By Jason Whitlock
Here’s what the race baiters on the right fail to comprehend: There’s a clear-cut, easy-to-follow blueprint for avoiding the ravages of black-on-black violence and crime. America has yet to provide us a comparable blueprint for avoiding racial profiling.
That’s why it’s impossible for ordinary, rational black folks to let go of Trayvon Martin and the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman trial.
We know all too well the horrors transpiring in Chicago and other urban areas where the neglected offsprings of America’s prison-institutionalized and prison-values-corrupted engage in a predictable war of hopelessness and self-hatred. The consequences of our drug war and its companion, mass incarceration, do not stop at prison walls.
We know that. We do also, however, know how to escape their wrath.
When my mother caught a burglar climbing through our kitchen window in 1975, she promptly took a second job and moved me and my older brother to an Indianapolis suburb.
Willie Clark, my best childhood friend, grew up in a home just a few blocks from my old neighborhood. You could walk out his family’s backyard and reach a government housing project in less than a minute. The entire area was rough.
Willie’s parents had little trouble keeping him out of trouble. They raised him and his two sisters in the church. They taught him to be respectful and careful of where he went and who he befriended. They supported his athletic endeavors, kept tabs on his academic progress, demanded that he avoid drugs and nurtured a belief he could achieve something in this country.
He was raised in the ‘hood. He graduated from college, opened an American Family Insurance agency, married and built a home in the suburbs for his wife and three kids. He moved up and moved out.
My dad owned small taverns (think ghetto Cheers) in Indianapolis’ inner-city for 35 years. I loved the places, visited them often as a kid and socialized at them as an adult. I never once had any problems.
Navigating the ghetto is difficult. But it’s not remotely impossible. If you’re intent on avoiding trouble, use common sense and choose to interact with all people respectfully, you can, short of bad luck, stay clear of the nonsense. And, if all else fails and you don’t want to walk the tightrope, you can do what my mother did and take the necessary steps to leave the ghetto.