“Shunning eyes made evil through the errors of the world” ~ The Testament of Issachar
Who’s to Blame? How did Gun violence become the norm? Does, American military presence in 80 countries have anything to do with gun violence in America? What are we overlooking? Does religion offer up a big enough moral compass to combat the prevalent gun violence in America? Does anyone believe in Heaven & Hell anymore? In certain situations, it seems like everyone wants to die but nobody wants to go to heaven. Why wouldn’t man want to ascend spiritually to a place where light resides? A Jewish proverb states that” The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim His handiwork, and day unto day utters a message”. I am convinced that every killing in America due to the hand of gun violence utters a message. To the nature of that message it’s uncertain at the moment. How are we to perceive such tragic events?
Is our understanding of the universe somehow limited to our sensory perceptions? Why can’t we understand the nature of gun violence among black metro hubs (Chicago, Louisville, Cincinnati, Detroit, Houston, New Orleans etc), outside of fatherlessness, poverty, lack of education, PTSD, generations curses and the like? Have we considered the importance of environment in regards to disconnecting individuals from deeply held roots of mass destruction. Noted Indian Guru OSHO, explains in his discourse that growth is a rare phenomenon for which the right seed has to find the right soil in order to flourish. Could our youth be the right seed operating in the wrong soil?
The context of seed and soil is twofold because we know that seeds that are planted into the soil of the mind, yields the same results as seeds that are planted in the earth in terms of the harvest that springs forth whether good or bad. The same sentiments can be tied to individuals and families within our communities that are ravaged by gun violence and police brutality. In the Souls of Black Folks, W.E.B. Dubois quotes “And yet this does not touch the kernel of the problem. Human advancement is not a mere question of almsgiving, but rather of sympathy and cooperation among classes who would scorn charity”. These sentiments reflect a greater need for understanding the power of seed, time and harvest, and the seeds of knowledge that can become extracted from such endeavors.
Gun violence as a whole has presented itself in American lore over the past 20 years, to be something of a curse in relation to the lives that are lost and families that are destroyed in the process. How much of what we witness on a daily basis is attributed to God’s Plan. A narrative where sets of events (i.e. 9/11, Sandy Hook etc.) play out beyond human understanding and where the sympathetic nature of such an occurrence can only be explored through the eyes of God. Could the answers be hiding in plain sight? What are we overlooking that could give us insight into the importance of bearing arms and protecting one’s family? Is it safe to say that another America is beginning to form outside of the current ravages of capitalism? So, much blame to go around and yet not enough solutions to quail the problems that ravage our communities. Something must be done.
Part of our work as faith leaders is to disciple our people away from racial hierarchy and the criminalization of black and brown and poor bodies. We have to have a theology of the body that recovers the beauty of every person regardless of race, gender, class or sexual orientation. ~ Rev. Michael McBride.
The Repeating Handgun
In relation to the revolver, black on black violence has a revolving cylinder as well that contains multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. Why must the gun continuously go off in our communities? When will the repeated cycle of violence end? The pain has become too much to bear for some. The perpetual nature of loss has created diminished returns from a psychological and economic standpoint. Some would call these communal failures generational curses, but I refuse to allow an external assumption to cloud the judgement of a now moment. As an individual that sides with the oppressed it behooves me to watch the self-destruction of my community. Religion and the lack Black Leadership, access to Community Programs, Poverty, Substance Abuse and Mental Health disorders lead the discussions as to why violence has become so prevalent within the black community. When does the merry-go-round stop and let everyone off?
What are the crucial confrontations not conversations that must be had? Must our youth continue to play Russian roulette with the future of our race. Whatever happened to each one teaches one? The social forces that are at play makes it seem that we are not one nation under God. There must be a level of confrontation that disrupts the patterns of violence in our inner cities. I am a firm believe that pain forces the mind to deal with change in order to achieve a new level of enrichment. I am optimistic that a new future shall emerge from the death and destruction that plagues our inner cities. It’s reprehensible that innocent bystanders and children often, fall victim to the perpetuated madness of gun violence. Yet, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Hiding in Plain Sight
Gun violence has become somewhat of an enigma to those whose reality isn’t laden with guns, drugs, poverty, depression, oppression and mental abuse on a daily basis. Somehow, it seems like a waste of existence for individuals whose world consists of the moniker “Kill or be killed”. The pain runs much deeper than meets the eye and is often masked by movements that scream for help. It’s what Jamil Jivani in his new book “Why Young Men” The dangerous allure of violent movements and what we can do about it”, speaks to in reference to young men who turn to violence in the name of brotherhood. The book is an incredible read and goes much deeper to the root of the problem (i.e. addiction, mental health issues & Trauma).This is a timely work and helps to explain a concept which I call the “Social Revolver”; in regards to finding a connection between the black mind and his environment which often distorts reality given the nature of physical, mental, and spiritual abuse the mind has endured for so long.
In plain sight we are truly witnessing the breakdown of an idea whose time has long gone. As the gang culture progresses throughout America it’s only going to find that those outdated ideals of drive-by shootings, drugs, gun violence, women and fast money strips the present only to destroy the future. Time is of the essence as we can no longer allow the chambers of the revolver to keep spinning. As Jamil Jivani, mentions in his book “Why Young Men” gangs suffer from vengeance and fear which leads to anxiety, carelessness trauma and other ailments that stifle the potential of the black mind.
Access to guns are more prevalent than ever before because of the demand, as it relates to one’s environment, hobby, protection and or rights. Growing up in the danger zones of life makes it difficult to confront real dangers. The political system within the black community that operates devoid of America politics is a real situation. As an educator, youth advocate, writer, and entrepreneur, the duty lies on me and others to keep writing, researching, and advocating for the rights of the youth. It’s important to note that there are multiple black ghettoes in America, although some are heavier laden with violence than others. It’s what Martin Luther King explains as “The Other America” outside of the mainstream America that is rife with poverty, fatigue, hopelessness and decay. Do your part daily to find solutions for creating a better oasis for the young black mind to land.