SILENCE = CONSENT

About to Get My Head Cut Off

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I’ve been trying to figure out a nice way to express what I’m feeling inside. I’m once again facing the fear that I won’t be liked if I say what I truly feel, the way I truly feel it.  I’m afraid of being harshly judged, or even worse, not being heard at all if I dare to set myself free from this prison of silence.  I guess, I’ve lived here so long, it’s become second nature.  I’m used to having to compromise my own feelings so everyone else can be comfortable.

But if I’m going to grow, and conquer the fear, I have to confront it head on.  It’s not going anywhere any other way.  Sometimes I feel like I’m John the Baptist, and it’s only a matter of time before I’m beheaded for speaking the truth… or at least the truth as I see it.

Since moving to Chicago, I have heard daily reports of young Black men killing people.  One weekend, more than 40 were shot.  More recently, 15 shot in one day. We are being exterminated by our own sons, brothers, cousins, uncles… and for the young ones, our fathers.  I mean, what the fuck has these kids so angry?

I understand poverty is a bitch.  The economy has everybody in a vice grip but, REALLY?  It’s so bad we kill ourselves?  These young, misguided warriors are killing each other over “turf” they don’t even own!  They have no mortgage, or no deed to ANYTHING.  They “feel disrespected” because someone accidentally bumped into them in the store or at the club.  Here’s one… “someone disrespected they bitch.”  Or, someone has a pair of sneaks they want, and instead of getting a fuckin job, and working so they can buy them for themselves (like real men do), they bust someone over the head, or kill them.  Just for the latest Jordans.

This makes me angry. I’m angry because it seems nobody is doing anything to stop it.  Those with the resources to provide services to our community are doing nothing!  And those of us who ARE trying to do something, we speak truth to power only to be written off as heretics.  When we present possible solutions to our problems, we are barely taken seriously if at all.  We are told that our possible solutions will not work without even giving them a try.  I guess if someone other than the “leading blacks” can get any attention or credit for doing something good in the community, is too much of a threat to their non-profit salaries.

Instead of doing something… ANYTHING, it’s easy to just pass the buck and place the blame.  It would be easy to blame the mothers.  We know where they are right?  In the club with THEIR mothers, seeing who can twerk the best. When they get drunk, their “men” instigate fights so they can proudly post their ratchedness on WorldStar Hip-Hop.  I mean, who doesn’t want to be on WorldStar?

We can blame the absent fathers too, right?  When “thug” is what it means to be a real black man, and when little boys are being beat (some to death) for the simple human act of crying, what do we expect?

How about we blame “the man” or “the system”.  We all know that the United States of Amerikkka is set up for blacks to always be second class.  Oh no, wait… i forgot… blacks are too lazy, shiftless and trifling to get up off their asses and do whatever it takes to help themselves.

LET’S BLAME THE CHURCH!  We have churches on every corner in our ‘hoods and they are POWERLESS.  We have MEGA CHURCHES!  Beautiful, pristine, gated, prosperous, state of the art MEGA CHURCHES that have all this Holy Ghost, and all this faith and power, but can’t do ANYTHING to serve the ‘hoods they sit in.  All this “good news” being preached, and our elderly are afraid to sit on their own porches.  We have al this anointing, and power to cast out devils, but our daughters are undercover ghetto porn stars.

I guess it stands to reason the churches are powerless when Qua’shawn is giving $100 or more of his dope money to his grandmother every week, she puts it in church every Sunday, and the pastor (who doesn’t live in the hood) is using said money to pay for his Escalade and to send his kids to college.  I mean, who gives a fuck that Qua’shawn, Malik and Pookie, who paid for the new church building, will be a convicted on drug charges, will NEVER be able to vote again, will spend time in jail, and will have no opportunities to do anything differently if and when he gets out?  But, Praise the Lord for the new sanctuary, right?  And the church doesn’t see this as a problem. The black church’s REAL problem is gay people wanting marriage equality.

What I’m saying is, instead of asking, “Who is gonna do something?”, we should be asking “What can I do?” Each of us has the power to do something.  We can call for more police patrols in our neighborhoods.  I mean, it works for the rich white people.  Are WE not paying more taxes than THEY are?  We can use the power of our vote to put pressure on our elected officials to do more on behalf of our neighborhoods.  We can organize neighborhood watches.  The church and do much more than than pray, like open their doors for youth programs.  The church can be a meeting place for the community organize and educate the community on how to preserve our neighborhoods and save our children.  We can do something constructive to get our kids off the streets.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  We cannot afford for any more of our people to senselessly die.

Okay, I’m done. I put it as nicely as I could without editing out my passion.  I feel I’ve grown up a little bit.  I’m a little bit less afraid.  It feels good.  I finally got that off my chest.  I’m even putting some anti-violence programs together to propose to local churches and the police departments.  That’s SOMETHING, right?

 

Tuan N’Gai is the co-founder of Operation: REBIRTH, the author of “Will I Go To Heaven?  The Black Gay Spiritual Dilemma”, “Little Brown Boy’s Blues”, and contributor to the New York Times Best Seller, “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living”

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