It is a challenging existence for African American youth in Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles, Atlanta–America. Negative publicity, media insensitivity, entertainment exploitation, and as stated by Clardy et al, “… [Black youth] live in the cracks between who they are and who society says that they are supposed to be”.
This month, Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared that it was “obvious” that black teens were responsible for making neighborhoods more dangerous, but white people [are] not allowed to admit it on the air. http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/10/tucker-carlson-its-obvious-that-black-teens-make-neighborhoods-dangerous/
Such an unsophisticated observation by Carlson shows a lack of his historical knowledge as well as a limited or nonexistent awareness of current societal divides. If the reasons for neighborhood dangers were so easy as to blame black youth for the disarray, then we should just close the discourses on crime, urban blight, drugs at the borders, and racial profiling because blacks are the blame–end of discussion? Not so fast.
Human bait and how they think
Freeway Rick Ross was a multi-million dollar drug dealer who flourished on the west coast, and he was instrumental in supplying narcotics to Young Boys Incorporated (YBI) in the City of Detroit. Ross did twenty years in prison for his crimes but Ross was blindsided as he learned that his main supplier was a Nicaraguan national, Oscar Danilo Blandón, who had ties to both the CIA and the contra rebels supported during the 1980s by the Reagan administration. Blandon was later hired by the DEA as an informant and it was Blandon who at the coercion of the CIA would bring Ross into the deal that led to Ross’s incarceration. http://www.esquire.com/features/rick-ross-drug-dealer-interview-1013
This Examiner had a former co-worker ask why blacks were still so militant since they had a black president. (The co-worker was a white American male, but he referred to President Obama as “their” President). Conversely, one might venture to ask why President Obama was the first black President in a nation that is 238 years old. Why had America been so dangerous that a black person could not vote and subsequently could not be President? And did not these so called dangerous blacks–referred to by Carlson– inherit the neighborhoods after the neighborhoods were abandoned due lack of employment, closed factories, and eroded tax bases because of white flight?
Without a doubt, the fact still remains that blacks are regarded and treated in an inferior manner. The public image of black youth is beyond the prospect of damage control.
Many media outlets take great pride in maintaining that Detroit is the most segregated city in America, therefore the most dangerous–news flash– the fifty states are segregated. There are many states in the union where blacks are as rare as a polar bear on Woodward Ave.
The 2013 United States Census Bureau lists Idaho with only 0.8% of African Americans, North Dakota with 1.8 %; Montana with 0.6 %; Maine with 1.4 %; Vermont with 1.2 %, and Iowa with 3.3 %. Every state in the union has a percentage of blacks but they are still fewer than the percentage of whites. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/index.html#.
The majority of rampage shootings in the United States are deemed as America’s problem, not a neighborhood concern. Rampage shootings in the U.S. are not generally carried out by minorities. Still, it would be absolutely ludicrous to assert that white men are responsible for all of the deaths in rampage shootings–just like it is unfounded to state that black teens are responsible for making neighborhoods dangerous.
The name-blame game
Pointing the finger at an entire group of people for a nation’s harms is an invitation for prejudging and creating negative imaging. Trayvon Martin was killed as a result of erroneous negative imaging
As an educator this writer always attempts to broaden horizons, stimulate thoughts, invoke conversations, and speak up and speak out on the matters of racial improprieties in America. Given the opportunity by way of this content, one person might be compelled to embark on a journey of critical consciousness and political awareness towards an inquiry of racial sensitivity and multi-cultural conceptualization.
With the latter in mind, let us consider what was witnessed and written by the late Professor of Urban Education at Georgia State University, Asa G. Hilliard III Ed. D.
“…dominating populations crush or suppress the history of their victims, destroy the practice of the culture of their victims, prevent the victims from coming to understand themselves as part of a cultural family [fostering disconnections], teach systematically the ideology of white supremacy, control the socialization process, control the accumulation of wealth, and perform segregation and apartheid…No attempt to remedy [these] problems can occur apart from and understanding of these things…” (2001).
Hilliard, A. (2001). “Race,” identity, hegemony, and education: What do we need to know now? In W.H. Watkins, J.H. Lewis, and V. Chou (Eds.), Race and Education: The roles ofhistory and society in education African American students, (p.7-25), Nedham Heights: Alyn & Bacon.
Clardy, P. Cole-Robinson, C. Jones, T. Michie, G. The Classroom and the Community: African American Youth Speak Out. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association (Seattle, WA, April 10-14, 2001).