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Yes, it is unfair.
The criminal justice system needs reform. That reform may not necessarily take place under President Barack Obama.
The kind of surgical operation Black scholars have argued for so long that needs to be performed in the criminal justice system may not happen under the watch of the first Black Attorney General, Eric Holder.
A miracle reform cannot be expected under John Conyers Jr, the first African- American chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, which has oversight of the U.S. Department of Justice and the courts in the land.
We may lack the adequate tools we need to revamp the justice system — bankrolled by tax dollars — no matter the level of philosophical discourse we engage in and high profile conferences we attend.
But one thing we do have absolute control over is our own lives and the decisions we make. It is not so much about what has happened to our community, but what we’ve been willing to accept in Detroit and other places around the country.
That is why Randall Robinson’s book, “What Blacks Owe to Each Other,” has a profound significance for any young and upcoming Black male to understand the realities and consequences of the world we live in.
Chosen as the first book for review by “Inside Detroit” AM1200 host Mildred Gaddis to kick off her book club project featured on Mondays, Robinson expounds on the maladies of the system of justice and what many see as the often abdicated role of the federal government to the people.
Like a surgeon, Robinson conducts a polemical inquisition into the responsibility of the government in meting out what it owed African Americans still haunted by a post-traumatic slavery experience. And then he dwells on our collective responsibility.
What is that responsibility?
While it is important to continue to press the issue of government being accountable for the needs of the Black community, which has historically been shown the door when it was time to share the national pie, we cannot extricate ourselves from personal responsibility.
On the Gaddis show while discussing Robinson’s book, I said our community has lost focus. We have placed premium importance on the demand for government accountability at the expense of community responsibility.
We’ve succumbed to the notion that unless government pays all it owes to the Black community, we are helpless. If that is the case we should be prepared to wait for decades.
But that theory is all the more an excuse for the current problems we face.
Such a notion only betrays the role that parents have in nurturing and raising their children to become responsible men and women who love and defend their community.
A cursory look at Detroit and other urban cities will reveal a dark side that we have all facilitated and allowed to thrive. That is why young Black men with no guidance and sense of recourse in a bid to demonstrate their manhood engage in all kinds of nefarious activities.
When confronted, these young men will quickly admit they have either come from broken homes, inadequate schooling, or a community that has surrendered to the forces that take these young men away to prison.
With no direction to aid them in expressing themselves through their God-given intellect and gifts, they show their expression through guns, drugs and other vices that will hold them hostage for a very long time.
The lack of self-internal critique and our lax attitude toward what is happening to young Black men is one of the biggest weapons impeding our progress.
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