Wednesday, March 6, 2013
Nightmare on MLK
We hear a lot of talk about this street or that street; namely Wall Street and Main Street but who’s talking about MLK Street. When they talk about Wall Street they are usually talking about the 1% or more aptly put the “Robber Barons”.
Main Street is supposed to be where the rest of us reside surviving on the crumbs or what little we can scrape to survive. I suppose its reasonable to place everyone in these two camps, but not so much because MLK Street is never added to the conversation.
There was a term or distinction devised calling neighborhoods where MLK Streets are located - the “Ghetto”. As cool and hip as it sounds it is not a positive description of the communities where people of color reside. I should say that distinction has been upgraded to what many have embraced – “the Hood”. As it is by design, it carries the usually, although sounding cool, negative connotation of the black community and MLK Street is always in the "Hood".
In this place depicted as crime riddled and drug infested with gangsta’s residing over the lives of the disenfranchised and the hopeless. There are no jobs or in many cases no way to survive – it breads despair. I think we all know that this is cleaver social engineering at work and a misconception by design! Not a single soul living in the “Hood” has the means to bring in the drug or weapons into the community.
Moreover, when the people of these neighborhoods are deprived of educational opportunities as a result of being segregated - hopelessness is the by product. Let me suggest that if you are ever in the Nation’s Capital, ride by the Capital Building and you will notice that just a few blocks away you will find neighborhoods where just such a place exists – The Hood!
I firmly believe education is the single most important ingredient necessary to neutralize those forces that breed poverty and despair. This nation is the richest nation on this little rock called earth. So my plea is that instead of investments in war and helping the rich. Invest in "US" which means end the nightmare on MLK!
Dr. Carter G. Woodson challenged his readers in the epic novel "The Mis-Education of the Negro” to become empowered by doing for themselves. He said, regardless of what they were taught “History shows that it does not matter who is in power... those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.”
So the next time you turn on an MLK Street make no mistake that you're in a place they call the "Hood". Nowhere in America will you find the street named after the dreamer in a neighborhood of the other hue. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…