There is an ongoing concern about the negative actions of an overwhelming number of Black males. You watch TV, read the newspaper daily and our sons are portrayed as drug dealers, drug users, robbers, burglars, thieves, killers, etc.
The number of young Black males in the jails across this country is staggering. If you ever go to family court you would see the young Black males who are there because they are unwilling or unable to pay child support, and too many of them have absolutely no respect for Black women including their own mothers. Yes these are some of the effects, but if we are going to resolve some of these critical issues then the time is long overdue for us to begin to focus on the causes.
For a number of years too many of us have blamed our insecurities on the fact that our ancestors were slaves, however the effects of slavery did not stop Dr. George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. Dubois, Dr. Charles Drew and countless others. When we as Black men begin to demonstrate that we possess the courage to stand up, speak out and act up if the situation calls for it, then and only then will we become the strong committed Black men that the young Black males will perceive as positive role models that they would want to emulate. The time is long overdue that those hip-hoppers, druggies, sports persons, and other flamboyant individuals are no longer their idols.
The party bosses no longer respect those colored persons who serve the political parties so they are no longer positive images. It is almost impossible to find Black men who are employed by government or major corporations who are willing to speak up when they know full well that Blacks are totally being disrespected at every level. Their everyday response is, “I must protect my job, and I have a mortgage. I must protect my family. I need 12 to 36 months to retire. My grandchildren need my help. I need the job insurance.” You notice it is always I never we.
It is that kind of attitude that has led to a major breakdown in communications with our young Black males; thereby they are not afforded the opportunity of positiveness, self-esteem, and responsibility for self or others.
Yes, weak Black men = weak young Black males.
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(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)