Corey Martin, Daily Mississipian (University of Mississippi), April 14, 2008
What is relevant is this: An FBI analysis of homicide reports from 2005 showed that 45 percent of homicides were white-on-white and 42 percent were black-on-black.
At first glance, that statistic seems meaningless until you consider that there are nearly 200 million white people in America and only about 36 million black people.
How can black people be expected to receive equal treatment when we can’t even treat each other as equals? How can we demand to be respected and to be treated civilly when so many of us disrespect each other and act uncivilized?
Renowned 19th and 20th century writer Elbert Hubbard said, “You can lead a boy to college, but you can’t make him think.” And you can show communities the evidence, but you can’t make them interpret it. For the many people who are quick to say non-blacks are the enemies, they need to think again. For the most part, black people are blacks’ worst enemies.
When we harm each other and show the world what we think of our own culture, we may as well crumple our own resumes. We may as well deny our own loan applications. We may as well (and we do) call ourselves the “N” word.
As a black man I am critical of my culture, not because I look down on it, but because I have high expectations for myself and other members of my culture. It is incredibly difficult to try to fix a massive social problem externally, such as race relations, when there’s so much internal aggression.
Without cultural pride and preservation, it is difficult for any community or culture to adequately survive. There are so many bigger dragons to slay than a fellow human. Poverty, drugs, poor parenting and lack of education are much more dangerous to the community than any person ever could be. This is mainly because these things are directly responsible for producing the people that bring down many communities, not just the black ones.
In an age where opportunities are more limitless for minorities, it’s disturbing to see some people behave like the heathens we were once called. The fact that black people are allowed on this campus shows how far the university (and society, for that matter) has come. However, incidents such as what happened in the Circle last week, show how far we have to go as a community.