Above the Influence

This ad by Above the Influence says it all. WEB Du Bois stated that the problem of the 20th century is that of the color-line. Though Du Bois’s thinking was on black oppression, one clearly enunciated by a non-egalitarian white society of feudal origins, I suspect the black Marxist could not have fathomed the likes of black on black crime. “In 1999 there were 757,000 black men in federal, state and local prisons,” according to the Autumn 2003 issue of the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. “In 1999 . . . there were 604,200 African-American men enrolled in higher education in the United States. Therefore, there were 25 percent more black men in prison in the United States than were enrolled in institutions of higher education. Today, black men make up 41 percent of the inmates in federal state, and local prison, but black men are only 4 percent of all students in American institutions of higher education.”

Black on black crime has become an institutional problem over the past 30 years. Black liberals blame institutions such as class oppression and inequitable property taxes that contribute to poor education, while black and white conservatives blame the problem on expectations and a “sense” of entitlement from years of government dependency. Moreover, conservatives contend that past policies of government assistance such as affirmative action, welfare, and subsidized housing have contributed to the concept of ghettoization and the decline of the black family. The reality is this: being a black man in America still qualifies one as an endangered species. This video above highlights not only what motivated me as a young brother, but what motivates other black men trying to get out.


One thought on “Above the Influence

  1. I love this commercial. Maybe, I’ll use it for a discussion in AAH.

    It is hard to pinpoint the reasons for the decline in communities. I don’t think we can fully blame it on entitlements (statistics show more Whites receive more welfare, etc) I think we must look deeper at the issue. . . the changes are a combination of things: younger parents, increased drug usage, poor educational systems as a result of White flight (in response to integration-this is based on what I see happening here), break down of the Black family (legacy of slavery–but this hasn’t always been), we can even blame SOME hip hop culture celebrating the virtues of thug life, . . . .and there is more! I hate it when conservatives want to simply blame affirmative action or entitlement programs–as if these things build a lack of responsibility or bootstrap mentality in the black community. The issue is much too complex for that.

    In my city, there seems to be a total break down in the community. . . and I am in despair about what is happening to young Black men here. . .what I say to these young men rarely matters; however, Black men in authority have more of an impact. An interesting thing, I noticed at my (90% AA populated) school: In homes where the parents are older and/or the father LIVES with the student, the student tends to be more goal oriented and do better academically. If things are to change, I believe it must start with men (*sigh* I think I have a little Maria Stewart in me)

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