Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.
TriceEdney – The natural or practical laws that shaped the behavior and conduct of “the old folks” are often tossed to the side in our modern world. Rather than depending upon the common-sense reliability of the tried and true, we defer to some modern perspective. After reflecting on upon several of the “old laws” I learned years ago, I am convinced that they have greaterapplicability in our lives than many of the new. With certainty, one of the most important is: You reap what you sow.
I believe this can be said to be true for the current situation in Baltimore, as well as in cities across this country where people of all races are fed up with the indiscriminate murder of African Americans by those in law enforcement who are sworn to protect them. Although I embrace the philosophy of non-violent resistance espoused by King and Gandhi, I am not so unrealistic to believe that even the most level-headed and even of temperament cannot be pushed to their breaking-point.
While some in the media and of the talking-head faction offer sophomoric and/or simple-minded explanations of the demonstrated outrage in Baltimore, we must not forget that the unrest in Baltimore is far more complex than can be discussed on a Sunday morning talk show. Those media types who wish to mollify the masses who live and cogitate outside of the real and emotional boundaries linked to Baltimore, and other jurisdictions, seem overly eager to proclaim a lessening of violence and tension. They have made the short-sighted miscalculation that time and the manipulation of information can assuage the rage demonstrated in Baltimore. Even worse, they seem to want to believe that the THE PROBLEM lies solely within the boundaries of that city.
For years, I have lamented that it was unreasonable to believe that the African American community would allow itself to languish in poverty and suffer in silence. Those who agree with me are numerous, but few reside within the ranks of those who are sufficiently politically entrenched to make the type of sweeping changes necessary to create real change. Most who can initiate change seem to be trapped in the mindset that the ordained fate of African Americans is to live in disgust and deprivation.
I know that some will suggest that my sole focus in life is political, but I must report the things I see. Since the election of President Obama, I have observed the dedicated objective of Republicans to vilifying him to his most ardent supporters. Instead of allowing the economic initiatives of the President to bring the nation closer to full-employment, Republicans in Congress appear to be hell-bent on holding the nation’s poor more deeply in poverty to satisfy the impression that the Executive is doing little to ease their plight. This readily translates into the socio-economic deprivation that has ignited the flames of rage in Baltimore. Logic dictates that we look for similar eruptions in the other places that mirror conditions similar to those in Baltimore.
The violent events in Baltimore MUST start an intelligent national discussion for “real” social reform and this discussion must be as comprehensive as the problem. It’s far too late for a “Band-Aid fix” for this “surgical” catastrophe. Issues of malpractice in community policing are only the catalyst of the present problems. The festering issues of unemployment, mis-education, and the lack of a real opportunity to improve quality-of-life concerns must be addressed before a remedy can be realized.
Before the greed of the wealthy became the primary interest of many politicians, public policy provided the means for all to share in the bounty of this country. President Eisenhower built the Interstate Highway System and put millions of Americans to work. The technological and industrial renaissance that paralleled that road construction created a vibrant middle-class and growing economy.
President Obama has proposed a national effort to modernize and repair our failing national infrastructure. Undoubtedly, many of the beneficiaries of this forward-thinking policy reside in Baltimore and other urban areas of discontent. Intransigent Congressional Republicans have thwarted these proposals for their own selfish political interests.
If we are really, intelligently committed to remedying the ills that have fostered the unrest in Baltimore, we must focus on the solution rather than continue engagement in the redundant debate of why it happened. We have all of the evidence we need to answer the why. The only true course for our salvation is address the how in practical. concrete terms.
Dr. E. Faye Williams can be reached at:. www.nationalcongressbw.org. 202/678-6788