After I posted this video, I got this email:
I’m a 43-year black man living in Detroit, MI. Been here my whole life. I’ve been a community organizer against black-on-black crime for 20 years and have been a EMT for 10 ears. And that video in your post…. THAT VIDEO… It is so accurate that it brought tears to my eyes. See Kathy, what many folks do not know, there are a sizable number of black folks living in high-crime areas that feel just like that guy in the video. I’ve held black people of all ages in my arms that have died at the hands other black folks. We crusaders against black-on-black crime will get a occasional fluff piece in the local news about what we are doing but that’s it. It is disgusting. We’ve NEVER been successful at getting Rev. Jesse Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, and even a sizable amount of local pastors in our own city to support us. Some do and we are VERY grateful for their REAL support and encouragement. But they are few and far between. As one black grandmother I talked a few weeks ago said, “Black life ain’t valued in Detroit. It’s a war zone.”
The problem as I see it is that black folks have been hijacked by the opportunistic “perpetually outraged” activists. And the media blows them up all over the television networks. They sit and wait for the right time then BAM! They all over the issue like flies on crap. The death of Trayvon Martin just proves. I don’t know what kind of teen Martin was or wasn’t. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that hundreds of Trayvon Martins are killed by other black folks without a DAMN PEEP from the Sharptons and Jacksons of the world. Why? Because there is no money, no prestige, no entertainment in black-on-black crime. Black-on-black crime is ugly and highlights issues such as self-hatred, low self-esteem, and perpetual victimhood.
I have to highlight self-hatred. That is the PRIMARY reason for black-on-black crime. There are black folks roaming around the urban landscapes that HATE black folks more than the KKK, Aryan Nation, and Skinheads combined. And the smallest provocation means instant death.
So while I don’t agree with many of your viewpoints Kathy, I respect you for posting this. And black folks who have issue with a white person posting this need to understand this KEY POINT: we all live here together and white folks can see our dirty laundry just like we can see theirs. Which means you have every right to be critical of black folks engaging in stupid and detrimental behavior.
Have a great day!
I replied, in part:
Thanks so much for taking the time to write.
I think the “dirty laundry” issue is key. I thought that watching what happened during Katrina. It seemed to me that on top of all the other awful things that were happening, residents were visibly embarrassed that they outside world was now scrutinizing their choices and way of life. I felt I could see it in their faces and in their defensiveness, but maybe I was projecting. When people are defensive, the LAST thing they want to do is address and change the part of the situation that they are at fault for. So the cycle continues.
He wrote back:
The vast majority of what I do in the community is through the Salvation Army. Ex-con rehabilitation, food drives, anti-gang activism, etc. We just do what we need to do whenever. To be honest, it’s not a unified effort at times. Many times a group of us just get together and just “work” an area. Just trying to help out. A group of 11 of us have talked about separating ourselves into a group that addresses issues here in another way (coming from the point of view of that man in the video you posted). No more trying to hide “dirty laundry”. Get it out, air it out, and work on getting it clean!!!!!
I’m from Creole stock so I’m very aware of Katrina and the shame/embarrassment of the people in the Lower 9th Ward. Once again thank you for your reply and keep writing!