Is it anger that keeps me from watching the Central Park Five mini series or G-U-I-L-T? How can I be responsible for my community when I can barely take care of my immediate family? How huge of an impact will my community service, mentor-ship or charity have on my community? I feel someone would reply “you won’t know unless you try”. I’ve tried on a small scale, from reminding friends of their worth, to lending a few dollars and not requesting it back. Only to be disappointed by the lack of growth by the individual I helped. Perhaps it takes more than small scale acts of kindness, it requires someone to dedicate their lives to the cause.
Where did that get those that fought for equal rights in the past, the grave. I’m guilty of putting the basic needs of my immediate family above my community. However, that is what I was raised to do, taught to do at an early age, survive. I was raised by a single mom who trusted no one not even her own Mother & Father. With each generation the importance of community fades away. How can I trust my neighbor when I don’t trust my own family. I’m sure a historian could find some evidence to support slavery has a lot to do with the lack of trust we have in one another. I get it slavery has had an everlasting impact on our community, help our generation understand how to break the cycle.
It’s great that Jay-Z is a billionaire in hip-hop but hip-hop is not going to alleviate the racial and class-ism issues average people experience on the daily. Unfortunately, white kids no more about our roots in hip hop than most of us and don’t get me started on our history. How is it white people feel the need to impress us by reciting our history or fun facts about our culture to us as a means of relating. As a mother I am going to take pride in teaching my kids about us although it wasn’t done to me by my mother. I don’t want kudos, I want it to be acknowledged that my mother expected me to learn about “Us” in school & college. Hmmmmn the public school system failed and sadly enough so did the HBCU I attended. A community college professor did his best to “whet my palate” with my history but the African American studies class was too short.
I cherish the idea of love, and peace but I am reminded by reality that hate and chaos are an inherent to the world we live in. If racism didn’t exist, if class-ism wasn’t a thing what would we do? Live in harmony?