Black America: The Final Destination

“Sometimes, I think it’s

just genocide. Watching all of your people die.”  

                                                      “Closed Eyes”- Marcus

Cox, NC artist  

  

I just peeped the new movie

called “The Final Destination” about this woe- is -me type

dude warning his homies about their impending demises and their frantic

attempts to beat the grim reaper. I’m not  sure why I spent $6.25 to

see the flick when, as a Black man, I get that every night on the evening

news for free…  

 

The gloom and doom forecast

for Black life started out in the 16th century with the misinterpretation

of scripture that condemned people of African descent to the curse of

being “hewers of wood and drawers of water.” It’s been pretty

much downhill every since.  

 

It seems that any news dealing

with Black folks is, overwhelmingly, negative except for the occasional

story of some lucky kid who “made it out the ghetto despite the

million- to- one odds.”  

 

Whether it’s stories about

unemployment or high drop out rates, Black on black violence or some

new disease that for some strange reason only attacks Black folks, news

from the ‘hood is, definitely, not all good.  

 

The sad thing about it is that

most of us have become so accustomed to our pitiful prognosis that we

have accepted the revelations, wholeheartedly, without even asking

why.  

 

And those of us who do try

to challenge the statistics are faced with the unenviable task of constantly

trying to decipher fact from fiction.  

 

Is the Black community, inherently,

doomed to the pathologies that plague us or do our own actions determine

our fate? Do we have the ability to develop strategies to relieve our

burdens or will even our best made plans be sabotaged by those who have

a vested interest in “keepin’ the Black man down?”  

 

People like Bill Cosby have

argued that if only Black boys would pull up their pants and stop listening

to gangsta rap then all would be right with the world. This is not much

different than WEB Du Bois’ argument in his 1897 essay, “The Conversation

of Races” that the greatest step to solving the “Negro problem

lies in the correction of the immortality, crime and laziness of the

Negroes themselves, which still remains an argument since slavery.”

 

 

Others have argued, quite convincingly,

that the condition of African Americans is not the result of Divine

Providence nor an accidental universal catastrophe but is a well designed

attempt to remove people with high levels of melanin from the face of

the planet.  

 

While this may be dismissed

by some as paranoia, as the character from the 80’s sitcom, WKRP in

Cincinnati, Dr. Johnny Fever, once said, “when everyone’s out to

get you, being paranoid is just a smart way of thinking.”  

 

After all the evidence is there.

 

 

As Malcolm X said at a Harlem

rally in 1964, known as his ‘By Any Means Necessary Speech,” When

you let the Black man in America know where he once was and what he

once had, why, he only needs to look at himself now to realize something

criminal was done to him to bring him down to the low condition that

he’s in today.”  

 

It is foolish to deny the fact

that segments in this country have offered ways to get rid of Black

undesirables over the years; whether it be lynchings, burnings, the

Tuskegee Experiment, COINTELPRO, crack and guns in the hood or the Hurricane

Katrina aftermath, the list goes on.  

 

While many of these incidents

may be chalked up to urban legends, the affect of rumors was taken very

seriously by the government.  In her book, “Heard it Through the

Grapevine,” Professor Patricia Turner writes that the Feds set

up “rumor clinics” during WWII to “prevent potentially

adverse hearsay of all sorts from gaining credibility.” Also, in

1968, the Kerner Report recorded the operation of  “Rumor Central

” operations to combat urban racial disorders.  

 

What is most troubling is that

many young African Americans have embraced their fate and adopted the

old Star Trek Borg mantra that “resistance is futile.”  

 

This is especially evident

in Hip Hop as rappers have developed a bizarre type of necrophilia.

There are hundreds of songs with the common theme of “just kill

me, already, and get it over with.”  

 

The posthumous success of rappers

Tupac Shakur and the Notorious BIG, both of whom seemed to predict their

deaths in their lyrics, are perhaps the best examples.  

 

This is not to suggest that

the entertainment industry’s exploitation of Black agony started with

Grandmaster Flash and the Furious 5’s, “The Message.” From

the blues to the the situation comedies /tragedies of 70’s shows such

as Good Times, the industry has painted a less than rosy picture of Black life. However, with changing technological advances, Hip-Hop allowed Black suffering to be embraced, globally.  

 

Regardless, of the cause of

our dilemma, our challenge is to find ways to restore the confidence

of this younger generation that they do not have to accept their prewritten

obituaries but they posses the innate ability to change their environment.

 

 

Maybe, we will find out that

Earth, Wind and Fire were right when they sang, “in our hearts

lie all the answers to the truth you can’t run from.”  

 

Until then, just like  in the

movie, being Black in America is  a constant, everyday struggle to cheat

death.  

  

 

Paul Scott writes for No Warning

Shots Fired.com. He can be reached at  info@nowarningshotsfired.com  

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