Do you know why there is so much violence and chaos in parts of the community?
Well, not only does Bill O’Reilly know, Don Lemon knows as well, and he took the opportunity to inform us of these reasons this past weekend on CNN’s “No Talking Points”:
According to Lemon, there are 5 things Black people can do ourselves to eliminate criminality and ignorance in our neighborhoods and fix them, which are:
5. Pull Up Your Baggy Pants
4. Stop Saying Nigga/Nigger
3. Pick Up Trash/Stop Littering
2. Graduate High School
1. No More Children Out Of Wedlock
Truthfully, I completely agree that these are things that would be cool to see in the Black community, and they may provide us with the right mindsets to tackle our professional and personal hurdles with a higher rate of success – but does anyone with any semblance of common sense really believe that these micro adjustments are the BIGGEST solutions to our incredibly large and complex issues?
But, even more importantly, what I want to know is when the hell are we as a society going to address the issues in the Black community by mentioning the non-stereotypes?
The reason Don Lemon’s rant irked me is the same reason Barack & Michelle Obama’s May commencement addresses at Morehouse and Bowie State respectively, had me seeing red: They effectively chastized a group of graduating students by mentioning how far too many young Black folks are focusing on trying to be rappers or ball-players, and how they need to clean up their acts. The problem is, the Obama’s rant was done in front of the very same young promising Black minds that overcame all that ignorance. And while they offered rudimentary, vague and non-specific ideologies on how WE can enact change (as opposed to speaking as people in an office where actual policy change can happen), we once again limited our scope of the issue to stereotypes: Sheneneh and Lil’ Ray-Ray.