Monday, August 6, 2007


"Self-destruction, we're headed for self-destruction..."

Anybody remember this rap song from the late '80s, in which popular East Coast rappers collaborated to call for an end to black-on-black crime? Based upon what just happened in Newark, New Jersey over the weekend, it appears that today's youth could stand to give this song another listen.

In case you haven't heard, this past Saturday night, four African-Americans in their late teens and early 20s were shot execution style in Newark; three of them are now deceased. They were made to kneel facing a brick wall of an elementary school when they were shot.

What makes this crime even more shocking is that there is no obvious motive for this senseless act. All four of the victims were getting ready to attend Delaware State University in the fall, and none had criminal records.

Will this event finally be the straw that breaks the camel's back, as the old saying goes? What is it going to take for us as black people to wake up and realize that we are literally destroying ourselves?

What 300 hundred years of slavery, lynch mobs, Jim Crow, the KKK, and police dogs couldn't do, we are doing to ourselves! And the worst thing about it is, we have come to accept this as a reality that we can do nothing about. The silence is deafening.

In the city of Detroit, there were over 400 homicides last year in a city of about 850,000 citizens, giving the city one of the highest murder rates in the U.S. Yet, where is the response from the city's leadership, including the mayor and the chief of police? On more than one occasion, our city's leadership has told citizens that most of these killings are drug-related or involve those engaging in criminal activity. Is this really supposed to make Detroiters feel better?

As long as we don't demand more from our elected officials, their appointees, and from ourselves as a people to stop the violence, we will continue to lose too many of our promising young people.
To Terrance Aeriel, 18, Iofemi Hightower, 20, and Dashon Harvey, 20, all of Newark. Rest in peace.


Anthony said...

I found your blog very interesting.

You being from Detroit caught my attention. I managed the Point Park College basketball team back in the last 70's. We had a few players from Detroit.

And, of course, Jerome Bettis helped the Steelers finally get one for the thumb in your fair city. How great was that?!?

The barbershop post struck a chord; perhaps since I'd been to my barber not too long ago. Different magazines, not a whole lot different beyond that. Except that there aren't a ton of old fashioned barbershops around Canton, Ohio.

I can't say that I know what the African American experience is like. I've been in some situations where I was the one who didn't look like most other people, so maybe I've had just the smallest taste.

I hope that there will be a day when there is no African American experience. Just a human experience.

Wanted to let you know what I've included you in the newest installment of Surfer's Paradise. I hope the link serves you well.

CT4Life said...

Hi, anthony. I'm glad you're enjoying my blog. I'll make sure to check out yours as well.

Your fair city of Canton, Ohio, recently honored one of the great Detroit Lions, Charlie Saunders, at this past weekend's NFL Hall of Fame induction ceremonies.

Based upon your comments, I'm assuming you're not an African-American. That's OK; all are welcome to my blog.

I find it interesting where you said that "I hope that there will be a day when there is no African American experience". Why do you think there should not be such an experience? As an African-American, there are lots of things about my culture that I hold dear.

The problem in this country is that we haven't learned to embrace the wonderful differences of the various cultural groups that make up America. I don't buy into the "melting pot" theory at all. Why should we all have to be homogenous in order to get along?

I think America should adopt the "salad" model instead, in which a variety of unique ingredients work together to produce a colorful and enjoyable dish.