13 comments on “Dear Young Black Males in Flint…

  1. Wow. A complete and utter breakdown of truth. It was really painful to read this (and I’m sorry for whatever happened to you to get you to this point). But these words needed to be said. Add to this the equally sad fact that the 40, 50 and 60-somethings who are supposedly our “voices” and “leaders” lack the courage to stand up and express these truths and confront and challenge black America at large so we can begin the work of reversing these frightening realities. Apparently it’s far easier and more expedient to hide the elephant in the room behind excuses, equivocations and even justifications. “The white man has taken all the money, ruined the education system and we have no jobs”. Stop it, already. It’s time to wake up.

  2. Geez, Dre. It sounds like you’re one incident away from being a champion of “Stand Your Ground.” LOL!

    • Not entirely. I don’t believe in “shoot to kill”, but I AM starting to believe more in “shoot to injure.” If these jokers don’t respect my stuff, then I don’t respect their kneecaps.

    • “If these jokers don’t respect my stuff, then I don’t respect their kneecaps”

      Best line ever.

  3. You know Dre, I’m not quite sure how I feel about this post. On one hand, I agree with the idea that one or two out of control young black men (YBM) make it harder for all of us, black men and women alike. But on the other hand, you’re clearly making generalizations in an effort to address a situation much more complex than those generalizations. On top of that, what’s your proposed solution? I see you complaining and ranting, clearly coming from a frustrated place. Nothing wrong with that. But how would you fix the problem? Complaining never got a person anywhere.

    Love ya though!

  4. As for black crime, it’s a confluence of a lot of different things and not an easy problem to solve. You have a lot of fatherless homes and single mothers. While not all single mothers raise bad sons(I personally know great guys raised by single moms), most guys in prison never had a strong father in their life. Women’s role is nurture, men’s role is discipline. Boys aren’t afraid of their moms. They’re afraid of their dads. Boys need fathers, first and foremost. I don’t know what the high cause of single motherhood is in the black underclass. I truly have no idea and I think about this stuff all the time since I’m a black man. It wasn’t always like this. There was a time that blacks were known for having strong families. The explosion seems to have happened in the 60s. I don’t think there’s anything genetic about it. This doesn’t seem to be the case in Africa, especially traditional African society. It seems to be something unique to black Americans. I don’t know what it looks like amongst black Latins or Caribbeans. But family in Africa seems pretty strong, so I know it’s not genetic.

    Secondly you have a large cultural vacuum in certain parts of the country. Do you ever read about how there are dead zones in the ocean? Certain areas where there is not enough oxygen and that part of the ocean is devoid of life? The inner cities of America are dead zones. They are islands of misery, hopelessness, broken schools, high unemployment, drugs, urban decay. There’s very little there to give people inspiration and hope. The church is often the only thing. The people living there have just enough so as not to revolt, yet not enough for them to be functional players in the economy. The origin of such ghettos can be traced back to segregation. Some of these communities thrived at a time and were fairly self-sufficient. The black middle class fled these places. And was left behind was the poor and a crumbling society. The middle class blacks might have served as role models to those less fortunate. The whites didn’t care about them either. Everyone that could afford to get out, got out. So what can be done about it? I don’t know. The problem seems almost intractable. So I guess the only real solution here would be some sort of gentrification. Concentrated poverty is a very dangerous thing. As I’ve shown before it can turn white people violent as well as it did in NYC tenements or as it currently does in Glasgow. Spreading the poor out a bit should help. And it should also make their behavior better through cultural osmosis. I can imagine no better situation than being a black kid raised by a poor single mother, where the only male role models are thuggish rappers and drug dealers. They need to see other things and get out of that box. They need something positive to aspire to.

    High unemployment. When unemployment is high, it makes working in dark side of the economy more seductive. I’m sure many of these kids coming up would like to be able to make a decent living and not have to worry about ending up in jail or getting gunned down. But the fewer jobs there are, the more it makes the risk of selling drugs seem worth it. Even fairly decent people will start acting shady if that’s the only way they have to survive. Well one major problem is that many blue collar jobs that blacks used to do for a living wage either went to China or went to illegal aliens. It wasn’t uncommon to see black carpenters, drywallers, construction workers, meatpackers, etc. Now these jobs are almost all entirely done by Mexicans illegally in the country. This was a huge issue in the rebuilding of New Orleans after Katrina. There were a lot of blacks out of work that wanted those construction jobs and they were livid that they were going to Mexicans who aren’t even citizens and don’t even have any roots in the city. How can anyone not feel their pain? The gutting of solid blue collar work has had a huge effect on rust belt white America but it has been an utter disaster for black America. I see no easy solution here either.

    I also thing the music is a problem. Now maybe it’s an issue of art imitating life, or it’s the other way around, I don’t know. But I do thing it has something of a feedback loop effect. A lot or rap music, even if not explicitly advocating violence tends to reinforce a lot of selfish attitudes, hyper-materialism, fast money, fast women, party hard, a lot of Machiavellianism. It’s pervasive, even in the more lukewarm hiphop music. Sometimes it’s just the attitude. The anger. One rarely sees rappers smiling or seeming happy unless surrounded by money, bling and sexy women. This stuff has to stop, and if I had a kid, I’d be very careful about what they listen to. That said, not all rap music is like that, a lot of it is positive and life affirming. Some of it is great to dance too or just enjoy in the background if you have the smarts to not get caught up in the Machiavellian stuff. It should also be noted that not all “black music” is like this. The majority of black music is not rap and does not contain violent lyrics. Unfortunately though, most of the music young black males of the inner city listen to will be rap and often with terrible messages. What can anyone do about this? Not much, as long as there’s a first amendment, rappers can pretty much talk about whatever they want sell their music to whoever they want, most of which is bought by whites anyway.

    Sorry I don’t have any easy solutions, but these are just a few things that contribute to the issue.

  5. Wow. What a hard hitting piece. It’s a shame the people who need to hear this won’t. All the same, thank you for sharing.

  6. Pingback: “Not Guilty”: The Worthlessness of Black Life | The Unmitigated Word

  7. I suspect this was a hard piece to write. It was hard for me to read. But it hit home. I’m gone to tell my little brother about this post. Hopefully, it will help in getting his life back on track.

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