To some, it might be hard to tie together Black male millionaires and celebrities with the plight of those struggling in the worst of Chicago’s neighborhoods, yet one clear tie is increasingly relevant.
You never want to hear about it happening to any of the brothers out there. We all know how it goes.
Nice car. Nice look. Nice drive on a nice day. Suddenly, red and blue lights appearing not-so-nicely in the rear-view mirror.
At this point of time, it doesn’t seem to matter what the status or money of the driver is: if he’s Black, it’s a real-life possibility that you can still be pulled over for Driving While Black.
And while it does not make me any angrier than normal that a public friend of mine was the latest Black male celebrity to be pulled over in another apparent DWB incident, it does prompt my awareness that the trends in America for Black men – all Black men – are not good, collectively speaking.
On one end, there are well-known successes such as director Tyler Perry and BET late night host TJ Holmes getting pulled over in metro Atlanta (where both have made their homes for years). On another end, there are Black men going through stop-and-frisk measures on New York City streets. From another perspective, there are Black men seamlessly being more incorporated into the New Jim Crow system, complete with exorbitant incarceration, school dropout, and homicide rates. From all viewpoints, the message is clear in 2012: the value of life expectations, civil rights, and societal contributions – even societal involvement – of Black men is on the decline in America.
When (Driving While Black) is seen along with the other downward trends in Black America concerning Black males – from education to employment to household dynamics – it is merely a symptom of a disconcerting trend about the plight of all Black men in America, regardless of socioeconomic background.
Catch more of Lenny McAllister’s “All Tied Together: Black Men Under Siege” on Politic365
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