In Proverbs 4:7, Solomon says: “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting, get understanding.”
This simple scripture seems to be ignored in all the media coverage and supposed analysis I have seen regarding the Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict police Darren Wilson for fatally shooting Michael Brown, Jr.
I am a native of St. Louis and have spent lots of time in Ferguson throughout my life. Even before Brown’s death, Ferguson was a bomb waiting to explode. All these pathologies didn’t happen overnight.
St. Louis County (which includes Ferguson) has a Black unemployment rate of 17.8% while the White unemployment rate is only 5.7%. Ferguson and St. Louis County has been ruled by Democrats for well over 30 years. Ferguson didn’t just happen, it has been waiting to happen and Democrats didn’t give a damn.
Let’s be honest about this situation: Michael Brown was no angel and had he not stolen those cigars, we would not be having this conversation. But liberals like Al Sharpton, Michael Dyson, and the membership of the Congressional Black Caucus refuse to acknowledge this fact.
Everything cannot simply be blamed on racism and White folks. What have we, in the Black community, done that society as a whole has so little value for a Black person’s life?
I do believe that war has been declared on Blacks, especially Black males; but who has made the declaration of war? I would argue that Blacks have declared war on their own people. White folks haven’t, nor racists, or the KKK.
Before going to war, the first thing that is needed is to create a psychological operations campaign (i.e. psy-ops). This is a tactic that the military uses to marginalize its targeted population so that when the troops are sent in to destroy this group, there is no public outcry.
Just look at how the U.S. military vilified and demonized former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and terrorist Osama Bin Laden before we set out to kill them. Upon their deaths at the hands of the U.S. military, the American people cheered because we had devalued and marginalized them before the American people. I can’t help but ask the Black community, have we unleashed a psy-ops campaign on our own people?
We have created our own Frankenstein monster. This new Hip-Hop generation has experimented in the laboratory called a recording studio; and by exercising their First Amendment Right of freedom of speech and expression through music, they have lost control of the very monster to which they gave birth.
In the beginning, like with Frankenstein, people marveled at this new creation and people were willing to pay to see and hear it. There was “Rappers Delight,” there was “The Message,” and there was “Fight the Power.” Then, the imagery and lyrics took a twisted turn under a perverted interpretation of the First Amendment called “keeping it real.”
Now, the establishment, especially the police, had become the enemy. Hip-Hop became a counter-culture movement that turned into a monster that could no longer be controlled. Women became “bitches and hoes,” men became hyper-sexualized thugs who were only out to force themselves on your daughters and to “get rich or die trying.”
When rap music started, it was a verbal extension of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s in the spirit of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; it was about the uplifting of our community and providing a voice to those often without a voice.
Then in the 1990s, rap took a more militaristic tone with the creation of “gangsta rap.” This too, was a verbal extension of the Civil Rights movement; but more in the spirit of Malcolm X on steroids. These artists represented those in the “hood” who felt trapped and abused by the system. They felt like no one cared about them and that life was about the here and now – immediate gratification; so screw the future. They wanted to “get theirs now.” They wanted to live fast, even if it meant dying young.
This ultimately led to the “thug” culture, personified by hit movies like Scarface, New Jack City and Carlito’s Way; each glorified the criminal lifestyle.
Then you had the crack epidemic of the 1990s with the violence that it brought into the hood. All these factors combined to create a narrative that Black life was worthless and Black youth brought no value to society.
If it’s okay for Blacks to devalue the lives of our own people, how can we demand that Whites value us? White folks don’t need to do anything for Ferguson. They have all the power they need. The issue is will they exercise it?
Raynard Jackson is a Republican political consultant, syndicated columnist and author of the book “Writing Wrongs: My Political Journey in Black and Write.” Web: www.raynardjackson.com.