Coming to a city near you – An assault on the Black community
The article “Black Neighborhoods on Lockdown”(FCN Vol. 27 No.38 June 25, 2008) addressed the District of Columbia officials’ assault on the Trinidad neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
That assault in Washington, D.C. represents the tip of the iceberg. It is a launching pad for America’s planned assault against Black communities nationwide and young Black males in particular.
In Trinidad, checkpoints were setup to randomly stop people who were going about their normal lives. D.C.’s police chief and mayor stated that the blockades helped stem crime. The fact is, it is an offensive maneuver that is sweeping the country. A festive Juneteenth event, “Rhythm and Ribs” took place in Kansas City, Missouri’s Jazz District. The event was well attended and not a single incident of violence was reported. Young people drove the streets outside the gated event in a display of their cars and wheels, and a saddle club proudly displayed their horsemanship. Drinking was not prohibited. However, there were no public displays of drunkenness or disorderly conduct. Meanwhile the police were busy setting up check points leading into the inner city.
Kansas City is home to two major league sports teams. You could easily setup checkpoints and arrest thousands of drunken White fans throughout the seasons. No one would ever allow such a police action to take place.
The role of government should rightfully include the anticipation of crises and planning to alleviate it once it occurs. We can anticipate that the lack of employment opportunities and a drastic rise in the cost of living will cause an acceleration in crime and increased drug sales. What are the government’s plans to offset the inevitable? What legitimate and well thought out options have been devised?
To quote Minister Louis Farrakhan’s “Special Message to Street Organizations,” “Why can’t city governments set aside money to train these Brothers in building skills? There are many run-down, dilapidated properties. If these Brothers were partnered with licensed plumbers, electricians, brick masons and painters, so that they could learn the skill, they could rehab and fix up these old abandoned houses.”
Instead, the government will seize on the misfortune of the Black Community and utilize a military solution targeting young Black males. It is the only option that America is capable of posing, either domestically or internationally. Unless Black communities nationwide mount strong opposition, this summer may prove to be extremely volatile.
Black males have historically been viewed as a potential threat to America. It was in Los Angeles in August of 1965 that one of the nations most historic riots broke out when a young Black man charged with reckless driving was arrested in the Watts area. An angry crowd assembled and began to fight the police. The cry, “Burn Baby Burn” filled the air during the riots that followed. Before order was restored 34 were dead, 1,032 injured and property damage was estimated at $40 million.
In 1967 a Black Power Conference was held in Newark, New Jersey. A call was made for splitting the United States into one territory for Blacks and the other for Whites. In California a youthful group of so-called militants led by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale organized the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Party spokesman Eldridge Cleaver declared that the choice before the country was “total liberation for Black people or total destruction for America.” The FBI declared the Black Panthers to be a dangerous and subversive group.
As stated by Minister Farrakhan: “An unwritten law among the slave-masters of our fathers and among the children of the slave-masters today is that Black people must never be allowed to organize. That frightens the government. Whenever there are Bloods, Crips, Black Gangster Disciples, El Rukns, or the Nation of Islam, the Black Panther Party or anybody that sees the value of coming together as an organized unit, you become dangerous.”
The ’60s gave rise to a Black revolutionary threat. To counter the emergence of Black Power advocates the government initiated a number of strategies including promoting actions designed to sharpen social divisions in the Black community The goal was to foster antagonism between Black groups and weaken the movement as a whole. The radical Black movements of the 1960s and ’70s led to economic, political and social gains, primarily for an elite group of acceptable Blacks. However, the condition of the Black masses did not change. This led to the widening and perpetuation of the gap between successful, educated Blacks and the poor.
E. Franklin Frazier, in The Black Bourgeois written in 1957, addresses the conflict and division that exist in America’s Black race. The term “Bourgeois” applies to a group of people whose attitudes and behaviors conform to the standards and conventions of the capitalistic White middle class, who ascribe to material values. The “Black Bourgeois” sees the Black lower-class as the source of their problems. The Black elite are embarrassed by those members of the race who walk, talk and act differently. The Black Bourgeoisie feel their lives would greatly improve if they could just get them low-class or no class “Ns” to act right.
Over the last few years millions of dollars have been granted to various churches, civic groups and so-called Black leadership groups throughout the country. Well intentioned Blacks are attending government subsidized conferences and coming up with ingenious plans. However, the only reason the conferences are funded is to document that young Black males are perceived as a problem by Black elitists and that the problem needs to be eliminated.
In Kansas City, Missouri, Black male leaders were organized under a grant given to the University of Missouri–Kansas City. Late last year I was invited to be on a panel that addressed the National Conference of the LINKS. They, like the Black males who were invited to participate in the UMKC project got a government grant to study the “Young Black Male.” For years now Black behavioral scientists and Black students in various graduate school level studies have been producing a massive volume of work advocating and creating viable programs and national policies to meet the needs of young Black males. The National Institute of Mental Health is mandated to engage in finding solutions to social and behavioral problems. So, why is the government asking church, civic and social groups to define the problems of the Black community?
Conferences have been convened across the country and as predicted, the Black elitists identify young Black males as the problem. America’s favorite way of solving problems with other people–whether domestically or internationally–is militarism. America rejects diplomacy as a way to solve problems. Their motto should be “Show me the problem and I will kill it.” It’s shoot first and ask questions later.
The government has used the elite Bourgeois to justify its assault on the Black community. In identifying the Black male as the problem, the middle-class Blacks have neutralized themselves. The government can now say: “You defined the problem, so why are you crying about the solution?” None of us are secure. If you are a Bourgeois Black, it is only because you have a job. The economy is collapsing and America now needs that job to appease White folks.
(Dr. Harry R. Davidson, Ph.D. is a Kansas City, Missouri based Clinical and Community Psychologist and author.)