Saturday, December 22, 2007

Black Males - Dying For Respect

Many young black men in Oakland are killing and dying for respect

Boys don't think they will live past 25, so they don't live their life as if they will. None of the convicted killers told The Chronicle that they were worried about their futures or the consequences of their criminal lifestyle before going to prison. To be a square, to go to school, work for minimum wage and shun the "game," takes an enormous amount of patience and personal risk in the middle of what is, in effect, a war zone. The payoff is too far off for someone who doesn't plan for middle age or a career. At the time, the quick buck didn't seem like a bad choice, inmates said.

Only a handful of the killers had legitimate jobs. Criminal records and lack of a high school diploma, no car to get to work, and no support from immediate family ensure that they simply don't fit in to what society sees as employee material.

It was only after they were taken out of their environment and given years to reflect behind bars that they had time to grasp the concept of another way of life.

The experts - and the killers - say a mentor might have saved them, anyone from the outside who could have shown them another way to be a man.

This series of articles paints a chilling picture of what is going on in our communities around America. Basically it links the destruction of the family structure in our communities with the prevalence of the violence and destruction that is abundant within. This point stands to reason. A community of people has its civility defined by the social agreements that are contained within. If indeed the "prison culture" prevails then the notion of "cut his throat before he cuts mine" will take over.

It is time for Black America to implement certain policies that have thus far been shunned as being "conservative". We do a better job at producing individuals who FIGHT THE SYSTEM and who are rebels. The failure comes when the adversary clears out and then we need these same people to - LEAD us internally. They are no experts in cultivating culture. At minimum it can be said that what ever "non-conservative" policies that are in place right now ARE NOT working. Too many of our people are being killed in the process of our unwillingness to SEEK a solution because we are bound to what is popular rather than what is effective.

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