What should matter most to Black folk, anyway?
Should we be concerned about the crisis on the US southern and northern borders, debt ceiling expiration, escalating gun violence, extreme weather events, proxy wars, divisive political discourse, book banning, abortion laws, and so many more troubling matters that lead the daily headlines.
In what proportion should we worry about any of the above, and more? It is difficult, at best, to parse which should matter most to Black folk. The ones that are naturally occurring, i.e., the weather, are a little easier to leave out of the debates.
But then again, there is the matter of environmental injustice where poor, Black communities suffer from lack of clean water, e.g., Flint, Mich. and Jackson, Miss., pollutants from oil spills in Louisiana (the cancer corridor), food deserts in many locales where affordable healthy food is unavailable, to name a few vital issues that should matter to Black folk across the board.
About immigration: As a descendant of folk who were involuntarily brought here and enslaved, why should I want to keep others out who choose to escape from unlivable conditions in their homeland?
I hear Black folk suggest that as taxpaying citizens, they do not want their hard-earned money spent in support of someone who may be a burden to our government; besides, many Blacks are still waiting for reparations!
I also hear Black folk say that there are so many of “them” coming into the country; they speak a foreign language, have different cultural practices, are not Christian, etc. “They’re bringing drugs, are rapists….”
That is loaded! So much of the same denigrations have been spoken about Black folk over nearly 400 years.
Or consider this argument: Black folk need guns to protect themselves from hateful Whites who still lynch us, chokehold us, and continue planning our destruction through White-supremacist organizations.
Questions: Does our gun ownership match or exceed the pronounced enemy’s? Will it ever? Do we go to the range to practice target shooting in the same proportion as others? Do our children learn to use guns as a routine? Are we prepared for the ever-present and growing threats from White supremacists? Are we organized to fight any other group?
And this: Black women have been disproportionately victimized by bad medical practices since we arrived in this county: withstanding a variety of gruesome experimentations, unnecessary surgeries, various invasive treatments without pain medication, botched abortions, inadequate postpartum attention, etc. We should protest the loudest to preserve and enhance medical practices that protect our lives.
Once it was unlawful for Blacks to read books. We should be on the front lines to defend every type of printed material; to keep any/all books in publicly funded schools and libraries. Parental control should end at the front door of our private homes.
A few nights ago, I was challenged while listening to the Black Republican congressman from Florida defend Donald Trump. But I do not turn my head from car and train wrecks either. I try always to be open-minded, and I take notes when political discourse is fair, reasonable, and rational. I yearn for other points of view, and I learn a lot about myself during thoughtful exchanges of ideas.
What I know for sure is that the principles underlying the US Constitution are rooted in western ideas of democracy, liberty and egality. These principles were exported from Europe, primarily France which had a successful revolution. Yes, a revolution. Maybe that is what our country is undergoing.
Is that such an awful concept to embrace?
As for fighting so many proxy wars (Ukraine, Israel, Sudan, others), I say follow the money.
In this modern era of mass (nuclear) weapons of destruction, there is no reason to engage in global warfare; all of humanity, and all other living things can be wiped out within minutes, and America can accomplish this on its own – we are the 1,000pound elephant in the world.
So why engage in these little wars? Somebody is making money.
What’s at stake for Black folk in the global conflict? Are we manufacturers of war materiel, or are we simply pawns in the service of a broken foreign policy which enriches a few?
Many Black folk, and others, believe that a religious war is necessary, to fulfill a Biblical prophecy. I think that belief may lessen motivation to defend our rights here on this earth, during these turbulent times for Black folk.
We simply aren’t allowed to be tired … as we fight for the right to our freedom. I say, carefully pick your fight, and on every matter, we must VOTE, Vote, vote. Toniwg1@gmail.com