Written by: Pastor ODC
Ok cool, Blame me.
Blame me for everything you see.
I understand, it’s easier to blame me than accept accountability.
But can you really blame everything on me?
Am I the one vandalizing your community?
Am I the one calling your women out of their name?
Making babies, leaving them with no paternal influence, single mothers struggling to raise your seed.
Then you drive your fancy cars and ignore her calls, as if your children have no needs.
I’m not the one playing the “Who can make the most babies” game.
I’m not the one creating illegal employment opportunities,
Parading drugs in your communities,
Robbing others of their future possibilities,
Leading a debilitating downward spiral of shame, slothfulness and sorrow
Enjoying my momentary pleasure, ignoring the pain and suffering others will feel tomorrow.
I’m not the one forfeiting my education.
Sleeping through class, wondering through life,
Walking the streets flirting with every temptation and vice.
I’m not one buying my clothes twice my size.
Wearing three pair of pants, sagging to my knees and calling it swag.
I’m not the one too busy to mentor my own,
Leaving them with no guidance or compass of right and wrong.
I’m not the one living above my means.
Drowning in debt, struggling to breathe, burden with stress
Living lavish lifestyles because I have others to impress
I’m not the one spending money outside my community.
Failing to understand that communal wealth gives you leverage throughout society.
But you'd whether give your means to others, watch them get richer as you get poorer.
Stop blaming me!! Can’t you see? You have bigger problems!
It’s your mentality of inferiority….it’s crab syndrome,
It’s you robbing from each other and killing your own!
It's ok! I know the truth. I understand your history better than you
Your forefathers struggled mightily under the oppressive brutality of my ancestors
They were stripped of their identity,
Paraded in humility, and counted as three fifths of a man.
From cotton fields, to segregation, and Jim Crow
They struggled and endured so that you would have an opportunity to grow
You don’t understand how great you are, you are a blessed people!!
You are musical genius, blessed with poetic pose.
You are strong, intelligent, and pregnant with creative brilliance
You have an entrepreneur spirit but no entrepreneur mind,
So I steal your ideas and perpetrate them as mine.
I covet your talent and artistic ability
I pay to see you perform on stage and you gain millions
Yet, I get a large percentage of that returned because of your financial ignorance
So look, stop blaming me for every problem you see
Honestly, we know that’s not true!!
If you look in the mirror, your number one enemy is you!
Our national conversation has been centered on the events transpiring in Ferguson and New York as much international attention has been given to the social plight of our country. And while this conversation is needed, we cannot address issues unfolding miles away and ignore the tragedies transpiring in our own neighborhoods and backyards. Furthermore, we cannot have zeal when crimes are committed against us by others and lack the same fervor to address the crimes we commit against one another. There are an array of issues plaguing the African American community that deserve our attention and activism so that we can lift ourselves out of the cultural stereotypical plight to a brighter, more promising future. While there are systemic hurdles that we have to overcome that are designed to slow our progress; they cannot hinder us from reaching our full potential unless we enable them to do so. It’s easy to point the finger at others but the true test of strength is how we respond when the blame finger is pointing at us. We must be honest with ourselves in order to transform our neighborhoods into an oasis of hope in a world of despair. We cannot change what we fail to confront! While the cry for justice must be audible when we are oppressed, the call for accountability must be answered when we. are hurting ourselves. To this end, I wrote the following piece:
Disclaimer: These issues do not exist in every African American community. There are many flourishing, healthy communities that have not been (deeply) infiltrated with these problems. Furthermore, these problems exist beyond the African American community and can be seen throughout society. However, this piece was written to challenge the African American community, particularly black men, to address these problems where they exist under their sphere of influence.