Monday, November 8, 2010

Systematic Apathy

Although this post is not really about the mid-term elections held this past Tuesday, that was the impetus for this post. What I'm about to say is not necessarily because of the results of the elections, but the comments I've heard and read concerning them.

Somewhere between the Civil Rights movement and today, we (yes this is a generalizing, collective "we") as African-Americans have gotten waaaay too comfortable. Lax. We "just don't give a f***."

No, let me correct that. We give a f***, but about the wrong things.

On Tuesday, I saw a lot of tweets and Facebook posts about voting. And I saw a whole heck of a lot of posts about not voting. Not just saying they hadn't vote, but boasting that they wouldn't. I'm sorry, when did not voting become the "it" thing? Oh I know, since there were no superstars this election. It was great that the coolest candidate for POTUS eva motivated people to get out and vote in 2008. But like so many other fads, once the celebs stopped talking about it and the "cool" wore off, people lost interest. The proof is in the low turnout by young voters and minority voters.

But this isn't just about politics and voting. It's about a lack of concern and misplaced priorities that seem to be rampant in our community. So many youngsters that I know--and ones that I don't know but have observed--place so much interest and emphasis on the latest dance, what a celebrity is doing/wearing/saying, becoming the next (insert hot athlete here), or becoming a dope boy and so little on getting an education and making a future for themselves. Many are enthralled with being sexy and having sex, without regard to how their lives could change as a result.... But hey, you can't fully blame the kids when many of the adults--the people who should be role models--are acting the same way!

I know this isn't new; the same thing was going on back in my day. (God, that makes me sound old!) But just because it's been going on for years doesn't mean we can't turn it around, does it? We as a people have too rich and too great a story to be done in by our own laziness, sense of entitlement and failure to recognize what is truly important. We cannot let apathy take us back to what we once fought so hard against.

P.S.: For anyone with the urge to say "Well white folks are doing the same thing and you ain't saying nothing about them," lemme address y'all now. No hate towards anyone, but white folks aren't my folks. What they do to their own detriment is not my concern. If you want to follow down a destructive path just because "white folks are doing it," then we're in an even sadder state than I thought.

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