I wrote in response to the senseless and cold-blooded murder of Zechariah I. Hallback, an 18 years old activist and member of the NAACP earlier this week in Baltimore MD:
Eventually the black community will have to come together and organize its own national police force, community courts and vigilante groups, and provide more economic opportunities for its own community members if not the larger society. Why?
It is the only way, as I see it, that we are going to solve the problem of crime within our indigenous communities, by solving the problem first within our collective psyches. As a community, we understandably often fail to trust the duplicitous and frequently racist government criminal justice agencies, whose perambulations are often based on race, or the color of one's skin.
And we often feel empathy for these poor victims who were raised in single-family households or poverty-stricken areas.
Some years ago some members of the [actual] LAPD were known to use the acronym 'NHI', upon approaching crime scenes where blacks were involved. NHI stands for 'no humans involved'. All of us have witnessed the treatment of blacks in the media, when the LAPD (LA in this context stands for Lower Alabama) happened upon purportedly 'non-human' blacks!
Having our own trustworthy criminal justice system with agencies that our citizens can trust and will respond to; and knowing that we have created economic opportunities for everyone, should liberate us from our own schizophrenia, and guilt about punishing black criminals. Besides, let's face it - some of our black criminals are not poor by any stretch!
Afterwards, we can without any guilt, go after the bad elements in our communities, who are wealthy and those who might be underemployed, or those who would have been denied access to the unequal opportunity structures of the nation at large - just as many of us in the larger community have experienced at one time or another during our lifetimes.
The community can then be assured that our agencies have detained and taken certain individuals off of the streets - and members of the community can feel free to turn them in, not because they are black, but simply because they are criminals. And the latter can be assured that the criminals will receive fair trial and equal treatment under the law and in prison!
My deepest regards to the surviving family-members of this modern-day martyr!
Peace & Grace
Rev. C. Solomon
Addenda: Some years ago, at an intimate sit-down meeting at the National Headquarters of the N.A.A.C.P. in Baltimore, I was amazed that their were armed policemen guarding the entrance, and who surveilled the grounds of the N.A.A.C.P. Headquarters. Having learned in the meeting about the volumes of hate-mail that cripples the email systems at the N.A.A.C.P. headquarters almost daily, I overlooked the need for security against our own black criminals in our own black community. In the spirit of Dr. King's life and birthday, we need to consider some viable solutions that will address the problems that persist within our own communities.
My solution might seem radical to some, the one that I mentioned above, but how long will we tolerate the Rosa Park's, Malik El Shabazzes, Martin Luther King, our grandparents, daughters and cousins being the victims of criminal behavior? Which one of our relatives or even which one of us will be next? Why don't we trust the government operated criminal justice system or those Americans who claim to be hard on crime? The reason is because that system has always had a double-standard, and those who claimed and still claim, today, to be hard on crime - were and are hard on any crime other than their own crimes against other humanity - particularly black humanity!
Within the collective conscience of the black community, we have been conditioned to tolerate crime, the pimps, the drug-dealers in our communities, given the racial astigmatism that continues to impair our collective vision. We have traded whites doing us wrong, for blacks who are doing us wrong - we fought the white criminals, now we have to fight back against and overcome the blacks ones who live among us!
In Baltimore several years ago, a black family stood alone and turned in the drug dealers in their neighborhood. The drug dealers, early one morning, burned-alive the woman who turned them in, along with her family-members in their encased concrete ghetto residence! It should never happen again, and it wouldn't have happened at all if all of us would have been involved and gone after the bad guys before they could have committed this horrific act!