ETHNIC RESPONSIBILITY: ARE YOU OBLIGATED TO YOUR ETHNIC GROUP IF YOU ARE SMART ENOUGH TO HELP

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“Is segregation better than diversity?”


Growing up in the United States, you don’t realize as a child how segregated the country is until you become an adult. Then you start to realize that people of an ethnic group prefer to conduct in business from within. And I have been to communities throughout the United States noticing that there are groups who would prefer to employ each other and not so much groups that don’t represent their common interest. Yet I have noticed growing up in a predominantly Black neighborhood that most Black people are racially ambiguous when spending our dollars. And coincidentally we are also the poorest group overall because of the spending outside. Dollars don’t quite circulate through the community like other communities. And to add to the lack of businesses owned by Black men and women, we also have issues concerning healthcare, education, employment, and political representation.

Now with all that has been said so far, what obligation do you have as a Black man and woman to the community if you have found an ability to put yourself in the know. Because Mexicans open businesses, hire each other; Chinese open businesses and hire each other; Jews open businesses and hire each other. To add to it, when they invest, the people they help tend to be Image result for black businessestheir own ethnic group. Then when Black people need the aid to start an endeavor, we never can get help. So for Black people who have found a way to gain wealth is there now this duty to do what society outside the realm of us won’t do. Because our numbers are staggering with regards to unemployment; and if it’s not anyone else’s problem, why not? So is there an obligation from the learned of the group to do more for those who actually want but can’t get the aid.

Here are some insights into what help might consists of: education being a major one. Predominantly Black neighborhoods, such as Chicago where schools are dying because they’re pulling Related imagefrom taxpayers who are poor. So our children fail because schools lack adequate funding from the system. Do we A) move back to these communities, increasing the tax dollars pumped into the schools, or B) open our own schools funded by Black men and women with money. Because we can’t let our children fail. Schools close and they have no place to go, society says not my problem, but on the bother hand Black people, don’t help each other. So major issues with education could be seen as an obligation.

Another major issue would have to be crime in the communities. What is the obligation to the community from Black men and women who are of intellectual capital? What role do the learned play in teaching the younger generation so that it stops somewhere? I brought up Chicago in regards to education, but the high levels of violent crime has surpassed in some areas of third Related imageworld countries. What responsibility is it from those that possess the intelligence to shift the perception of a young generation? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was very pivotal in the move for so many young Black people during that time to want to get into social activism. So who are those that will take on the voice to steer so many young Black males from a life of crime? It won’t come from anywhere, it has to come from within.

So in the end, the shift to the community has to come from Black people ourselves. We are the only people that have to be willing to make the move because the ability to shift a perception about us is not coming from outside of us. But here is something interesting, it is not anyone else’s job to make us look good. It sounds quite segregationist, but the only people responsible for the shift in a group’s identity should be the group. So when you see films constantly made about the Holocaust, good. Jews are doing their job, they’re supposed to keep the history of what happened in Europe alive. Never look to another group as a means of justifying who you are because you’ll never get it.


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INNER CITY GOLD: WHY INVESTING IN THE COMMUNITY IS WORTH THE DOLLAR

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“Making out or make it out of something.”


Growing up in the inner city, you have these goals of what most would say, “Making it out the hood.” But have you ever stopped to think to make the hood out of something good? And why do so many of us as African Americans attain wealth and then flee these poor environments. Well, for starters, it has to do with how anyone else in America growing up with humble beginnings views this country. You want to have that American dream: the colonial style house, two car garage, the boy and girl, the cat and dog, with the husband and wife. This image has been the face of our nation for so long, that is the foundation for what is considered the good life. Another reason Black people seek to make it out the ghettos of America is because of the disproportionate numbers of violent crime that exist in the community.

What’s crazy about the numbers of crime is that the criminal element only constitutes a small percent of the community; maybe less than 10% of the total population. So even in low income housing projects, you might have a population of 2,500 to well over 5,000 in some housing developments. And the criminal element is between 5% – 7%, maybe in some places 10%. So you’re talking 125 -175 people in the low populated housing, and 250 – 350 in the high populated projects that are the worst of the worst. So something so small becomes major when living in these environments; and on top of it all poverty. It’s a perfect recipe for disaster in a community. Yet, is there anything that is of salvageable value that is in the community so that it can be uplifted from poverty. Because right now, you have a lot of people living so much off the tax payers dime.

And the answer is yes, there is something of value that is salvageable; the children. Yes, that’s right, the kids. Investing in the future generations is a great way to change the landscape of any poor community. Because once you invest in the minds of the young, they will have it hard-wired in their minds the intellectual capital to build and reshape a community. We say in the community that we need jobs, but if you invest in the young, that will get built. There is this place in Harlem called the Harriet Tubman Learning Center that caters to the community as a school. Schools like this or the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy built in the neighborhood base around aiding poverty stricken families with workshops for parents learning facilities for children. These places are based around cultivating learning in a young generation which will re-contextualize the way they see society.

And when your mind opens up to changes and all the possibilities you can’t go back to what you used to know. In the end, you always hear what can the government do to fix issues in the community, and that really is nothing much. Yes, there are still kids who go to public schools that are underfunded and overpopulated that could use help. But a lot of the major problems has to be something that starts internal. The community has to figure out a way to deal because Black people are $2 – $3 trillion of America’s economy. The fact that our communities are in the shape they’re in yet we have some of the top spending power in the world is beyond me. #FUTUREGENERATIONS


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RACIALLY CONSCIOUS: HOW BEING IMPARTIAL IN A DIVIDED NATION CAN BE TOUGH

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“It exist, but to what degree?”


Growing up in the Midwestern state of Wisconsin, I never really thought about race. And when I say race, I’m not referring to the human race. I’m talking about being an African American male. I could visibly tell the students in school were different than myself, yet it was not much of a discussion. The schools were predominantly White, while I grew up in a majority Black and Hispanic neighborhood. I would hear things regarding issues with being Black. I heard how people would say it was harder to get employment, going to certain schools, or even dating in monogamous relationships. Yet it never quite sunk into my mind, until I got older. And that’s when the experiences started to take hold in my life.

Experiences ranging from looking throughout my childhood at how the teacher student relationship was different with the White students versus the Black students. Or even how walking up the street I noticed non-Black people were put off by my presence. But still, the relationships I had with students in school was quite enjoyable. No one treated the other person like an outsider. And all the kids in school would go over each other’s house on the weekends. So what was it that so many people were talking about really? Well, I began to see once leaving my mother’s house going to an out-of-state-college.

I attended two universities, the first being in the state of South Carolina. The school was a historically Black College in Columbia, South Carolina and most of the students came from the south. Attending this school was actually a culture shock because even though we were all the same ethnic group, I didn’t quite seem to fit in. And that’s when I realized, that even though I grew up in a majority Black community, I didn’t spend much time in the community. With so much going on that my mother didn’t want me apart of, I was in school and sports. So what happened, oddly enough, is that I lost a connection with other Black students at the school.

Feeling homesick, I returned back to Wisconsin to attend a university about twenty minutes from where I grew up. This rural campus was attended by multiple ethnic groups of students. It would be the campus where I graduated. But, while back in Wisconsin, I had a situation one time where I was eating in the cafeteria. Seeing a young White male I went to middle school with, we got our lunch and headed toward a table. Then I noticed a situation I had never come in contact with before. One table had mostly Asian students, one table had all Black kids, the Hispanics sat together, and the White kids sat together. My friend and I walked near a table that was mostly White, and for the first time in my life I felt uncomfortable.

Growing up, my mother raised me with the impression that you had to deal with every group of people. Yet now, I was forced to make a racial decision. Everyone else sat with what made them comfortable, but what was I to do in this space. So, for me, throughout undergrad, I kept my distance from a lot of people. And actually, I never really experienced a college life. But even after college, and entering graduate school, I started to see more of a divide. But not only the divide, but how important it is in society. I have sense taken on views that are different than how my mother raised me.

One of which is the idea of interracial dating. Growing up, I probably would have said sure, but seeing the strain of an interracial relationship, I’m not sure I could handle it. I couldn’t handle the family tension, nor making the woman choose me or her existence. My views changed where I live because I still live in a Black neighborhood. That feeling of safety is why I have decided to stay. That common bond that you share with the people. And it’s a whole lot easier socially as well. Yet I am trapped between how I was raised and the society I live in today. I was raised to be more impartial, but that’s not my life experience in our country.

And in the end, no matter how you’re raised you have to live in this society. It’s great to have these idealistic views of the world, yet they are not fully true. It shouldn’t, but ethnicity matters: where you live, who you date, friends you tend to make, and how you view society. It’s an imperfect society, but it’s the only society we have. Do I see it changing, maybe, but not in the foreseeable future.


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1619: HOW FAR HAVE WE COME AS AFRICAN AMERICANS

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“What happens when identity has to be recreated?”


Two years from now will be the year 2019, which will mark the 400 year period since the first Africans were brought to America. So much between then and now has happened, and the question now remains. How far have Black people come in America and how far do we still need to go? Let’s take a look in the past for just a moment. Imagine, each person, coming from their respective tribes, with their respective cultures. Being dragged to a new land, not knowing what was in store once you got there. Trying to understand why looking out into the sea you can’t find the river banks from which you came to return back home. And now you’re in this new place for life, with people you don’t know.

Fast forward to today, where we have been for almost 400 years. But, we have really only had rights since about the early 1970’s. That means African Americans have been experiencing freedom for roughly 45 – 50 years. You america, architecture, famousmight say, how so? Well, freedom allows you to vote, which we couldn’t do until coming into the 1970’s from the 1960’s. Freedom says you can go to any school you want to attend. But in the 1970’s and even as early as the 1980’s institutions were resistant in letting Blacks attend. Freedom grants you housing wherever you want to live, which is even more recent than the right to vote. Freedom grants the privilege to marry who you want without question. Laws on books forbid interracial marriage in various states in this country. The only progressive environment that has moved with more pace has been sports and the United States Armed Forces.

But what still needs to happen. Because we have poor education in inner city communities. There is a disproportionate number of violent crimes and a breakdown of the family. What’s interesting is that this is more of a recent phenomenon. If you look into the past, two parent households were the norm in the Black community. Black people had close nit communities, crime was nearly nonexistent, and overall morale was in tack. So what does that mean, we have to back track and lose our rights again to have control over our communities. Is there some sort of trade off, “You go back to segregation and then life will change.” Or is it more simple than that?

For example, I look at Chicago, a city that is plagued with crime, and also my father’s place of birth. And he has stated that it is a mixture of heavy Whtie and Black Police Car on Roadgang recruitment and lack of establishment by the law because of politicians not doing their jobs. It has been a rogue city for quite some time and with more and more schools closing, yet children are not being placed in other districts, problems are going to really climb. Which brings me to my next question. If schools are closing and countless kids are left in these inner city areas without a school home, should we start to home school as a community? Should Black people disregard the public school system in cities like Chicago? I mean, they’re shutting them down anyways, why not.

And that is the lead in to my next question, What is in the future? America is changing more and more everyday, and if we are not prepared issues will worsen. And not really on just a racial side, but economic. In today’s society, there is still not adequate access in poor areas to a lot of opportunities. Or is it? Black people are one of the largest demographics of smart phone users. That is a tool for learning all on it’s own. Which brings me to the next phase, putting yourself in the know. Those who are willing to put themselves in the know can and will elevate no matter what their economic circumstance or ethnic background. Having that mobile device means you do now have access to a lot of opportunities.

You may say how so? Well, this is not your mother and father or grandparents generation. Google search engine and YouTube has allowed access to what was once the unknown the know. For example, I Black Samsung Tablet on Google Pagelearned to write screenplays, my books, setup my website, and build social media all through tutorials on YouTube and searching through Google. So if we are big smart phone users, then we have the access in hand. All it takes is the attempt to sit and learn. Open yourself up to the opportunities that lie ahead. So, in the end, we have to do something. Life is getting harder by the day; and not just for us, everyone. Adjusting to the major technological shifts that will happen is a must in succeeding in life. If you are not bent on learning and broadening your base, then that America dream you want will no be anywhere within your sights.


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HBC-U-LATER: DO WE NEED THEM ANYMORE?

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“Do they hold up today?”


Well over a century ago, African Americans in the United States were denied the access to a lot of universities across the country. This denial prompted us to create our own universities called, Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU’s).  I myself the first semester of undergraduate school attended an HBCU called Benedict College in Columbia, South Carolina. Now, me being born in the year 1987, I had options in which college I would be attending. Nonetheless, I decided to go anyways before transferring back home to UW-Parkside. Now, times have changed since those schools were designed. The question now looms as to do we really need them today. Are HBCU’s relevant in America in today’s society with so many other options?

In my opinion there is an upside and downside of having HBCU’s. The upside of going to an HBCU, is that the courses are more centrally focused in aiding you in your future success. There is more of a guidance process in assisting young Black males and females. You are encouraged to take on a path that will help you after college. HBCU’s also take young people who would otherwise not go to college and cultivate their skills. Most traditional state and private schools may turn them away. But HBCU’s bring them in, and by the time the student leaves they are more than ready for the job market. Yet, are there any downsides to going to an HBCU.

Well, in America today, the downside of going to an HBCU is that you are not getting the interactions you’re going to have in society. Chances are, when you graduate, you’re going to work in a work environment totally different than your school environment. Most workplaces are predominantly White, so you’re talking about two different worlds colliding. Even though I went temporarily to an HBCU, my upbringing was different than most students at the school. But I think the biggest downside is that you can’t get money for college unless you go to an HBCU. In order to gain access to the UNCF (United Negro College Fund) finances, you must attend an HBCU. If I grew up in California, most HBCU’s are in the south, what if I want to stay close to home. Now your kid can’t get funding from an organization built to give them finances.

In the end, there is no one side of looking at this topic. There are the ups and downs of keeping HBCU’s open. For the most part they are the start of Black higher education in America. But since desegregation, Black students are choosing upon schools that have better academic programs, yet the financing for the HBCU’s have declined. What’s sad is that the more time that pass, HBCU’s will further decline. Especially knowing that you can’t procure funding if you want to stay where you’re from. President Trump recently met with HBCU presidents, yet it will take more than a meeting and photo op to save these schools.