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Saving Our Communities
Who is responsible for the state of our Black communities? Is it the people that live there? The politicians and government? Or, the Church? Could it be all? Lately, it feels as though we all have dropped the ball, and are blaming others, instead of starting with self. Everyday seems to bring another issue to be concerned with, but no solutions in sight. It is time for a change.
Many Black communities across America are struggling and see no immediate way out of their current situation. Are they to blame for their situation? Not necessarily. Sometimes circumstances cannot be helped. Yet, there are some people that contribute to the condition of their communities. Be it in a way of behavior, lack of initiative, poor mentality—they contribute to the continued downward spiral. Be it the drug pusher, the gang banger, or even the person that refuses to do anything at all—each one has a hand in the state of their community.
We can no longer be content with sitting by and allowing things to continue as they are. Change is in order. If we want a better life for ourselves and our children, we are going to have to stand up and start taking a proactive stance where our communities are concerned. This means, getting involved. Researching who is in charge of your district. Writing letters; making phone calls; organizing the community; getting involved in the area schools; forming relationships with teachers and other parents. And voting.
It is a fact that communities that do not vote get the short end of the stick. Communities and districts that turnout at the polls see money being poured into their schools and communities. Take an active role in the state of your community. If you can’t; then how do you expect others to?
POLITICIANS AND THE GOVERNMENT
Promises are regularly made during campaigns; but seldom followed through. In turn, this hampers voter turn out for the next election. Thereby, falling back on the people of the communities most in need. For too long there has been a lack of communication between government agencies and the Black community. As with most minority communities. There is a barrier that exists between those in need of help, and those with the ability to help. This has led to severe mistrust between politicians, government agencies and communities.
When we elected President Obama in 2008; many people were filled with hope and encouragement. We expected there to be change, and there has been for the most part. However, the changes have been slow in coming. Many supporters of President Obama failed to realize the long-haul and road he had ahead of him. Not too mention the constant fight and opposition from the Republican party, and even some of the Democratic party.
With change comes fear. And where there is fear—fight, lies, and all manner of evil arises. We can see this with the many racially charged arguments and statements that have been thrown at the President. And the continuing acts of sabotage. Many expected an overnight solution to decades of trouble. That was like expecting a gaping wound to be healed with a BandAid.
We may not agree with every decision that the President has made. Yet, he has still managed to do and initiate many things to help those struggling. We, as a community, have a responsibility to continue to vote and get involved if we want to really see a change. President Obama was expected to change in months, what took twenty years to create. That is not a fair assessment by any means.
Pastors were once revered and looked upon for guidance and counsel. Mothers of the church were known to provide the kind of care and nurturing that many children may have lacked at home. Elders in the church were seen as father figures. Sadly many churches have dropped the ball, as well.
Churches of late, are now getting the reputation of lacking the care and concern that many old storefront churches once had. They are losing the respect of the community, and the ability to step in and give guidance. There is something amidst when a mother of three comes to church in need and says her children are hungry, and all she is told is that she will be prayed for. There’s something wrong, when a person feels more welcomed in a place of non-believers, as opposed to the house of God; because of their clothes or, they just got out of jail. There’s something wrong when a community that once thrived, but is now rampant with drugs, prostitution, gang activity, and larceny, is surrounded by twenty churches of faith that cannot come together and make a change in that one community. Something is horribly wrong.
Yet, blaming never changed anything. However, taking responsibility and accountability is the beginning of change and finding solutions to the problems that are at hand. The Black community has had its share of trials and tribulations. There is certain to be more to come. There is something that can be done on every level, by every person, to make a difference in the lives of each person, in each community that is struggling to make it from day to day.
The people in the community can make up their minds to do something, then act upon it. The politicians and government agencies can begin to foster a relationship of trust by reaching out to work with community leaders and representatives. The Church can return to where God called them. To feed and cloth the hungry and naked. To spread the Love of God as He intended to every person, no matter their situation or circumstance. To, above all, remember that the building is not the church—the people are. Someone has to make a step. Why not you?
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