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Quit playin’: Time to “Talk Shop!”

I said I wasn’t gonna talk about “Black-on-Black” crime ever again. Not because it doesn’t happen. Not because it’s not an issue that we need to address internally. Not because some white folks use it as a red herring.

Anytime you talk about police murders, Republicans want to talk about how Black folks kill other Black folks. They fail to mention that those Black folk killing each other are not wearing badges and driving tax- payer-owned vehicles with “Protect and Serve” emblazoned on the rear quarter panels.

Statistically, there is only about a 5%-8% difference bet- ween black-on-black and white-on-white and brown-on- brown crimes. For the most part, murders and serious assaults are crimes of passion and proximity. It seems that the old adage is true, “You only hurt the ones you love most of all.”

Don’t get me wrong. I know that America is boiling over in white-hot anger right now. Radical Democrats are mad at “left-leaning” Democrats. Trump Republicans are furious at the original Republicans and any other white folks who are unwilling to publicly proclaim their hatred for niggers, nigger-lovers, Mexicans, Gays, American Jews, Nancy Pelosi…You get the picture!

Anger is all around. If you drive on the streets, you encounter aggressive behavior. If you pick up a paper in any major news hub, local headlines that used to bear the national news point to local shootings.

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What makes someone go to a party and unload on the guests indiscriminately? Nothing but anger.

However, the issues of crime in urban areas across the nation give me cause to pause. We keep seeing unnecessary, unwarranted murderers, especially among young Black men.

Recently, one young upstanding Black man was killed. The decedent’s brother seeking to avenge his family’s loss killed someone else’s brother who was completely innocent. One mother, two major losses.

It’s too much dammit!

What’s even crazier to me is that the link that we used to connect between poverty and crime has become untethered. “Middle-class Negroes” are com- mitting many of the sensational crimes we see now. These young brothers, for the most part, live much better than their parents and grandparents ever dreamed.

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We have lost our way. We have lost our grip. We have lost our sense of community (Unbutu). We have flung the pearls of our pre-Jim Crow, Black ethos to the swine.

Much worse, we have raised an iteration and breed of male toxicity unparalleled in its deadlines. We pick up guns to kill when we should pick up phones to call one another.

Don’t panic, but our sh!t is in out the street. Malcolm warned us about this problem in his 1963 speech, “A Message to the Grass- roots.”

“Instead of us airing our differences in public, we have to realize we’re all the same family. And when you have a family squabble, you don’t get out on the sidewalk.

If you do, everybody calls you “uncouth, unrefined, uncivilized, savage.”

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If you make it at home, you settle it at home; you get in the closet — argue it out behind closed doors.

And then, when you come out on the street, you pose a common front, a united front. And this is what we need to do in the community, and in the city, and in the state.

We need to stop airing our differences in front of the white man. Put the white man out of our meetings, number one, and then sit down and talk shop with each other. [That’s] all you gotta do .”

I said I wasn’t gonna talk about black-on-black crime ever again. Not because it doesn’t happen. Not because it’s not an issue that we need to address internally. Not because some white folks use it as a red herring.

I promised never to broach this subject again, but I see too much “uncouth, unrefined, uncivilized, and savage” behavior.

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Quit Playin’! It is time for us, a race of Black folks, to talk shop among ourselves.

Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and an award-winning columnist.

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Vincent L. Hall is an author, activist, and award-winning columnist.


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