Emancipation Is Hard to Celebrate When Kids Are Still Slave to City’s Violence

Courtland Milloy, Washington Post, April 17, 2011

And it came to pass that many African American youths could not celebrate D.C. Emancipation Day on Friday. For a plague of violence had been visited upon them. And the soil once toiled by slaves was soaked with the blood of free-born blacks.

“I want to know what my son could have possibly done to make someone want to take his life?” a mournful NaClick Webb said to me the other day, as she and family members gathered around a dining table to console each other.

Webb’s son, 16-year-old Ra-Heem Jackson, had been an honor student at H.D. Woodson High in Northeast. He was shot to death April 7 near his home in the Congress Heights neighborhood and buried on Emancipation Day–which commemorates the freeing of the slaves in the nation’s capital.

{snip}

Ra-Heem was one of eight black people slain in the District and neighboring Prince George’s County in a recent 10-day stretch. Funerals for four of them were held in the city last week.

Now comes the Passover Seder, on Monday, marking the start of the Jews’ ancient journey out of bondage. The story, as chronicled in the Book of Exodus, has made for a unique bond between Jews and African Americans.

But after this latest surge of killings, I can’t help but wonder if the deadly spirit that “passed over” the children of Israel and took the first-born of their oppressors has somehow reappeared and descended on the sons of black folks with a vengeance.

{snip}

“There are some bad apples out there that make it very hard for the good kids to thrive,” said Dwanna King, a cousin of Ra-Heem’s. “The dangerous kids are usually the ones who have been neglected by their parents. They have no problem taking a life because they have no connection to family or community. They think only of themselves.”

Making matters worse, city and county officials are cutting many of the programs aimed at helping both the good and troubled youngsters. In the District, summer jobs for teens have been cut back. Summer school has been cut back, along with training programs for ex-offenders.

At Ra-Heem’s funeral, a young woman read a poem that questioned why politicians had shown such concern over the possibility of a government shutdown when they do so little for the city’s youth even when the government is up and running.

{snip}

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  • Guard Your Privilege, Whitey!

    Afrovoodoos are still violent only because Whiteys haven’t “done enough” to merge ourselves into black culture, thus blacks feel segregated and inferior by our aloofness. Oppressed and marginalized blacks internalize White racism against themselves and then strike out against each other in frustration. Black are never wrong- Whitey is always to blame.

    The cure? Diversity Treatment, which we all know is the Diversity Curse, and we fully pray this toxic and virulent pestilence sickens our White enemies at the top who demand that we “atone for the sins of segregation by holding ourselves accountable to people of color for our unearned White privileges” and then keep their Whites Only power while the rest of us suffer.

    snip

    I believe that we go to church (or to any other faith community) not to affirm and preserve our identities – whether black, white, gay, straight, working class, middle class, or whatever – but to be transformed, alchemized through deep full-on engagement with each other, into Holy Spirit-infused community with the power to confront the forces of empire in solidarity with each other and with those living in the margins of the city outside our doors. This process will require each of us to lay on the altar some parts of who we believe ourselves to be – parts that don’t serve the flourishing of all life. This is not multiculturalism but what I call interculturalism. Multiculturalism places cultures side by side; interculturalism involves the alchemization of cultures into something entirely new.

    In order to understand why multiculturalism is so utterly insufficient as a model for Holy Spirit-infused community, we have to look at how “whiteness” functions to appropriate cultures and consolidate power. Whiteness is not a culture in itself. There were no ancestral “white people” with a “white culture”; rather, there were scores of cultures that have been assimilated into whiteness in a move toward power.

    end snip

    http://www.tikkun.org/tikkundaily/2009/10/29/beyond-multiculturalism-the-new-life-before-us/

  • Question Diversity

    First off, NaClick? Now there’s a name for all time.

    As for the late Mr. Jackson, another WaPo story I read about his tragic murder suggested that he wasn’t quite the innocent goody two-shoes that his mother is making him out to be. His basketball coach was quoted as being worried that he was hanging out and getting too close to “the wrong crowd.”

    Also, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation offered him a lot of scholarship money, while he was still a high school sophomore. Usually, one would wait and see how the student’s grades are for junior and senior years before dumping a lot of free college money on him or her. But what is also true is that Mr. Jackson would have been just as black as a senior as he was as a sophomore. To the Gates Foundation, that’s all that matters.

  • Anonymous

    And it came to pass that many African American youths could not celebrate D.C. Emancipation Day on Friday. For a plague of violence had been visited upon them.

    That’s the uncanny thing with blacks. Nothing is ever their fault. It’s always something external–due to the white man’s racism, or poverty, or whatever else. And now the author has discovered a new disease: “violence plague.” Besides, it’s a non sequitur. Just because blacks shoot up the place, and just because they kill each other doesn’t mean they could not be (or were not actually) celebrating.

  • Robert Binion

    While waiting for an X-ray, I was told by a Turk that fifty thousand of his countrymen had been killed by Muslim terrorists. Fifty thousand Americans died in Vietnam. And that same number of whites have been killed by blacks since passage of the Act in 1965. Perhaps, that is a magical tally at which the “deadly spirit,” that longing of the dead for justice becomes manifest.

  • alex

    “Black violence must be due to lack of government funding.”

    Oh no. It’s due to slavery 150 years ago. And white racism. White oppression. White privilege.

  • John Engelman

    It keeps getting harder to blame this kind of thing on white racism. Many still try, although it is not white racists who are killing those people.

  • Anonymous

    Its whiteys fault.

    Had they never been dragged from their upper middle to middle class residential lifestyle manicured lawn homes in Africa over a 4-500 year span this would have never occured.

    More reparations from the Reparation president needed brought to you entirely by Bush.

  • Anonymous

    Now comes the Passover Seder, on Monday, marking the start of the Jews’ ancient journey out of bondage. The story, as chronicled in the Book of Exodus, has made for a unique bond between Jews and African Americans.

    An odd thing to say when you consider the differences in Jewish intellectual achievement in America, violent crime rates, and so forth.

    But the article does present the usual pathology of blaming something else for pathologies in the black underclass: apparently, “racism” is no longer enough, divine intervention must be at work.

    “There are some bad apples out there that make it very hard for the good kids to thrive,” said Dwanna King, a cousin of Ra-Heem’s. “The dangerous kids are usually the ones who have been neglected by their parents. They have no problem taking a life because they have no connection to family or community. They think only of themselves.”

    Is she perhaps suggesting that the much maligned “family values” are needed here? Were the critics of the welfare state correct when they pointed out its adverse effects on family formation?

    At Ra-Heem’s funeral, a young woman read a poem that questioned why politicians had shown such concern over the possibility of a government shutdown when they do so little for the city’s youth even when the government is up and running.

    The government is several trillion dollar$ into the red. In any event, this is one more pathology, the reliance on the government to do everything for the underclass. Is there no entrepreneurship available? Why couldn’t Oprah, say, set up a school in DC?

    Oh no. It’s due to slavery 150 years ago. And white racism. White oppression. White privilege.

    Let’s not forget apartheid.

    Lots of DC students protested apartheid at the South African embassy in days gone past. So it must be the fault of apartheid!

  • History in the Buff

    Well, black folks, if it isn’t working here for you – and it sure looks like it isn’t — then MAYBE you need to get more reality-based and consider relocating to a BLACK-RUN country. It is clear that the U.S. is not really your home; you should go back to your ancestral homelands and see what you can do there. You will have a great advantage since you have the education that the natives lack.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous wrote:

    Now comes the Passover Seder, on Monday, marking the start of the Jews’ ancient journey out of bondage. The story, as chronicled in the Book of Exodus, has made for a unique bond between Jews and African Americans.

    An odd thing to say when you consider the differences in Jewish intellectual achievement in America, violent crime rates, and so forth.

    ————————–

    Regardless of differences, it’s not an odd thing to say at all. Hardly! Are you completely unfamiliar with the history of this? It has been the basis for the Black-Jewish alliance for a century — an alliance that has been an extremely effective one, re-shaping America, undoubtedly the most effective ethnic alliance in American history. And you call it odd? Do some reading!

  • S.L. Cain

    “Webb’s son, 16-year-old Ra-Heem Jackson, had been an honor student at H.D. Woodson High in Northeast.”

    Was he really an honor student, or was he only an honor student in the same sense as that kid in “The Bonfire of the Vanities”?

    “I can’t help but wonder if the deadly spirit that “passed over” the children of Israel and took the first-born of their oppressors has somehow reappeared and descended on the sons of black folks with a vengeance.”

    So now God is racist. Well, he is the Man.

    NaClick Webb, Ra-Heem Jackson, Dwanna King. And note, as usual, the teenaged son had a different last name than the mother, and the father is nowhere even mentioned. Sorry, I had thought this was a story about America. Apparently it is a story from some strange and foreign country. Consequently, I don’t care. About any of them.

  • Anonymous

    “Making matters worse, city and county officials are cutting many of the programs aimed at helping both the good and troubled youngsters. In the District, summer jobs for teens have been cut back. Summer school has been cut back, ”

    I was a juvenile probation officer for 27 years. Although the country was only 6 percent black, the young criminals were more than 90 percent black from only 2 cities in the county.

    Except for shoplifting, juvenile criminals almost always begin their lives of crime in packs. One of the biggest contributions to juvenile crime are all these boys and girls clubs, PALS, after school and summer programs that bring young black criminals together.

    The young criminals meet at school and these activities. They then leave and wreak havoc on the neighborhoods and citizens. In sociology class I was taught that summer is a cause of juvenile crime because the poor dear children don’t have school to occupy them. Absolutely not true.

    Truth is, juvenile crime just about stops around the first of June and does not begin again until the middle of September after school has started and they have found their criminal associates.

    Black kids who go home and watch TV are far less likely to become criminals that the kids who participate in all these recreational programs. That is an absolute fact learned from 27 years as a juvenile probation officer. Anything that brings black kids together to form their criminal packs causes black juvenile crime. This includes the public school system.

    Incidentally those vocational programs for criminals, both in and out of prisons are virtually 99 percent culinary. That is probably why the food and restaurant industry hires only illegal immigrant hispanics. Why hire from a mostly black criminal group instead of non criminal illegal immigrants?

  • Question Diversity

    12 Anonymous: I have e-mailed a copy of your post to the Mayor of St. Louis, who so dogmatically believes that recreation centers prevent violent crime that it’s almost a religion with him. To show you what kind of loon we’re dealing with, this is the same two-faced creep that out of both sides of his mouth, says that CQ Press crime surveys showing St. Louis at or near the top of the heap of the most dangerous cities list have flawed methodology, while at the same time saying that the methodology is right, so taxpayers (not just city residents, both state and Federal) need to build new recreation centers in the City.

    I would be amazed that the PAL program causes this. Isn’t PAL the Police Athletic League? If I’m right and you’re right, this means that black juvenile crime is spawning right under the the cops’ noses.

  • Anonymous

    To 13 Question Diversity from 12 anonymous Probation Officer

    Yes indeed, PAL is a police program that supposedly prevents juvenile crime by giving the thugs something else to do than snatch purses and cost the taxpayers millions in hip replacements because the black youth tend to mug the helpless elderly. By elderly, I don’t mean 65, but 85.

    The PAL kids are as bad as the Boys and Girls clubs kids and the neighborhood rec programs’ blacks. Remember that the lowest crime rate in 20th century history was when the miniseries Roots was shown. All the black predators stayed home to watch.

    I have told so many people what I observed in 27 years of dealing with young blacks. But everyone believes what they learned in sociology class, that recreational programs prevent juvenile crime.

    Juvenile crime is not exactly delinquency any more. Most are just vicious murderous thugs who are not yet 18.

    Just had a minor victory in my neighborhood.

    The city bought a parking lot and turned it into a mini park, about 1/4th of a block. There were some community meetings for input. The lot is not large enough for a real basketball court, but there is room for one hoop and maybe a 15 by 15 ft paved area. All the immigrants voted that down because a basketball hoop would attract a “certain element” to the park and neighborhood.

    Thank God for racially aware Asian and middle eastern immigrants who are aware that a “certain element” would get together to play basketball and then invade the stores for mass shoplifting sprees, beat up non black kids and rob the elderly.

    Beverly Hills Ca. parks were plagued by black hoodlums for a while. Typical mugging team of 1 driver and 2 purse snatchers. They would drive to parks near the LA BH city boundaries around 10 to 12 in the morning when all the hispanic nannies would be at the baby playgrounds with all the babies and toddlers.

    Two black predators would get out of the car and run to the playground, snatch as many nannies’ purses as they could and run back to the car. Big strong young black men robbing nannies and toddlers for the $20.00 or so the nannies had.

    Were it not for our government enabling it, there would be little black crime. There was very little black crime in the south when neighborhood watch programs enabled Whites to protect themselves. Unfortunately that neighborhood watch program (you know what I mean) has been demonized.