In urban cities across the country like Paterson, the saga of blacks killing blacks continues. Mainstream media has, ad nauseam, listed all of the deficiencies within the black community as reasons for what is happening. While we cannot overlook the reality that so many young black men are ending the lives of other young black men, we cannot negate the fact that there are underlining factors to all of this.
One of the factors we are faced with in the black community is aggression. Yes, aggression. That aggression was brought on by years of systematic oppression and institutional racism. Some of the root causes which created this level of aggression include, but are not limited to, the lack of sustainable employment.
The influx of contaminated food and lead-laced water in our communities. The influx of drug paraphernalia and guns. Lackluster school systems (both public and charter). Not to mention the lack of opportunities for growth and development within the black community and an utter disregard for the black community by outside communities.
This isn’t an attempt to cry victim. It is a Wake Up call to the public that we have been ignored for years. It seems the only time when the black community comes up in conversation is when killings are being discussed.
Let’s not just harp about the violence unless we are ready and willing to address and fix the causes. I am not condoning any killings. I don’t support violence. All I am saying is that the time has come for America to once and for all begin to listen to the black community and try to understand our plight instead of vilifying and labeling all blacks as thugs, gangbangers, and criminals.
The bottom line is that all black people aren’t into crime. We are not all thugs and gangbangers. The violence within our communities goes deeper than any surface “black on black crime” dialogue.
Corey L. Teague