Looking in the Mirror

Spiritual Revelations for those seeking Humanity in Humans ~~CordieB.

Archive for November, 2007

Perhaps Taylor’s death will help us rise above statistics

 Mr. Williams article touched me so much, that I had to repost it here on my blog. 

By MICHAEL PAUL WILLIAMS

TIMES-DISPATCH COLUMNIST

If raw statistical data is the mortar that seals our fate, you can only wish Sean Taylor had been just a tad older.

Taylor, 24, the Washington Redskins safety, was slain four months short of graduating from America’s most vulnerable demographic group.

According to 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics, the homicide rate for black males between the ages of 18 and 24 was more than double that of black males age 25 and older. Homicide rates for black people overall were six times higher than the rates for whites.

Whatever state of affairs has formed these statistical icebergs makes life risky to navigate for young black men, even if they’re affluent, famous or the son of a police chief, like Taylor.

“I was just heartstruck to learn [yes terday] that he had died,” said the Rev. Canon Alonzo C. Pruitt, rector of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church and chaplain of the Richmond City Jail. “It’s another tragic part of the price we pay for this war of black men on black men. It’s one of the terrible vestiges of racism — that having been hated for so long, we have learned to hate ourselves.”

Forgive Pruitt’s assumption, or mine. But nearly 95 percent of black victims are killed by blacks. Taylor appears to be a link in a tragic, blood-stained chain that is systematically sending black men to the prison or the grave.

Taylor came out of a University of Miami football program feared and revered for its jacked-up attitude and outlaw trappings. That attitude seemed to follow Taylor into pro football, where he had several legal scrapes — one involving his brandishing of a handgun. But more recent accounts suggested that fatherhood had matured him.

Unfortunately, the so-called thug life has become as ingrained in the football culture as yard markers. Perhaps for some of these young men, it’s a misguided form of empowerment.

Whereas so-called gangster rappers tried to convince us that they were real-life Scarfaces outside the recording studio, athletes have been turning up in police reports as alleged perps or as victims. Eleven months ago, Broncos cornerback Darrent Williams was shot and killed in Denver.

These are the folks our young people look up to. If they represent hope in life, their deaths cut a wider swath of despair. But this, like all tragedies, comes with lessons.

Or as Pruitt said: “More people will notice it because of his celebrity. But hopefully, they will notice that wealth is not going to save you.”

What will save us?

“We need to each one of us commit some time each day to loving as many people as we can, especially angry, powerless people,” he said.

“Leadership doesn’t belong to a particular individual,” Pruitt said. “It has to be a communal experience. It’s not like we can go pull the wizard from behind the curtain to make it better. We all have to make it better.”

We’re a celebrity-obsessed society. The loss of a distant celebrity should carry less sting than the deaths in our own communities. But perhaps Taylor’s death will galvanize us against this ethos of violence.

Who knows? Maybe athletes will take a leadership role in steering young black men from the streets. And maybe, someday, “18 to 24” will represent a beginning and not an end.
Contact Michael Paul Williams at (804) 649-6815 or mwilliams@timesdispatch.com.

 

Reflections after Thanksgiving.

We are back to daily living.  I read a post today from persistent illusions,  on 5 reasons to skip Thanksgiving … and it reminded me of a song by Jill Scott.  Here are the lyrics. 

We at the family reunion, tellin’ jokes and playin’ spades

Uncle Dave is on the barbeque grill, Grandma braggin ’bout the blanket she made

 For the new baby on her way

Even though the daddy ain’t really ready

This child is coming…anyway

Neicey made her famous potatoe salad, somehow it turns out green

Maybe its all the scallions, could be the celery

But oh, Uncle Jerome loves it (Hmm)

Hey baby baby, here comes my favorite…my favorite cousin

He says he doing fine, takin’it one step a day– but in my heart I know it ain’t that way

Whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa

What can you say…it’s family

And whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa

What can you say…it’s family

Aunt Juicy been drinkin’ again…ooh it’s only 1:30 in the afternoon

Everybody tip-toeing ’round her, we all know she gonna be toe up soon

Saying all the things we’d like to say,

hope she gets around to Cousin Lonnie

Cause we all know he got a little extra somebody on the side (But)

Whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa

What can you say…it’s family

Oh sh*t, Damn Micky and Steven are fighten again

Move out the way, somebody might get hurt

Aw Look at that what happen is worst

They knocked over Helenora’s Lemon Cake (Emm)

You know the one she barely ever makes

I’m gettin rilled up, I want them to go

But Somebody turned Frankly Beverly on the stereo

Cousin Ruby starts rockin’, shaken her good hip and boppin’

So we all fall into place, smiling and laughing …..

And whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa whoa-o-whoa

What can you say…it’s family

Tell Him I Love Him – Written by the highly favored spiritual lady, Lauryn Hill

Let me be patient
Let me be kind
Make me unselfish
without being blind


though i may suffer
I’ll envith not
and endure what comes
cause He’s all that i got


and tell him

tell him i need
tell him i love him and it’ll be all right
tell him i need him
tell him i love him
it’ll be alright


now i may have faith to make mountains fall
But if i lack love then i have nothing at all
i can give away everything i possess
but left without i love then i have no happiness


i know i’m imperfect, and not without sin
but now that i’m older all childish things end.

i’ll never be jealous and i won’t be too proud
cause love is not boastful …oh and love is not loud


tell him need him
tell him i love him
everything is gonna be alright


Now i may have wisdom and knowledge on earth
but if i speak wrong then what is it worth
see what we now know is nothing compared
to love we were shown when our lives were spared

and tell him

tell him i need
tell him i love him and it’ll be all right
tell him i need him
tell him i love him
it’ll be alright


and tell him
tell him i need him
tell him i love him

Strength, Courage and Wisdom

Strength, Courage and Wisdom

It’s been inside of me all along!

Time to step out on faith, got to show my Faith

It’s been so illusive for so long

Freedom is mine’s today.

So let it be!