A little while ago (yesterday) I was sitting on the Porch doing some reading to get my mind going before jumping into the Journal. Then, I saw three African-American boys, two about the age of eleven or twelve and the oldest about fourteen, walking across the front of the property. The way things are here, I call it “country ghetto,” there is no sidewalk, so folks usually walk along a footpath, which in some spots is not a path at all, to the local, you got it, Yemeni owned, J-Hill “corna sto’” (which really isn’t a “corner” store in the way folks may think of them in more urbanized cities).
The footpath is on the outside of the property line, so to speak. These kids were on the inside of the property line—about seventy-five feet from where I was sitting. Okay, cool… but not so. Praise Allah, we have not had many incidents of theft here. About nine or ten years ago, someone stole the battery out of my car. Presumably, it was the same guy who had stuck a note in the door a few days earlier asking me if I wanted to sell my vehicle (I wasn’t driving it at the time and had been sitting under a tree for maybe a week). Other than that, most of the “theft” that has taken place has been of the four legged type snatching up my fowl friends. Anyway, these boys are now standing under the oak tree on the property. One runs back in the direction of the corner store, but returns (I thought I had seen them walking across the property before I was actually sitting on the Porch—at this point these boys are returning from the store). Now, they are kinda hanging out under the big oak (on the property). This ain’t too good.
I call out to them in my authoritative Brother Ali voice, “Do you need something?” I am not trying to antagonize the kids, but I also don’t want them to think that “under the oak tree” is their new hang-out spot. One of the younger boys comes running over, and says, “Yes, sir.” I repeat my question, and he seems a little stunned and fumbles about in his mind to come up with a request. One thing I can say about the people here is that all but the lowest and most wretched amongst them, they tend to be polite and have some notion of manners. While he is standing there, he picks up a piece of pyrite I had sitting on the railing. He then asked for some water. Now I am sitting outside with my stuff (books, phone, Journals, etc.), and I don’t know if this is a genuine request or a ploy to get me off the Porch, so he can grab something. I ask him if he means tap water (I don’t have any bottled water, except for the jugs that I drink from directly), for if he does, he is welcome to drink from the outside spigot. He declines on the water, and turns to go back to his homies… after he’s palmed the pyrite. I say to him—“What about the stone?” He feigns that he didn’t realize what he did, returns it, and goes back to his friends (who remain under the tree for a few more minutes).
This incident caused me to sit and reflect for a while. (Oddly enough, last night I had watched Gran Torino (WARNING: it has strong Catholic themes running throughout), which has almost the same incident on a much more intense level.) After the boy ran off, I said under my mental breath: “They don’t stand a chance.” A little later, I realized that that was what the Clint Eastwood character said about “Toad,” and the unlikelihood that he would avoid either being involved in or victimized by Hmong street gang violence.
“They don’t stand a chance,” meaning that young black males, especially the poor amongst them, don’t stand a chance against the “System.” By the “System,” I mean the network of institutions that dominate their lives, whether they be the low-grade schools, welfare and human services, the prison-industrial complex (PIC), the media, the black race pimp politicians and academics, and the general (degenerate) state of black culture. They (young black males) are confronted with a massive and sophisticated matrix of institutions that do not have their best interests in mind… not by a long shot.
Over the past few days, I had a discussion with a Brother about the deleterious effects of stereotypes and racism on the black psyche, and the specific targeting and abuse of black males by the legal authorities. I then had another discussion with a Sister about the nature of the prison-industrial complex, and I watched about two-thirds of a Michelle Alexander lecture on The New Jim Crow (http://newjimcrow.com/).
I am by NO MEANS an apologist for the prison-industrial complex. My attitude is that the PIC is utterly corrupt, and the best advice that can be given to a young black male is to take the measures necessary that will reduce the chances he will get arrested on real—or fabricated—charges. It is pointless complaining about how bad the System is, when the System is designed to be bad. The goal is to reduce the harm that the System can do to you.
This doesn’t mean that one doesn’t point out, for instance, the inequities of the PIC, but doing so doesn’t lead to necessary behavior modification of those who are most frequently its victims. Furthermore, there is no dope boy standing on the corners of America’s ghettos who doesn’t know that the System is racist. One trip to the courthouse or the city jail demonstrates that something is racially askew in America.
Frankly, the black male has become obsolete—he (meaning as a collective) has nothing positive to offer society. Factories have largely pulled up stakes and moved abroad. Those that remain are far more automated than the factories of fifty years ago. Contracting work is increasingly being taken over by Latinos and other immigrants. Farm labor is now done by immigrants and not black sharecroppers or tenant farmers. Even the labor intensive jobs, like those in the warehouses of Memphis, have their increasing share of Afro crop cut, tatted up, throwback jersey wearing females, who like to have other females up under their arms. Because of massive male neglect, lack of foresight, self-indulgence, and feminism, black men are now graduating from college at half the rate of black women.
Hence, we have many poorly educated low-skilled (if any skilled) black male underclass whose services are not needed… and you have a for-profit prison system. You don’t have to be a member of MENSA to see where this thing is going. Furthermore, you have a Negro leadership that has utterly failed black males. Instead of concentrating on improving the moral character of black males, the black leadership went about searching for (sometimes real and sometimes not) incidents of white racism. (Here is a case where Jay Jay (Jesse Jackson) shook down Budweiser and threatened to sue them for “racism,” and then got his sons lucrative contracts to sell this poison to his “own people”: http://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/Bud-Man-Jackson-Slipping.html) All blame was removed from the BEHAVIOR of the black underclass and placed upon white/institutional racism. This was one of the great betrayals of poor black folk.
To their credit, aside from their severe doctrinal deviations, the so-called Nation of Islam (https://facetofloor.wordpress.com/2012/08/10/refutation-of-farrakhanism-the-so-called-nation-of-islam/) was ever critical of the culture of the black underclass, and the vice and depravity that envelopes it. On the one hand, the Nation recognized, that black folks weren’t the ones who controlled the parasitic institutions or the drugs that flowed into their communities, but on the other, they never removed personal responsibility. The Nation condemned the alcohol consumption, gambling, fornication, drug use, laziness, irresponsibility, thievery, and other vices without losing sight of the larger dynamics at play in the greater society.
The Negro (“liberal”) leaders’ existence is so predicated on black dysfunction that it doesn’t only fail to name the causes that lie at the root of the black male crisis (i.e., a breakdown of morality), it— defends the causes of black dysfunction. That dysfunction being, for instance, the promotion of single mother headed homes (as something normal or an ideal), feminism, homosexuality, and an attitude of entitlement. When is the last time you’ve heard a black leader say that serial fornication and illegitimacy is detrimental to the stability of the black community? You can’t even hear them say that a boy being raised by two lesbian women is not a good idea. A people with no moral compass, cannot excel in the long term and certainly not in the Hereafter.
Returning to the incident with the sticky fingered boy, what are the prospects for black boys like him? (I don’t know enough about him personally or his circumstances—this may have been a one time aberration for him, although I think not.) In the next year or two, the hormones will kick in. The pursuit of fornication will become a central aspect of his existence. Perhaps, the drugs will come into play. If he can’t keep his mitts off of things that are apparently valuable (pyrite looks expensive, but isn’t), then how long will it be before he catches a shop-lifting or breaking and entering charge? Chances are he’s immersed in rap music and a culture that has no regard for any kind of authority, or education, or private property, or self-restraint, or delayed gratification, or sexual modesty. Chances are he’s one of the 70% of black boys who does not have his father living in the household. Furthermore, he’s confronted by well-financed and well-organized slave catchers, who see each boy like him as money in the pocket of those who have vested interests in the growth of the prison-industrial complex.
The Negro leadership will never dare say that to prevent this cycle of pathology, black people need to stop producing out-of-wedlock babies—children who are the products of “booty calls,” night club “hook-ups,” drunken binges, and those seeking to enhance their child support and welfare check incomes. Will this boy ever be instructed in the importance of self-discipline? Will he be instructed not to look at women as mere objects? Will he be taught about the importance of a work ethic or an education or the love of learning? Will he ever have any sense of what is going on in the larger world and his role therein? Statistically, he probably will not.
I don’t wish ill upon this child. I don’t consider him the worst of those his age. I wish him the best, and if he’s around one day when we are having an activity, I’ll probably invite him to join, God-willing. But the fact remains that he as an individual and black males as a whole are ill-prepared to deal with the global realities of being poor in America in the 21st century. And as I have said many times elsewhere, the sooner African-American Muslims realize what is going on with this socially engineered “African-American culture,” and make a CLEAN BREAK—an exodus—from that culture, the better for us and the stability of our families. Reach out to those who want to do better, but in general, African-American Muslims need to put aside feelings of ethnic solidarity and understand that Allah has not willed to guide everyone, and our first concern is to strive to save ourselves and our families and to share the message of Islam with whomever is willing to listen.