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Wrongdoing is Holding Blacks Back

Askia Muhammad | 5/3/2013, 12:13 a.m. | Updated on 5/3/2013, 12:13 a.m.
Askia Muhammad

For centuries Black scholars in this country have eloquently described the inimical relations their people have with other racial and ethnic groups. And they've all been basically correct.

On the other hand, there are few, save the blind, deaf, and dumb, self-hating rascals in the group, who can see past the rage at The Man, in order to recognize that we are still "our own worst enemy." OOWE!

The truth is: next to the lack of unity among Black folks, the No.1 problem affecting "the race," is self-inflicted. That is, the tendency toward wrongdoing, and/or excusing wrongdoing among Black folks when Black folks observe it among themselves, is the Number One; the #1; the Numero Uno; the chief obstacle to permanently escaping the ditch into which other folks dumped them long ago.

Too many Black people are addicted to wrongdoing. They may not be doing anything so bad as to warrant arrest and incarceration, but it's more likely they've just never been caught.

Most of the Black community's crusaders against wicked wrongdoing, point their fingers at The Man instead of at the troublemakers within the Black community. We champion the grandmother who makes huge personal sacrifices for her incarcerated grandson because we know her conspicuous and unflinching love for her loved one on lockdown, is the best thing there is to prevent the troublemaker from going back to jail.

We blame "The System" which is absolutely rotten, and so for that reason, we never get around to questioning the young perpetrator about his or her plans to live a better life ... from now on.

We have seen and heard that the system of incarceration in this country which locks up more than 2 million people – the most in the "free world" – is nothing more than the "New Jim Crow," it's a way young Black folks are segregated again from everyone else.

We lament the "school-to-prison-pipeline" which studies test scores of inner-city children in the third grade, in order to predict the number of jail cells which will be needed 10 years later. I heard a mother of a newly convicted son lament the fact that she has to spend as much money each month to support the commissary and other needs of her jailed son, as she has to spend to support her daughter in college. But she bristled when a reporter asked her what crime her son had committed.

I wish there was a culture among us which saw virtue as being superior to indecency and vice. Just think if we could foil the jailhouse planners and not send the quota of young Black males and females to jail, again and again. Just think.

After World War II America's vanquished enemies Germany and Japan were both disarmed. Their military forces were reduced to national police forces, as all of their external security was provided by the United States and the allies, because the defeated foes could not be trusted to develop military power right away, because the world feared they would become aggressors again and threaten other nations if they had military power. So what happened?

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