It would be nice if as African Americans our big problem was a county commission who is unresponsive to our needs or a school board who did not recognize that 20% of our high school seniors are not graduating or that almost fifty percent of our students never make it to the twelfth grade, but those are only symptoms of the fact that we are just very poor consumers with little stomach for commitment.
Asians can come into our neighborhoods and disrespect us while they sell us food. Multinational banks can come into our neighborhoods and take our deposits but refuse to make loans to us. Big oil companies can come into our neighborhoods and sell us gas at 10, 15 or 20 cents per gallon above what they sell it for in the “nice” neighborhoods. Walmart and Kroger can come in and set up little dirty stores with nasty staff to sell us the reject products that they cannot sell in Cobb and Gwinnett counties.
Young criminal black males can prowl our neighborhoods, break into our homes and automobiles, stick up local businesses, and make commerce unsafe- probably why we pay more for gas- and we do nothing. Then we yelp and cry about how the criminal justice system is rigged against us and racist and based on racial profiling; after the long hand of the law catches up with these miscreants and write them one way tickets to some State prison dungeon.
We keep silent when our best and brightest who make it into academia, politics, corporate,and law enforcement are summarily expelled or imprisoned for fraud, theft, violence, kickbacks, extortion, and other acts of disgrace that make us all look bad. Again, many of us complain that it is because they are black, and white people are doing the same thing- as if that now makes justification and our people truly courageous for “ripping off the man;” not remembering that “the man” is all of us.
We are not being true to ourselves about our condition. It is not rocket science that Jay Cunningham and Eugene Walker of the DeKalb County School Board did not know that DeKalb County high school graduation rates are a disgrace. It is not surprising that they both mumble out the sides of their mouths when these numbers are presented to them.
They know that we are not holding them accountable or responsible for the quality of their stewardship over the local education processes. They know that just like we continue to patronize disrespectful Asian businesses we are going to patronize them with our votes. They know that we are going to continue to bless them for their gross ineptitude and their lack of commitment to our children's education. They know that we are not committed to a safer, saner, cleaner, smarter, DeKalb County and will not require this same level of dedication from them. They know that, like them, we are also faking the funk.
So; we can go up in arms over symptoms like high school graduation rates or we can clean out the current political crop on July 31 and begin a new day for DeKalb County. We can begin a quest to make DeKalb County as attractive a place to live and work and raise families as any place in Georgia. We can decide that we have had enough of the likes of Eugene Walker, Burrell Ellis, Lee May, and Jay Cunningham and all that ilk, their drones, dismal graduation rates, astronomical drop out rates and criminal retinues of little “dread heads”raping us while we are at work. We can decide that it is time to use the power of our voting antiseptic in DeKalb.
We can all agree that DeKalb County is going to change even it it kills us doing it. It is already killing us anyway. We might as well make our bleeding be worth something.