Straight No Chaser: A Question Of Priorities

By Desi Cortez
Updated: June 5, 2008

DENVER — Now, once again, you may not dig this… but dig this.

You could call the media headline announcing another teen center opening here in Denver, this time in the name of gunned down Bronco– the late Darrent Williams– a number of things; an legitimate effort to help, perhaps simply an emotional Utopian feel good move….

Or, you could call it what many see it as…a token gesture, a little something Bronco Owner Pat Bowlen and Head Coach Mike Shanahan felt compelled to do, something the city officials broke off to appease the community activist/critics, tranquilize the little people.

A notion born out of the emotional killing of a football player, whose life apparently had more value, more meaning than the other young Black men who’ve also been the victims of …..Black men

I’ll go with the later, this is about placating and pacifying the “community.” PR, damage control. Ponder this: Coach Shanahan’s daughter was a college roommate of President Bush’s daughter ……

The Shanahan’s were at her recent Crawford wedding. As Shanahan supports the Darrent Williams Teen Center, he underwrites an administration which could give a you-know what about Black teens.

Champ Bailey supports Dick Cheney and John McCain too.

Nonetheless, like most major urban metropolises, the Mile Hi-City has enough recreation centers, seriously, they’re over-used. We’ve also more than enough libraries – empty that is – where hardly enough Black kids open a book or log-on to the internet, in-search of knowledge and enlightenment. Intellectual curiosity is frowned upon within contemporary Black culture. Today’s Black parents don’t seem to value a formal education like their grand parents did.

Our kids are mislead and astray, because their parents are lost . It’s the parents who need a center. Fix the parents, you fix the children, the rudderless hood…. returns to a “neighborhood”.

Ifthe Denver Broncos, the city of Denver and the Boys and Girls clubs of America really want to get to the meat of the ills and woes plaguing young Blacks, for, in a round-about but very direct way– these troubles ended the life ofWilliams, they should have all pitched in and built a Parent Center, a place where 17-year-old mothers are escorted with their 33-year-old mothers to receive help in parenting their children.

A place where kids can learn to raise babies.

Face it, Bill Cosby’sCliff Huxtable lifestyle, lost out to BET’s founder Robert Johnson, who almost single handily ushered in a whole new era of Black exploitation, gave aspiring hustlers, hookers and ho’s a place to go and showcase their lifestyle toseven year olds in Omaha, Fresno, and Plano.

When Oprah decided not to help out American Black kids, and instead build schools in Africa, because she felt Afro-American kids were not serious, hungry, about education…. she was so so right.

They’re not academically driven, and it’s the fault of their parents.

Now after a quarter century of BET, its many copy cats– providing a visual and audio “how to ho” manual to elementary age girls… who live in an apartment where a parent doesn’t turn off the TV, a home without newspapers and books…. Black America has gone gangster-ghetto-fabulous.

How do you keepfour Black boys from reading a book? Give them a ball.

Guaranteed 75% of all the local Black men in the club the night Williams was shot, read and write at afourth toseventh grade reading level. While many have spent their entire lives at the base of the majestic Rocky Mountains, they’ve never been to Mt Evan’s or Pikes Peak. Never hiked, biked Red Rocks– which is 10 minutes from the historical Afro-American neighborhood. Forget leaving the state.

On top of being socially semi-illiterate, the over-whelming majority of Afro-American kids are academically challenged, leaving them as adults who can’t help but be economically illiterate.

LeavingBlack kids armed with a intellectual knife… at a cerebral gunfight. And, this is by design, according to grand plan. Hum? I could use Wizard and the Klan right here, but I’d be pouring it on… I might be accurate though.

Of course these limitations are in part because their parents are just as limited , as their parents before them were, and so on down the line because of blatant racism. But let’s fess up– this is because millions of Black folks have accepted White folks depiction of us as dumb, but happy.

Here, let’s just pull some teeth without any Novocain, somebody hand me some Jack.

The once fabled Black American Empire is crumbling from having to fight a two front war – the predictable one against angry white folks and now, for the last half century, the enemy from within — Black Thugs.

Darrent Williams’ murder hammers the internal hostility home … Black American culture, our once proud way-of-life has been ghettoized, thugarized and ultimately Nigger-rized by slicksters like Johnson, who not merely allowed the glorification of thug-life, but amplified it, in vivid glorious highly defined technicolor…. in order to get paid.

Remember he cast his chips with the Clintonist…

These volatile elements easily come together, into a perfect storm; Williams, and his out-of-town Bronco boys were up-in-da’ local club, Platinum bling blanging all over the place, throwing dead presidents around like it was paper, women who refer to themselves as ho’s – chasing players around like Alabama Hens in heat.

In essence – wealthy out-of-towners talk’in you-know-what… endlessly. The short of it; they offended some of the professional heartbreakers and life-takers. End of story. The lead started flying, and another young Black man is dead…

Here’s the commonality in this chaotic gangland soap-oprah; the overwhelming majority of men in this saga are tragically father-less, grandfather-less. Yes most of the Broncos, most of the Crips, the two warring groups in this story – most were born into dysfunctional situations – bounced around – multiple elementary schools, a couple of middle schools, a couple of high schools – reflecting the financial instability in their lives, creating insecurities, undermining individual growth.

Mom’s slightly educated if not uneducated, gottwo orthree other babies, sadly, abandoned, betrayed by different men, of whom at least one is in jail…. the situation is bleak, at best. What’s at the top of her parental priorities list….didn’t have a list to begin with.

Half the time, momma’s rolling a near-new car, t flat screens, i-pods, laptops, 2 C-note Nikes, about a dozen pair. Material possessions are in abundance compared to Trinidad, Grenada, Haiti, most of Africa, Mexico, Central and South America. Options and choices, in comparison to most of the world abound.

The other half the time, if pop’s was around … Papa was a rollin’ stone.

This behavior – rooted in Black American Culture, the priorities – or lack of, and what people value. Please forgive me, but I’ve been Black since birth, and the pressing, critical issue of the last half century confronting the Black American Empire…. has not been slavery nor Jim Crow.

It’s been the self destruction, the erosion of lifestyles, the minimizing of the value of an education and a spouse…. resulting from babies having babies having babies.

Honestly my generation of Black Americans, the first to be free….. are just dumb enough as to believe there’s no price to pay for making babies like Toyota makes cars, that miraculously…. the chickens never come home to roost.

I know we’re more interested in our personal attainment of the American Dream than we’re with sitting down with our kids to do home work.

And here’s the devil, in the god damn details,more Black men reside in prison…. than college. More in the Thug-heaven with Tupac’s twisted ass than in Harvard with Obama’s behind.

That’s right, somebody bring me a beer, a shot of Patron and put-on the Temptations Masterpiece album.

Still, let’s consider there’s enough blame to go around when assigning responsibility and liability for the critical situation Black folks find themselves in. We were not born this troubled, trouble is heaped upon us from birth.

Darrent Williams, the gangster who shot him, both -the culmination of what happens when you keep people as domestic livestock from 1619 untill1865, forbidding them to read and write, dummying them down.

Then from 1865 till the latter 1960′s– you treat them as third, if notfourth class citizens, not allowing them to attend comparable schools as their White competition. Not allowing them to leave the Black reservation, construct blocks of which to build upon, to grow, to prosper.

Can we say the white man worked day and night, making sure he erased any yearning for knowledge which might be growing inside any little Black boy or girl, and tragically, he was very successful.

Ingraining in our minds the poor, angry illiterate rebel outcast mentality. From generation to generation, parent to child, we know our place. Some of us seem to relish, flourish in this place.

As the Willie Lynch letter spells out (Google for further cocktail conversation) we were stripped of all our customs, morals and values. Brainwashed to hate our hair, our skin, our features, our ways – mutual respect, which would lead to cooperation and likely…progress is not attainable with this thought process.

With multiple generations growing up under such dire situations – far too many of us have been left dysfunctional, in need of de-programing! As a people, we’ve been put through hell…. and drug back-n’-forth-n’back.

Nobody, and I mean nobody, not even American Natives, would be willing to swap historical experiences with Black folks.