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Monday, January 16, 2012

We Have to Do Better

We Have to Do Better
 After living in black communities and attending a HBCU, I have come to realize that the black community is very hard on themselves. We have the propensity to come down hard and strong on one another. We often see how the media illustrates us and how we are perceived by other races, but we fail to realize that there is more to us then our color. Yes, the media is cogent, leading us to believe the copious negative stereotypes of blacks. But who should know about Black People better than Black People?
If you ask me, one of the biggest problems within the black community is that we are always talking about the biggest problems within the black community. It is okay to discuss problems… how else will we ever come up with a resolution? However, these discussions are not being had with the intent to resolve but to criticize. I have never heard any other group of people treat their own kind so poorly. Black on black crime isn’t only happening in the streets with guns and violence, but it also comes from our own mouths. Have you ever heard the saying ‘If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book’? I have. And I have only heard it from other Blacks. Why would we say or repeat something like this? I am black, and I read books. I have friends that read, and they too are black. I am sure the entire White population doesn’t read on a daily basis, nor does any other entire population. So why do we feel the need to criticize each other? Shouldn’t this be labeled a crime? As a young child, being aware of the racial differences, hearing ‘If you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book’ was an injustice. I was molded into thinking black people are less intelligent; black people were inadequate compared to other races. And it came from BLACK people.
As clich√© as this may sound, we are more than our skin color. We have rich blacks, we have poor blacks, we have educated blacks and we have uneducated blacks. So should we expect the poor blacks to carry themselves as the rich black people would? And vice versa? Should we expect the educated blacks to carry themselves the way uneducated blacks would? And vice versa? The point I am trying to make is that we are all different. Yes we have our percentage of criminals, but we also have our percentage of doctors and lawyers too. If we have a greater percentage of blacks in poorer communities, then it’s a domino effect in the sense of ‘being a product of your environment’. This, is not based off of race but more so due to ones surroundings, which include economic status and education background. The poorer the community, the more crime you can expect. But why do we only focus on skin color and blame this as the cause?
You are a product of your environment. You become who you are depending on your genetics and upbringing (nature and nurture). With the race factor being put aside, consider the upbringing of a child raised in a poor community in America. How would he talk? How would he dress? Does he know what resources are other there to benefit him? Does he value education? Does the people around him value education? It's all about the environment. You can't expect someone from the hood to carry themselves the way someone from Beverly Hills would. And you most definitely can not blame it on ones race.
I say all of that, to say this: we are black, but we are more than just that. The stereotypes will never cease to exist. That is not under our control. But to spread these stereotypes and to believe them is an injustice. And to be completely politically incorrect, I believe we should look at the real issue which is education. When you are in a poor community, the more the likely-hood that you will be less educated. By being less educated has it's side effects which includes proverty and crime. Yes, rich folks can be criminals too, but their crimes are different from the crimes that occur in the hood. In poor communities Lil Ray Ray is getting shot because he wanted to be a dope boy.
Race doesn't have anything to do with the way people act. Ecucation, environment and economic status determines that. 
(Disclaimer: I am not saying that only poor people commit crimes.)


  1. Shelley, very thoughtfully written body of work. I really like where you are going with this, and I'm excited to see where your blog goes, and to read more of your thoughts!!! Looking forward to the next entry :)

  2. Thanks, Ali! It means a lot to me to have my friends support my writing. Thanks a million!

  3. Shells, congratulation on your first blog. I was truly impressed. Keep up the good work

  4. Dont' judge me; I'm just getting around to reading it... But awesome and valid points!! Keep it up!!


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