Easton PA Gang Murders

There have been a number of things occurring however, that are worthy of comment. The recent killings that occurred in Easton PA are on my mind. There are times when it is necessary to break silence and speak the truth.

I subscribed to XM satellite radio during the past year and I often listen to various black talk radio shows on the Power 169. Often there are some engaging thought provoking discussions. During the past week, there was a discussion about three young African- American men who had broken into the house of a white drug dealer in California to steal. During the course of the break-in, the three black men beat the drug dealer’s 19 year old son with a baseball bat so badly that he wound up with brain damage. After beating the drug dealer’s son, they started to make their getaway when the drug dealer gathered his gun and shot the assailants in the back as they were running away killing two of them and wounding one.

The surviving assailant was captured and arraigned in court. The prosecutor used a little known statute and charged the survivor with not only breaking and entering, but also the murder of his dead companions, even though he was not the one to actually kill them. The particular statute that the prosecutor used held him responsible for their deaths because they were engaged in a criminal act where he should have foreseen that someone getting killed was a possibility.

In a move that borders on the ridiculous, a local civil rights group lodged a protest claiming that the surviving assailant was a victim of racism because he was being charged with murder when he wasn’t the one to actually kill his companions.

Don’t get me wrong, gratuitous racism is still alive and well in America, but don’t try to tell me that someone is being racist when you brought the whole thing on yourself. Please don’t waste my valuable time telling me I need to join your protest when you’re wasting your own time and resources defending that which can not be and should not be defended.

Our protests ring hollow when we can’t find our voices to raise hell about the miscreant element that’s running amok in our communities.

The conditions in African American communities across this nation are the cumulative effect of a great many things. The greatest is the level of neglect. The neglect comes from our inattentiveness to the problems that plague our communities. There’s a preference for marching, protesting and holding others accountable for solving problems that only we can solve. We fail to understand fundamentally what power is and to realize that when your solutions are wholly contingent on convincing someone else to do something that you should do yourself, they have the power and you do not. We fail to realize that our failure to find solutions to our community’s problems results in someone else’s solutions finding us

One only needs to examine the evidence of the increasingly privatized prison systems to see an example of someone else’s solution finding us. Since we’ve not found a solution to the “gangster mentality” exhibited by many young African-American males, someone else’s solution is to warehouse them in prison for a profit. Since we’ve not created viable economic opportunities, someone else’s solution is to use our youth as retailers of illegal drugs for a profit. So once again, our misery forms the basis of someone else’s profit, but unlike involuntary servitude, our neglect and our choices have basically yielded the benefit at great cost and detriment to our community.

Now I don’t deny that there are exogenous factors that contribute to certain conditions in our communities. For example, although much gang activity revolves around drugs, one would be hard pressed to make the case that they’re responsible for wholesale importation of drugs into the country. The street level drug dealers really represent the end link of the distribution chain who, along with causing the mayhem, have short lived risky careers. Billions are made at the wholesale level before the street level dealers are even involved. But even dealing with that requires something other than what’s been done to date. (The war on drugs has been an abysmal failure in addressing this, but that’s another topic.) There’s a place for marching and protesting, but there’s also a place for strategic calculations and planning. There’s a place for making good choices. Any initiative or organized effort undertaken should revolve around attempting to solve real problems. There are a host of the problems, but crime and criminality figures prominently.

Clearly, it’s time for new thinking and new approaches to problem solving, but before that, we need a new understanding. Our survival and the ultimate survival of this nation will depend upon that.

Thanks for your indulgence.

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