Air Jordan Concords

Killin' for Candy and Concords: The Price of Black Life


“You ever once stop to think and wonder why it’s so/We dont’ know/ ‘Cuz we’re blinded by the fog of ‘dro/ So we let it go” – “Just Don’t Learn,” Brand Nubian

In recent news, an up and coming rapper was killed in a crowded Atlanta mall. According to authorities, Joe Blackmon, aka “Killa Black,” was standing in line for a pair of Air Jordan Concords when he, accidentally, knocked a Jolly Rancher out of the hand of the man in front of him. The man, described only as “an African American in a black hoodie with saggin’ pants” pumped five rounds in him before fleeing the scene.

Witnesses say that the crowd just stepped over the dying Blackmon like nothing happened ,some even refusing to let paramedics through for fear of losing their places in line… Recently, people were shocked that Brick Squad affiliate, Slim Dunkin, was murdered in an Atlanta studio, allegedly, stemming from a fight over a piece of candy. This tragic event was coupled by media images of mobs of people beating each other senseless over the new Air Jordan XI Concords.

Hip Hop has had its share of deaths; Scott La Rock, Jam Master Jay, Pac, Biggie to name a few. Unfortunately, the ‘hood is full of tales of young brothas losing their lives over stepping on someone’s sneakers or even staring too long at some cat at a stop light. While some may argue that violence permeates society and it is not a “Black issue,” until I see Justin Bieber chasing Justin Timberlake with an AK-47, I beg to differ. Most of the blood spilling on the streets of America pours out of Black bodies, and Hip-Hop is, predominately, made up of Black males.

It must be noted that this thing is bigger than Hip-Hop. The issue here is the value (or lack thereof) that this society places on Black life. Although it is a historical fact that Black folks were once the kings and queens of civilization, around the 15th century the value of Black life begin to drop like the 50 percent off after Christmas sale at WalMart. Man has been fighting man since the beginning of time and despite the historical romanticism, African civilization was not exempt as tribal wars have existed on the continent for thousands of years. However, it was not until the coming of the Portuguese that Black life was given a discount price tag. During that period, European slave traders began to use the existing beefs between tribes to trade Africans for commodities.

As Walter Rodney wrote in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa,” “it was so easy to set one against another that Europeans called it ‘a slave trader’s paradise.” The worst part of the trade was the exchange of Africans for weapons. According to historian, Joseph Harris in his book, Africans and Their History, “kings were sometimes given firearms to raid neighboring areas in exchange for prisoners of war.” In America, the technique of making the slaves fight against each other was perfected. Herbert Aptheker wrote in American Negro Slave Revolts, “the dividing of the victims against themselves, the use of spies and the encouragement of traitors” were powerful tools to keep the slaves from rebelling.

This divide and conquer strategy was also used in the ‘60s during the Civil Rights /Black Power Movement as the FBI, through its COINTELPRO program, played Black activists against each other. This caused the destruction of groups such as the Black Panther Party and led, ultimately, to the formation of “street gangs” in California. It must be noted that, according to Mike Davis in his book, City of Quartz, the purpose of the original gangs was not to promote Black-on-Black violence, but to protect the ‘hood from white racist gangs such as the “Spookhunters.”

But, after the destruction of the Black Panther Party, gangs such as the Bloods and Crips were formed, and they saw “the enemy” as other Black men. This was escalated by the introduction of high-powered assault weapons and crack into the ‘hood, which Gary Webb in Dark Alliance alleged was a government conspiracy. Simultaneously, you had the growing popularity of Hip-Hop and it was not uncommon during the ‘80s for Black lives to be lost over gold chains, Troop jackets, Jordans, or other articles of clothing worn by their favorite Hip-Hop artists.

So, this leads us to where we are today, with people being beat down for $180 sneakers that cost $12 to make in some sweat shop, and young Black men being killed over candy. Psychologist Dr. Bobby Wright suggested that Black people have been psychologically programmed to kill other Black people. In his essay “The Psychopathic Racial Personality,” he wrote, “historically, the European system has encouraged the killing of Blacks. Because Blacks have been led to believe that they are part of the psychopath’s system, they simply follow the practice.”

We have been conditioned by these historical events to consider Black-on Black conflict not only a cultural norm, but a reason for celebration that is ingrained in the minds of the children, often in very subtle ways. Even something as simple as a Freestyle Friday on “106th & Park” conditions the young Black mind to accept Black-on-Black aggression as normal behavior. Unfortunately, when this “dissin'” is carried into the streets, there are no celebrity judges to hold up score cards – only EMS workers with body bags and toe tags.

Back in 1989, Kool Moe Dee, as part of the Stop the Violence Movement, said, “I never ever ran from the Ku Klux Klan/ So I shouldn’t have to run from a Black man.” Unfortunately, until we deal with the origin of Black-on-Black violence, we will always be “headed for self destruction.”

Joe Blackmon a.k.a. “Blackman” is a composite character representing all of the Black men who have died senselessly.

TRUTH Minista Paul Scott represents the Militant Mind Militia. He can be reached at (919) 451-8283, via e-mail at militantmindmilitia@gmail.com, on the web at www.militantmindmilitia.com, on Twitter at @truthminista.

  • DezBundy

    This post is depressing….. 

    Hmm…perhaps a new pair of Jordan’s will lighten the mood! 

  • $20550343

    I live in ATL. NO ONE DIED OR WAS SHOT OVER CONCORDS HERE. Fact check your info. The worst that happened here was people getting Maced by police for acting ignorant & a mom going to jail for leaving her toddlers in the car.

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  • R_REAL_TALK

    AND TO ADD INSULT TO MISERY JORDON DONT GIVE A FF?UCK HES TO BUSY GAMBLING THE MONEY AWAY HE GETS FROM THE SHOES LIKE IT OR NOT ITS THE TRUTH?????

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  • Regardless of the accuracy of the information relayed in this post, the message is true and depressing and should not be taken lightly… We have to work together to do better

  • rep87

    this article is attempt to paint us all with a broad brush not all black people are running into the the mall to get a pair of jordans and hurting each other a lot of us are hard working decent law abiding people only a fool go crazy over apair of damn shoes and as far as that killing over apiece of candy we dont all roll like that either thats a tragic loss of life but dont put us all in that life . tv shows movies some rappers glamorize violance radio are raising alot of youth today and this is a result ignorance sell while intelligence is put on the back burner why not put african americans doing well in school

  • Madoa Sankara

    Not all Black men are dying over nonsense. I can tell you what is going on. THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM: POOR BLACK PEOPLE!!!!!!!!!! All of these senseless crimes occur among lower class blacks. Why won’t anyone state what is obvious. It is ghetto blacks; they have a platform to spread and promote their decrepit values i.e., hip-hop, BET, MTV, radio, worldstarhiphop and other platforms. WTF! It is obvious. 30% of Black people are in poverty, with a percentage that high of course it is going to seem like ignorant is pervasive. Poor white only represent a small share of the white population and that why they are basically invisible. To fix black people the poverty rate has to decrease to a manageable number so then poor blacks will be like poor whites, INVINCIBLE.

    • No, no, no!  I USED to think that  and then I realized it is the well to do blacks who do about half of these crimes to impress the poor ones!  The poor ones do it because they have little options, but the well to do ones do it just because.  It is they who go into poor hood and sell drugs.  They have more means so they can get more drugs.  Look into it .

  • Madoa Sankara

    STOP BLAMING THE WHITE MAN!! WE HAVE TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR OWN ACTIONS. CHRIST’S SAKE, WE ARE MEN, AREN’T WE!

    • It IS ultimately the white man since he set’s and is in control of the conditions that ALLOW (not MAKE) black males do these things.  He controls our finances, job opportunity, where we live, where we can live, IF we can go to college and if we go to jail for 6 months of 60 years!  If blacks made more money, we would not be concerned with petty things like 15 year old sneakers that people who have been there for them then do not want to buy now!

      • bigfoot2011

        Donald, why is the White man in control?  It’s because we let him be in control.  It’s time we get educated and make wiser decisions in Life.  Our President is Black.  Stan O’Neal, former CEO of Merrill Lynch was black.  Ursula Burns ( CEO of Xerox) is a black woman.  The Chairman of Citi bank is Black.  The CEO of American Express is black.  Codolessa rice and Colin Powell both former secretaries of State.  The list goes on and on.  This proves that the White man can’t stop you unless you stop yourself.  

      • Fool!  WE did not let him get anything (unless you are going back to the defeat of the Moors), he took us as slaves so we were not on control or anything!

        The president is not black he is white and half African – not an African-American which would make all of the difference in the world, even it he were an Uncle Tom!  The president and all of the others that you listed did not own shit!  They all have to answer to whites!  They were all appointed by WHITES.  They got paid by WHITES. They were doing work for WHITES.  This proves that whites are in control and only let us in when they want us to be in.

      • Casor_Greener

        Stop acting like the white man is your master! That’s the slave mentality.

      • He is not my master, but he controls you.  If he did not you would be free to do whatever YOU (without his rules) wanted to do!  You are bound by his rules or you catch a beat down, jail or death.

  • SDS_Overfiend

    This has nothing to do with hip hop… It has more to do with poor uneducated misguided souls. Some were never taught right.

  • Truth Minista Paul Scott hits another one out the park.

    Black life has systematically & institutionally devalued. 

    We need our own land, economy & set of values that are promoted by our own M.E.D.I.A.

    Multi Ethnic Destruction In America

    Militant Mind Militia in the house!

  • regal84

    So much truth to this article… the value of black life is at an all time low… lack of true leaders in our communities is the primary culprit, in my opinion… too many black fathers are in jail, not able to reach or teach their seeds or other misguided youths in our hoods… in turn, they turn to the dope boys and gangs for guidance and structure, which is the wrong thing to do cuzz those lowlives need guidance and structure they damn selves… like beanie seigel says in a verse, “damn, how my older sister gonna make me tougher?” We need true leaders in our communities… but in order for that to happen, sometimes you gotta leave home to have a good homecoming… in that i mean going away to college, somewhere away from the hood to gain a real perspective of the real world outside of our ghettos… but when that happens, the brotha actually trying to do that gets ridiculed and criticized for trying to leave and do better, LIKE HE’S THE ONE DOING SOMETHING WRONG!!! I’m not goin for that crab in a bucket shit… if you have an opportunity to make better for yourself, take it… don’t let someone with nothing goin themselves call you an L 7, or sellout, or anything else to try to validate the fact that they ain’t doin shit… tell them “I’m leaving so i can come back and help niggas like y’all”

    • Co Sign! ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

      &

      +1

  • Good Afternoon to all. Heres another situation of just plain old ignorance. Which is added with more ignorance of making this a white man black man issue, my hood your hood, society, Black on black violence, white on white violence, Black on black racism white on white racism. Really REALLY!!! Just stop it. Racism is Racism theres no such thing as reverse Racism. No matter how smart or intelligent we think we sound saying these things we still sound ignorant. Every individual makes a choice in life whether good or bad. Its not because the black man made you do this or the white man made you do it. You make a choice as an individual. Did the black man force you to sell drug and gand bang or was that the white man or maybe it was the latinos that force you into stealing or maybe the russian made you a pimp who likes trafficking little asian girls. Were a week away from 2012 and people still want to find some kind of excuse for why we the people still do and say ignorant thing. Notice i said we the people not spanish black white latin etc. We the PEOPLE the human race. Anybody can find some kind of median to support an ideal. But you have to make a choice to live right and make the right decisions in life. Black and white, hispanic, asians, relations have been at a strain for a long time and continue to be fodder of violence, hatred, bigotry, prejudice, stereotypes, racism. So the cycle continues but you have to break the cycle as an individual. All those things will be around because people choice to live there life that why but you do not. What these people did over a pair of jordans and candy its fair to say that it was insane to say the less. We have to stop and look into our OWN life and see how we can change things in our life and around us. What we don’t realize is by categorizing oneself white black puerto rican etc one creates separation vs unity as a people. Think about it. Ill leave these few things with you. 1. I heard a GREAT quote by Sidney Poitier which relates to any man no matter your race is. Sidney was talking with his father and said “You see yourself as a colored man, where i see myself as a MAN” (this is embracing not only SELF-awareness and racial pride, but also a larger sense of community and knowing who you are as an individual. 2. Stereotypes lead to prejudice, prejudice leads to hatred, Hatred leads to Racism. Where does it stop it stops with you. Stop believing every thing you hear about racism and violence against different or same races its one mans opinion. Last thing put GOD and LOVE in your life and you’ll see how much easier life will become when dealing with other people no matter what race they are. Remember LOVE HAS NO COLOR. I wish you all well. God Bless     

  • King Cold

    A good lesson in this article. Sad this is still going om but until we get better mentally and physically its going to continue

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  • dominicancoke

    some blacks act like savages because some of them allow a culture of violence and self destruction in their homes even in hood gansta rap songs that promote this violence that only plagues your own communities thats like white rock stars promoting meth and shooting schools up where ever theres poverty there is violence is not simply race puerto rico and mexico have high ass murder rates due to drug wars ron paul said it best end the war on drugs legalize them and watch how crime drops rapidly this country is drug crazy it has the highest use of drugs in the world and add how gun crazy this country is mix those two with poverty and lack of job opportunities and nothing to do after school cause they cut after school programs and moms is working 2 shifts to bring ends meat you surround me around sharks and expect me to be gold fish? not every one is strong enough to make it out of theire environment 

    • I had a feeling this mulatto mutt was going to go into the direction that blacks are someone other than himself and I don’t know what makes you think that Mexico and PR have anything in common except for the language.

      • dominicancoke

        yah i am a mulatto mutt so what? im using mexico and pr as examples of countries with high murder rates due to the same problems there is high murder rates in black communities the big difference is this is america people cross seas and deserts illegally and even risk their own lives to come here and when they do come here they come up do u get that? lol they come up waay more than blacks i mean mexicans other latinos arabs asians hindus all these people come up in america they own more than half of local businesses blacks been here since the start and still fall way behind all these groups? but fall ahead in incarceration rates and violent crime? i know is not every single african american but is a whole lot of you cause jamaicans africans  and other blacks got their shit together when they come here ya’ll hopeless is like mlk died for nothing

      • Breakdabars

        I can’t stand when someone tries to talk about a race that there not part of. People like you should stick to talk about their own race instead of trying to provide tips to any other race. You act like Latinos don’t have their own problems.

      • You black fool.  So-called latinos are not doing anything special in this country except cleaning toilets!  Mexicans are getting some place because the government hooked them up with the means to survive provided they work.  Once they stop doing these petty jobs they will catch hell.

        People like you (with the mind of a white man, which does not help YOU out) forget that African-Americans were brought here as SLAVES (like PR’s) and were freed in 1865.  We got our acts together after that (check black wall street!) but whites burned it down and in came Jim Crow which is post-slavery domestic terrorism!  WE have to face that, not the others.  The others get treated better because they were not the slaves in the US so the white man figures he does not have much to fear in the way of retribution.

        You also fail to realize that the fights that blacks fought helped the others get to this country with less racial discrimination then they had before.  You people knew whites were racist but you still came to the US!  We helped you peoples fight your fights but you never helped us fight our fights unless it benefited you.  Others only excelled because we were the distraction.  Indians and Asians are the only ones who did something while so-called latinos still live in the ghetto, so I am not sure what progress you are talking about!  The only latino who are some place are the whitest looking ones.

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  •  Realistically speaking , we are they homeless people of the Earth , even though we pay rent.

    What do we have worth fighting for?
    Why not over a scuff mark on a pair of Jordan’s? It ain’t like we busy fighting over land to live free , like the Palestinians.

    This $hyt is the result of programming. Mental poisoning.

    >>>>>Puts on Black Hat & prepares to be the Bad Guy:

    9/10 , no , wait….I was gonna bet my let nut , but not gonna gamble with what I can’t afford to lose…..9/10 , both rappers were in the studio to record some negative $hyt.

    Divine Intervention?  
    Won’t say that , not for me to say anyway , but you don’t see this kinda $hyt happening with KRS-One.

    *Scott La Rock

    Yes indeed , your right , difference is , it changed his life.

    >>>>Side Note:

    Scott La Rock was trying to mediate a dispute , between …… & ? ( Allegedly )
    Still, same thing.

    Negativity Breeds Negativity.

  • $20550343

    “Composite Character” equals complete fabrication. Is life not bad enough for blacks? Do you really need to make up things for the black self-righteous propaganda machine? I swear, we are more dangerous to ourselves than whites…and we push more crap at ourselves than the GOP/Tea Party. At some point we gave to awake from the dream that the white population will issue a formal apology and life will be candy & rainbows. Stop playing the blame game. If we as a group will ever succeed in breaking the cycle of ignorance and violence. White folks aren’t keeping us down…we do a damn good job of that w/o them. The fault is with us and so is the solution. Period.

    • bigfoot2011

      My man u nailed it right on the head.  We’ve been free too long to be blaming shit on the white man.  Since when was it cool to let someones actions, keep u from prospering.  Our successful black celebrities are Afraid to come out and tell our people to stop blaming the white man and figure our way out because of what happened to Bill Cosby when he tried to talk to our People.  I love watch the throne cuz “Murder to Exellence” and “Made in America”  we uplifting songs letting us know how far we’ve come.  Instead, the kids wanna listen to LiL Wayne

  • water_ur_seeds

    people cant blame other people for their ignorant mentality… if your gonna shoot 5rounds into some yout over a fckn jolly rancher, that is down to his family values, nothing else… you gotta take responsibilities and enlighten your own mind… shit, theres plenty of people from the ghetto who have families, jobs and go college… they do well for themselves and they aint banging… you only hearing about the negative people in the hood… all people need to take responsibly for own actions in this world, no1 makes you shoot someone over a piece of chocolate! man up…

    and that dude killed of his j’s in texas was fake…

    with all the sense less violence, america is sounding more like a 3rd world country, my bredren got robbed at knife point in brazil for a cigarette…

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  • NIGGAS BEEN KILLING NIGGAS SINCE KAIN KILLED HIS BROTHER ABLE!
    HIP HOP MUSIC, JORDAN SHOES, GOLD CHAINS, DIDN’T EVEN EXIST THEN!
    PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE THAT IS JUST LIFE YOU CAN’T BLAME IT NO ONE EXCEPT THE PEOPLE WHO DO THE KILLING PERIOD!

  • yakobyonas

    good stuff, In my opinion folks kill cause the media including allhiphop promotes and allows young black men to behave this way, Ive seen this site huff and buff about who is real and is certified in streets. Peace begins when we as one dont allow this type of bs. If you are real to me that means, you take care of your family, strong faith, educated, & postive. Selling drugs, shooting guns, and being tatted up dont make you hard.

    This happens only in poor areas with no direction and no fathers.

    yohanyoni@aol.com

  • One thing missing in today’s society are songs like self destruction and we’re all in the same gang… Instead I have to listen to Soulja Boy and the likes there of…

    • there’s enough music in this world, you can listen to what you want to listen to.

      • true, but that aint gonna help the streets g… when rappers came 2gether like that back in tha day without thinkin about fame, it made things happen…. 

  • CENTERVIEW_LUV

    This story has a lot of truth to it.

  • Itz a damn shame to where us as black people has come to!!!!!

  • all that for them simple looking jordans.  that won’t be the last time they come out!

  • Who What Why When

     Weve been desensitized to our own struggles so we happily create self destructively and without compassion for one another, just as we were systematically programmed to do. The only way to fix it is to realize how its being done to us and to realize we have little self worth. Otherwise we wouldnt place so much of who we are on what we own. A lot of things in our culture is f_cked up but we dont wont to admit it or try to do better. I wonder sometimes is it because deep down, a gang of us gave up and feel its impossible to right our wrongs. Im sure the struggle was made to wear us down into accepting a defeated attitude so we would turn on ourselves. Sad.

  • Slap a $10 price tag & no one buys them , $250 & they attack for the same shoe.

  • 90hiphop

    im blk and i dont give two shits about jordans!!!! it all boils down to idiots

  • nastinupe

    This no longer has anything to do with color.  This is a class issue now.  You can no longer lump all blacks in the same box.  

  • Clint

    Effects of Post Slavery….instead of giving all the music and sports entertainers the limelight. Give it to the brothers and sisters who have made something of themselves, such as college grads, doctors, lawyers, firemen, police, military and many others who come out of the inner city. Show these kids how to save, how to act, and parents need to instill this in their kids. It’s starts and ends in the house. Babies having babies sitting at home on welfare the kids are just going to do what the parents do. Wake up people, we gotta break away from this curse!