“Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:4 (NASB)
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
There are so many analogies that could be associated with our community as it relates to four Black young boys watching the drowning of a Black man.
The man was handicapped; he walked with a cane. Our community is handicapped, strapped with burdens of no financial support and crippled with social services that beget them to a state of dependency and leadership that has over looked them forecasting their own personal gains. The young boys were high, smoking dope. Our community is high off the drug of hopelessness fed to them by some dope men/women who deal this hopeless drug from pulpits, some disguise as law enforcement, educators and politicians.
I’m not sure if our readers have heard about or seen the video of these young Black boys, teenagers, who witnessed the drowning of a Black man who had to use a cane to walk as they sat in the distance smoking pot and making jokes about this man dying as he drowned right before their eyes without offering ANY help – not NOTHING. NO CALL FOR HELP – LET ALONE ANY PHYSICAL ASSISTANCE. You might want to question the actions of the mother; the father you might even want to say that society has failed them. However, the mother and father weren’t sitting on a hill watching a human drown. Society wasn’t sitting next to them as a participant in the death of a dying man. Yet everyone that has come in contact with these young boys is truly an accessory to this death, whether the participants were actively involved by encouraging the group not to save a life or being a part of the group and doing nothing.
There are a few things that scrape my soul like falling off a motorcycle on yet to be smooth asphalt and being drugged for about 150 yards, seeing flesh pealed from its bones. This is one of those. To look at this video and listen to these Black boys degrade a life to the point of… I can hardly describe it, but it was sickening to hear and even more devastating to watch as these boys engaged in conversations with statements like, “we are not going to help yo a$$” and as the man could be heard crying you can hear one of the boys saying, “you should have never got in there you dumb bi@$h”. They watched this man literally drown to death while they laughed and smoked pot, just showing no signs of being human. I asked myself what can be equated to a situation as drastic and inhumane as this that relates to our community. There are a lot of things I can associate with it: how could we sit back and watch our communities just die while our young people just give up and watch them and not even offer them a lifeline, but just laugh and point fingers as they literally die. We engage in frivolous conversation, meaningless dialogue and say to one another pass me another excuse while we are entertained by the death of fellow human beings, our communities, and our extended families. This scene of watching death unfold right in front of our eyes without lifting a hand, raising a voice or even asking someone else to help is displayed every day in our communities. When we sit in leadership and we can correct some of these wrongs but don’t, we are opening the door wider to a horrific death of a people whom we laugh at in their drowning death. Just because we can do some things it doesn’t mean we should line our pockets or brighten our political careers when it is in direct correlation with what can be gained personally. It’s a damn shame!
Watching a community die
I look at the Mizell Center’s proposed demolition for a new LA Lee Branch YMCA; this is similar to watching a drowning man and we don’t do anything about it.
No, there is no man Law to address our actions; however, there’s a biblical perspective in a Godly Standard we should be living up to. Those who sit in control, who watch a situation that could destroy our community from its core and refuse to regroup and get the consensus of the community and do nothing about it, are in direct contrast to what the community wants or what the community needs. Yes, we watch our communities die.
And we do nothing about it. What is it that would cause any political person who is up for reelection in the next seven months to literally put something on the table that is destroying or at the very least splitting the community up, and they have a group with them encouraging them on? What would make them do that? No, there is no man law for such actions but there is a higher law that we all must adhere to. Are we going to sit up on the heel and engage in financial wealth, participating in joyous activities while we watch men and women, boys and girls die without even attempting to throw them a lifeline or make a phone call that could save their lives? What are you going to do? I will not sit idly by and watch them die because I can.
“Dear God please teach me how to lean not to my own understanding but trust you in all your ways. In Jesus Name, Amen”
Yours in the struggle,
Bobby R. Henry, Sr.