THAT’S BLACK MALE!
This article accentuates my personal belief that, despite racism, African Americans are a “cursed” identity group. Can any People be “blessed” by GOD if they also are at the forefront of national statistics for incarceration, illegitimacy, homicide, AIDS infection, etc.? Yet, while we are not a monolith, my hypothesis is that millions of us today are cursed neither by Ham in the Bible nor by bacon in the supermarket. Instead, I believe we remain accursed via the extent to which we, more than a century after slavery was abolished, still embrace our ignorance at the expense of our intelligence. For example, only an exiguous number of African American males dare to workout in God’s Gym [see blog post 7/13/14] via ferreting the Scriptures and reading an enlightening library book each and every week. Yet, few of us have any objection to spending those same 8 – 10 hours watching collegiate or professional sports every weekend on television. What’s wrong with this picture, brothers, especially if millions of us over the age of 21 read at a 7th or 8th grade level? What’s wrong with that picture, brothers, especially if nearly 30% of us drop out of high school? In today’s Information Age, replete with on line classes and dissemination of news, is not ignorance deleterious to any individual’s, institution’s, or identity group’s pursuit of happiness? Ergo, WE can’t fix it IF we can’t face it. The Biblical quote, “The people perish for a lack of knowledge,” well applies to countless boys, girls, and especially young black men in our Village who covet entertainment more than enlightenment during their precious and irretrievable formative years. Among drug dealers, convicted felons, and adult entertainers of both genders and races [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0q_VGacfNk] is there is a direct correlation between fatherlessness and unethical behavior? In this context, the “fatherlessness” of which I speak also includes spiritual fatherlessness. Hypothetically, IF 75% of the social maladies in our Village are a direct result of the choice to live in immorality, then only 25% of our social problems can be attributed to the “system” or factors beyond our control. Ergo, Victory In Christ Ensemble [VICE] proffers men of any race an opportunity to workout in “God’s Gym” and to become physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually fit. Whenever we sell drugs, use drugs, steal, rape, and even kill each other, gentlemen, we do so via our allegiance to Satan. In the context of our sons developing a spiritual six-pack, Dads, can we teach what we don’t know? Therefore, the salient query is whether or not we are willing to lay aside every sin and weight that so easily beset us. How else can we have a spiritual relationship with our “Spiritual Father”.
VICE challenges everyone to read the entire Bible annually for seven years….or the Koran, the Torah, etc. Why? In addition to the good parenting advice black males may get from a wise uncle, coach, rabbi, imam, pastor, mentor, etc., a personal relationship with a Divine GOD will manumit brothers from spiritual blindness and slavery to the plethora of ungodliness that’s destroying the father-son dyad and the self-actualization of the man-child. Gentlemen, nothing else is more efficacious in supplanting sinful vices with irreproachable virtues in our lives. Too often, my People project culpability for our social problems upon racial discrimination. Albeit racism relentlessly blocks our efforts to draw water from the well of success, why do we respond emotionally rather than intellectually via punching holes in the bottoms of our own buckets? Explain. For example, is dropping out of high school ever an intelligent decision? Is having an illegitimate child while in high school ever an intelligent decision? Is consuming or distributing illegal drugs ever an intelligent decision? Is getting relatives thrown out of public housing because of our drug possession ever an intelligent decision? Is “busting a cap in a nikka” at the night club ever an intelligent decision? For professional athletes who become millionaires overnight, is getting married without a prenuptial contract ever an intelligent decision? I rest my case. Stated differently, if rabbits know that vigilant eagles nearby may devour them, then would it not be in their best interest to have several rabbits on “lookout duty” while other members of their warren graze in the grass? Let’s analyze a hypothetical rabbit vignette to better illuminate my point.
In 1984, 79% of the rabbits in both East Rabbitland and West Rabbitland were devoured by vigilant eagles before they were three years old. This statistic does not include rabbits that were run over by motor vehicles, that ate poisoned berries, etc. However, starting in 2014, 89% of the rabbits in East Rabbitland never see their third birthday while 97% of the rabbits in West Rabbitland have a life expectancy of seven years. What happened in the ensuing three decades? In 1984, the Village Elders in West Rabbitland decided to banish any and all rabbits from their warren that refuse to listen to their elders’s wisdom or to obey their mandates. For example, to reduce obesity and laziness, all rabbits in West Rabbitland now adhere to a strict nutritious diet and a regime of working eight hours each day. Of course, there still are four hours for leisure and four hours for school. However, that leisure must conform to the Rabbit Elders’ Ten Commandments for healthy bodies and minds. Moreover, any rabbit that drops out of school or that disrupts the classroom is banished from the warren – no questions asked. Additionally, all rabbits that score below 80% on their Final Exams must repeat that grade the following year to master the curriculum before being promoted. Any and all senior rabbits that score less than 75% on their Cumulative Carrot Finals will fail to graduate and will be banished in order to ameliorate the gene pool for the survival of the next generation of rabbits. Throughout Rabbitland, everyone agrees that “Survival of the Fit” is a strict, yet fair, policy that has improved the quality of life for everyone in West Rabbitland. Yet, despite this tremendous success, the Elders of East Rabbitland repeatedly have rejected such a paradigm shift . Ergo, well-fed eagles are having a “field day” while only 11% of the offspring in East Rabbitland live to maturity. To protect their neighbors from possible extinction, the Elders in West Rabbitland implemented a rigorous mentoring program via weekend workshops for any rabbits from the East Side that may be interested in replicating their success. Amazingly, the few rabbits from East Rabbitland that attended the workshops complained that the rules were too strict, particularly the requirement to work eight hours each day and the prohibition against grazing in marijuana or poppy fields. Ergo, the perpetuation of voluntary genocide continues unabated in East Rabbitland. In what ways is this ludicrous anecdote relevant to black males? Explain.
IF black males know that the privatized penal system may devour them, then would it not be in their best interest to embrace erudition and other irreproachable standards for dressing, speaking, and otherwise behaving? Yet, is this the comportment or the solution to racism inveterately associated with parents, politicians, and preachers in our Village? I rest my case. For more than thirty years, I have failed to persuade professors, pastors, coaches, and other influential black men in my community to implement and embrace a quintessential intellectual standard for at-risk teenagers and “boyz in da hood”. For more than thirty years, I have witnessed professional and successful proletariat black males floundering in immorality and vices that have an efferent impact upon our entire Village. For more than thirty years, I have seen socially unacceptable mores and folkways, concomitant with the desuetude of their God-given intelligence, contribute to the mass incarceration of young black men who could have gone to Stanford, Brown, Yale, Cornell, Harvard, or Princeton rather than to prison. As a Guardian ad Litem, I have encountered many apathetic black parents and cynical case workers who seem to feel as if there is no possible redemption or hope for Dirty Red, June Bug, and other juvenile “thugs in training”. However, VICE’s pedagogy can manumit black males from the curse of modern day “slavery”, if and only if they relentlessly workout in “God’s Gym”. As was demonstrated by the Village Elders of West Rabbitland, the cause and effect are clearly visible. Would it be fruitful or futile to blame powerful politicians, private prisons, or the police for devouring us IF we refuse to implement any morally irreproachable defense to counter their offense? WE can fix it IF we can face it, inconsequential to whatever “it” is. Ergo, as a born-again Christian, I feel as if the black church and other black institutions have failed miserably in redressing our moral vices from a Biblical perspective. Stated differently, rather than trusting in GOD, did we do a U-turn and return to Egypt rather than reaching the Promised Land? When was the last time a prominent police chief, pastor, or another “black leader” organized a protest march or a paradigm shift to mitigate black-on-black illiteracy, drug addiction, homicide, AIDS infection, or teen pregnancy? WE can’t fix it IF we can’t face it, inconsequential to whatever “it” is!
Obviously, we are not rabbits. Yet, will we ever hold ourselves accountable for violent crimes, immorality, self-hatred, and self-flagellation with the same zeal we demonstrate when cops kill our unarmed sons and daughters? While many of us no longer live in the inner-city, Jesus Christ admonished us to minister unto the “least of these” God’s children. Capish? To the chagrin of our Black Elite, perhaps, countless illegitimate, illiterate, insecure, and incorrigible black males are destined to become a menace to society. Yet, VICE believes that an exiguous number of these black males can emerge among our Talented Tenth, despite having been born into dysfunctional families and other untoward circumstances. With no respect of person, do not these black males [and females] deserve the mentoring, nurture, and support requisite to their self-actualization? Jesus saith, “For inasmuch as ye did it not unto the least of these my children, ye did it not unto me.” Notwithstanding his sagging pants, vulgar language, gold teeth, and halitosis, VICE is proffering erudite convicted felons and other men an opportunity to join, perhaps, the most exclusive — yet most inclusive — book club in the United States. Certainly, Victory In Christ Ensemble [VICE] is inclusive via challenging Buddhists, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and even agnostics to examine ways we can rectify a plethora of vices in our communities. Yet, VICE’s business model also is exclusive via proffering a paradigm shift that requires irreproachable intelligence and integrity IF ever we are to become my brother’s keeper. Despite VICE’s income opportunity, concomitant with an intrinsic paradigm similar to that in West Rabbitland, myriad carnally-minded black and white men will defiantly and defensively retort, “Only GOD can judge me,” as their lives continue to reflect the status quo. Undaunted, VICE’s pedagogy promotes and mandates a paradigm shift wherein members create their own Honor System while holding brothers accountable for pontificating and practicing those virtues representative of a “spiritual six-pack”. As is described in VICE’s blog post, “God’s Gym: Workout #1“, few of us can name ten or even two such men who embrace our standard for irreproachable intelligence and integrity! Yet, is not Christianity predicated upon our loving GOD first and foremost and then loving our fellow man? Thus, Agape love is the substrate whereby self-motivated and self-actualized members of VICE can create holistic physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual intimacy that surpasses that of prior generations. In so doing, the curse is broken! Whosoever will, let him come. Yet, whosoever won’t, let him go to a milieu more like East Rabbitland posthaste. Stated differently, any unwillingness to assiduously study the Scriptures and the textbook, “Child Molestation, Incest, or Neither?”, circumvents one’s development of VICE’s quintessentially holistic male bonding experience. The profundity of this truth and VICE’s mantra, “WE can’t fix it IF we can’t face it,” becomes self-evident at our workshops. Thus, VICE’s “near-zero tolerance” of human vices that so easily beset millions of us is tantamount to tough-love, not condemnation. While most felons and attorneys look at social injustice as a political issue, which it is, the thoughts and actions of most people are driven by a spiritual motive, a sexual motive, or both. Therefore, we are free to choose the spiritual GPS that directs our lives. IF any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new!
But as it is written, eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which GOD hath prepared for them that love Him. But God hath revealed them unto us by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.
[I Corinthians 2:9 – 10]
Homicide, illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, illegitimacy, and AIDS are among a plethora of maladies adversely impacting the African American community. Is this a coincidence, a government conspiracy, or our own fault via the desuetude of critical thinking? Explain. Unabashedly, I dare to challenge our Talented Tenth and Village Elders to explore this quandary via irreproachable intelligence vis-a-vis your emotions. Moreover, IF we intellectualize cause and effect, then we can discern rightly whether the African American community is cursed via racism, via Ham in the Bible, via having vacated and forsaken God’s commandments, or via a dearth of knowledge relevant to formal education? What incantations inoculate our kindred from Ethiopia, Haiti, Nigeria, Jamaica, et al., from these vices? For example, IF of our own volition we CHOOSE to sell drugs, drop out of school, steal, sag our pants, speak Ebonics, or maliciously shoot our kindred, etc., then is the culprit racism or self-hatred? If we truly want to draw water from the “well of success”, then why do we incessantly punch holes in the bottoms of our own buckets? Why do we allow our progeny to fill privatized prisons rather than to teach our sons reading comprehension, standard English, computer literacy, chess, critical thinking, and the SCRIPTURES prior to their twelfth birthday? Obviously, millions of African American fathers read below a ninth grade proficiency. Obviously, WE can’t fix it IF we can’t face it. Therefore, why don’t our churches, lodges, frats, temples, mosques, libraries, and other institutions sponsor Brain Bowls, Chess Clubs, and GED programs? Is this a coincidence, a government conspiracy, or our own fault via the desuetude of critical thinking? Explain. IF the score is 36 – 0 at half-time during the Super Bowl, then should the losing coach complain to the officials about his opponent’s offensive team or admonish his defensive team to stop the quarterback and running back? IF you enslave his mind, then a docile man becomes even more malleable. Ergo, IF our college presidents, preachers, and political “leaders” emphasize how unfair the system is — without holding us morally accountable for our own sins of omission and commission — then are they leading us through the Red Sea or leading us back to the Nile Plantation to resume building Pharaoh’s pyramids? I rest my case.