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Thursday, October 25, 2007

"We're 1.5 Steps Away From Rwanda"

I have a news feed that picks up posts and articles on Dunbar Village. About two days ago, one of my feeds led me to a breathtaking discussion on a blog called Ruminations of a Racial Realist. Many of the comments were amazing articulations of many of the concerns I have about the African American community's response OR LACK OF RESPONSE to the Dunbar Village horror. If we don't speak out on this, who will be left to speak out once they come for us? I've already posted on the Eight Stages of Genocide and the Five Stages of Grief related to Dunbar Village, but when I was reading this comment I thought A) She's been reading my blog and B) this is really good! This comment is from Kadijah on the post "Why We Must Resist Assimilation" over at Ruminations of A Racial Realist ( I got permission to repost it):

the entire Black community has “foibles” [abw is being generous and polite by using this word] that need to be called out and addressed class by class.

The only difference [and it is a critical one in terms of setting priorities for the “call-out”] is that in general, the Black middle class is not running around beating, carjacking, raping, and killing people. We are also not generating the people among us that are engaged in these activities. This is why I keep bringing up underclass violent crime in these discussions. Our lives are in danger!!! And right now, it’s not the Klan that is the greatest immediate threat to your life and that of your family.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about what steps I can take to increase my own and my loved ones’ safety. I hope as many of us as possible will pull the rose petals off our glasses and start taking steps to protect ourselves from some of our brethren.

Change Agent was also being generous in referring to what’s going on as “jungle culture.” It’s gone way beyond that: We are 1.5 steps away from Rwanda. It’s getting closer; I can feel it. Can you? Our lives are in grave danger.

This is what I’ve been contemplating lately: Not only has the nature of poverty changed over the years, but the nature of crime among us has also changed. We desperately need to change our priorities to meet this new threat. This means that we have to change our discourse away from our knee-jerk excuse-making if we want to save our lives. I submit to you that our focus on external circumstances will be the death of us if we don’t change course. And soon…Rwanda is right around the corner. Let me explain why I’m saying this:

Black people have always been poor, but before now we always had dignity. No matter how poor we were, we still lived our lives with self-respect.

For example my parents, etc. grew up in tenements—nobody urinated in the hallways as has become a common practice in the housing projects that were built to replace these tenements. Whenever I hear people talking about our external enemies, my mind often drifts back to the question: How does fill-in-the-blank-external issue explain people urinating on the floors of their own hallways? Something other than poverty has people pissing in their own hallways. We need to rethink our analysis of this situation.

The nature of the crimes we commit has changed also. We’ve learned how to commit crimes against humanity. Even worse, we’ve also developed a critical mass of Black people that are comfortable and accepting of these crimes [as long as they aren’t committed against them]. This is extremely dangerous. This gets back to the clients’ bragging and cell phone videos that I mentioned above. I wasn’t all that shocked at the clients; I was shocked that there’s an accepting audience of Blacks that enjoys watching this stuff.

This mindset is more common than most of us realize. And it’s not just limited to the Black underclass. The same excuse that I heard from the clients who molested their girlfriends’ daughters [”she was already having sex”] is the same justification that I’ve heard from middle-class Blacks regarding the R. Kelly child molestation case. [”You can tell from the video that this girl is experienced.” As if this makes it okay.]I’ve gotten into arguments with other middle-class Black women about this. I’ve even heard that people have set this video to music. Just imagine—there are Black people out there shaking their rumps to the backdrop of an underage Black girl being molested.

This attitude is what genocide is made of.

I’m only mentioning class here to emphasize that this depraved mindset is not limited to the underclass. The violent underclass acts this stuff out, and many of the rest of us condone it by making excuses.

[On that note, why is Dr. William H. Cosby still being received in respectable circles? Yes, I believe in the presumption of innocence etc. However, anybody with his type of scandal shouldn’t be invited to speak to anybody about anything. This is another example of moral squalor and devaluing women. As I suggested above, it would be equally appropriate to have R. Kelly talk to our young people. But, I digress from my main point…]

Brace yourself for the rest of this; it’s beyond sickening. Why do I say we’re 1.5 steps from Rwanda? One case and our lack of response to it: the Dunbar Village gang rape case. Broad outline of this incident: Dunbar Village is a housing project in West Palm Beach Florida. A few months back (I think in June), 10 Black teenage males invaded an apartment that a Haitian woman and her 12 year old son lived in. These individuals spent approximately 3 hours gang-raping the woman and beating her son. As their finale, they forced this woman at gunpoint to perform oral sex on her own son. They then poured cleaning fluids over the two and into the boy’s eyes (temporarily blinding him). Apparently, they intended to set the two on fire, but couldn’t find a lighter.

Despite screams echoing through paper-thin walls, not a single neighbor lifted a finger to dial 911 during this marathon atrocity. And, if the quotes from the local papers are accurate, the neighbors are still rather blase about all of this. The mother and son had to walk themselves to the nearest hospital after the attack.

This attitude is what genocide is made of. These are the sorts of crimes I previously only read about happening in death camps. Your life is in grave danger.

In addition, none of our national leaders or organizations have responded to this situation. Just Google this story and the blogs covering it. You’ll be amazed. I think part of our lack of response stems from the fact that this atrocity doesn’t fit into our habitual paradigm of “Let’s rally around the young Black men who are under attack from the slavemaster.”

We need to change this paradigm to accomodate taking steps to protect ourselves from some of our brethren. Another part of our lack of response stems from the fact that Black women’s lives are considered to have no value at this point. We’ve had about 25 years of hip-hop marketing the hatred & denigration of Black women. Marketing matters, and plays a part in influencing people. If it didn’t, companies wouldn’t spend huge sums of money on advertising.

When I hear Michael Eric Dyson spin his fast-talk excuses, I wonder what would happen to him if he was tossed into prison among the very people he ardently defends: he would probably be raped.SOURCE

Y'all should head over and read the entire discussion, the comments over there are really good. This is why I love blogs!