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BLACK CRIME USA (NO EMBEDS)

This page purposely focuses on the negative or deviant aspects of black American culture. The intent of this page is not to disrespect, deride, malign, or sensationalize the sometimes dismal plight of some black American citizens (relative to the broader USA society). On the one hand, blacks in the USA incessantly have sought to attain universal and genuine acceptance of the principle that all humans are equally human. On the other hand, black Americans have failed to gain the kind of acceptance that they have sought due chiefly to a persistent perception of a general black American problem in social discipline.

At the outset, before discussing the black-on-black crime issue, I wish to qualify the discussion by clearing up a couple of common misconceptions:

For proof of the progress (and setbacks) that blacks have made since the abolition of slavery, the reader needs to look no farther than publications such as these:

The above-referenced publications serve as a journal or chronicle of the daily lives of black USA citizens. The above-referenced links show that Black American culture is a far cry from a one-dimensional culture of deviance, dependency, and pathology. Yet, there remains a lot of progressive ground for black Americans to cover. To be sure, Harold Rose, in his book titled Black Suburbanization, identified several cultural strains that run through contemporary black American society. He identified these cultural strains as follows (the examples are mine, not his):

  1. Adaptive-suppressive. An example would be blacks who regularly attend church, go to work, pay their taxes, obey the law, and so forth. These blacks are viewed as model citizens or upstanding members of the community.
  2. Maladaptive-aggressive. An example would be the stereotypical "angry black man" and "abrasive black woman" who can be of an unpleasant and aloof demeanor in various social settings.
  3. Adaptive-expressive. An example would be unruly youths who misbehave in public, at school, on public transportation, at private functions such as in the shopping malls, and so forth.
  4. Maladaptive-expressive. An example would be those who opt to live the gangster lifestyle.
  5. Adaptive-expansive. A few examples would be distinguished luminaries such as Stevie Wonder; Don Lemon; Soledad O'Brien; Susan Rice; Emmett Chappelle; Mark Dean; Berry Gordy, Jr.; Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Jr.; and Oprah Winfrey.

Despite these qualifications, it has to be acknowledged that too many black American youths and young adults are willing participants in a culture of deviance. The black American problem in social discipline is not an exaggeration. Relative to the broader USA society, in predominantly black USA neighborhoods, there are far too many occurrences of social ills such as out-of-wedlock pregnancies, one-parent households, drug dealing, substance abuse, gunplay, fighting, crime, littering, defacing and destruction of property, school truancy, pervasive use of the "n" word, educational apathy, some youths with little sense of decorum or direction, and so forth. Black Americans do have some bad social habits or practices that they need to abandon. For instance, at the top of the list of bad habits is the propensity to start fights, participate in gang activities, and engage in gunplay. These bad social habits will do absolutely nothing at all to prepare blacks for 22nd century living.

The black American problem in social discipline is another classic case of a few rotten apples spoiling the entire barrel. That is to say, a handful of wrongdoers (mainly certain groups of youths and young adults but some adults, too) are causing the entire black population to be stigmatized and stereotyped as being willing participants in a culture of social deviance and pathology. Each time black Americans march and demonstrate in the streets to protest against some societal injustice or transgression, and when those protests degenerate into rioting, looting, violence, and destruction of property, then such an outcome only succeeds in putting the black problem in social discipline in an even more unfavorable light. It should be noted that violent acts and destruction of property during public demonstration are not always done by exclusively by blacks. Sometimes young white anarchists blend in with the peaceful protesters for the express purpose of causing chaos, mayhem, and confusion for no other reason than to agitate law enforcement officials or to offend the symbols of authority. Of course. the anarchists should not be confused with other well-meaning non-blacks who also join these public demonstrations to peacefully take a stand against all forms of injustice.



USA MURDERS AND MURDER RATES

According to the USA Census Bureau, the following table shows the USA population by race as of the year 2000.

Race Total Population Population %
White 194,552,774 69.1%
Hispanic or Latino 35,305,818 12.5%
Black or African American 33,947,837 12.1%
Asian 10,123,169 3.6%
Two or more races 4,602,146 1.6%
American Indian and Alaska Native 2,068,883 0.7%
Some other race 467,770 0.2%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 353,509 0.1%
Total USA Population, Year 2000 281,421,906 100.0%

The USA's population had grown to 308,745,538 (million) residents by the year 2010.

According to crime statistics maintained by the USA Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), there were an estimated 15,517 cases of murder in the USA during the year 2000. The FBI obtained additional murder-victim data from law enforcement officials for 12,943 of those 15,517 estimated murders. The FBI obtained additional murder-offender data from law enforcement officials for 14,697 of those 15,517 estimated murders.

The murder results in the tables below were extracted from the FBI's report titled 2000 Crime in the United States.

MURDER VICTIMS
Race of Murder Victim Number Murdered Percent Murdered Number of Males Murdered Number of Females Murdered Unknown Gender of Person Murdered
White victims 6,263 48.4% 4,453 1,809 1
Black victims 6,193 47.8% 5,049 1,144  
Other race victims 319 2.5% 230 89  
Unknown race victims 168 1.3% 108 34 26
Grand Total 12,943 100.0% 9,840 3,076 27
MURDER OFFENDERS
Race of Murderers Number of Murderers Percent Murderers Number of Male Murderers Number of Female Murderers Unknown Gender of Murderers
White offenders 4,809 32.7%      
Black offenders 5,361 36.5%      
Other race offenders 270 1.8%      
Unknown race offenders 4,257 29.0%      
Grand Total 14,697 100.0% 9,562 1,039 4,096

According to the population table above, whites comprised 69.1% of the USA's total population as of the year 2000. The FBI's data shows that whites committed a total of 4,809 murders in 2000. Whites comprised 6,263 of the USA's total murder victims in 2000, that is, where the race of the victim was known. When it comes to looking at the incidence of murder, whites represented 48.4% of the murder victims despite being 69.1% of the population. Whites represented 32.7% of the murderers despite being 69.1% of the total USA population. The murder incidence or murder rate for white USA citizens in 2000, as victims (i.e., 48.4% of all murder victims) and as offenders (i.e., 32.7% of all murderers), fell below their 69.1% percentage of the total USA population.

According to the population table above, blacks comprised 12.1% of the USA's total population as of the year 2000. The FBI's data shows that blacks committed a total of 5,361 murders in 2000. Blacks comprised 6,193 of the USA's total murder victims in 2000, that is, where the race of the victim was known. When it comes to looking at the incidence or rate of murder, blacks represented 47.8% of the murder victims despite being 12.1% of the population. Blacks represented 36.5% of the murderers despite being 12.1% of the total USA population. The murder incidence for black USA citizens in 2000, as victims (i.e., 47.8% of all murder victims) and as offenders (i.e., 36.5% of all murderers), far exceeded their 12.1% percentage of the total USA population (about 3 times more than expected).

In cases of one-on-one murder, that is, one murder offender against one murder victim (as opposed to multiple victims being killed by a single murderer), the table below indicates that roughly 85% of the murders committed by white murderers (2,860) also involved white victims (3,352). For black murderers (2,723) in one-on-one situations, roughly 93% of the victims (2,927) also were black. The table below further shows that, in one-on-one murder situations, the murder rate for whites becomes 47.8% (compared to the white 69.1% share of the USA's total population). In one-on-one murder situations, the murder rate for blacks becomes 48.8% (compared to the black 12.1% share of the USA's total population). In other words, when murders do occur, if blacks comprise 12.1% of the USA's total population, then blacks should not be expected to commit more than 12.1% of all murders. [Given these high rates of white-on-white and black-on-black murders in the USA, it is something curious and extraordinary that most public outrage seems to occur in instances of whites murdering blacks or blacks murdering whites. Murder is murder, and life is life regardless of the race of the victim and offender. There should be public outrage expressed at all murder incidents in the USA.]

MURDER OFFENDERS
Race of Victim Race of Offender [Single Victim/Single Offender]
Race of Victim Count of Victims Victim % by Race Number of White Murderers Number of Black Murderers Other Race Unknown Race
White victims 3,352 51.5% 2,860 417 40 35
Black victims 2,927 44.9% 178 2,723 5 21
Other race victims 169 2.6% 43 22 103 1
Unknown race 66 1.0% 30 19 1 16
Total 6,514 100.0% 3,111 3,181 149 73
Offender Percent by Race   100.0% 47.8% 48.8% 2.3% 1.1%
MURDER OFFENDERS
Sex of Victim Race of Offender [Single Victim/Single Offender]
Sex of Victim Count of Victims Victim % by Gender Number of White Murderers Number of Black Murderers Other Race Unknown Race
Male victims 4,542 69.7% 2,004 2,397 100 41
Female victims 1,906 29.3% 1,077 765 48 16
Unknown sex 66 1.0% 30 19 1 16
Total 6,514 100.0% 3,111 3,181 149 73
Offender Percent by Race   100.0% 47.8% 48.8% 2.3% 1.1%

The above tables illustrate how, in the case of murder, the incidence or rate tends to be disproportionately higher for blacks relative to their percentage or share of the total USA population. The higher incidence of murder among black Americans indicates that murders are occurring too frequently within the black community relative to their occurrences in the broader USA population. Increasingly, it appears that many of these black-on-black murders are linked to the illicit drug trade. For instance, it appears that many of these black-on-black murders are linked to turf or zone-of-operation battles between competing drug dealers. When the bullets start flying, sometimes the innocent get hit with some of those flying bullets.

The following table sheds additional light on the USA's 15,517 murder victims in the year 2000 (for which the additional law-enforcement details were available for 12,493 of those 15,517 murder victims).

MURDERED BY RELATIONSHIP, YEAR 2000
Relationship of Victim to Murderer Number Murdered % Murdered
Husband 164 1.3%
Wife 598 4.6%
Mother 100 0.8%
Father 120 0.9%
Son 235 1.8%
Daughter 173 1.3%
Brother 90 0.7%
Sister 23 0.2%
Other family 235 1.8%
Acquaintance 3,022 23.3%
Friend 286 2.2%
Boyfriend 151 1.2%
Girlfriend 417 3.2%
Neighbor 109 0.8%
Employee 10 0.1%
Employer 7 0.1%
Stranger 1,688 13.0%
Unknown 5,515 42.6%
Total Murdered 12,943 100.0%
MURDERED BY AGE, YEAR 2000
Age of the Victim Number Murdered Percent Murdered
Infant (under 1) 217 1.7%
1 to 4 years old 279 2.2%
5 to 8 years old 84 0.6%
9 to 12 years old 61 0.5%
13 to 16 years old 367 2.8%
17 to 19 years old 1,192 9.2%
20 to 24 years old 2,388 18.5%
25 to 29 years old 1,845 14.3%
30 to 34 years old 1,486 11.5%
35 to 39 years old 1,249 9.7%
40 to 44 years old 1,140 8.8%
45 to 49 years old 757 5.8%
50 to 54 years old 486 3.8%
55 to 59 years old 338 2.6%
60 to 64 years old 217 1.7%
65 to 69 years old 153 1.2%
70 to 74 years old 156 1.2%
75 and over 265 2.0%
Unknown 263 2.0%
Total Murdered 12,943 100.0%
MURDERED BY WEAPON USED, YEAR 2000
Murder Weapon Used Number Murdered % Murdered
Firearms 8,493 65.6%
Knives or cutting instruments 1,743 13.5%
Blunt objects (clubs, hammers, etc.) 604 4.7%
Personal weapons (hands, fists, feet, etc.) 900 7.0%
Poison 8 0.1%
Explosives 9 0.1%
Fire 128 1.0%
Narcotics 20 0.2%
Strangulation 166 1.3%
Asphyxiation 89 0.7%
Other weapon or weapon not stated 783 6.0%
Total Murdered 12,943 100.0%
CIRCUMSTANCES OF MURDER, YEAR 2000
Murder Circumstances Number Murdered % Murdered
Rape 58 0.4%
Robbery 1,048 8.1%
Burglary 73 0.6%
Larceny-theft 23 0.2%
Motor vehicle theft 22 0.2%
Arson 81 0.6%
Prostitution and commercialized vice 5 0.0%
Other sex offenses 10 0.1%
Narcotic drug laws 572 4.4%
Gambling 11 0.1%
Other - not specified 254 2.0%
Suspected felony type 60 0.5%
Romantic triangle 122 0.9%
Child killed by babysitter 30 0.2%
Brawl due to influence of alcohol 181 1.4%
Brawl due to influence of narcotics 97 0.7%
Argument over money or property 206 1.6%
Other arguments 3,475 26.8%
Gangland killings 63 0.5%
Juvenile gang killings 650 5.0%
Institutional killings 10 0.1%
Sniper attack 8 0.1%
Other - not specified 1,854 14.3%
Unknown 4,030 31.1%
Total Murdered 12,943 100.0%



Watch (DETROIT Documentary | MURDER CITY directed by Al Profit)




Watch (Naughty By Nature, Everything's Gonna Be Alright)



Watch (Too $hort, The Ghetto)



The Temptations - "Masterpiece"



Listen (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five - The Message, The Message)



Curtis Mayfield - "No Thing On Me"



The Philadelphia All Stars - "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto"



Billy Paul - "We All Got A Mission"



FROM SLAVERY TO FREEDOM

During the late 1800's and early 1900's, there was a long-standing debate within black American society between the followers of Booker T. Washington and the followers of W.E.B. Du Bois. They debated which route was the most expedient one for black Americans to take if they were to achieve significant social, economic, and political gains in the USA.

Followers of W.E.B. Du Bois argued that black Americans should seek to assimilate and integrate into mainstream USA society in accordance with the Melting Pot model. Followers of Booker T. Washington argued that black Americans should seek to become entrepreneurs and launch businesses and factories in their own right. Booker T. Washington envisioned that black Americans, in turn, would go to work at these black-owned businesses and factories. W.E.B. Du Bois thought that the Talented Tenth percent of black Americans should step forward, use their unique talents, and lead the way in helping to lift black USA residents out of poverty.

Most black Americans opted to follow the teachings of W.E.B. Du Bois. They opted to pursue the racial-integration route to socioeconomic success and political advancement in the USA—possibly because black Americans simply did not have the necessary economic, financial, and technical resources to build their own factories and shops as envisioned by Booker T. Washington. It takes experts and learned individuals to build and maintain an infrastructure, say, for instance, sewage-treatment facilities; water-treatment facilities; power grids; farm and irrigation networks; roads; transportation networks; communications networks; schools; hospitals; factories; offices; stores; shopping centers; housing; banking systems and financial networks; and so forth.

Over the years, since the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 and with the formal abolition of slavery in 1865 as codified by the 13th Amendment, numerous social scientific studies have been undertaken on the lives of black USA residents. Several of these groundbreaking studies include Gunnar Myrdal's An America Dilemma (1944); the 1968 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (Kerner Commission); Carolyn Shaw Bell's The Economics of the Ghetto (1970); and Harold Rose's Black Suburbanization (1976). Each of these studies has sought to answer one central question: What accounts for the persistent black-white socioeconomic disparities in the USA? Are these differences determined chiefly by sociological factors (nurture) or biological (nature) factors?

The seemingly unending pattern of black-white dichotomy in the USA is what Gunnar Myrdal called the American dilemma. On the one hand, Gunnar Myrdal noted that the USA touts itself as being the great Melting Pot society with liberty, justice, and equality for all its citizens regardless of their race, color, creed, religion, national origin, disability, socioeconomic status, and so forth. Lack of a strong work ethic, lack of an innovative and entrepreneurial spirit, and lack of a thirst for educational achievement typically are viewed as the only hindrances to one prospering and moving up the socioeconomic ladder in USA society. On the other hand, Gunnar Myrdal noted that, historically speaking, USA principles of liberty, justice, and equality for everyone often have been denied to many of its black citizens.



Watch (Martin Luther King, Jr.: Mini Bio )



THE BLACK PROBLEM IN SOCIAL DISCIPLINE

The black-on-black crime problem is a subset of a wider black American problem in social discipline. Some trace the USA black problem in social discipline to the self-hatred that black Americans learned during slavery (such as adoption and commonplace usage of the "n" word by blacks). Some argue that this self-hatred has been passed down from generation to generation. They argue that this retrogressive tendency has been exacerbated by generation after generation of black American families largely being isolated and invisible from mainstream society in largely poor, inner-city ghetto neighborhoods. They argue that this rebellious underclass never fully integrated into mainstream USA society.

The ongoing debate about black-white socioeconomic disparities in the USA is a variation of the age-old debate about nurture (see, for instance, the book From Slavery to Freedom by John Hope Franklin) versus nature (see, for instance, the book The Bell Curve by Richard Herrstein and Charles Murray). It is the age-old environment (society) versus biology (genetics) debate.

A chief tenet of the nurture school of thought is this: A history of racial prejudice and discrimination mainly explains the continued socioeconomic disparities between black and white Americans. It is argued that the blacks, who were once widely considered to be unteachable heathens and savages during the advent of slavery, cannot be too inferior to have made the socioeconomic strides that they have made within contemporary USA society despite an historical legacy of slavery and oppression, that is, when USA society openly receives blacks into its mainstream.

A chief tenet of the nature school of thought is this: Genetical differences in intelligence mainly explain the continued socioeconomic disparities between black and white Americans. The nature school of thoughts advances arguments such as these: If blacks were equal to whites, then why haven't blacks erected their own equivalents to, say, M.I.T., Intel, Boeing, NASA, General Electric, IBM, Microsoft, Genentech, and so forth? In other words, proponents of the nature school of thought argue that you probably should expect the socioeconomic disparities between black and white Americans to persist until such time that black Americans become captains and managers of these kinds of institutions, too. Instead of becoming captains and managers of these kinds of institutions, proponents of the nature school of thought argue that black Africa is moving far too slowly to rise above its widespread poverty, hunger, malnutrition, dependence on foreign aid, dependence on charitable donations, and so forth, while far too many black Americans cannot seem to rise above a slum mentality (this is, the poverty, street crimes, dilapidated structures, litter, graffiti, profanity, negativity, fighting, gunplay, alcohol and drug addiction, educational apathy, dependence on various government welfare programs, and so forth). Proponents of the nature school of thought tend to outright dismiss songs such as "Let's Clean Up The Ghetto" by the The Philadelphia All Stars, "Self Destruction" by Stop The Violence Movement, and "The Crown" by Gary Byrd and the G.B. Experience as nothing more than high-sounding wishful thinking that is destined to fall upon deaf ears. The reason why the proponents of the nature school of thought are confident that the progressive exhortations in these songs will fall upon deaf ears is because they sincerely do not believe that blacks, generally speaking, are capable of rising above a "slum" mentality due to their inferior genetical endowment. Proponents of the nature school of thought view black Americans as little more than an aboriginal people living within the confines of the broader predominantly white USA society—never mind the conventional scientific wisdom that the human species of today would not exist if it were not for the endurance of the Africans many thousands of years ago. (I realize that some humans are quite arrogant and are ungracious of their heritage. These arrogant and ungracious humans become highly offended by the notion that they descended from the Africans, which, of course, is their prerogative. Perhaps it would make them feel a little bit better to know that all life on Earth descended from the microbes. Conventional scientific wisdom holds that all life on Earth began from a single source some several billion years ago. It is believed that this singular source of origin for life was unicellular in structure. See the "Parade of Life" page of this website for a scientific timeline of life on Earth. At the same time, from a religious perspective, it has to be acknowledged that a great many humans believe that they descended from Adam and Eve; they believe that Africa had nothing at all to do with their origin.)

Historically and traditionally, the nature or racial-inferiority school of thought has been outright rejected by most citizens in the USA and throughout the world. Many believe that the nature school of thought is rooted in hopelessness and racial bigotry. Many think that widespread acceptance of the nature school makes it all too easy for its adherents to espouse a world view similar to that of Adolf Hitler. If the naturist viewpoint is broadly accepted by the general population, many fear that the naturists might conclude that the uplift of blacks is delusional and futile. Many fear that the naturists would condone, justify, and even advocate such human atrocities as slavery, the Holocaust, and ethnic cleansing.

Furthermore, there is a genuine concern that one can never be certain where the nature school would lead. After targeting certain racial groups for ostracism, would the naturists next target certain religious groups with whom they do not agree? Certain political groups? Will whites with, say, brown eyes or black hair later come to be viewed as not being pure enough? A prevailing naturist world view makes it possible for various so-called inferior or impure groups to be targeted for ostracism and oppression. It is precisely this type of mass hysteria and targeting of humans for ostracism and banishment where the nature school of thought leads society.

Some argue that it is not fair to measure intelligence exclusively on the basis of academic achievement (that is, logical, verbal, and numerical aptitudes). Academicians such as Dr. Howard Gardner argue that human conceptions of intelligence should be broadened to include a range of human competencies. These other competencies include athletic abilities, musical abilities, linguistic abilities, artistic abilities, and so forth. Some races might be weaker in some of these competencies and stronger in others. For example, artistic aptitudes might require little academic training but could serve as an important indicator of intelligence such as music composers (Ludwig van Beethoven of Germany, born 1770), painters (Pablo Picasso of Spain, born 1881), sculptors (Michelangelo of Italy, born 1475), poets (William Shakespeare of the United Kingdom, born 1564), orators (Adolf Hitler of Germany, born 1889), and so forth.

Others highlight another important fact about race and intelligence: There probably is as much difference in intelligence within a given race as there is differences in intelligence between races. In other words, there are highly intelligent humans within all races, and there are even more humans of mediocre abilities and aptitudes within all racial groups.

My chief objection to the nature or racial-inferiority school of thought is this: The racial inferiority school of thought does not take into account the human spirit. The human spirit, in much the same sense as love or ambition, is one of those attributes or traits that cannot be quantified. It is my belief that the human spirit is capable of overcoming any genetical deficiency. As long as the fire of the human spirit continues to burn, then I believe that a ray of hope exists for constructive change, uplift, and so forth, to occur on Earth.

The naturist or racial-inferiority school of thought seems to have the opposite effect; it seems to extinguish the flame of hope that is the human spirit. The bottom-line in the nurture-nature debate is this: One does not need to be a genius to function as a productive and self-supporting member of civil society. Increasingly, however, as societies become more advanced, one does need to obtain an academic or technical degree of higher learning to function as a productive member in civil society. A career niche exists for all members of civil society.

The following four videos offer a glimpse at the contemporary black-on-black crime problem, in particular, and the broader black American problem in social discipline:

Watch (Chicago Police Can't Handle Chicago Crime 5-10-2010)




Watch (Richmond Ca. Teen Shoots at Church Choir During Service)




Watch (Oakland Police Chief on the Tian Sheng Yu Case)




Watch (ISSUES with Jane Velez - HLN: Georgia Teen, Bobby Tillman Stomped to Death)


After viewing the above videos, do you detect a pattern of social delinquency among some contemporary USA black youths and young adults? I do, and the social delinquency must end as blacks prepare to move into the 22nd century. If you should view the tracks on the iPod of a typical black American teenager or black young adult, you most likely will find that it is filled with a lot of raunchy songs. It was an ominous sign that the social milieu had taken a turn for the worse when black recording artists began to change their stage names from imaginative concepts such as Earth, Wind & Fire, or Faith, Hope & Charity to unimaginative concepts such Old Dirty Bastard, or C-Murder. Sure enough, what followed was a barrage of x-rated rap songs. These song nonchalantly made use of the "n" word, used foul and profane language, glorified substance abuse and gunplay, and so forth. These retrogressive kinds of songs say a lot about the mindset of some of these youths. These retrogressive kinds of songs accentuate the depth of the work that needs to be done to get these affected youths to open their eyes and get on a progressive track.



THE RISE OF BLACK STREET GANGS

The gangster phenomenon is not new in the USA. The gangster phenomenon has been a part of the USA landscape as far back as the days of the Wild, Wild West during the 1800's. In the case of black USA street gangs, they emerged on the scene in the Los Angeles, California area of the USA during the 1950's and 1960's. The street gangs were an outgrowth of, or a by-product of, black migration from the South to the North, East, and West regions of the USA. Much like the immigrants who came to the USA from Europe and Asia during the 19th century and during the early 20th century, after World War II, blacks who migrated from the South, to one degree or another, sometimes were greeted with hostilities in their new surroundings. For the most part, in the beginning, to better adapt to and cope with these hostilities, the black migrants formed fraternal, benevolent, and in-service-to-the-community types of organizations and associations. When these fraternal organizations and associations were first formed, their activities, for the most part, were innocent, humble, peaceful, philanthropic, and harmless.

Gradually, with the passage of time, these fraternal organizations began to splinter. In a nutshell, you had a bunch of energetic, restless, unemployed black youths roaming the neighborhood with lots of idle time on their hands. To bide the time, some of these youths gravitated to hanging out with certain cliques. Members of rival cliques began to fight with one another. Such was the birth of black American neighborhood street gangs. By the 1990's, these USA black street gangs had morphed from benevolent organizations of friendship and brotherhood into societal public-safety menaces. They began to spread their unique brand of animosity and gang warfare to other USA cities. For, as the saying goes, idle hands are the Devil's workshop.

The most disheartening thing about this gang violence and murder is this: These youths and young adults sometimes are engaging in gang violence, gunplay, and killing for the most trivial and petty of reasons. These youths and young adults are shooting and killing one another over simple things such as the color of the shirt one is wearing, the type of cap one is wearing, the type of jewelry one is wearing, whether one set foot on a certain street corner, whether one perceived the other one as looking at him or her disrespectfully, and so forth. These street gangs have strayed far, far from their original humble beginnings. The bottom-line is this: The activities of black street gangs are contributing factors causing the entire USA black population to be typecast, stigmatized, and stereotyped as being willing participants in a culture of social deviance and pathology.

The following videos provide a little bit of historical context. They provide a limited depiction of how the black American neighborhood street gangs began:

Watch (Gangsta King on Crip & Blood Gang History in Los Angeles)




Watch (History of Blood & Crip Gangs in Los Angeles)


In recent years, as of the 2000's, the Hispanic or Latino population has grown. The Hispanic or Latino population has surpassed the black population to become the USA's largest minority group. Hispanic or Latino population growth has been accompanied by a growth in Latino neighborhood street gangs. The trend appears to be this: Black youth street gangs are being supplanted or outnumbered by Latino youth street gangs.

One of the reasons why I deliberately chose to write the book, The Age of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, in the format of a song is this: The song format is an attempt to appeal to all youths and young adults around the world. Today's youths and young adults will be responsible for managing the Earth of tomorrow. I am trying to reach these youths and young adults and help them to see the big picture—that humans are one species on planet Earth. Humans must learn to treat one another with courtesy and respect regardless of race, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation, physical disability, and so forth. Humans must learn to respect their mother, the Earth, and all other living things with whom they share planet Earth.

Watch (Our Solar System - Size Of Planets and Stars to Scale)




Watch (Size Of The Universe)




Watch (Newcleus, Destination Earth)




Watch (Lonnie Liston Smith, Expansions)




Earth, Wind & Fire - "The Changing Times"



Barry White - "Change"



The S.O.S. Band - "Do It Now"

More than anything, I would like to see gang members succeed in life. I would like to see gang members—as I would like to see all members of society—living happily, pursuing legitimate (lawful) careers, prospering, and expanding their intellectual horizons. There is a right and a wrong way to go about the task of achieving success. Violence, hatred, and murder are not the ways to go. The principle of divide-and-conquer is not the best way to proceed into the future. The principle of unity is the way to go, which the following videos aptly illustrate:

Watch (Anti-Gang Message from Actual Bangers)




Dropout Nation | FRONTLINE | PBS



Drugs: A Day in the Death of Donny B. - 1969



Watch (Stop The Violence Movement, Self Destruction)




Watch (SELF DESTRUCTION 2 (Jersey City) 20 Years Later)




The Jacksons - "Show You The Way To Go"



The Isley Brothers - "Mind Over Matter, Parts 1 & 2"



The Isley Brothers - "Go For What You Know"



Michael Jackson - "Euphoria"

The task of achieving success in life the right way requires sacrifice, devotion, and hard work. Unlike some criminal pursuits such as stealing and fraud, achieving success in life the right way usually does not occur overnight and usually takes an action plan, time, and patience. For instance, it takes at least 12 years to graduate from high school alone. Some of those school courses are not easy to pass. A career niche exists for everyone in civil society, but you have to put forth the effort. You have to go into the world and pursue your dreams. For instance, if you wish to become a schoolteacher in life, then you have to start applying for admission to colleges and exploring ways to finance your college education long before you graduate from high school. More importantly, you have to take your school studies seriously so that you qualify to be accepted into college. Instead of getting into trouble with the law for engaging in illicit activities, it is preferable to pursue a career niche and focus your energies on succeeding in your chosen career.

It is often stated that anyone can make a baby. The challenge in life does not occur in the act of making the baby. The true challenge occurs when it comes time to be good parents. The true challenge occurs in raising that baby to grow up to become a responsible, caring, and productive member of civil society.

By the same token, just as it is easy to make a baby, literally anyone can grab a gun, shoot, and kill someone with it. It only takes a split second to shoot and kill someone. The true challenge in life lies in tossing the weapons into a furnace, sitting down with your adversaries, and peacefully working out the differences that divide you. The true challenge in life comes with letting go of the past, purging the violence and hatred from your hearts, and, instead, opting for courtesy and mutual respect as a way of daily living.

Moving into the 22nd century, the name of the game is self-betterment, peace, positivity, and progress. The name of the game is to strive for excellence in life. The name of game is living (that is, to live and let live), not killing. Clearly, the gang lifestyle only leaves a trail of human death, destruction, misery, injury, incarceration, heartache, and sorrow behind it—even for those who sit atop the gang hierarchy.

To put it another way, for the "Little Child Runnin' Wild" (Curtis Mayfield) out there in the world, I say, "Eddie You Should Know Better" (Curtis Mayfield). I encourage you to "Hang It Up" (Patrice Rushen), that is, to hang up the gang banging, and peacefully "Turn It Into Something Good" (Earth, Wind & Fire). I encourage you to redouble your effort to bask in the "Herbie Hancock - "Sunlight" (Herbie Hancock) of futuristic living as suggested by the following songs and images:

Printed product downloads  :: NASA's The Space Place



Earth, Wind & Fire - "Head To The Sky"



Earth, Wind & Fire - "Devotion"



Commodores - "This Is Your Life"



Earth, Wind & Fire - "Take It To The Sky"



The Space Place Calendar :: NASA's The Space Place



Watch (Juma: For Youth, For 20 Years)




Watch (4-H in the City: Building 4-H Clubs in Urban Areas)




Watch (Who We Are: An Introduction to NFTE)


Let there be peace and prosperity for all on Earth.



THE RISE OF "GANGSTA" RAP

Rap emerged on the USA music scene around 1979 with the release of the single "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang. By the 1980's, rap music had become a popularly accepted musical genre. Eventually, two x-rated offshoots of rap emerged. They were known as "gangsta" rap and "nasty" rap. Much like the black neighborhood street gang phenomenon had its origins in the Los Angeles, California area of the USA, gangster-rap music also had its origins in the Los Angeles, California area.

What is "nasty" rap? Much like sexually explicit, x-rated pornographic movies, nasty rap is sexually explicit, x-rated rap songs about copulation. Although x-rated but somewhat cleansed and sanitized for radio airplay, it turns out that gangster rap and nasty rap are quite popular among listeners.

Many impressionable black USA youths, having fully bought into the gangster-rap hype, the gangster-rap beefs, and the thuggish lifestyle projected in gangster-rap videos, literally, started to imitate these videos in real life. These youths began to dress like the gangster rappers. They began to speak profanity like the gangster rappers. They began to behave like the gangster rappers. They began calling one another the "n" word like the gangster rappers. I recall reading someplace where a gangster rapper admitted that their music, in effect, was influencing the creation of a generation of monsters (through the message of hatred, violence, and substance abuse being promoted to youths in their music). Gangster rap and nasty rap are quite popular among (black) USA youths and young adults.

I recognize the argument that gangster-rap music is nothing more than a mere reflection of the realities of living in neighborhoods that are permeated by gang activity. Gangster rappers often ask why should they be blamed or criticized for simply rapping about the daily realities of living in "kill or be killed," gang-infested kinds of neighborhood environments. Gangster rappers argue that they are not the cause of the adverse socioeconomic conditions that exist in ghettoes and slums.

While this pro-gangster-rap argument has merits, the fact remains that gangster-rap music, by far, tends to encourage and promote the continuation of deviant or maladaptive-expressive behavioral patterns. In many instances, gangster-rap music encourages its listeners to take maladaptive-expressive kinds of behavior to even higher and more extreme levels of maladaptive expressiveness. More often than not, gangster rappers appear to be encouraging humans to live undisciplined, unprincipled, and unrestrained lifestyles. More often than not, gangster rappers appear to be promoting violence, hatred, and murder. There is nothing wrong with having fun and enjoying life, but there also is a time to get serious and a time to live responsibly.

It also is argued that the listeners are demanding to hear hardcore gangster rap songs. Proponents of gangster rap argue that gangster rap recording artists merely are supplying the listeners with the type of hardcore music that listeners are demanding to hear. As for the popularity of gangster rap, in much the same sense as rival gang members find themselves trapped in a vicious cycle of hatred, violence, gunplay, and retaliation, it appears that gangster rap's popularity has become something of a vicious cycle, too. The gangster rap cycle goes something like this: Gangster rap is widely being played on the [urban-oriented] radio channels. Gangster rap videos are widely available on the World Wide Web. Therefore, youths and young adults repeatedly are exposed to gangster rap music. When youths and young adults repeatedly are exposed to gangster rap music, then gangster rap becomes one of their favorite musical preferences. Gangster rap becomes the type of music that they are accustomed to hearing. In turn, the youths and young adults do tend to want to listen to more and more hardcore gangster rap music.

It also must be acknowledged that, among the gangster rappers, there is an element of rivalry at work. Some gangsters rappers compete with other gangster rappers to see who can be the most hardcore, toughest, meanest, baddest, foulest, humiliating, and so forth. To be sure, these gangster rap beefs are the hallmarks of childishness and immaturity. Adults who feel compelled to engage in gangster rap beefs should aim for more constructive pursuits in life instead of preoccupying themselves with this sort of behavioral silliness and ludicrousness. Adults who feel compelled to engage in gangster rap beefs do not set good examples for children to emulate in life.

The outcome of these rivalries and beefs is yet another vicious cycle of degrading, desensitizing, and dehumanizing conduct begetting even more degrading, desensitizing and dehumanizing conduct. Certain record companies, radio stations, and television stations are not helping the situation at all from the standpoint that they seem to be conspiring to glorify songs and videos that promote counterproductive behavior and outlandish conduct by black Americans. When sanctioned by or receiving the stamp of approval from the mass media, this counterproductive behavior and outlandish conduct begin to become accepted as normal. By exalting, elevating, and celebrating songs that promote counterproductive behavior and outlandish conduct, certain record companies, radio stations, and television stations are insinuating to recording artists that hardcore, bad behavior is the way to become successful in life. By exalting, elevating, and celebrating songs that promote fighting, violence, hatred, profanity, use of sexual and racial epithets, and so forth, in the long run, record companies, radio stations, and television stations are undermining the integrity of all black American residents.

Youths and young adults begin to idolize the gangster rap recording artists. Youths and young adults begin to mimic the gangster rap lyrics and videos. The outcome is that many of these youths and young adults end up getting jailed with permanent criminal records and also end up getting injured, shot, hospitalized, or murdered as they try to mimic the gangster mentality. In most cases, it reduces to youth-on-youth violence, but in some cases it also results in youth-on-innocent-citizen violence.

Watch (Chicago Grandmother's Plea: The Killing Needs to Stop)




Watch (Gang Membership a Family Affair in Chicago)




Watch (Teen Gang Members on Surging Chicago Violence)


I realize that the United States of America is an open and free society. Its free-speech principle permits one to say (and rap, write, or sing) about whatever one wants to no matter how edgy, provocative, salacious, indecent, vulgar, controversial, unpopular, or offensive it is. Its free-speech principle also permits record companies and radio stations to promote and sell any type of music that they deem fit. The USA's right to bear firearms allows everyone to own a gun. However, art is supposed to be uplifting. Art is not supposed to be degrading. Art is not supposed to be demeaning. Art is not supposed to be indecent. Art is not supposed to promote hatred, violence, and murder. It is deeply regrettable when some members in USA society choose to take their Constitutional freedoms to the negative extreme. It also is deeply regrettable that some entertainment entities choose to put profits above doing the socially responsible thing.

Many, many black American youths, in part, have been incarcerated, injured, and even murdered while trying to project the gangster mentality and while trying to act out the lifestyle that they listen to in the gangster-rap songs. Many, many black American youths have begun to behave outlandishly in public, in part, because this type of behavior is encouraged and exalted in the gangster-rap songs. The outcome is this: As of the 2000's, the problem in social discipline among black American youths appears to be worsening instead of getting better.

Watch [DJ Quik, Jus Lyke Compton (UNCENSORED)]




Watch [Dru Down, Pimp Of The Year (UNCENSORED)]




Watch [P.I.M.P. (Snoop Dogg Remix), 50 Cent ft. Snoop Dogg & G Unit]

It is extremely difficult to foster a flourishing, stable household family unit in neighborhoods where teenage boys and young adult males face constant peer pressure to mimic the lifestyles of the gangsters, pimps, and players of the world. For them, the definition of manhood becomes one of establishing relationships with females based on abuse, infidelity, scheming, manipulation, deceit, and so forth. (Some females do the same thing to males.) Generally speaking, a flourishing, stable household family unit usually consists of a man (husband), a woman (wife), and their children getting good educations, obeying the law, having careers, purchasing a home, saving money for the future, enjoying life, and otherwise living the American Dream.

It is not my intent here to detract from, minimize, or downplay the talents of the gangster rappers. Many of the gangster rappers are immensely talented. The gangster-rap music producers are quite adept at putting down the tracks. Many of the gangster-rap songs contain catchy and infectious beats, albeit the accompanying lyrics come across as being cruel, brutish, cold, abusive, hateful, retrogressive, heartless, and without merit in terms of moving humanity forward in a positive direction.

It is bad enough that many USA black residents are still struggling to overcome the legacy of slavery. In the ongoing quest of black Americans to attain a higher quality of life, it is not at all helpful for the gangster rappers to come along and continuously make appeals to the basest, cruelest, and most primitive instincts of their black listeners—and their non-black listeners, too. The gangster-rap syndrome is akin to the gangster rappers adding insult to the injury of black enslavement by glamorizing and promoting virulent, vile, divisive, self-hatred, and self-destructive conduct. It is akin to rubbing salt into a wound. Gangster rap is making matters worse instead of making things better in terms of encouraging black Americans to prepare themselves for 22nd century living and beyond. The gangster rappers are further promoting the sterotype of black Americans as dangerous, hateful, and violent citizens who are to be avoided by non-blacks if and when possible.

Black Americans have a long tradition of producing high-quality, wholesome music. During the 1950's and 1960's, soul and rhythm-blues (R&B) musicians created wholesome, melodic songs. Almost everyone in the world is familiar with the Motown sound of the 1960's.

Watch [The Temptations, My Girl]


By the 2000's, in part due to the influence of gangster rap, it had become a common practice for many popular songs by the newer generation of black recording artists to contain at least one obscenity, vulgarity, or epithet. Hardcore gangster-rap music, particularly, has had an adverse impact on popular musical genres such as R&B and soul. If the trend continues, R&B and soul music eventually will morph into something terrible much like the black gangs of the 1950's morphed into menaces to civil society. Gangster rap's lasting impact on R&B and soul music could be that it pulled these two musical genres into the gutter, too. For, despite its current popularity among a certain segment of listeners, all that gangster rap seems to be accomplishing over the long run is limiting the mass appeal of the hip hop and R&B musical genres. That is to say, there is a growing tendency to equate black recording artists with vulgar lyrics. There is a growing tendency to stigmatize songs by black recording artists as "unsafe" songs. There is a growing tendency by many listeners to search for a "safer" or vulgar-free music experience.

Watch [Jay-Z featuring Ja Rule and Amil, Can I Get A (UNCENSORED)]


I encourage young, upcoming hip-hop and rap recording artists to keep the music clean, tasteful, and decent in much the same way that the music was kept clean, tasteful, and decent during Motown's heyday in Detroit, Michigan. Berry Gordy's Motown Record Company demonstrated that it is possible to make beautiful and thoughtful music without resorting to the use of obscenities, vulgarities, sexual epithets, calls to violence, racial slurs, and so forth, in the songs. Similarly, for the current generation of black American youths and young adults, it is possible to hold a conversation and make a point without resorting to a barrage of obscenities, vulgarities, sexual epithets (such as pervasive use of the "b" word which rhymes with snitch), and racial slurs (such as pervasive use of the "n" word which rhymes with bigger). I encourage these black American youths and young adults to keep their conversations clean, decent, and respectful.

It's time to get back to the basics of making clean and tasteful music:

Watch (Ledisi, I Blame You)




Watch (Tank, You're My Star)


These youths and young adults can learn a lot from the Book of Proverbs when it mused:

     29 Say not, I will do so to him as he hath done to me: I will render to the man according to
his work.
     30 I went by the field of the slothful, and by the vineyard of the man void of understanding;
     31 And, lo, it was all grown over with thorns, and needles had covered the face thereof, and
the stone wall thereof was broken down.
     32 Then I saw, and considered it well: I looked on it, and received instruction.
     33 Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep:
     34 So shall thy poverty come as one that travelleth, and thy want as an armed man.

Excerpted from the Holy Bible (King James Version), Proverbs: Chapter 24: Verses 29-34

In other words, build. Don't steal. In other words, learn. Don't yearn. Seek out opportunities for self-improvement and self-reliance and make the most of those opportunities when they present themselves to you. All in all, as a people, blacks in the USA have experienced forward patterns of success, joy, triumph, progress, and so forth, while simultaneously experiencing backward patterns of failure, pain, tragedy, setbacks, tumult, and so forth. A perfect illustration of the black American paradox can be found in big cities such as New York City. On the one hand, some black youths and young adults often complain about being unfairly subjected to the "stop and frisk" law. On the other hand, other black youths and young adults are roaming the streets and randomly whacking innocent passerbys in the face as hard as they can in a stupid, inexcusable, lawless, savage, barbaric, and evil game of "knockout" punch. The "knockout" phenonemon appears to be an outgrowth or variation of the already popularized street-fight and bum-fight videos found on some social websites. [There is a lot of good stuff on the World Wide Web, but there also is a lot of bad stuff. In the case of the "knockout" phenonemon and individual liberty in a free society such as the USA, it reduces to a contest to see who could post the most ridiculous, shocking, offensive, obscene, perverse, and sadistic material to these social websites. Some constantly are trying to outdo others by uploading an activity to these social websites that is more crude than previous uploads. Street fights were not crude enough and along came bum fights. Bum fights were not crude enough and along came the knockout punch. Knockout punch was not crude enough and along came the mall fights, and so on and so forth ad infinitum.] Why must these youths and young adults opt to spend their time engaging in counterproductive pursuits (that is, bad stuff such as hatred and violence) instead of opting to engage in more productive pursuits (that is, good stuff such as respect for others and decorum)? In light of black American youths and young adults being willing participants in maladaptive-expressive activities such as violent flash mobs and knockout crews, is it any wonder why black youths and young adults tend to be viewed more suspiciously by the general population? A cloud of counterproductive suspicion or stigma tends to perpetually hang over the heads of black Americans. The most immediate challenge for black Americans, in terms of their continued upward societal mobility, is to abandon the maladaptive-expressive lifestyle where it exists and to embrace the adaptive-expansive lifestyle.

In the final analysis, gangster rap is having a corrosive impact on the morals of youths and young adults. The irony is this: These youths and young adults cannot seem to get enough of the very things (such as gangster rap, fighting, substance abuse, and so forth) that are contributing to their downfall (or are contributing to their lack of success in life). The mass media (for example, certain record companies, radio stations, television programs, magazine articles, etc.) is complicit in the sense that, by embracing gangster rap and nasty rap, the mass media plays a prominent and unmistakable role in promoting and perpetuating the worst apsects of black American culture to the broader USA society. It reduces to a double standard being exhibited by the mass media. For instance, white Americans typically are condemned for using the "n" word, but almost nothing is said or a pass is given when black Americans use it (albeit most tend to think, but cannot be certain if, white Americans use the "n" word in a deragatory sense and black Americans use it in a slang sense). It is worth noting that, in some instances, both blacks and whites who use the "n" simply are ignorant of the history of slavery in the Americas—and the resultant oppression, hardship, suffering, prejudice, and discrimination that blacks endured for hundreds of years.

One implication of this double standard is this: When whites use the "n" word and are condemned for doing so, it suggests that whites are superior and therefore must be held to a higher standard of moral conduct. When blacks are given a pass for using the "n" word, it suggests that blacks are inferior. It suggests that this lower standard of moral conduct is to be expected of blacks or is normal for them. If you believe that all humans are equally human, then both blacks and whites, equally, should be condemned for using the "n" word. The sensible thing is for nobody to use the "n" word, and all of the confusion surrounding its use would be eliminated. Both blacks and whites should be held to the same high standard of morality and self-conduct.

It should be emphasized that this inferiority-superiority dynamic or syndrome is not confined exclusively to human racial relations. You also can find incidences of the inferiority-superiority dynamic at work when it comes to religious beliefs, political-social-economic philosophy, gender relations, international relations, and so forth. This inferiority-superiority dynamic general leads to various kinds of schimisms, animosities, and hostilities between the parties directly affected by the dynamic. Seemingly, in more cases than not, possibly as a show of power or to exert control, the so-called superior or stronger party sometimes bullies, ridicules, belittles, ostracizes, or otherwise treats the so-called weaker or inferior party to the dynamic as somehow being second-class. As an example of the racial dynamic at work and the sometimes resultant unequal treatment based on classification, the Chinese are considered stronger. As a result, basketball fans generally referred to Yao Ming as a basketball phenom during his USA professional basketball career. I do not recall reading or hearing any deragatory references to Yao Ming on the basis of his race. The Africans are considered weaker. As a result, sometimes some basketball fans referred to Manute Bol as a freak show during his USA professional basketball career.

Watch (Beauty of Mathematics)


Once upon a time in USA history, Hollywood or the movie industry opted to go the stereotypical route by portraying many black characters in motion pictures in demeaning and derogatory roles. With the rise of "gangsta" rap music, in these contemporary times, the radio and sound recording industries appear to have taken the baton from Hollywood by also portraying blacks in stereotypical roles via their embrace and promotion of "gangsta" rap music. The "gangsta" rappers, too, are fully complicit in promoting black self-hatred and perpetuating a never-ending cycle of violence, hatred, and crime among black Americans.

Obviously, not all deviant conduct and social ills in black America can be attributed to gangster-rap music; there are other root causes, too. For instance, television programs such as The Jerry Springer Show and some of the more raunchier reality television shows are equally culpable of promoting and glorifying bad behavior. Collectively speaking and over a sustained period of time, on the "H.A.B.C. (humans as bloodthirsty creatures)" page of this website, I touched on some ways in which the mass media sometimes subtly, subconsciously, unwittingly, and wittingly promotes violence, fighting, maiming, and killing. The sustained period of time is usually from the cradle to the grave. In other instances, poor parenting is a contributing factor to the black problem in social discipline. And, no, black Americans do not hold a monopoly on poor parenting either.

A part of the black American social discipline problem also can be attributed to the immaturity of youth. You have groups of impressionable, immature black youths with an overabundance of energy who are bored and in search of excitement. Instead of channeling their abundant energy and boredom to more constructive pursuits such as hang gliding, white water rafting, yoga, intramural sports, rock climbing, hiking, surfing, and so forth, too many of these youths seem to have wrongly chosen counterproductive pursuits such as mimicking the lifestyle projected in gangster rap music, indulging in the acerbic side of social media, engaging in substance abuse and other kinds of destructive behaviors, and so forth.

Watch (African American Flash Mobs Terrorize Philadelphia Yet Again)




Watch (Black Teen Mob Hijacks Gas Station: We Own This!)


Violent flash-mob incidents sort of remind me of the novel Lord of the Flies (William Golding), which was a cautionary tale about how a group of perfectly civil yet immature adolescents, when left alone, proceeded to descend into a state of anarchy and savagery. A somewhat analogous scenario to violent flash mobs would be instances when a college team wins a national sports championship, and a handful of overly exuberant (yet immature) students then would stream into the streets and start rioting, setting fires, destroying property, fighting with police officers, and so forth.

Watch (Video SparkNotes: William Golding's Lord of the Flies)




Watch (MOTIVATION FOR SUCCESS)


The moral of the Lord of the Flies story is this: The violent flash mob type of behavior is inexcusable and unacceptable in civilized society. The key to life and the key to the future reside with humans making wise choices. The book (The Age of Homo Sapiens Sapiens) is about humans choosing wisely. The book is about humans choosing Heaven (life, prosperity, and peace) over Hell (death, self-destruction, and extinction).



BLACKS AND THE "N" WORD

Much like there is a debate among black Americans over the influence of gangster rap on the morals of youngsters, there is a related debate occurring over usage of the "n" word by black Americans. Historically, the "n" word was used as a racial slur to connote being substandard, less than human, a human cesspool, or scum of the Earth. The "n" word historically was meant to project an offensive, demeaning, derogatory, disrespectful, and unflattering depiction of black Americans. The "n" word was meant to imply racial inferiority.

By the time the 2000's arrived, it became lost on many black American youths and young adults the historical meaning of the "n" word. They began to use the "n" word jokingly as slang to connote knucklehead, fool, homeboy, dude, partner, buddy, and so forth. They began to use the "n" word as a term of endearment. They began to use the "n" word because it was the "in" or fashionable thing to do.

Casual usage of the "n" word by black USA residents has led to confusion in the broader USA society. The broader (non-black) USA society has been left feeling perplexed and dumbfounded. They have been left scratching their heads and wondering why do blacks choose to use the 'n' word so casually and so liberally when the 'n' word implies racial inferiority. Given its historical context, of all the words in the English language, why would black Americans pick the "n" word for popular usuage as slang? To further confuse the issue, there are some black Americans who nefariously use the "n" to project all of its negative historical racial connotations. There also are some non-black USA residents who innocently use the "n" word jokingly as slang, particularly the current generation of non-black youths and young adults. It becomes difficult to determine when the "n" is being used jokingly as slang or seriously as a racial slur. Many in the USA usually assume that black Americans use the "n" word jokingly and white Americans use it as a racial slur, which is not always the case.

The bottom-line about the "n" word is this: Usage of the "n" word only serves to cheapen the lives of all humans who happen to be born black. Not only did Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. give his life so that black USA residents could receive equal treatment but so, too, did many white and other non-black Americans who participated in the Civil Rights struggle of the 1950's and the 1960's. They were beaten, jailed, and murdered so that blacks would receive equal treatment throughout USA society.

Contemporary black American activities such as popular usage of the "n" word, the lack of social discipline, the maladaptive-expressive behavior (gunplay, fighting, and being obnoxious in public), and so forth, are very poor ways for these youths and young adults to show gratitude to all those who marched and sacrificed their lives during the Civil Rights Movement. Usage of the "n" word by some black USA citizens is one of the cruelest insults that they can show to their ancestors who endured slavery. For, when it comes right down to it, these very same youths would not be alive today had not their ancestors endured and survived slavery. For those black Americans who choose to popularly use the "n" word as slang, it suggests that they possess limited knowledge or appreciation of their history. For, there is nothing at all "cute" to be found in the history of the "n" word and the history of black American enslavement.

Watch (Gladys Knight & the Pips, I've Got to Use My Imagination)




Watch (A Flight through the Universe, by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey)




WORLD WAR II AND THE NEW WORLD ORDER

On the one hand, a portion of the black American problem in social discipline has to do with perception. There appears to be a tendency by the mainstream news media to focus on negative, controversial, or adversarial aspects of black American culture and life while paying scant attention to the positive and progressive aspects of black American culture and life. In other words, most news accounts about black Americans are stories about black Americans behaving badly in public or in private, and it feeds into the negative public image of black Americans. On the other hand, if black Americans were not behaving badly, then there would be no need for such news media scrutiny in the first place.

Comparatively speaking, for instance, there practically are no news reports of violent crimes being committed by, say, Chinese Americans. How is it that, relative to black Americans, there are little to no nightly news accounts about, say, Chinese Americans engaging in violent and heinous crimes? Why are there no Chinese Americans encouraging, organizing, and participating in violent flash mob activities? Why are there no Chinese Americans fighting at schools or breaking into their neighbors cars and homes? Why are there no Chinese American carjackings and strong-armed robberies? One answer appears to be that the Chinese Americans are more adept at exercising social discipline relative to black Americans. When there are news reports about Chinese Americans engaging in gunplay or committing violent crimes, in almost all instances, the violent crimes are gang-related, underworld activities in the Chinatown area or the violence is linked to some sort of spousal dispute. Relative to the USA's other ethnic groups, a disproportionately larger share of black Americans cannot seem to stay out of trouble with the law. How is it that, relatively and proportionately speaking, black Americans appear to experience the most difficulty in walking down the straight and narrow path in life? Some vehmently argue that the root cause of the problem is driven by nature (that is, genetical or biological factors) while others vehemently argue that the root cause of the black American problem in social discipline is driven by nurture (that is, environmental or societal factors).

I wish to interject that the observations here about the news media are not an attempt to absolve black Americans of bad behavior. These observations are not an attempt to blame the news media for the black American problem in social discipline. Members of the news media, individually speaking, are not making black Americans behave badly in public or at private functions. For instance, no single member of the mass media is grabbing a gun, handing it to a black American, and forcing that black American to go shoot someone with it. When that black American grabs a gun and starts shooting people with it, then that particular black American must take final responsibility for his or her actions. At the same time, it should be noted that, as yet, there seems to be nothing more effective at stoking and inflaming the passions of the masses quite like a television camera can (at least in the USA). There seems to be nothing more effective at whipping the masses into a frenzy quite like a television camera can (at least in the USA).

Many humans do not realize that television is something relatively new to the human experience. Television is one of those human technologies that came to prominence after World War II (1939-1945) ended. (The emerging World Wide Web is even newer to humans than television.)

Watch (Networked: The New Social Operating System)


The USA's (free) national broadcast television networks came into existence around the time of World War II. For instance, NBC television was established in 1939. CBS television was established in 1941. ABC television was established in 1948. PBS television was established in 1970. The recent arrivals have been the cable news networks. CNN was established in 1980. Both MSNBC and FOX News were established in 1996. BBC America was established in 1998. Al Jazeera America was established in 2013.

Watch (The Origins of Television)




Watch (The Story of Television - 1956 RCA Educational Documentary)


Widespread household ownership of television sets did not occur in the USA until the 1950's after World War II had ended.

Watch [The History of TV (Mass Media Project)]


In recent years, at the dawn of the 21st century, two new trends appear to be emerging in television coverage of the news. The first trend appears to be the rise of paparazzi news. With paparazzi-style news reporting in vogue, there is a tendency to hype or sensationalize a news story as a tactic to gain viewership and, subsequently, to sell more blocks of advertising space to sponsors.

The second trend appears to be the emergence of advocacy or provocative news. During the formative years of the broadcast networks, viewers were presented with so-called hard news, which basically was a 30-minute recap of the day's current events without offering too much of an opinion. With the emergence of the 24-hour cable news networks, hard news programs have become interspersed with talk news and other kinds of news programming. Talk news programs often offer spirited, opinionated, and partisan commentary on current events. By interspersing hard news with talk news each day, it becomes more difficult for viewers to distinguish between news reporting and personal opinion.

The point in discussing television and television news here is this: Whether those in the news business are willing to admit it or not, television plays a profound role in shaping public opinion. If the public sees nothing but polarization in the news, then the public tends to become polarized, too. If news media outlets are more apt to focus on reporting sordid stories about the USA black community (which is not to deny the existence of certain sordid events and not to suggest that these events do not merit media scrutiny), after repeatedly seeing disproportionately negative news stories about the black community coupled with little positive news coverage, then viewers are more likely to think that everything black is bad and substandard. When viewers form these kinds of opinions, then it leads to the stigmatization and isolation of black Americans. Fortunately, programs such as CNN Heroes provide a more balanced approach. CNN Heroes shows how people from all races and from all walks of life are doing good deeds all over the world.

Take the above-mentioned year 2000 crime statistics, for instance. These statistics reveal that there were an estimated 11,605,751 crimes committed in the USA during the year 2000 reporting period. These 11,605,751 crimes were broken down as follows:

To be sure, the year 2000 crime statistics have been updated. The latest USA crime report is titled 2013 National Crime Victims' Rights Week Resource Guide: New Challenges. New Solutions.. After following the link, you'll notice that the report contains 7 sections. Section 6 (Statistical Overviews) contains an updated 2013 report on USA crime statistics. The updated 2013 crime report identifies and surveys 15 categories of crime:

  1. Assault
  2. Burglary, robbery, and theft
  3. Children, youth, and teen victimization
  4. Crimes against persons with disabilities
  5. Economic and financial crime
  6. Elder victimization
  7. Hate and bias crime
  8. Homicide
  9. Human trafficking
  10. Intimate partner violence
  11. School and campus crime
  12. Sexual violence
  13. Stalking
  14. Urban and rural crime
  15. Workplace violence

Fairness requires that the television news media report on a representative sample of all these crime offenders and crime victims from all 15 crime categories. Yet, all too often, it seems, when it comes to reporting on crime and delinquency, television news reports tend to focus on a crime or delinquency event being committed by a black American offender. This type of television coverage where black Americans tend to be singled out for coverage reduces to a form of racial stereotyping of those who are perceived to be weaker or who are perceived to be less influential members of society. Do you honestly think that blacks Americans are committing the majority of these crimes in all 15 crime categories? I do not think so. Black Americans are not hardly committing 10 million crimes each year.

Yes, it is true that black Americans tend to be disproportionately affected by many of these 15 categories of crimes both as victims and as offenders. Yes, black Americans should be called out by the news media when they are caught committing crimes. Yes, it is true that black Americans ought to work harder at harnessing or solving their problem in social discipline, or, at a minimum, they ought to work harder at not allowing the problem to become disproportionate to their percentage of the total USA population. Yes, it is true that white Americans are excelling at science, technology, business, and so forth, which means that there are lots of good things and praiseworthy events to cover in the news. The broader point is this: Members of all racial groups in the USA are committing these millions of crimes each year. If television news programs feel compelled to cover crime and delinquency incidents, then all crimes and all racial groups should be proportionately covered for the sake of balance. The USA television news media has over 10,000,000 (million) incidents of criminal acts from which to choose to cover each year considering its seeming infatuation with broadcasting news stories about crimes involving black Americans. If there are more than 10,000,000 annual crimes being committed in the USA, why, then are mostly black faces being shown on the news when crime stories are covered? Can the reason for the news media's infatuation with crimes committed by blacks be because members of the news media harbor some type of fear of blacks or they harbor a stereotype or prejudice about blacks being dangerous individuals? Admittedly, some crimes are more serious, high profile, and heinous than others. Obviously, a story about gunplay and murder is more serious than a story about someone stealing, say, a can of beer from the corner grocery store. In short, when it comes to news reporting inside USA society, if television news programs exhibit a propensity to report mostly positive or good news stories about white Americans and mostly negative or bad news stories about black Americans, then viewers tend to form and harbor pro-white and anti-black racial prejudices. Viewers tend to act on those racial prejudices. It is very difficult to foster racial harmony in an atmosphere of racial prejudice.

Sadly to say, the 15-February-2014 intimate-partner hotel incident between Ray Rice and Janay Palmer represents another case in point. The incident shows how the news media has a propensity to jump all over an opportunity to depict blacks in an unflattering light. For instance, the Clarence Thomas hearings received national media coverage; it was used a platform to make a societal statement against all incidents of sexual harassment. The O.J. Simpson trial received national media coverage; it was used a platform to make a societal statement against all incidents of murder. The Michael Jackson trial received national media coverage; it was used as a platform to make a societal statement against all incidents of child abuse. The Michael Vick trial received national media coverage; it was used as a platform to make a societal statement against all incidents of animal cruelty and abuse. The Ray Rice/Janay Palmer incident received national media coverage; it was used a platform to make a statement against all incidents of intimate-partner violence. To be sure, given the seemingly undying interest in the O.J. Simpson case, if space aliens were to land in the USA today, they probably would conclude that O.J. Simpson was the only USA resident accused and found civilly liable for murder. [I am being facetious.] Seriously, sometimes I wonder if the media's fascination with the O.J. Simpson case is not so much about seeking truth and finding closure as it is about race baiting.

Watch (Ray Rice - Press Conference (May 23, 2014)




Watch (Ray Rice Knocked Out Fiancee - FULL VIDEO)


Michael Jackson was given the dubious and unsolicited honor of becoming a public sounding board against child abuse and also a public sounding board against substance abuse, in general, and prescription drug abuse, in particular. In the case of substance abuse, however, it turns out that Michael Jackson had (and continues to have) plenty of high-profile company such as Heath Ledger, Cory Monteith, Corey Haim, ODB, Whitney Houston, Chris Kelly, Anna Nicole Smith, Rick James, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Winehouse, Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton, Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan, Demi Lovato, Robert Downey Jr., Betty Ford, Rush Limbaugh, and so on. Some of these high-profile citizens went on to overcome their addictions while others succumbed to their addictions or succumbed to unrelated illnesses. Perhaps the one societal ill where blacks have not been used as a platform to make a societal statement against one social ill or another is the case of mass school shootings. Can you see a pattern where the news media uses blacks as a platform to make societal statements against various social ills? In a sense, black Americans often find themselves being used as scapegoats or props by the mass media to reflect most of the bad things occurring in the USA and far too few of the good things.

After repeatedly seeing these types of negative and unflattering news stories about blacks, some viewers might be tempted to conclude that everything black is bad. The long-term effect of this propensity to cover blacks negatively in the news is to further stigmatize and isolate blacks from mainstream society. These negative and unflattering news stories tend to cause viewers to associate blacks with pathology or with society's various social ills such as sexual harassment, murder, child abuse, animal cruelty and abuse, intimate-partner violence, and so forth.

To make matters worse, the Ray Rice/Janay Palmer incident was shown on some television news programs alongside the ISIS beheading stories. By juxtaposing the two stories, it tends to lead viewers to think that Ray Rice is just like those savage, barbaric, and depraved ISIS killers. Yet, how many couples do you know who have not gotten into a heated exchange at some point or another during their romantic relationship or marriage? When members of the news media start to single out one incident of domestic violence involving a black person, then it begs the question if this one incident is any worse than the many incidents of school violence, gang violence, and drug violence occurring on Earth each day? Aren't all of these incidents of violence worthy of equal coverage?

The larger point about the Ray Rice/Janay Palmer incident is this: Although blacks do tend to receive most of the negative news coverage when these kinds of societal ills occur, blacks are not the only participants. Admittedly, relative to the general population, blacks do tend to experience a higher incidence of various social ills.

For instance, with respect to intimate-partner violence, the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS) released a study titled "Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010". The study examined "trends in nonfatal intimate partner violence which includes rape, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated assault, and simple assault committed by an offender who was the victim's current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend." For the 2009-2010 periods, the study estimated that there were approximately 906,450 cases of intimate-partner victimization in the USA where the partner was physically attacked.

Total violent crime and intimate partner violence, by gender, 2009-2010
Gender Years 2009-2010 Percent Rate per 1,000 persons age 12 or older
Females 775,650 85.6% 5.9
Males 130,890 14.4% 1.1
Total 906,540 100.0% 3.6
DATA SOURCE:
Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010

Of these 906,450 cases, females were the victims 86% of the time (or 775,650 cases). The following table shows how these 775,650 female-as-victim cases were broken down by race/ethnicity. Notice how the incidence is higher for blacks at 7.8 cases per every 1,000 individuals.

Intimate partner violence against females, by race and ethnicity, 2009-2010
Race and Ethnicity Total Cases Percent Rate per 1,000 persons age 12 or older
White Females 546,060 70.4% 6.2
Black Females 127,220 16.4% 7.8
Hispanic/Latina Females 72,690 9.4% 4.1
Other Females (Excludes White, Black, and persons of Hispanic or Latina origin) 29,680 3.8% 3.8
Grand Total 775,650 100.0% 5.9
DATA SOURCE:
Intimate Partner Violence, 1993-2010

As of 2010, whites represented 63% of the total USA population, Hispanics represented 16%, and blacks represented 12% of the total USA population. The point here is this: From these 775,650 female-as-victim cases, the news media decided to shine the spotlight on and scandalize the Ray Rice/Janay Palmer incident.

It should be noted that the "Intimate Partner Violence" study did not include incidents of threats or attempted violence such as the following.

In many respects, the Ray Rice/Janay Palmer incident is child's play compared to the cruelty and brutality that some women must endure everyday. Not only do women from all walks of life and from all over the world suffer from violent and abusive partners but also thousands of women are trafficked each year. Some of these trafficked women violently and brutally are forced to engage in prostitution. These other kinds of unspeakable transgressions against women also deserve equal coverage by the news media. Yet, these other kinds of daily abuses of women, for the most part, tend to be ignored by the television news media.

Watch (Sex Trafficking: How it Works)


The reader should not interpret this Ray Rice/Janay Palmer discussion as an attempt to absolve Ray Rice of any responsibility for punching his then girlfriend. Ray Rice admitted that his conduct was inexcusable. Ray Rice should have been in better control of his emotions, and he should not have hit his girlfriend. If Ray Rice and Janay Palmer had not been fighting in public, then they probably would not have undergone any negative media scrutiny in the first place, and it points back to the problem in social discipline. It also has to be admitted that one of the reasons why the Ray Rice/Janay Palmer incident was so easy for the news media to cover was this: The incident was caught on camera in the public arena and did not occur in the privacy of their home as do most cases of intimate partner violence. The incident also fits neatly into the trend towards including paparazzi-style news stories as essential features of television news programming. The fact that Ray Rice is a high profile (black) citizen caught in a scandal makes the story all the more enticing for the news media to cover. The point here is this: Intimate-partner violence is not a social ill that is unique to blacks. The following links provide an international dimension to the problem of intimate partner violence:

From the start, there tends to be a negative public preconception of black Americans as lazy, incompetent, and dishonorable troublemakers. Unfortunately, this negative preconception, alongside a constant flurry of negative news reporting about black Americans, filters down to the policing of black Americans. As I stated earlier, there are millions of crimes and there are all kinds of crimes being committed across the USA each year. It seems like many of those new accounts tend to focus on incidents of crimes involving black Americans. The unrelenting focus on crimes committed by black Americans tend to further prejudice the viewer against black Americans (including members of the police force).

The broader point also is this: Members of the free press have a duty to report and to clarify the facts instead of engaging in herding and spinning the news. When going into editorial mode, I encourage the news media to distinguish between responsibly offering constructive criticism and irresponsibly engaging in demagoguery or instigating societal discord. Members of the free press have a duty and a responsibility to inform and enlighten the public, not to sensationalize and inflame. When reporting on a story or event, members of the free press have a duty (to their readers, listeners, or viewers) to delve into the root causes instead of primarily focusing on symptoms.

Television and the news media can use their far-reaching power of communications to unite or to divide viewers, readers, and listeners. I encourage the media to use its communications power for the betterment of humanity. As yet, television remains the most influential source for mass consumption of news. In the near future, many expect the World Wide Web to surpass television in popularity. With varying degrees of success, several attempts have been undertaken to marry or merge television and the World Wide Web. The aim of the marriage is to give consumers the best of both worlds—the World Wide Web and television, hence, webtv.

Watch (Startups : Connected Devices and Web TVs Special - TWiST #165)


In a free enterprise system, the name of the game is competition. With competition, multiple ways or multiple choices become available for getting things accomplished. One emerging competitor to the webtv approach is, for lack of a better term, the television-on-demand approach for broadcasting television programs over the World Wide Web. The web company, Aereo, exemplifies the television-on-demand approach.

Watch (Bootstrapping with Chet Konojia of Aereo)




BLACK LIVES MATTER, TOO

Those who say that the "Black Lives Matter" movement merely promotes racial animosity by pitting one ethnic group against another ethnic group are missing the point. While I do not agree with the in-your-face tactics of those who participate in public protests to support the "Black Lives Matter" movement, I do agree with the larger point that they are trying to make. Their point is that black lives matter, too, like all other American lives matter. The point of the "Black Lives Matter" movement is this: All lives should be valued the same regardless of race including the lives of black people. There is little denying that, of the USA's numerous ethnic groups, black Americans tend to be valued the least and white Americans tend to be valued the most. Generally speaking, black Americans tend to be held in lower social esteem relative to the USA's other ethnic groups. There is one caricature or joke that goes something like this: "If you're white, you're right; and, if you're black, get back." In reality, this caricature truly reflects the attitude of some towards racial relations in the USA.

I realize that, for some, as soon as they hear the phrase "black lives matter," they immediately associate the phrase with some type of radical black power, Black Panther, anti-white movement. The phrase simply means "black lives matter, too" just like all other American lives matter. The movement is more about inclusion of black Americans into the fabric of American life as opposed to feelings of scorn, disdain, distrust, and ostracism. Perhaps a better name for the movement would have been "Black Lives Matter, Too".

Have some of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations periodically gotten raunchy, chaotic, disruptive, and violent? The answer is, yes, some of them have. Have some actors with the worst of intentions—and even with ulterior or sinister motives in mind—latched onto the Black Lives Matter movement? The answer, again, is, yes, sometimes bad actors do intermingle among the Black Lives Matter demonstrators and latch onto the Black Lives Matter movement. Sometimes the presence of television cameras brings all kinds of actors out of the woodworks to seek their moment of fame—or their moment of infamy. The larger point, however, is this: It is neither accurate nor fair to miscontrue, misintepret, or character assassinate the Black Lives Matter movement as one based on racism.

On the other hand, my biggest criticism of the Black Lives Matter movement is its lack of focus. As urgently and as desperately as they want their voices to be heard, I do not think that it is appropriate or effective for Black Lives Matter demonstrators to disrupt commerce by converging on shopping malls, by blocking freeway traffic, by disrupting public transportation, by disrupting presidential rallies, and so forth. If anything, I think that the Black Lives Matter demonstrators should focus their demonstrations directly at the source of their angst. That is to say, the Black Lives Matter demonstrators probably would be better served if they staged massive and sustained demonstrations outside of law enforcement offices (such as jailhouses) and courthouses. In the final analysis, the Black Lives Matter movement could end up doing more harm than good if all that it accomplishes is provoking public anger and disaffection towards the movement due to the movement's sometimes ill-advised and misguided tactics. The aim of the Black Lives Matter movement should be to cultivate mostly public goodwill instead of mostly public ill will.

If, for instance, blacks are exasperated and are at wit's end about repeated incidents of black-on-black murders, then congregating at the shopping mall to protest would not be an appropriate venue. Instead, they probably would be better served by focusing their protests at the locations where the murders are occurring. Perhaps, they could stage massive, sustained, 24/7 demonstrations at the locations where the murders are occurring.

Moving beyond the Black Lives Matter movement, I'll give you another case in point of the news media demonizing blacks, which leads to a public sentiment that black lives do not matter. On Thursday, 23-July-2015, Hayward, California law enforcement officer Scott Lunger was shot and murdered for no apparent reason during a traffic stop. The suspect in the murder was identified as a young adult Hispanic male. Do you think that the national cable news networks rushed to Hayward, California to provide wall-to-wall coverage of the murder? No, they did not. Why didn't they? Was it because the murder suspect was not black and therefore the story did not merit wall-to-wall television coverage? Maybe. This murder of Scott Lunger was soon forgotten.

On Friday, 28-August-2015, Houston, Texas law enforcement officer Darren Goforth was shot and murdered for no apparent reason while pumping gas at a service station. The suspect in the shooting was identified as an adult black male. Do you think that the national cable news networks rushed to Houston, Texas to provide wall-to-wall television coverage of the murder? Yes, they did. Why did they? Was it because the murder suspect was black? Was it to reinforce the point that the lives of law enforcement officers do, indeed, matter? Maybe.

On Tuesday, 1-September-2015, Fox Lake, Illinois law enforcement officer Joe Gliniewicz died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Prior to shooting himself, officer Joe Gliniewicz falsely announced over his police radio that he was in pursuit of three suspects. Initially, it was believed that one of the three phantom suspects shot and killed officer Joe Gliniewicz. The phantom suspects were described as two adult white males and one adult black male. Immediately, a massive manhunt was conducted by other law enforcement officers to capture the three phantom suspects. The point of the massive manhunt was to send a message to murderers that the lives of law enforcement officers most definitely matter and that the murder of law enforcement officers would not be tolerated.

To be sure, about the last thing on Earth that citizens need to do is demonize law enforcement officers. I fully support and respect law enforcement officers. They have a very difficult job to perform. More often than not, law enforcement officers have to cope with the very worse aspects of human behavior and must do so with decorum, firmness, and professionalism. At a moment's notice, law enforcement officers might be called away from a completely tranquil and serene setting to go into a dangerous and life-threatening setting.

There is little to be gained from demonizing law enforcement officers. If it were not for the presence of law enforcement officers to maintain societal order, some humans would descend into a state of chaos and lawlessness. There would be a collapse of civility. The strong would take advantage of the weak. The poor would be attempting to rob the rich. Some men would go around raping women. Some motorists would drive down residential streets at a speed of 100 miles per hour and would not obey traffic signs and signal lights. Some firearm owners would walk around firing their weapons in public for the fun of it and perhaps causing retaliatory gunfire. All kinds of crazy stuff would be happening if humans knew that there would be no consequences or penalties for their uncivilized behavior.

Yet, when reports begin to surface of a handful of police officers secretly sharing unflattering and derogatory jokes about black citizens by way of emails and text messages, then it becomes easier to comprehend why certain police officers might feel that they should treat black suspects more aggressively. When a handful of law enforcement officers view black citizens as "animals," then it is little wonder why they feel completely justified in emptying their guns into black suspects sometimes over minor and even questionable infractions of the law. Anyone who willingly shares derogatory jokes about a certain racial groups cannot be expected to be even-handed when enforcing the law against those racial groups.

Those law enforcement officers often claim that they shot the black suspect because they "feared for their lives." When trivial law enforcement incidents turn into the suspect being shot by law enforcement officials, then it must be wondered if it isn't the suspects who should be in fear for their lives. After all, in more instances than not, it is the law enforcement officials who arrive on the scene of the incident fully armed whereas many of the suspects do not possess a firearm. Lately, as of 2015, there simply have been too many instances where law enforcement officers have shot and killed unarmed black suspects. Surely, there must be a less lethal way to resolve some of these law enforcement encounters between black USA citizens and law enforcement officers.

Watch (Stevie Wonder, Black Man)


I wish to make it abundantly clear that murder is never justified. It is never okay to murder anyone. As I state on the "Memo to Humans" page of this website, "Murder is wrong." It is only fitting for those who attempt to murder law enforcement officers to be hunted, tracked, and arrested at all costs—as should be the case with all murders occurring in civil society. I have interacted with law enforcement officers during traffic stops, and my interactions have always been congenial—and, yes, in my opionion, some of the traffic stops were questionable. Citizens must realize that law enforcement officers have carte blanche authority to arrest and even to kill you whether they are justified or not in their actions. It makes little sense for you to create a tense, confrontational, anatagonizing scene with an officer of the law who is legally empowered with complete discretionary power to arrest and even to kill you. Whether the officer's actions were justified or not in stopping and questioning you about breaking a law, once you are dead, there is no coming back, that is, as a result of confronting and becoming belligerent with the officer on the scene of the incident. At the same time, law enforcement officers are entrusted by the public to behave responsibly and to make wise decisions when enforcing the law.

If you have a disagreement with a law enforcement officer for whatever reason, instead of creating a adversarial scene, the preferable thing to do would be to go home and file a complaint against the officer with his or her superintendent, file a complaint with the ombudsman, report the incident to the local news media, write a newspaper editorial about your treatment by the officer, write a letter of complaint to your local governmental representatives (such as your city council member or your county board of supervisor member), write a letter of complaint to your state and Congressional representatives, file a civil lawsuit against the officer in a court of law, and so forth. You never should take matters into your own hands and seek to physically harm a law enforcement official. It is never okay to attempt to physically harm a law enforcement official.

At the same time, if a citizen is not overtly breaking the law, then law enforcement officers should not bother them. Although it very well could turn out to be nothing more than a figment of my imagination, there have been occasions where I have been waiting at a signal light, a police officer coincidentally would pull behind me, and in looking into my rearview mirror, it appears as if the police officer could be typing my license plate number into the police computer possibly to see if any infractions of the law are associated with the owner of the license plate. Although I have done nothing wrong and am simply waiting for the signal light to turn green, in cases such as these, it appears as if the police officer is on a "fishing expedition" to find an excuse in the computer to stop me. Once detained and arrested by a law enforcement officer, then it potentially could become an arrest record that could adversely impact your chances of gainful employment later in life.

Yes, it is true that some law enforcement officers allow all of that life-and-death, God-like power to go to their heads (and behave accordingly), but they normally are the exception rather than the rule. That is to say, some law enforcement officers do go overboard when enforcing the law. Whether due to pressure from their superiors to increase crime statistics or due to some other reason(s), some law enforcement officials do tend to become overly zealous and overly aggressive when enforcing the law, which can lead of accusations of profiling and entrapment. Likewise, some law enforcement officers—and politicians—also are corruptible. Have you ever heard of the phenomenon known as the blue code of silence? In other words, law enforcement officers, too, are not beyond reproach and are not correct in their judgements or suspicions 100% of the time. Keep in mind that transgressions by law enforcement officers normally are the exception rather than the rule. No human is perfect, and everyone has made a regrettable mistake in life—even law enforcement officers.

When a law enforcement officer is shot or killed and, subsequently, when law enforcement officers conduct massive manhunts to capture the suspect(s) but do not reciprocate by conducting similar high-intensity manhunts when a regular citizen is shot and killed, then they are signaling to society that the lives of law enforcement officers are more important than everyone else's life. I think that each and every time someone is murdered, law enforcement officers should conduct massive, high-intensity manhunts until the suspect(s) is (are) apprehended. Anytime someone is murdered in society, law enforcement officers should display the same zeal and persistence to capture the suspect(s) as they do when another law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty. All lives in society should matter the same without any preferential treatment shown towards one group over the other group when it comes to apprehending murderers.

I realize that some might view these brazen murders of law enforcement officers as little more than anecdotal evidence. These brazen murders of law enforcement officers mentioned here seem to be making two important points. The first point is that the USA has a very serious firearms problem. The second point is that these brazen murders of law enforcement officers seem to contradict the argument that more guns in the hands of more citizens would lead to higher levels of public safety. Each of those murdered law enforcement officers was armed, but each's firearm did not deter or prevent his or her murder. Firearm ownership does not necessarily mean that you will be immune to becoming a victim of firearm violence. The opposite appears to be the case whereby more firearms seem to be leading to more shootings. Whenever someone is brazen enough to shoot and kill an armed officer of the law, then that someone probably would not think twice about shooting and killing an unarmed citizen, which would not be as easily accomplished absent the firearm.

I find it somewhat ironic of those who oppose all attempts to limit access to firearms. The irony is this: They argue that firearms are not the issue, yet, whenever gun tragedies occur and whenever subsequent gun debates occur, the only word that pops up in every other sentence is the word, gun. How can firearms not be a part of the problem when every other sentence makes mention of the word gun? In other words, if firearms were not a part of the murder problem, then there would be no reason for the word, gun, to be mentioned at all during the debate.



THE YEAR 2017 CASE OF THE CHICAGO FOUR

Another case in point of the media and race would be the case of the Chicago Four. The Chicago Four perpetrators of the crime were two black males and two black female youths and young adults who reside in the city of Chicago. The victim of the crime was a white male youth with special needs. In this particular case, on Tuesday, January 3, 2017, Chicago police noticed the victim wandering the street. He appeared to be dazed, confused, and traumatized. Putting two and two together, so to speak, it did not take the police long to determine that the victim was the same person who was shown being tortured and taunted in a Facebook Live video stream. The perpetrators of the torturing and taunting were the Chicago Four.

Let me begin by making it crystal clear that I condemn the actions of the Chicago Four in the strongest possible terms. My heart goes out to the victim of this particular heinous crime. The actions of the perpetrators were inexcusable. The actions of the perpetrators were tantamount to evil, plain and simple. No human being should ever be made to undergo the kind of abuse that the victim suffered at the hands of the Chicago Four. There are not enough adjectives in the dictionary to describe the cowardly, sickening, abhorrent, despicable, horrendous, deranged, depraved, barbaric, and savage manner in which the Chicago Four treated the victim in this particular case. Th case of the Chicago Four was particularly shocking and upsetting because nobody expects humans to treat one another in such an atrocious manner particularly in a modern and civilized society such as the USA where one should know better. In a modern and civilized society such as the USA, one should know that "violence and hatred are wrong." It is very disturbing and beyond comprehension to witness how humans can stoop so low. Unfortunately, it should be noted that there are some humans who are doing even worse things to one another on Earth.

Here is the racial angle to all of this: When heinous crimes occur in the USA, the moral indignation and backlash tend to be at their most severe when blacks are the perpetrators especially if the victims happen to be white. The media tends to go into overdrive if a crime has a black-white angle to it, especially when the perpetrators are black and the victims are white. Do you recall a particular crime that was even more heinous than the case of the Chicago Four? I do. In this instance, the victim was black and the perpetrators were white. I am referring to the murder of James Byrd, Jr. on June 7, 1998. In this particular case, James Byrd, Jr. accepted a ride home in a pickup truck from three white men. It is believed that James Byrd, Jr. was acquainted with one of the men. Instead of driving James Byrd, Jr. home, the three men decided to drive him to a country road. They proceeded to beat him, urinate on him, chain him to the back of the truck, and drag his body down the road to the point of decapitation. Ultimately, the three perpetrators had their day in court and justice was meted. Justice also is expected to be meted in the case of the Chicago Four.

My larger point about the racial angle to the Chicago Four case is this: I do recall seeing the James Byrd, Jr. murder being reported in the media. Although my memory might be a bit cloudy and faulty, I do not recall the James Byrd, Jr. murder case receiving nearly as much media coverage compared to the case of the Chicago Four. It seems the only thing to cause the media to deflect from covering the Chicago Four was the even more heinous mass shooting and murder of five innocent passengers by Iraq war veteran Esteban Santiago. The mass shooting occurred on Friday, January 6, 2017 at the Fort Lauderdale (Florida) International Airport.

Generally speaking, it seems to me that the level of moral indignation directed at black American perpetrators of heinous crimes is at its most severe. For instance, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most severe level of moral indignation, when black Americans commit a heinous crime, the level of moral indignation and media coverage seem to go up to 10 as if to say to lock them up and throw away the key. The level of moral indignation and media coverage might rank as high as, say, 8 for white American perpetrators of heinous crimes; 7 for Hispanic American perpetrators; and maybe 5 for Asian American perpetrators. Admittedly, in the case of the Chicago Four, one crucial factor that propelled their crime to the attention of the mass media (including a World Wide Web audience) was the fact that the perpetrators streamed it live on Facebook for the entire world to see.

Continuing with this discussion of the media, race, and the Chicago Four case, if you step back and remove the skin colors of the perpetrators and victim in the Chicago Four case and if you disallow the racial slurs being hurled by the perpetrators at the victim, the Chicago Four case is nothing more than a case of the most extreme bullying. There are thousands of cases of school bullying being committed each day in the USA (any cyberspace bullying, too). These cases deserve equal media coverage. For, in the final analysis, victims of school bullying and cyberspace bullying are almost equally as traumatized as was the victim in the Chicago Four case. To be sure, some of the USA's mass school shooting incidents have been attributed to the facts that some of the shooters were victims of bullying. At the other extreme, some bullying victims opt to commit suicide simply to escape the bullying. The school and cyberspace bullying cases should be covered by the media just as extensively as its coverage of the Chicago Four case. Not only school bullying but also there are some sordid child abuse cases and some sordid elderly abuse cases being committed in the USA, and these cases, too, warrant extensive coverage by the media.

Some commentators have sought to link the actions of the Chicago Four to the Black Lives Matter movement. In my opinion, there is no linkage between the two. The reader should keep in mind that the essential aim of the Black Lives Matter movement was to make a "stop killing us unnecessarily" type of public appeal, outcry, and stance. The Black Lives Movement emerged simply to say, "enough; stop killing us unnecessarily." The Black Lives Movement is not about advocating racial prejudice. The racial animus surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement exists because the dispute, by its very nature, has mainly pitted black protestors against mainly white law enforcement officials, which gives the appearance of the movement having blacks-versus-whites overtones to it. I know that Black Lives Matter detractors are apt to counter the movement by arguing, "enough; why don't you folks stop killing one another," but blacks do not hold a monopoly on intra-racial murders.

The only logic that I see in those trying to connect the Black Lives Matter movement to the Chicago Four would be some sort of far-fetched argument that the actions of the Chicago Four towards the victim somehow represented some type of retaliation for the spat of officer-involved shootings of unarmed black citizens. I posit that the Chicago Four did not even identify with the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead, I posit that the Chicago Four were more than likely to have been influenced, inspired, and motivated by so-called gangster rap music. Apparently, there are those in USA society who harbor some sort of hidden agenda to demonize the Black Lives Matter movement at every opportunity simply because the movement was very critical of the overly zealous actions of some law enforcement officers. There is an extensive network of law enforcement agencies at the local, state, and federal levels of USA government (and at the international level, too), and some members of these various law enforcement agencies do take too kindly to their profession being so very publicly berated, villified, lambasted, besmirched, or otherwise scathingly criticized by movements such as the Black Lives Matter movement. Fortunately, to provide balance and to keep it from devolving into a purely black-versus-white dispute instead of a more substantive dispute about policing, there have been whites who have marched alongside the Black Lives Matter protestors, and there have been blacks who have aligned with white law enforcement officials to support existing police policies and practices.

The Chicago Four are not alone in the need to mend their very inhumane ways. There are far too many human atrocities being committed all across Earth each day. Sex trafficking would be a case in point of a human atrocity being committed across Earth each day. Some of these human atrocities receive little to no media coverage. To be sure, if ever there is a more compelling case for the media to turn its attention to covering websites such as this one, then the case of the Chicago Four is it. The reason why is because this website, in part, is devoted to reaching out to these disaffected youths and young adults and showing them better ways to live. This website, in part, encourages youths and young adults to live disciplined and principled lives (while at the same time having some clean fun). This website, in part, encourages youths and young adults to live positive, constructive, productive, responsible, and law-abiding lives. This website implores all humans across Earth to purge or cleanse their hearts of all acts of violence, hatred, bullying, bigotry, polarization, gunplay, murder, and so forth. This website particularly implores inner city USA youths and young adults walk to away from or abandon all forms of silliness such as engaging in knockout punch games, assembling flash mobs in public spaces expressly to commit delinquent acts, engaging in school fights and mall fights, rioting, looting, destroying property, enngaging in substance abuse, and all other manners of trouble. What does the media repeatedly choose to do instead? The media tends to spend most of its time focusing on the sensational, salacious, and absurd such as covering rap beefs or cover things such as Chris Brown fighting with Soulja Boy, Chris Brown fighting with Rihanna, Chris Brown breaking up with Karrueche, or all of the Chris Brown baby-mama drama. This website is the antithesis to or opposite of all manners of uncivil behavior.

I recall when then President-elect Donald Trump stated that it would be foolish of the USA not to be friends with Russia, or it would be great if the USA and Russia were friends instead of enemies. In other words, what is there for the USA to lose by being friends with Russia, right (especially if, in the process, a nuclear holocaust or World War 3 can be avoided)? To take this line of thinking to its logical conclusion, it would be great if the USA became friends with and had normalized relationships with all nations including China, Iran, North Korea, the Palestinians, and Cuba. This website, in part, has repeatedly stated that it would be great to permanently remove the scourge of war from the face of the Earth. It would be great to permanently remove nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth. It would be great to end the geopolitical chess games being played by various nations on Earth. It would be great if all covert or espionage activities between nations came to an end on Earth. It would be great if all nations and all peoples on Earth were friendly towards one another, regardless of race, religion, national heritage, systems of government, economic systems, political systems, political party affiliations, and so forth.



ADDRESSING THE BLACK PROBLEM IN SOCIAL DISCIPLINE: THE CARROT APPROACH

When black youths and young adults behave outlandishly in civil society, community leaders often are at a loss about how best to curtail and eradicate the outlandish behavior. For instance, they wonder how they can stop these youths from fighting, shooting, and killing one another. I believe that the solution lies with providing these youths and young adults with a mixture of carrots and sticks.

Clearly, education alone is not enough. Youths and young adults also need to be able to obtain a good job once they receive their high school diplomas or college degrees. Jesus Christ once mused, "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" (King James Version of the Holy Bible, Matthew's Chapter 16: Verse 26). Jesus Christ's statement can be re-imagined to ask: What good is it to spend years of your life obtaining an education if you are not going to be able to obtain a job (preferably in your chosen profession) to support yourself after you graduate from high school, vocational school, or college?

In a free enterprise, profit-based, market-driven system, due to its cyclical nature (of seemingly perpetual expansion and contraction), sometimes there is a disconnect in the economic marketplace between the supply of jobs and the demand for jobs. When the demand for jobs is greater than the supply of jobs, one of the roles of government is to find creative and imaginative ways to ease the severity of this disconnect. Long-term unemployment is psychologically detrimental to the self-esteem and self-worth of affected citizens in civil society.

The carrot approach looks to society, both the public and private sectors, to provide these youths and young adults with credible alternatives to gangs such as skilled training and available job opportunities. The objective is to make all citizens an integral part of mainstream civil society as opposed to, say, some members barely existing on the fringes or margins of society and feeling disaffected with no stake in society.

Watch (Homeboy Industries 2009 Overview)




Watch (Learning Is Power: Adults Give Themselves a Second Chance)




Watch (Ledisi, Alright)



ADDRESSING THE BLACK PROBLEM IN SOCIAL DISCIPLINE: THE STICK APPROACH

For those members of civil society who insist on living a lifestyle of committing heinous crimes and murder, the solution seems straightforward and simple. For unrepentant citizens, society should consider implementing a stick approach that goes something like this:

The broader point is this: As humans begin to prepare for 22nd century living, when you murder someone, then you, too, should be murdered by the state (or government) if you are found guilty of the murder in a court of law. There is no excuse to justify murdering someone in civil society. Poverty is not an excuse. A history of slavery is not an excuse. Racism is not an excuse. Discrimination is not an excuse. Restlessness due to long-term unemployment is not an excuse. Illiteracy, lack of an education, or poor performance in school is not an excuse. A broken home, a female-headed household, or the lack of a father figure present in the household is not an excuse. A lifelong psychological history of watching depictions of violence and killing in the mass media is not an excuse to justify murdering someone. There are non-violent solutions to all of these challenges in life.

For instance, if you find out that your spouse is cheating on you or is having an affair with someone else, then please do not murder and—do not beat—your spouse. A cheating spouse does not mean that it is the end of the world. I realize that, when these kinds of marital indiscretions are uncovered, emotions and passions tend to run high. In a fit of rage and amid feelings of deception, betrayal, and jealousy, some husbands choose to beat their wives. However, in extreme fits of rage, some husbands choose to murder their wives (and vice versa) as revenge for the act of marital infidelity. In cases of marital infidelity, I encourage you either to work out the problem with your spouse or simply to separate from your spouse, dissolve the marriage, and find another mate. Although heartache and disappointment are unavoidable when it comes to things such as marital infidelity, bitterness and murder are not the ways to cope with a cheating spouse. For, as the saying goes, "there are plenty of fish in the sea." In other words, there are hundreds—or even thousands—of other potential mates from which to choose. Don't become too obsessed with the act of spousal infidelity to the point that it leads you to do something rash to your spouse or to do something to your spouse that you will later regret.

Watch (Crabs in a Bucket: A Lesson in Success)




BLACKS IN THE NEW WORLD: THE FUTURE

The Civil Rights Movement that culminated in the 1960's popularly has been viewed as a one-way journey. This one-way view of the Civil Rights Movement holds that USA institutions must afford equal treatment to black USA residents and all other USA citizens. After the Civil Rights Movement ended, by far, the USA did say to its black citizens, "The public-sector and private-sector institutional doors are open, come in, and take your seat at the table." To be sure, to demonstrate how much the USA has changed since the 1960's, the American people have gone so far as to entrust a black man to run the country. Both President Barack Obama and his wife, First Lady Michelle Obama, came from humble backgrounds. They were not born rich. They did not live affluently as children. Yet, they went to school, studied hard, obtained their degrees, played by the rules, and achieved the American Dream. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are excellent role models for black American youths and young adults to emulate.

Watch (Mightly Clouds of Joy, I've Been In The Storm Too Long)




Watch (Mavis Staples, Eyes On The Prize)




Watch (St. Marks Baptist Church Choir of Toledo, Ohio, Our Day Will Come)


The reality about the Civil Rights Movement is this: It is a two-way journey. The second part of the journey involves black USA residents demonstrating that they, in fact, deserve to keep a seat at the table. I do not believe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. envisioned that blacks would be stepping up to the table, taking a seat, and proceeding to behave foolishly by being obnoxious, cussing, being unprepared, calling one another the "n" word, and so forth. I believe that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. expected nothing short of excellence and decorum from black USA residents as they took their seats at the USA's Melting Pot table of assimilation, that is, as black USA residents pursued the American Dream.

Watch (MLK, Jr. Remembered)

It also is critical for employers to use objective job performance measurement standards. It would be one thing for blacks to demonstrate that they deserve to keep a seat at the table. Yet, it equally would be unfair for employers to make unrealistic performance expectations of black employees relative to the performance of non-black employees. If the Melting Pot is to work somewhat seamlessly, then principles such as fairness, equity, inclusiveness, and diversity of opportunity are important and even vital to the cohesiveness of a multi-racial society like the USA.

The most important thing to remember is this: Being poor or having endured a legacy of slavery does not have to be synonymous with exercising poor social discipline in civil society.

Watch (Des'ree, You Gotta Be)




Sade - "Keep Looking"



War - "Don't Let No One Get You Down"



The Winans featuring Kenny G - "When You Cry"



Herbie Hancock - "Help Yourself"



CHARTING A NEW BEGINNING WHILE PREPARING FOR THE 22ND CENTURY AND BEYOND

There is one thing that I am certain of, and it is this: For as certain as you are alive, it is never too late in life for you to make a sincere "U Turn". It is never too late in life to "Hang It Up" and "Turn It Into Something Good". It is never too late to "Reach". The "Changing Times" demand nothing less of you than to "Be Ever Wonderful" in life.

Watch (Ne-Yo, Beautiful Monster)



Watch (Ne-Yo, One in a Million)



Watch (Ne-Yo, Miss Independent)



Watch (Shanice, Take Care Of U)


The main point is this: While it is true that blacks have come a long way and have made great strides in the New World since the abolition of slavery, blacks still have got a long way to go. Instead of their present-day status as some of the most violent and the most dangerous neighborhoods on Earth, I remain hopeful that, by the time the 22nd century arrives, predominantly black populated areas all over the world—including the USA's inner city neighborhoods—would become known as some of the safest and cleanest places on Earth to live, work, and visit.

As I have stated on the "Life Choices" page of this website, the future is all about humans elevating their everyday conduct to the highest ethical plane. Will the next generation of blacks grow wise enough to avoid or surmount the distractions, pitfalls, and obstacles of life? Will the next generation of blacks summon the conviction and the inner strength to overcome the various enticements that will attempt to appeal to their basest, cruelest, and most primitive instincts? Time will tell whether or not blacks capitulate or succumb to these retrogressive forces.

life choices while traveling down the road of life



Leland Melvin Meets with Elementary Students | Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)

For, while preparing for the future, I encourage blacks to be of the mind-set whereby a family could travel and stay abroad for, say, 5 or 20 years, leave every door and window to its home wide open, and not have a single item disturbed when that family returned home after having spent 5 or 20 years living in another country.

While preparing for life in the 22nd century, I encourage blacks to be of the mind-set whereby a family could leave every door and window to its home wide open each night and not have to worry about, say, a criminal, intruder, thief, molester, murderer, or rapist entering the property to commit acts of evil.

While preparing for life in the 22nd century, I encourage blacks to be of the mind-set whereby a merchant could leave the door to his or her store wide open or the doors to the shopping mall unlocked each night, return the next day, and find that not a single item has been disturbed.

Education, initiative, tenacity, industriousness, humility, tolerance, fortitude, decorum, patience, honesty, and so forth, seem to be the keys to the future, not deception, stealing, rape, teasing, bullying, prejudice, violence, bribery, robbery, fraud, corruption, extortion, torture, gunplay, murder, substance abuse and things of those types.

Watch (Omoro Names His Son)




Watch (Ledisi, Higher Than This)


In his book titled My Life, Earvin "Magic" Johnson was right on the mark when he noted the folowing about what black Americans can do to help uplift themselves and to start preparing for 22nd century living:

There was a time when blacks couldn’t do some of these things, and when sports and entertainment were the best ways to get ahead. That’s not true anymore. Today, you have an opportunity to get ahead in many different areas.

You see what I’m saying? Later on, when you become that doctor, or that lawyer, or you have your own plumbing business, I want you to knock on my door and say, “Magic, I’ve got my own business. I’d like to do your plumbing.” Or, “I became that lawyer you talked about. Will you be one of my clients?”

If you can possibly go to college, go! I know it’s hard. I know that some kids you know will discourage you. If you’re ambitious, if you study hard, if your goals are high, some people may tell you you’re acting “white.” Stay away from those people! They are not your friends. If the people around you aren’t going anywhere, if their dreams are not bigger than hanging out on the corner, of if they’re dragging you down, get rid of them. Negative people can sap your energy so fast, and they can take your dreams from you, too.

You say, “I’m going to college. I’m going to become a doctor.”

“Come on,” they’ll tell you. “You won’t be no doctor.”

It’s easy to start listening to them. Before you know it, you’re having those same doubts.

Don’t let anyone tell you what you can’t do. If you don’t succeed, let it be because of you. Don’t blame it on other people.

A lot of people doubted me, too. Some people don’t want you to make it because they’re not going to make it. They’ve given up, so they want you to give up, too. As the saying goes, “misery loves company.”

Don’t give up! Surround yourself with people who are energetic and disciplined. Surround yourself with ambitious, positive people. If there are adults you admire, don’t be afraid to ask them for help and advice.

I know that college is not for everybody. And if it’s not for you, find another way to move up. If your skills lie in another direction, maybe you should consider trade school. Maybe you can become a plumber, the best plumber you can be. Maybe you can become a welder, and someday you’ll own your own garage. Jimmy Daniels, my neighbor back in Lansing, started cleaning carpets in office buildings. He started small, but he kept growing. Today he owns a whole company, and he’s making good money.

I don’t mean to tell you it’s easy. It’s not easy. Growing up today is hard. I know that. It’s much harder than when I was your age. When I was a kid, there weren’t many gangs. Or many guns. There was nothing like crack. Maybe you smoked a little pot, but that was it. Today there’s cocaine, heroin, AIDS, and all kinds of things we didn’t ever worry about. You might be an excellent student, but you’re living in fear because a stray bullet can hit you.

All that is real. So is racism. Racism exists, but too often we use it as an excuse. I’m not saying it isn’t there, because it definitely is. But if you get your education, you can look beyond that. I don’t care what somebody calls you. You can walk away proud because of who you are.

If we keep using the same old excuse, that every time we fail it’s because of racism, we’ll never get ahead. We’ll stay on the bottom. We’ve got to quit making excuses. Quit feeling sorry for ourselves. We have to go to college. Think about business. Work hard. Support one another, like other groups do.

The government will not save you.

The black leadership will not save you.

You’re the only one who can make the difference.

Whatever your dream is, go for it.

©1992. All Rights Reserved. Excerpted from My Life by Earvin “Magic” Johnson with William Novak (New York City, NY: Random House, 1992), pages 328–329. Reprinted by kind permission of June Bug Enterprises.

To summarize Earvin "Magic" Johnson, he is telling the youths to forget about spending your time engaging in hating, fighting, substance abuse, school truancy, idiocy, joining gangs, rioting, looting, and other kinds of destructive and self-destructive pursuits. Forget about all kinds of devious conduct. Instead, channel and release your seemingly boundless energy in positive and constructive ways. Begin by devouring education. At the dawn of the 21st century, it is all about seizing the initiative by preparing yourself to go out there into the corporate world and legally get "A Piece of the Action," so to speak, even if it means going it alone as independent contractors (for example, landscapers, plumbers, electricians, painters, cosmetologists, barbers, beauticians, locksmiths, and so forth). The career possibilities are almost boundless.



OVERCOMING RACIAL ANIMOSITY, BICKERING, AND HATRED: ONE WORLD

I realize that I am beginning to sound repetitious. It is well worth repeating again here: Humans really do need to wake up, snap out, and break free of the blind spell that seems to be commanding them to go forth into the world and pre-judge one another based on race. Not only must humans learn to overcome their racial (and religious and political and national) prejudices but also humans must find a way to snap out of the blind spell that seems to be propelling them to engage in all kinds of primitive behaviors and primitive pursuits such as fraud, bribery, extortion, corruption, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, deception, lying, spying, cheating, stealing, violence, hatred, malice, taunting, bullying, fighting, looting, anarchy, gunplay, jealousy, rage, arrogance, bickering, bigotry, disrespect, racism, discrimination, polarization, destruction of property, self-destruction, wars, bloodshed, torture, killing, and so forth, which is the very essence of the following songs:

Stevie Wonder - "Race Babbling"



Earth, Wind & Fire - "All About Love"



Brick - "That's What It's All About"



Lionel Ritchie - "Love Will Find A Way"



Maze featuring Frankie Beverly - "We Are One"

When it comes to racial prejudice and racial animosity, the adage is quite relevant that says "everything [bad] can be justified until it happens to you" as is the adage that says "do unto others as you would have them do unto you". In other words, stop the madness, peoples of the Earth! Learn how to treat one another with courtesy and respect. Humans are one species here on planet Earth. When compared to the wider Universe, all living things on Earth share a common biological heritage.

Watch [Powers of Ten (1977)]




Alice Coltrane featuring Swami Satchdiananda - "A Love Supreme"



Vangelis - "Bacchanale"

How do humans proceed to overcome their racial prejudices and racial animosities? A necessary first step is for humans to begin the process by saying, "From this day forward, I simply refuse to live like this anymore [that is, engaging in fraud, bribery, extortion, corruption, manipulation, intimidation, coercion, deception, lying, spying, cheating, stealing, violence, hatred, prejudice, malice, taunting, bullying, fighting, looting, anarchy, gunplay, jealousy, rage, arrogance, bickering, bigotry, disrespect, racism, discrimination, polarization, destruction of property, self-destruction, wars, bloodshed, torture, killing, and so forth]," and sincerely mean it. A necessary first step is for humans to begin by saying, "From this day forward, I will elevate my conduct to the highest ethical plane," and sincerely mean it. That's all there is to it. It's a very, very easy and a very, very simple thing to do. It is amazing and mind-boggling to think that something so easy and so simple can be so difficult for so many people to accomplish.

Life is precious. As far as humans can tell, life also appears to be rare in the Universe, that is, it appears to be rare relative to the Universe's size. For instance, as big as the Solar System is, Earth appears to be the only heavenly body in the Solar System to harbor life. In the eyes of eternity, the human life span is akin to the blink of an eye. Humans must learn to cherish one another and preserve life. Humans must learn to make the most of the relatively brief tenure that they have to spend on Earth experiencing the miracle of life and procreation.

It is crucial for humans not to lose sight of this simple reality about life and Existence: Not only are they (in the USA) one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all its citizens (as suggested by the Pledge) but also there is no escaping the fact that humans are one species floating through space and glued to amazing planet Earth by the pull of gravity.

Watch (Further Up Yonder: A Message from ISS to All Humankind)




Watch (A Brief History of Humankind with Dr. Yuval Noah Harari)




Watch (Humankind)




Watch (How to Weigh the Earth)




Watch (Einstein's Gravity Explained)




Watch (Planetary Studies)




Watch (Vangelis, A Way)




Watch (What Caused the Big Bang?)




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Intellectual Property Disclosures: All videos and songs (as well as many of the images) referenced or spotlighted throughout this website are the legal and intellectual properties of others. All content and opinions on this website () are those of the author (Edward Bruessard) exclusively and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the contributors, creators, owners, and distributors of these referenced videos, songs, and images. The author holds no legal interest or financial stake in any of these referenced videos, songs, and images. The contributors, creators, owners, and distributors of these referenced videos, songs, and images played no role at all regarding the appearance of said videos, songs, and images throughout this website; they had no clue that this website would be spotlighting their works.


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