By Frank James IV
When something continues to happen over and over again, either you like it or change it. In Milwaukee once again the African American community is outraged over a police action. Derek Williams died while in police custody in 2011. This past week a special prosecutor decided to not press criminal charges against the officers involved. A rally was held to voice African American displeasure over the lack of charges against the officers involved. When will the rallies stop?
Derek Williams is just one of many cases of black men being abused or worse by police. When will African Americans learn? In the 80’s rap music extolled the extent of police brutality in the African American community. A person dying in police custody is not a new scenario. How many rallies over police injustice have taken place in the past five years? Has anything changed?
African Americans are in a perpetual state of confusion. This state of confusion is why African Americans become victims in almost every situation. It would be easy to blame the police and society for the events in the African American community. But are the problems the fault of police or even social engineering? Is it possible African Americans have built and manned their own guillotine?
African Americans have grown to accept and glorify misery. In relationships many African Americans look forward to strife. The pursuit of misery in all aspects of African American life is the direct opposite of the saying, “pursuit of happiness.” Many African Americans have a, “woe is me” complex and look forward to bad things happening to them. It doesn’t help that many African American leaders use this mentality to bolster their careers.
Rallies and marches haven’t made injustices in the African American community cease. Maybe it’s time to look at the image that African Americans follow. What if African Americans redid their whole image? The image of the thug that many African Americans embraced in the late 90’s has shaped the African American male. What if this image and its residue changed?
African Americans constantly complain about racial profiling by American society. The image African Americans portray makes profiling easy in most cases. Many youth get their styles from the music industry. There is nothing wrong with this, but look at the image. Big pants, hooded sweatshirts and plenty of tattoos have become the norm for many African American males. What if instead of this style a clean-cut prep look was the norm? What if instead of sagging pants and gym shoes, the style was slacks and button-down shirts? Would this new look help cut back on the profiling complaints?
In order to prevent social injustice African Americans have got to look in the mirror. The only people that can keep African Americans from being misused by police and other factions are themselves. African Americans have adopted images and morals that up to this point have produced varied results. A change of cultural ideals and acceptance of their responsibility for actions would reshape African American destiny.
Anyone can whine and be a victim. African Americans have been victims and whiners for centuries. Why not change? At this point what do African American have to lose?
Frank James IV © 2013 beingfrankwithfrank@ gmail.com
The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. Being Frank is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.