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« violent Crime Down! Murders Up? | Main | A Matter of Class »
Sunday
Dec052004

The Dysfunction of the American Black culture

The Dysfunction of the American Black culture is a rugh draft  excerp  from  an upcomming book  by  this author

It is no secret that the quality of life for a large part of the Black community has stagnated since the civil rights struggle of the 60's. Young blacks have become complacent and some of my contemporaries have lost their zeal. The younger generation ether is to busy making their mark on the world or have given up. Many of my generation have benefited greatly from a combination Affirmative action, educational opportunities, hard work and the change of attitudes of some Whites.

Still the ghettoes we struggled to climb out of still exist. Moreover, there are many of our brothers and sisters still trying to claw their way out.

Do not get me wrong I know there are those who do not even try. In addition, the jails are full of those who took the wrong way out. However, I also see that quiet majority who are playing by the rules. Moreover, I see the black father with two meager jobs, who made the mother of his children his wife. On the other hand, the Mother works all day and takes classes two or three nights a week to make a better life for her self and her family they get little fanfare compared the drug dealer or the kids killing each other out of some warped sense of honor. When blacks as a whole make positive strides there are those in the white community who will nit pick it to find fault.  Conservatives criticized the Million Man March of 1996 because of the presence of Minister Louis Farrakhan. "All they're doing is setting themselves apart" by flocking to Farrakhan, Michael Rosenbaum, 38, a white accountant in New York, said of blacks participating in the march. "He has created a level of hate that no other person in the United States has." To Anthony Riccobono, 40, a white banker in New York, the march was "a waste of time. It's a holiday, a vacation. It doesn't change the problem." But some whites did attend the Washington, D.C., demonstration. A group of white, first-year law students from George Washington University came to see the crowd and hear the speeches. Read more.

 

Just as some Blacks who benefited from affirmative action feel that it that it has put an unfair burden on them because of those who think they do not deserve their position and the status it grants them. I who have not lived in an exclusively black neighborhood in 20 years feel that the timing of integration may have hurt the black more than any thing since slavery itself.  

Most of the immigrants who came to these shores developed long established communities before the integrated in to the greater society. All over the country, you can see what were well-entrenched cultural enclaves of Italian, Polish, German etcetera cultures. Doctors, lawyers, and bakers all lived and died in the same community. When they when they gave up their culture they did so freely. Yes, many of them shed the cultural baggage to escape   ethnic prejudice that was practiced back when blacks did not even count in the class struggle over jobs and privilege in America. Blacks on the other hand where brought to this country in chains stripped of their culture. Then cast out into this culture rich nation and not allowed to assimilate. Therefore, the black culture is arguably the youngest culture on the planet. Moreover, it has been on a fast track trying catching up with the rest of the worlds more mature cultures. It was easy for these other cultures to assimilate. In most cases, they just sent their children to school to learn to read and write many children taught their parents and grandparent the language arts. In some cases, they altered their names. Regardless of what I change, my name to you can tell I am black from three blocks away

As the civil rights laws where passed and blacks where first allowed to compete for positions in the job market, and then allowed to rent and buy homes out side the established black community. As they did the former they tended to do the latter. I was in one of those pioneer families. I remember my father moving us to 2802 Cold Spring lane in Baltimore Md. However, that is what prominent families did back then they where pioneers leading the way for all who would follow.

The downside was that they left with the money power and influence that their newly attained affluence afforded them. Leaving the community devoid of the role models they could be, in there place where the hustlers, pimps and dealers who where the ones who looked like they where living the American dream or at least the one we see on television

 

One of the greatest debate topics among Black activist may be what to do about the black condition in America today. Many think that since the White man created the problem he should be instrumental in its repair. Still others feel that we as a people should rise up from our defeatist attitudes, take responsibility for ourselves and fight the good fight. Are they both right?

The men who created this mess are long dead. Should their children take some responsibility for their father's actions so long ago? I have to bare the burden for every wrong thing a black man has done since reconstruction so why not?

Should my contemporaries and I move back into the Hood, and through example bring kicking and screaming back to the greater society those, we left behind? On the other hand, should we just proselytize from afar and wait 500 years for the black culture to mature. It is our problem, so what are we the American people Black and White going to do about it. 


 

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