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Baltimore Gangs Should Continue to Unite to Influence Positive Change

by Todd A. Smith

 

Never Ignorant Getting Goals Accomplished

 

Although I am not a fan of the N-word and am trying to eliminate that word from my daily vocabulary, the late, great Tupac Shakur once made a very poignant statement about his definition of the word.

 

Shakur’s definition for the N-word (in it’s hip-hop spelling, with an A instead of the E-R) stood for never ignorant, getting goals accomplished.

 

Hopefully, many street affiliated brothers take that to heart like some Baltimore gang members are reportedly trying to do.

 

However, police officers reported that members of the rival Bloods and Crips street gangs, along with the Guerilla Family were teaming up in Baltimore to “take out” local police officers after the death of Freddie Gray.

 

“Law enforcement agencies should take appropriate precautions to ensure the safety of their officers,” police said.

 

Initially, publications like The Daily Beast reported that the gang truce was a combined effort with the Nation of Islam to stop police brutality in the African-American community.

 

A report by WBAL-TV stated that gang members never had intentions of killing cops, only to seek justice for Gray.

 

Members of the Bloods stated that they were “Black men united” and that they had beer thrown at them by restaurant customers and were called the N-word.

 

They stated that mainstream media is not painting a positive portrayal of what really is happening in Baltimore.

 

“I can say with honesty those brothers demonstrated they can be united for a common good,” stated Carlos Muhammad, a minister at Nation of Islam Mosque No. 6.  “At the rally, they made the call that they must unite on that day.  It should be commended.”

 

The gang truce should definitely be commended if they are indeed uniting for peace, liberation and nonviolence and not to seek retribution for violence inflicted by police officers.

 

Riots erupted throughout Baltimore this week, but many gang members disputed claims that they incited the violence.

 

Unfortunately, in many impoverished African-American communities, gangs are the leaders and role models, not the people living righteous lives and working steady jobs.

 

Children look up to the gang members for the brotherhood, power, and money and respect they command and demand.

 

Many children in the ghetto grow up idolizing the gang bangers and drug dealers and not the average Joe, because many average Joes do not drive Mercedes Benzes or BMWs.

 

If gang members can use that power to encourage African-American children to unite with their brethren and fight for social justice and change, the world would change.

 

Any demographic that can create a culture (hip-hop) that changes the way people walk, talk, dress and view life is powerful beyond measure and should begin to use that power for good, not to shed more blood.

 

Although it’s cliché, the statement two wrongs don’t make a right is definitely right and should be adhered to by all people, despite their color, age or socioeconomic status.

 

Furthermore, a gang truce to fight social injustice is what many street and community organizations were founded for.

 

Many were not started to kill each other and divide the community.  Many of these organizations like the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense were founded to better the community by creating jobs, eliminating police brutality and providing after-school programs and free breakfast.

 

Like Shakur stated as early as 1991, the African-American community should never be ignorant and should get goals accomplished.

 

Retaliating against police officers in a violent way will accomplish nothing in the short or long term.

 

Combatting police officers that abuse their power with peaceful protests, voter registration drives and increased dialogue with those officers is a more intelligent strategy.

 

And a community that produced such geniuses as Shakur, a former student at the Baltimore School for the Arts, is way too intelligent to provide the mainstream media the ammunition to negatively stereotype an entire community.

This article was published on Friday 01 May, 2015.
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