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July 15, 2007

Gang Related

Charlotte, NC Mayor Pat McCrory, who is white, said he was accurate when he wrote that “too many of our youth, primarily African American, are imitating and/or participating in a gangster type of dress, attitude, behavior and action.” His remarks came in a July 5 letter to the city manager in which McCrory congratulated police for their presence the night before, when 169 people — mostly black — were arrested.

The mayor painted “African American youth with a broad swath that cuts deep in many of our communities,” said Ken White, president of the Charlotte branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. “Mr. McCrory’s comments reinforce that stereotype, especially to those inclined to hold onto racist thinking and behavior,” White said.

McCrory told The Charlotte Observer that he understands his remarks offended some people, but he cited statistics that more than 60 percent of Charlotte’s gang members are black. “My role as mayor is to communicate what I consider to be concerns and in doing so you have to step on some toes,” he said. The mayor said he stands by his comments that black youth are imitating gangsters, despite a call from the local NAACP to apologize. (AP)

Seems to me the only thing Mayor McCrory needs to apologize for is for being white, white people are simply not allowed to say things like this because the black community will cry “racism.” But the mayor’s observations seem on-point to me. Black and Latino youth have indeed embraced a culture of negative, violent stereotypes, while the black community at large does virtually nothing about it. There is no hew and cry from the black community about these so-called gangstas and criminal elements—both real and simulated—that thrive openly within our urban youth culture. We say nothing, we do nothing, while the souls of our youth are being freely stolen, day after day.

If you were sitting on your porch, and some white guys drove up in a bus, grabbed your kid and dragged him off to Nazi training camp, you’d be hopping mad about it. But, each and every day black America—the black church most insidiously—sits idly by while the exact same scenario happens every minute of every hour of every day. Only, it’s our own—black gangs, black thugs—stealing our children. And, by paying your cable bill, inviting the so-called “gangsta rap” culture into your home, you’re helping them do it. By not taking a stand against gang lifestyles, by not promoting and, yes, financing alternatives to that lifestyle, by not taking a stand against violent video games, gang colors, and gangstas mentality—by allowing any and all of that to flourish in our own communities, in our own homes, we are all guilty of a heinous sin.

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