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My Ferguson Response: Creating Our Own System

This morning, I awake with an extremely heavy heart. Difficult to even pray for a laundry list of prayer requests and personal burdens due to the decision of the grand jury NOT to indict Darren Wilson. The picture for this post breaks my heart as the father of Michael Brown lets out his frustration, anger, and sadness in a yell that the precious life of his son was “important enough” for a trial against officer Darren Wilson.

Martin Luther King, Jr. said “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

I quote the Reverend Dr because we, the black community, are not responding appropriately to all of this. We’re responding out of anger, which is never effective in solving a situation. Looting, setting buildings and police cars on fire, and damaging our OWN communities will not bring forth justice for any black unarmed male’s death. It just won’t. I saw a really inspiring post on IG that said “There’s no JUSTICE. It’s JUST US.” This also speaks to a quote from W.E.B. Du Bois that says, “A system cannot fail those it was never meant to protect.” With those two quotes operating hand in hand; it is up to US to create our OWN SYSTEM. Here are some things we can start doing to create our OWN SYSTEM.

  • Stop teaching young black men the price of everything yet the value of nothing.

  • IN THE HOME, we have to communicate and instill the value of many things to our young black men; value of their life, value of education, value of women, value of authority, value of future, value of community, value of healthy relationships, etc. It is with this effort, young black men are able to make better decisions keeping them from finding themselves in positions that can threaten their lives.

  • Stop slapping the “success” label on every black athlete, celebrity, or entertainer.

  • Successful black men occupy WAY more positions than just ones aforementioned. I know plenty of champions as educators, counselors, men in the faith based community, school principals and administrators, military, business owners, life coaches, and HUSBANDS & FATHERS. Highlight these successful black men to give young black men OTHER options to aspire to become. Am I saying being an athlete, celebrity, or entertainer is bad? Not at all. What I am saying is; if that’s all we’re showing our black boys they can be…we’re setting them up for failure simply because of the odds present to make it in those industries. They can also have another platform other than those.

  • Fathers must take their position in the home.

  • There’s an old saying that goes, “A man can’t be what a man can’t see.” It’s difficult for anyone to be something they cannot reach out and touch. Black fathers, stop impregnating these women and leaving them to raise our children by themselves. Lead a household (what REAL men do) and raise a child who can use wisdom to handle affairs wisely and eventually grow up to lead their own household one day.

  • All We Have Is US.

  • It’s clear to see that all we have is each other. The Black community. We must have a united front and stand together. There can’t be a portion of us peacefully marching, another portion of us rioting and looting, another portion boycotting Black Friday (which I don’t understand how this is relative to gaining a different outcome of the Michael Brown case), and another portion doing a completely different initiative. Let’s start at HOME. Let's educate our black boys on how to handle themselves when it comes to dealing with authority and how we live in a nation that, time after time, has proven how little it values the life of a black man; young or old.

I’ve heard other races speak about how they’re tired of hearing about racism. Yeah…me too; HOWEVER, I’ll end with this quote from Jon Stewart.

“If racism is something you’re sick of hearing about, imagine how exhausting it must be living it every day.” -Jon Stewart

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