Man-child in the Promised land/couldn’t afford many heroes – Moms was the only one there/my pops was a no show — Papa’z Song Tupac
He was always somewhere “workin,’” leaving his wife with the responsibility of bailing the kid out of jail. Then came the day when Junior got shot on MLK Blvd.
After ,frantically , searching for Rev, his wife finally tracked him down at a baseball game sharing popcorn and peanuts with his white “stepchild” lil Tommy…
January 15, is the official birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr , it kicks off that time of year when people in this country start celebrating the accomplishments of the late , great civil rights icon. Speeches are gonna be played in heavy rotation about his dream of one day seeing little black boys and black girls holdin’ hands with little white boys and white girls. And how we should have unconditional love for white people no matter how rotten they treat us.
For a time the social amalgamation of the races seemed to be the cure-all for the problems facing black folk. If white people just got to know us, they would realize that we were not the cannibals from the old Tarzan movies, runnin’ around a big black pot chantin’ “yum yum eat ‘em up.” Nor are we a bunch of lust filled sex maniacs , hiding behind bushes just waiting to pounce on the first virtuous white chick who passed by, ala Birth of a Nation. If we could just go down to Starbucks and have a hot cup of coffee, we could live out Rodney King’s dream and “all get along.”
During the 60’s, the misappropriated idea of redemptive suffering was used by those who wished to counter the fire of the burgeoning Black Power Movement. So, little black children gettin’ bitten by police dogs was seen as an act of redemption for those whose only sin was being born with dark skin.
For white America , Dr. King was seen as a Prince of Peace. A modern day apostle to the Gentiles who would plead the case of black humanity to white America.
The name Martin Luther King has become synonymous with the whole Civil Rights movement. A generation of people who believed that integration was the key to the salvation of the entire black nation.
One cannot fathom the time , energy and resources that it took to get white folks to love black people. But somewhere black love went bankrupt. Somewhere, we used up our love fund and the checks came bouncin’ back with “insignificant funds” stamped in big graffiti letters.
My main criticism of the civil rights era is that black leaders spent too much teaching our children to love white kids and not nearly enough time teaching them to love each other. And now the chickens have come home to roost.
In ‘hoods across the country, black blood is flowing in the streets like water. We live in a time when teenage rappers like Chief Keef can brag about making a CD that is gonna “ raise the murder rate in Chi-Town”, a city already suffering from black on black violence. We live in an era when teenage girls become overnight celebrities for sucka punchin’ other black girls and putting it on youtube.
So history has shown that the Civil Rights Movement has been useless when it comes to solving the problem of black fratricide.
Strangely enough, most of the solutions for Black people in 2014 are either vetted by white media gatekeepers or phrased in a way to appeal to the guilt complexes of white liberals who have watched Boyz in the Hood too many times.
Back in the 60’, Robert Penn Warren wrote the book “Who Speaks for the Negro, “ the answer then was people like Malcolm X , Stokely Carmichael (Kwame Ture) or James Baldwin. However, the answer today would be white liberals like Rachel Maddow, Tim Wise or Hip Hop’s great white hope, Macklemore.
There is a void in the Black community. Dr. Bobby E. Wright once said that what we needed was a”Black social theory’ to solve the problems in the black community, perhaps the most pressing being black on black violence. Some groups have picked up the slack and started a Black Power/Black Peace Campaign to stop Black on Black violence in 2014. But we need more black solutions for black problems.
This may sound harsh but this year, we have to kidnap Dr. Martin Luther King and bring him to the ‘hood. . If the words of Rev. King were able to touch the heart of a grand dragon of the Ku Klux Klan and make him let a black dude take
his daughter to the prom, surely, they can make a Blood think twice before blastin’ a Crip.
Now I know that this is supposed to be a time when people are supposed to sing “We Shall Overcome” and give some positive, happy messages to the kids. But like Treach said on Naughty By Nature’s “Ghetto Bastard”
“Say something positive? Well, positve ain’t where I live.”
Dr. Martin Luther King has been in the suburbs with the manicured lawns and picket fences too long. Its time for him to come back home.
His children are waitin’ for him.