorrow?”

“12:45pm,” looking back at the woman that asked the perfection question, “Is that a good time for you?”

“Yes”

“Ok then…be ready.”

MPM

“When in a relationship, a real man doesn’t make his woman jealous of others, he makes others jealous of his woman.”
Steve Maraboli

“If I get married, I want to be very married.”
Audrey Hepburn

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