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Tom Brown

Tom Brown


Humor for your day: Running out of excuses. A police officer pulled over a guy who had been weaving in and out of the lanes. He walked up to the guy’s window and said, “Sir, I need you to blow into this breathalyzer tube.” The man responded, “Sorry, officer, I can’t do that. I am an asthmatic; if I do that, I’ll have a really bad asthma attack.” “OK, I need you to come down to the station to give a blood sample.” “I can’t do that, either; I am a hemophiliac. If I do that, I’ll bleed to death.” “Well then, we need a urine sample,” insisted the police officer. “Sorry, I am also a diabetic. If I do that, I’ll get really low blood sugar.” “Alright, then I need you to come out here and walk this white line,” added the officer. “I can’t do that, officer.” “Why not?” asked the exasperated officer. “BECAUSE I’M DRUNK.”

We have, in the community/culture of the Black religious, socio, political and economic experience, run out of excuses as it relates to the Black-on-Black crimes and killings. As the old adage goes, “A ready accuser is always a self-excuser.” It seems to me that we as Black brothers and sisters fail to give appropriate attention to our collective faults as related to our community and family values. Really, the question becomes, “What are our values as a Black people?” There is no easy answer to this question.

Also, it must be noted that killing and crime are not just Black-on-Black issues. There is equal, and probably more, white-on-white killing going on; unfortunately the media gives the picture of a Black problem. Killing and crime in our nation is a culture of rage that is fear to love and love to fear. It seems to me that violence garners an attention of pleasure in our society. That attention has been developed over years in entertainment and our educational systems for economic gain. Think about it: crime and violence do pay. They pay for the wealthy and affluent in our society.

The “value system within the Black experience” is difficult to describe. My research and assessment tells me Black values have become “destructive” due to our lacking in knowing our prior history of the struggles and sacrifices of our ancestors on the violent soils of America’s past 300-plus years. For some reason, we are angry at one another. Are we maybe just angry with ourselves? We do not trust each other, we’re afraid of each other and we can kill each other. Then we have funerals and cry over each other. Does this not sound sick? We love to fear, and we fear to love.

Our ancestry history describes very clearly the violence perpetuated upon Blacks and Native Indians. In many respects, we learned violence, we learned killing, we learned hatred and we learned fear. Yet, our ancestors worked at how to love each other in the struggle of liberation from violence and hatred. This had to be done from within, by getting rid of fear in their psyche. They valued love from within as a form of “self-esteem” and collective determination. Certainly they adopted some white Christian religious ideologies and/or principles to appease their oppressors. In my opinion, this was just a front for their survival at the moment.

Today, the picture is different. The values are unclear to me in regard to the Black experience. What I am seeing is that the Black-on-Black killing is going to get worse! Our political leaders are truly concerned, and that is why we get more police, more new laws for the building of jails, etc. Certainly, this means a new economy. Whether you know it or not, there is in our economic system an economy of violence. That economy rests in the Second Amendment of our Constitution, which is guns. Interesting, isn’t it, when you really think about it? We have a values mindset when it comes to guns.


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