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Many African Americans Have their Priorities in the Wrong Places

Moving back to my childhood neighborhood has been an eye-opening experience. I see plenty of African Americans renting homes that use to be owned by Caucasians. Many of these homes that were freshly painted and surrounded with green manicured lawns are now overrun with weeds and the houses are literally ready to crumble! The awnings that are suspended to the front of the homes that once kept the owners dry from the wind, rain, and falling snow are tattered and ready to drop to the ground. Safety railings are rusted and almost uprooted out of the dirt. Rock walls are collapsing. Windows are either broken, boarded up, posted with newspaper, or have unsightly looking fabric or dirty, bent blinds. Wooden fences are rotting, and sidewalks and driveways are badly worn.

What happened? “African Americans can’t take care of nothing,” some older blacks have said of their own race. “It’s so sad to think that this was a place that used to be so nice!” It seems not only did my childhood neighborhood go downhill since our people took over, but those in my family said the same thing about their childhood surroundings. “We use to have all sorts of businesses, clubs, and bars in our neighborhood – it was nice!” But not anymore, the pain of racism, drugs, violence, war, and other calamities have came into these communities by those “who never had nothing nice” as my grandmother once told me, “…and don’t want you to have anything nice either!”

So why do so many African Americans move into communities then sit back and allow them to fall apart? No one really knows how to answer this question without blaming someone. A problem solver, optimistic type will visit an African American community dropping off yet another program to get the unruly children, drug dealers, drunks, beggars, prostitutes, and pimps off the street and the neighborhood beautified. This creative thinker recruits a team of like-minded wishful thinkers and tells them to ask others in the neighborhood to help. Mind you, this help comes after many years of negative experiences occurring in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, the program doesn’t last for long before there’s a scandal, someone is assaulted or robbed. Then the enthusiasm in the community diminishes and finances are depleted. Meanwhile, the community is listening to the sounds of bass and gun fire at various times of the day and night. With decorations here and there of nice churches, expensive cars; name-brand jackets, overly priced shoes, purses, jewelry, and long rainbow colored hair while homes, yards, and streets are in disarray!

It’s evident that many African Americans are more concerned about the cars they drive, the attire they wear, and the unhealthy food they eat, but rarely take notice of more significant matters such as: the piping in their home that needs to be replaced, the roaches that hide between the crevices in their walls, the paint that seems to be peeling everywhere you look, the windows that need to be replaced from the 1950s, the wiring that is waiting to catch a fire, and various appliances that need attention. From the looks of things, many African Americans simply have their priorities in the wrong places!

Now if we are looking to blame someone or something, blame the slavery mentality that is very much with us! Slaves were more concerned about their master's buildings then their own and their master's fields and roadways. They were proactive when it came to telling master who stole the last piece of chicken or who was caught with master’s wife, and they at times would be willing to die for their masters. However, today’s slave, he or she is still working hard for master in an air-conditioned environment, but when he or she comes home, they may not have a cooling system, let alone enough money to keep the electric bill current. So the next time you go into a black community, that you may have moved out of, keep in mind how it got that way, support your neighborhood’s businesses when you can, and thank God you are favored where you now live!

Written by Nicholl McGuire

1 comment:

S. Benton said...

This really angers me about my people. When my Mother made her last mortgage payment, She should've been able to relax, and spend the rest of her days in her house. Instead she is looking for a new home because of the decline of our once beautiful neighborhood. The worst thing is after our neighborhoods burn out, White business come buy back the property cheap and make huge profits.

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