Ground Zero | Setting Off Bombs in Black Neighborhoods
When global powers such as the United States go into war, weapons of mass destruction are utilized. Big guns and heavy machinery is deployed and bombs are dropped. In times of war, a country makes several efforts to insure only militarized targets are bombed or destroyed. The powers that be, attempt to avoid hurting or killing civilians, innocent people, women and children. However and unfortunately, in war hospitals and schools are sometimes hit and innocent people are murdered. They call this collateral damage.
Crack cocaine hit Black communities like a bomb. Crime and violence experienced by some of the residents of Black neighborhoods is collateral damage.
Black Americans are at war, we need to begin setting off some bombs. However not bombs of mass destruction more so bombs of mass creation. We need to set up and set off behavior and businesses that explode within Black communities and shell out additional creativity and opportunities. These explosive devices need to be engineered by us for us. We know what happens when a bomb that was not engineered by Black people is set off in Black communities. The bomb is usually something like “Crack” or some other illegal enterprise that is contained and controlled by people who are not residents of those communities.
Again, Black Americans need to engineer and build the type of social and economic explosive devices and products that we have complete control over. And when we set off these explosive mechanisms, the areas affected should look like a bomb went off. Meaning, the areas should be very noticeably different.
To be certain this point is understood in the correct way, picture a neighbor hood that is ridden with crime. A neighborhood that is host to an open drug market where the streets are dirty with drug paraphernalia, the sidewalks are filthy with garbage and trash left by the drug dealers and drug addicts and where seemingly, nobody cares how this looks and feels. In these types of environments we as Black Americans need to set off a bomb.
A bomb meaning explosive action that when activated changes the negative structure of the environment. In this scenario, that explosive action can be one individual who decides to begin cleaning the sidewalks, sweeping the streets and disposing of the trash and garbage left behind by the drug dealers as well as their customers. As community leaders, one of the first initiatives we undertook was cleaning up the neighborhood and keeping the sidewalks and streets clean.
Implementing Albert Bandura’s Social Learning Theory and understanding that people learn and develop behavior patterns from watching other people as well as being exposed to certain visual stimuli, we decided to create new modeling constructs for Black American communities. This translated into cleaning the sidewalks and keeping the streets clean.
This action proved to be explosive. We didn’t see immediate effects. Life is not a reality T.V. show, real progress takes time. However, after about two months, other residents, young people and even some of the drug dealers began to emulate and imitate the more positive behavior of cleaning the sidewalks and keeping the streets free of trash and garbage.
As Black Americans we must establish a philosophy of Black Nationalism. Black Nationalism will change the mentality of Black people in the United States. Once you change your mentality your attitude will be different. This will change your behavior. After your behavior has been altered, your actions will reflect your mentality.