How Did We Allow This Damn Boogeyman To Snatch Our Children’s Joy?
Today’s post will deal with the illusion and delusion of the boogeyman to Black Americans. Being the youngest son in a family of three older brothers I was introduced to the concept of the boogeyman at an early age. My brothers used to tease me and say that that the boogeyman was in the bedroom closet just waiting to pounce on me once I was asleep. They really had me thinking of the power and terror of this invisible yet formidable foe. We all shared space in the bedroom with 2 bunk beds and of course being the youngest I was the obvious target of this ploy. Heck, I wouldn’t watch any scary movies on the black and white TV before bed because I thought it would encourage that damn closeted boogeyman to work his magic. I just knew that any creaking night sounds were the boogeyman headed to end my life while I slept. Why this stayed on my minds up until I was about 10 years old when I realized that my imagination had simply gotten the best of me. It was the end of that boogeyman’s realm of control of my mind. No longer did I fear to close my eyes while I attempted to head to slumberland growing up. I wonder how the younger black children growing up in our urban areas today deal not with an imagined enemy of the state of safety but a real agent of terror that roams our cities day and night in America. I never really was scared to go outside and play when growing up in Baltimore City when I was a child. As a matter of fact, I felt somewhat nurtured in my neighborhood because everyone seemed to be vested in each other, it was, in reality, a true village. We played together, fought together, laughed together, went the school together, got in trouble together, partied together, and we never once thought that while in our neighborhood we could be killed by anyone within the neighborhood, nor did we feel that someone nefarious would come from the outside and terrorize us. We weren’t afraid of our own shadows, or similar shadows that lurked and plotted acts of violence against us. No longer is that the case in my hometown yesterday’s headline in Baltimore City was no different than last week’s headline or last month’s, or last year’s headline. It will lead with the following byline:
After this burst of killings amid sustained violence, Baltimore police officers put on 12-hour shifts effective immediately
Six people murdered Monday night June 12, 2017, in Baltimore City. Black Lives Not Mattering, To Black People. I wonder what the children who were my age in 1964 are thinking about when they go to sleep in 2017. You see the boogeyman is real and he lurks not in the closets of their homes but on the streets that they can no longer play with reckless abandon. As a black child in some sections of Baltimore City, you must grow up extremely fast. Or the environment that surrounds can easily shallow you up and spit you out without any sense of passion or compassion. You cannot be just a little naive of your everyday surroundings because not be aware can lead to deadly circumstances. That must be a hard thing to digest as a child? Where in this hardened world is your safe zone where you can be simply a child carefree and creative? I was taught about the white racist boogeyman growing up who stole the dreams of black people. I would never have ever thought in my wildest dreams that the dark shadow of death was my same complexion? How do you fear what is must common in your life, how can the young brother who is your same colored complexion see you as an arch-enemy who must be taken down? Who taught us this self-hatred, and the inability to feel compassion for our brother. Are the words in the music we hear that call out niggers and rage about incessant violence? Where is the love? Do we no longer have the capacity to truly believe in each other’s dreams and need to live full enriched lives? I wonder, oh how I wonder? I remember songs like Life is a Moment, so enjoy it, life will take you up, and bring you back down. We were brothers in a cause and sought solutions amongst each other. We all wanted to be successful but we wanted to be unified in a singular purpose of community change. How did we allow outside forces to come into our communities and steal our children’s joy? How did we allow the outside forces to change the concept of the boogeyman from something hidden away in a closet to this image now prowling our cities day and night
My thought focuses on our ability to change this environment that diminishes our young people’s joy and re-engages their creativity. It will bring back the concept of neighborhoods again. Not as killing zones or fear zones that force our children to see any usual movement as threats to life and limb. We cannot see the injustice of others when the injustice of self-permeates our everyday existence. How can we blame the boogeyman of white injustice when the body counts of our brothers continue to rise with self-afflicted acts of violence promoted one against the other. Let’s make bringing the joy back to our children a priority for this and all the next generations. I understand the reality of life and that we as a people suffer due to the inequality of how white supremacy has denied us the ability to grow our personal and community wealth. Yet it doesn’t take a lot of energy to speak kindly of those you meet on a daily basis. It doesn’t take much energy to seek to think thoughts of construction rather than personally motivated destruction. We allowed them to change our environments to ugly areas of despair and gloom. It’s time now to reach deep down to the pits of our souls and snatch up the joy that our children are missing.
Oh, I recognize the legitimacy of racism as well as the conditions and actions that racism has caused in the communities and lives of those living in our communities. You would have to be a complete fool to deny that racism doesn’t exist in this country today. However, my post today is how the power brokers have encouraged our brothers and sisters to focus more on the creating self-hating boogeymen than facing up to some basic realities of our conditions. While the cities and institutions within the cities leak destruction and despair every day. Maybe we don’t have viable job solutions that will employ those deemed unemployable, yet? Maybe successful business models that lead to economic self-sufficiency aren’t present, yet? Maybe it seems that blacks murder blacks with the ease of spreading butter? Maybe jail cells have become our communities Holiday Inns; our home away from home. Maybe it seems that our brothers and sisters are running away from educating their minds as fast as a cheetah runs towards its’ prey. Maybe the strategy for linking brothers and sisters of color towards a common cause seems is as difficult as Moses parting the Red Sea. Black brothers and sisters of all ages and types can easily call out that invisible enemy of injustice that white boogeyman to release us from our fears. Come out of the closet of inequality and strife. How dare us to allow this created monster to continue to inhibits our child’s delight. Forget the fact that many of our wrong decisions were made in conscious sight. We weren’t asleep awaiting dreams of fright. So this morning I call for peoples of all colors to unite. We need to flush out our personal boogeyman that seeks to create a way for us not to unite. Brothers and sisters the call comes legitimately from secure and honorable peoples to fight the fight. Don’t question it as something that perils life’s delight. If as conscious peoples we begin to ask ourselves; truly ask ourselves how do we get to where we need to be. I think my brothers and sisters we can begin to make those intelligent decisions to find solutions within ourselves and those who stand next to us. If, someone calls for 10,000 strong to build, develop, and grow jump on that team because it may bring desired positive results. If someone calls to put monies in your pockets to save for rainy days when justice flows, have at it. Trust one another and ask those that seek to damage and destroy to find avenues that encourage the needle of justice to bend towards them. Yes, racism exists in America but it’s not a boogeyman that has taken over our communities. We placed today’s boogeyman in our communities. Now is the time to capture him and expel his treacherous spirit immediately. We must all work together to bring the joy back into the lives of each and every black child suffering without that joy today. We need not fear and quake from our own presence. Let’s all work together to deliver consciousness.You see a conscious man, not asleep fears no boogeyman the actual boogeyman fears them.