Accountability Starts With Us: Five Ways We Need to Do Better

Martin/ Malcolm/ Barack

Martin/ Malcolm/ Barack

Whenever there’s a tragedy involving a young black man and a police officer or white man we as a community are outraged. We want justice, we want revenge, we want respect. Often times you have people saying, “What about black on black crime?” “What about what the victim did wrong?” In the heat of the moment asking those questions feels like you’re blaming the victim instead of uniting behind the victim.

This is the truth. We have to do better as a community and as a people. It’s really that simple. I’m not saying that officers or men that decide to play judge, jury and executioner shouldn’t be punished but what I’m saying is their ignorance may not ever change but our looking the other way has to. There is no difference from an 8 year old getting gunned down in Chicago or a 17 year old getting stabbed in New Orleans by a black man then there is a 18 year old getting murdered by a police officer. All of them are domestic terrorist.

Here are ten things that we as a community have to do better at or just do more of.

Five- We’re not directors or producers. There’s nothing cool about recording fights and sharing fights. If you see two people about to fight step in to stop it. Most of the time one person doesn’t want to be there anyway. Instead of five people with their camera phones out; how about we have five people calming the situation. When I see these videos I rarely see a white man holding the camera. I see us. It’s not funny to see a little girl get the hell beat of her while other people watch. Stop watching and recording and start stepping up.

Four- Read before you share. We live in a social media age where information flows so freely. Read! Don’t share a link if you haven’t given it five minutes. You’ll know fairly soon if it’s made up information. Don’t get so caught up in wanting to be first that you’re wrong. You share bad information and next thing you know a hundred people have shared that same bad information. That’s not cool nor is it beneficial to anyone. The news can be depressing, I get that but reading different news websites, watching videos. Learn what’s going on.

Three- Stop making excuses for people because you like them or love them. Wrong is wrong. If your favorite rapper goes out of his way to tell us that he’s really a gang member, that he really pimps hoes, that he’s really in the streets. All for the purpose of making sure we know his music is authentic, don’t be surprised when people look at him crazy when he is standing up screaming, “Just stop the violence!” The content you choose to put out is a reflection of you. You can rap without saying “Women aren’t about shit and I’m going to kill other black men.” It’s possible. We have to hold each other to higher standards.

Two- You can’t speak and write like you have no education online or in your text or when you’re talking to your friends and then expect to not have that carry over when you’re at work or writing something more official. It breaks my heart to see so many younger kids who can barely talk. Being articulate covers a lot of flaws. Being well spoken and making eye contact. Having confidence in what you’re talking about. It’s universal no matter your educational background or financial background. You can’t go around here calling women that look like you bitches and hoes and calling men that look like you niggas and think that’s okay. It’s not.

One- We are not each other’s enemy. When I have a disagreement with anyone on social media and I can see my words have been taken out of context or what I said was offensive. I apologize. If they say something out of line I try and understand their point and make them understand they could have said it better. It won’t always end with a smile and an understanding but it will always end in mutual respect. I come to work and have to deal with people that can be difficult. I have to worry about what will happen if I get pulled over even if I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t want to fight with people that look like me, that I love. I want us to prosper together. To excel together.

This article isn’t me saying, “It’s our fault when other races or entities come for us.” This is me saying we can’t worry about them. We have to worry about ourselves and the more we build us up, the more we fix us, the less what they do affects us. Awhile back Don Lemon said that black men should get married and stop having children out of wedlock. That we should keep our communities clean and stop littering. That we have to speak better and pull our pants up and respect authority. People hate Don Lemon and CNN so they threw out the message with the messenger. Even though he was right. Go in Sunnyside, Southpark, 5th Ward, any other community that’s mostly African American and you’ll find beat up streets, trash. We have to start reporting people that are dumping illegally.

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