I could never blame anyone for coming to the conclusion that there is a segment of Black Chicago that is totally out of their mind. Hence, the recently taped abduction of a mentally challenged teenager is not as shocking as it would be under normal circumstances.
Although I consider the latest actions of Jordan Hill (18), Tesfaye Cooper (18), Brittany Covington (18), and Tanishia Covington (24) to be little more than another ‘sign of the times.’ There is absolutely no reasoning that could ever justify their abduction and torture of Austin Hilbourn (18) a white man who reports are indicating has some mental challenges.
I believe that I am speaking for the vast majority of sane African-Americans when I say that the four black Chicagoans that police have taken into custody not only deserve the current charges of aggravated kidnapping, hate crime, aggravated unlawful restraint and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, but also additional charges.
The Chicago Police Department swift movements to solve this crime are commendable. I am certain that the fact that the perpetrators themselves recorded their demonic actions greatly aided the investigation. This morally repugnant episode raises an interesting question, why aren’t Black-on-Black crimes solved as quickly as the offensive attack perpetrated against Mr. Austin Hilbourn?
The most readily available answer to the above question is an incorrect response that law enforcement personnel, many of whom are African-American, do not care about criminal activity in the black community. Now, I would never dismiss my personal engagement with a few officers whose lack of interest in black-on-black crime was evident and say that a few officers just do not care about the safety or well-being of African-Americans. However, such an explanation does little to explain why black-on-black crimes often go unsolved. I believe that the most honest reason behind why black-on-black crimes go unsolved is the African-American community.
Considering their peculiar second-class citizenship status, African-Americans have become adept at responding to a hostile white community at a moments’ notice. From their initial arrival on the North American continent, experience taught all persons of African descent that their time to deal with the hostility and brutality of marauding whites could come not only at any moment but also without the slightest provocation. Considering such a context, African-Americans developed survival strategies to protect themselves and their loved ones from hostile outsiders. One of the most prominent adaptations was to become insular as a community. Put simply; blacks closed off the hostile outside world in a desperate attempt to protect their own; particularly the men who were most likely to be seized and lynched by a white mob for a perceived offense or challenge emanating from either that particular individual or the community in general.
Law enforcement officers frequently led the alluded to ‘lynch mob’ pursuing African-American males. Hence, it should not be surprising that to this very day that the average African-American male tenses up when in the presence of law enforcement officers. The harsh reality that American laws have consistently proven detrimental to their existence makes African-Americans staunch non-cooperation with law enforcement officers understandable. One would be hard-pressed to convince African-Americans that law enforcement officers are not continuing this tradition in the twenty-first century.
However, this tradition of not cooperating with law enforcement personnel has been seized by a criminal element within our community for opportunistic reasons. An immoral and unlawful element within our community has publicly demanded silence regarding their illegal activities and uncivilized behavior. I applaud this population for the manner in which they have been able to seize a historic cultural adaptation and use it as a cover for their evil doings; unfortunately, Hip Hop Culture has been the perfect conduit for this transference of misinformation.
Although their mantra that ‘snitches get stitches’ is rather poetic in a ghetto fabulous kind of way, it betrays the solidarity that generations of African-Americans displayed against a hostile external enemy. The actions and activities of the criminal element within our midst are having the same effect that marauding white terrorist had throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries respectively. The only difference is that the criminal element in our midst begs us not to report them to the proper authorities. However, one must take their hat off to this thuggish element when you consider that they have been able to get such values integrated into our cultural diet and belief system. We now find elementary school children attempting to “persuade” their peers to ‘not snitch,’ often via violent attacks that they are amazingly filming and posting on the internet.
Obviously, the mantra ‘snitches get stitches’ has no place within our community and serves as yet another example of how we have indeed lost our way. Of all the things that we need to be poetic about, lawlessness and criminality are not on that list.
Make no mistake about it; this is a call for the African-American community to be vigilant against the black evil-doers who are attacking and ‘bringing the community down.’ A decision that would terrify those within our midst who commit a crime and continually live in an uncivilized manner that is unreflective of how African-Americans have ever lived.
If we are serious about cleaning up the African-American community, it is the time that we expose those individuals who consider our residential areas as havens for their criminality. Failure to do so makes us accessories to the destruction of our community and ensures that our children will never have a safe space to grow to their full potential.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race, and Culture 2017