I recalled once walking into the Channel 7 studio to do a taping on my good friend Gil Noble’s television program Like It Is, when I saw one of the weather men briskly exiting the building. Often when we see each other he would give me one of his humorous jokes with a strong laugh. His normal joyous mood and warm hand shake was traded for a quick hello as he briskly walked by me. When I asked him what was the rush he replied, “You will be rushing also if you were
aware of how severe the storm is that is approaching this area. I have to get home to get things in order.”
As I rode up in the elevator to greet Gil, the weather man’s comments lay heavy on my mind. His statement had a clear parallel to the dilemmas that are facing the community of color. The potential devastation that is equated with a severe storm is an excellent analogy to the conditions that is on the horizon for people of color living in America. Dark social storm clouds that are
associated with the negative impact of a perfect storm are hovering over the skies of our lives. If it is the issues of education or the crisis of Black male unemployment, the looming troubles of these storms will have a devastating impact on the future of American’s of color.
The true tragedy is not that these issues exist, for our community has always had stormy weather to contend with. No, the tragedy is how we are responding to the forecasted inclement weather that is on the nearby horizon. The Channel 7 weatherman used the signs of dangerous weather up ahead as a warning sign to get his home in order. We must share this mindset. Although unlike the
newsman, we do not use high pressure systems or radar to track weather trends. We do, however, have other indicators that give accurate readings of what the future will be like. Whereas the newscaster cannot change Mother Nature, we are in complete control with changing the storm on the horizon.
The process starts with having a pace that is a reflection of how serious the times are. We are moving as though the storms associated with our profession is merely a passing shower.
There is no urgency in the posture of Black economist to address the impact of 50% of New York City Black men being unemployed. This stat will have serious implication on the physic of the Black family. Being gainfully employed is more then a ritualistic morning event of filling one’s time. It is the precursor to sleep that allows one to enjoy the American dream. As long as this fact
remains an everyday phenomenon then all across New York our families will endure the nightmarish reality of an American tragedy.
This disturbing fact is occurring while New York City is experiencing a boom in its developing growth. You cannot pass a block without seeing some form of construction on development. Yet the Black male and female are absent from this prosperity. While our young men are qualified enough to adorn green fatigue and fight a war on the Streets of Baghdad and Afghanistan, they are not good enough to be employed to wear a hard hat and benefit in the re-building of the
World Trade Center site.
Unemployment is only part of the forecasted storm. If we look at the troubling skies of education, we cannot help but to ask why our Black educators are moving at the pace that is normally regulated to those who are trouble free. If you have not notice, our education system is in a total chaos. The current chancellor and his cohorts have become modern day poverty pimps that are
prostituting our children futures away. We are failing to give this discussion the level that is deserves. Those of us in law enforcement are well aware of how education is each time we have to incarcerate a child that can’t even spell his name. Education is one of the most important keys that keeps a child away from a life of crime. All stats show that the only common denominator to criminal behavior in this country is not race or economics, but education. Illiteracy is the only thing that the overwhelming number of men and woman incarcerated in America have in common.
The communities of color are often the hardest hit when the country goes through an economic down turn. We have long understood that when the country has an economic shower we have a thunderstorm. The impact of September 11th, turn it into a typhoon. All of these issues are absent of our voices and we are shut out of bringing forth solutions and sharing the prosperity associated with the economic up swing.
As I have alluded to in several other articles, we must pick up our pace. Our stride should be an indication of the seriousness of the storm that is brewing. The mere look on our faces and the tone of our conversation should be reflective of the inclement social weather that is lurking on the outskirts of our future. The Channel 7 weather man’s demeanor sent a message that turbulent times calls for a serious stride. We must adopt that belief and change our stride to fit the moment.
Law and You