Here we are, another King celebration has come and gone. Already removed from celebrating the birthday of arguably our greatest civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and I am still searching for our next one. For a minute, we all thought Rev. Jesse Jackson would be it, especially since he was in the trenches with Dr. King. But, as we see, he is not the one. His time may have come and gone when he ran for the presidency many years ago. Rev. Al Sharpton? Despite the good he has done, there are too many skeletons in his closet as far as some are concerned. Who will be the next one who truly believes in gaining justice and equality for all men? The so-called leaders we have today are only interested in face time and sound bites.
I guess my main concern is the sincerity that is needed in a leader today. Someone who will do the work when the cameras are off and the microphones are shut down! If there is someone who will become a leader, he or she needs to know the work that is entailed in trying to bring justice to and for us. I feel it should or will be someone within the Hip-Hop community. Not a rapper or artist, but someone who understands the struggles that have taken place and will understand the struggles that are forthcoming. Despite what we think, we aren’t that much better off in terms of race relations and respect. The respect portion will be the hardest because as a race/community/culture, we can’t and don’t respect each other and it’s not gonna start until we realize that!
The best examples are the music videos being shown all over the world. If this is the image that we portray, how can we expect others to see us in any other way. Despite what we think, we ARE judged on the music that is being placed out there. The ignorance in our music can’t be blamed on the record companies or the radio stations. We feel we have to give the ‘people’ what they want in order to make money. But the few that are making any little bit of money are the ones showing the most ignorance.
What makes it worse is that our kids are growing up thinking that ignorance will be what makes them successful. It’s not intelligence that’s being spread out there. In terms of black music alone, all we do is talk about cash, bitches and killing the next man that stands in the way. How can we grow if our kids feel they have to kill in order to get respect? "No snitching" may be one of the dumbest ‘trends’ today where everyone feels that if an ignorant person is caught doing something and given a choice between what’s right and what’s wrong, you have to go with what the streets say. How ridiculous!
Simply put, we need some real direction and we need someone or some people who can convey the right way for us as a community to make money, stay politically aware, strengthen our power and make people take us as serious as they do other communities. At the rate we are going, this conversation will continue to be what it is unless we take control of what we do and how we do it, we won’t be stopped. We can be leaders in entertainment, sports and ignorance. Let’s apply those same principles we seem to have when we are ‘on the grind’ or ‘hustlin’ and apply it to the uplifting of our community. And when I say the same principles, I mean in terms of feeling like you have to be on top and be the best and be recognized for it. Let’s be recognized as a community who won’t stop at nothing to be the best in uniting for the strengthening of ourselves.