Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Thursday, June 02, 2011

When Your Condition Is Conditioned, Where Is Your Sense Of Duty?

I'm being kept away from blogging because of stuff I've been into.

These past few days commemorates the Tulsa Race Riots of 1921 of which I have a vested interest in. It seems that there were family and friend's family that were a part of what we call 'Black Wall Street'. I'm sure you've heard of it, and I'm sure you have heard or have studied in history the destruction and whitewashing of this and other incidents in American history. For those not in the know, let me give you a little Wiki on it:

The Tulsa race riot was a large-scale racially motivated conflict between the white and black communities of Tulsa, Oklahoma, including aerial attack, beginning May 31, 1921. During the 16 hours of the assault, over 800 people were admitted to local hospitals with injuries,more than 6000 Greenwood residents were arrested and detained in a prison camp, an estimated 10,000 were left homeless, and 35 city blocks composed of 1,256 residences were destroyed by fire caused by bombing.

The Tulsa race riot occurred in the racially and politically tense atmosphere of northeastern Oklahoma, some of which was a growing hotbed of anti-black sentiment at that time. The Ku Klux Klan made its first major appearance in Oklahoma on August 12, 1921,[1] less than three months after the riot.

As in several other states and territories during the early years of the twentieth century, lynchings were not uncommon in Oklahoma. Between the declaration of statehood on November 16, 1907, and the Tulsa race riot some thirteen years later, thirty-one individuals — twenty-six of whom were black — were lynched in Oklahoma. During the twenty years following the riot, the number of lynchings statewide fell to two.

The Greenwood section of Tulsa was home to a commercial district so prosperous it was known as "the Negro Wall Street" (now commonly referred to as "the Black Wall Street"). Ironically, the economic enclaves here and elsewhere — bounded and supported by racial separation — supported prosperity and capital formation within the community. In the surrounding areas of northeastern Oklahoma, blacks also enjoyed relative prosperity and participated in the oil boom.

Certain folk didn't like that property, so they destroyed it with little to no retaliation.


Right now I'm in Tulsa, OK and I've been around town talking to folks about what kind of legacy the 1920 race riots have left us with. It's strange because not a lot of people talk about it. Now you see that I didn't say that folk either liked or didn't like to talk about it, I just stated that they aren't talking. Most folk here feel that there isn't much to talk about.

So much to the point that the newspaper that initially reported about this has absolutely NOTHING in their archives. Period.

So much that citizens either black, white or native under 40 act like they know nothing of the largest and most destructive race riot in America's history.

So much that North Tulsa still doesn't have shops, bodegas, providers of goods and services or resources in the entire area affected 70 years ago (Save for one grocery store and one bank).

So much that no one addresses the isolation and desolation that North Tulsa has.

Hey y'all, I'm from Chicago and I am not used to this shit. There isn't even an ounce or inkling of agitation due to the aftermath of what happened here this time 70 years ago. And in the heart of my research of the riots, support of my uncle, who is the city councilman for this district the past 8 years, my support and funds raised for multiple non-profits in Chicago, my mentoring and tutoring, there were questions raised about my commitment and action when I expressed outrage over the amount of gun violence Chicago suffered this past Memorial Day Weekend on facebook Monday.

I grow so tired of the finger pointers and talkers just pointing and yapping about what's going on without putting in work to ease our self-destruction. Inactivity is even more destructive than the folk, scenarios and situations set up to actually destroy.

An old chum from high school just took to the streets of the Englewood district of Chicago (South Side, shawty!) with his program and just like my brothers, sisters and I do, he walks up to the so-called gang bangers and dope dealers and addresses the concerns that some neighborhood residents have about their commitment to either the game or the advancement of our people. Brother had cameramen to document names, faces and responses. Along with looking out for these kids thru mentoring, after school activities & programs, scholarships and job training, this is how we do.

I'm hanging out in Tulsa for the summer to make sure folk my age and younger actively participate and are in the know of my uncle's platform. I just ran into one of the most dynamic young graphic artists Oklahoma has to offer and he will help us create a viable and informative web presence during this summer campaign. We're looking to facebookize and twitterfy my uncle as well, we had over 100 elders show up to a town hall meeting Unc had a couple of weeks ago and I am excited to have been invited to be a part of the team that will put the 2.0 stamp on my uncle and his platform.

I just wish others had the energy and motivation to come out of the house and actively participate. What in the hell are YOU doing to speak truth to power and following that up with duty in your responsibility to help us as humanity edge forward?

I ain't never scared. I am not afraid to get my hands dirty. The ignorant and criminal do not scare me. I come from that environment, I am not a product of it.

I now head to Chicago to be at my mother's side as she observes with the rest of us the condition of my step-dad, who had another heart attack damn near one year to the week of his last one.

Your work is never done, regardless of what condition you're in or what conditions you choose to live.



the good nurse said...

brother hassan, i have missed ur writings. for real, for real...

do the necessary warrior.

Anonymous said...

Keep on keeping on.