Although I hate to say “I told you so”, the truth of the matter is that “I told you so.” Two weeks ago on my blog Manhood, Race, and Culture (www.ManhoodRaceCulture.com) I created a post addressing the murder of Mr. Eric Garner, I predicted that this would not be the last time that the African-American community would have to deal with such an issue. Now I do not claim to be clairvoyant or prophetic, however, it does not take a genius to predict that the murder of Mr. Eric Garner would be followed by the murder of some random African-American male or female; this time it is the precious brother Michael Brown.
Currently, the brutality of African-Americans at the hands of ‘law enforcement officers’ have become so common that significant sections of this nation are desensitized to the issue. Not even cell phone video recordings have proven sufficient to garner the attention of apathetic Americans. Leaving many African-Americans, as misguided as they may be, to resort to antiquated riotous behavior; activities that they attempt to rhetorically flip into a positive for the African-American community. The activities of those participating in the riot albeit exhilarating is doomed to not only fail, but also, if history is to be trusted, will ultimately damage the most vulnerable members of their community: women, children, and the elderly.
Moments such as these highlight the reality that African-Americans are largely devoid of significant power within this nation. Now I am certain that you are reacting to this statement and prepared to refute it with the usual rebuttals, most notably that we have a “Black Man” as President, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, or some other political pundit or politician working in Washington D.C. However, the power that flows from these lofty prestigious positions is neither freely nor forcibly applied to the liberation and salvation of African-Americans. It is as if those that we have elected are afraid of appearing “too Black” for non-Black segments of this nation.
So the masses of African-Americans sit and wait for the powers that be to come up with a palatable solution that will satisfy both the Black community’s anger, a feeling that flows form their righteous indignation, and the white community’s irrational fear of “reverse racism” or revenge killings; a practice that African-Americans have never participated in.
If we are being truthful with that inner-voice, most African-Americans realize that there is nothing in the racial playbook that holds any hope of either bring justice for Michael Brown or preventing us from doing this exact same song-and-dance two weeks from now after another random Negro is murdered by law enforcement officers in some yet to be determined American city.
The realization that my community is devoid of sufficient politico economic power to protect our young, male or female, is a sobering realization. It appears that our most beneficial tactic in the struggle to secure justice regarding racial matters flows from our begging outsiders to help us with the process. Such a realization drives my belief that the African-American radical community’s reactionary nature, lack of cohesiveness and political disorganization prevent any significant challenge to the existing system. Threats, public statements, and wearing out of shoe leather is NOT a winnable strategy for dealing with institutional racism as they barely issue a demand, let alone pose a significant threat, to politically organized entities.
If I could, I would advise those who are in the streets risking their lives in impromptu riotous behavior to go home, grab their identification and either register to vote, join a local organization aimed at improving their community, enroll in college, or find some other way to proactively address the myriad issues affecting our people on a daily basis. Failure to do such not only disrespects the memory of our fallen brother Michael Brown and his family, but also guarantees that there will be no end to the devaluing of Black life and senseless killings that we are repeatedly experiencing.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III