Recently, I decided to pick through some dusty old boxes stacked in my Grandfather’ basement and while doing so I stumbled upon a box filled with lamps; those you’d find similarly styled to the fictitious lamps the genie came from.
So, for the sake of ‘what if’, I decided to give it a rub; what did I have to lose, right? Well, while rubbing this lamp I imagined a Black Genie appearing before me looking like Fat Albert in Aladdin’s outfit.
Floating before me with his hands crossed, he spoke with a strong North Philly accent saying, “Reg, what’s going on brother I am the Black Genie of the lamp… you have three wishes, you know the drill, I’ll grant you all three but none can have anything to do with money or your personal wealth” I replied, “Cool, I can still work with this without the money”.
So I began to think about what good could be done with these three wishes and before asking for the first I asked the Black Genie if there were any time limits applied to these wishes or could they ever be undone, he replied, “No worries, they will last forever” I said, “Bet, let’s get started”
With great anticipation for my first wish I asked Black Genie to remove every gun from all households in Black communities throughout the country and most importantly from the hands of Black youth.
“Reg, now you know the second amendment of your Constitution gives all citizens the right to own guns, right?” Black Genie, quite frankly, dam the Constitution right now our children are killing each other and no one seems to care enough to do something.
Jonylah Watkins, a six month-old-baby, and Hadiyah Pendleton, a fifteen year old honor student, were both gunned down by young Black males whose misguided decisions took their lives prematurely.
I’m willing to logically conclude that had these gunmen not been in possession of these killing machines those two lives and countless others could’ve been saved. “Reg, are you sure?” Black Genie, I’ve never been surer of anything in my life!
My people, African Americans, make up 13% of the U.S population and account for more than half of the murders that take place on a yearly basis predominantly, and unfortunately, at the hands of other African Americans.
So, the problem is real and it must be dealt with ‘by any means necessary’ to take the words of the late freedom-fighter and truth-teller, Mr. Malcolm X. It’s time for diplomatic resolution in solving our disputes opposed to putting bullets in each other.
If violence is the only recourse to a dispute these days, what happened to a fair one? “Reg, I believe you may be on to something, your wish is my command. It is done”
Black Genie for my second wish I’d like for all Black males from the ages of 18-60 to be employed with jobs that will enable them the opportunity to provide for their families and in return giving them a sense of pride, dignity and accomplishment as providers.
It isn’t a secret Black Genie that there is a direct correlation between ‘Black on Black’ violence and Black unemployment. “Reg, these are some strange wishes brotha, why are they important to you?”
Well Black Genie, per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for African-Americans jumped from 12.9% last year to 14% in 2012 and stands at a startling 27% in Detroit, a city with a predominantly African American population.
Unemployment is without question a direct connection to the financial destruction of Black families and a direct symptom of the anger boiling over in our communities. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to conclude an employed Black man has a greater statistical advantage of avoiding criminal life, maintaining a secure financial foundation and sustaining a sense of manhood.
When you’re employed you can pay your utility bills, car payments, rent or mortgage, right? In a society hell-bent on the consumption of ‘material’ it leaves one hopeless, stressed and angry when they’re incapable of participating in that consumption.
Our communities are filled with jealousy, anger and pride which all lead to unnecessary explosions that unfortunately continue to add to an ever increasing death toll countrywide.
To add, Black Genie, Black males make up close to 40% of the total prison population while the Black population is only 13% of the overall population of people residing in the U.S. “Okay Reg, I think I’m starting to see your point with this as well…this is a problem. Your wish is my command…it is done”
Black Genie for my final wish I’d like for you to plant seeds of confidence not superiority in the minds of all Black children from the second they exit the womb to their last breath. “Reg, now I’m really confused of what importance this could be?”
Black Genie, since the ancestors of African Americans were brought to this country via the slave trade there has been a notion of Blacks being inferior to their White counterparts. It is my opinion that the removal of any such inferiority complex will create a greater sense of self-identity.
Respect within all Black people and potentially change the outlook of the race for future generations to come “I find that to be a profound prediction Reg. Your final wish is my command brotha.” Thank you Black Genie.
As a people we have carried the scars of our oppression for centuries and only we can heal those scars by removing any such infections that caused them.
Our ancestors would not find our current state acceptable and would probably call upon us to make drastic changes in the way we think, in the way we act and in the way we see each other. The wishes above may only be wishes but a unified community can make them a reality.
By Reginald Jones