Depart from me, I know you not: What African-Americans Should Say to the Undesirables in our Midst

I have learned that it is imperative for my soul that I grasp morsels of wisdom whenever they appear. It is this realization that makes me hold onto the quote “You win with people,” a saying that famed Ohio State football coach Woody Hayes was known to repeat religiously. The above quote was apparently Coach Hayes’ way of stating that the quality of people you surround yourself with is a significant issue that matters.

Truthfully speaking, my adherence to this philosophy has caused me to avoid acquaintances with quite a few people who I realized were not only illogical but also filled with deep character flaws. Although I usually never explain the reasons for our lack of association to such persons, my general unavailability to them eventually informs them of my decision to not be an associate.

Although I have spent my entire adult life studying American racial matters, experience has taught me that close association with persons solely based on their racial identity is a risky proposition. At this moment in my life, it is the character that matters most in my decision to make a new acquaintance, let alone a friend.

It is this realization that makes both the recent attack upon a white mentally disabled man by four Black Chicagoans — Jordan Hill (18), Tesfaye Cooper (18), Brittany Covington (18), and Tanishia Covington (24) — and the reaction from the so-called ‘conscious community’ so unsettling and disappointing.

Cook County Circuit Judge Maria Kuriakos Ciesil said it best during the initial court appearance for the four individuals mentioned above when she incredulously inquired, “Where was your sense of decency? I find each of you a danger to yourself and society.”

I was saddened to see that a significant portion of the ‘conscious community’ reacted to this offensive action as if it were a justified revenge attack offered in response to prior racial transgressions perpetrated by whites. Those advancing the above ridiculous, immoral emotional reaction fail to realize that if the accused are capable of perpetrating such a heinous crime upon a white man, the Lord only knows the evil that they are capable of committing against their people.

The tendency of some African-Americans to excuse away or silently applaud the criminality among their own will invariably come back to haunt them. It was this principle that led famed rapper Tupac Amaru Shakur to offer the following observation. “The same crime element that white people are scared of black people are scared of. While they waiting for legislation to pass, we next door to the killer. All them killers they let out, they’re in that building. Just because we black, we get along with the killers? What is that? We need protection too.”

It is time that the so-called ‘conscious community’ closes the gaping hole that excuses criminality, immorality, and inexcusable racial bias within their community. Rest assured that the perpetrators of evil are not only residing within our midst but also more than willing to add African-Americans to what is invariably a long list of victims.

I pray that we always remember that “you win with people” and that “there is no right way to do the wrong thing.”

Dr. James Thomas Jones III

© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017

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