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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Who's to Blame for Sean Taylor's Death?

Nigger is a pejorative term used to refer to dark-skinned people, mostly those of African ancestry. For centuries, it has held negative connotations, and in modern times it is considered a racial slur in most contexts. Modern colloquial uses include a synonym for "person" and an effort to "reclaim" the word for black people (see nigga), which remains a controversial topic [definition from Wikipedia].”

In the right context, nigger or its orphan child, nigga, seems like a very appropriate use of the English language. However, after listening to an interview where Minister Louis Farrakhan weighs in on the use of the N-Word, I took an oath to no longer use it except in a clinical or academic setting. But after reading this morning about the arrest of four men in connection with the death of Sean Taylor, I almost broke my vow!

Four young, black men have confessed to the murder of Taylor. This cycle of black-on-black violence has become a mantra in our local papers and news broadcasts: “…Young black male kills young black male.” The pact with death that these men made, along with thousands of their misguided comrades, will not be severed until the black community gets outraged enough to do something about it, because it is clear that we cannot look to the government to solve this problem. Remember the riots in South Central Los Angeles after it was announced that a jury acquitted four police officers accused in the video taped beating of black motorist Rodney King? Although the authorities didn’t take control of the foolish outrage that was being expressed by residents of South Central L.A., the National Guard took up garrisons on the outskirts of Hollywood in the event the rioters attempted to spill over into the affluent conclaves of the entertainment Mecca of the world.

In a contest of stupidity versus organized force, organized force will win every time. Where was the National Guard when the residents of South Central L.A. were killing themselves and destroying their own neighborhood? This type of suicidal pathology is being expressed all over America in many predominantly black neighborhoods. The death of Sean Taylor is simply a constant reminder that the black community must step up to the plate to bring civility back to its neighborhood.

The circumstances concerning Taylor’s death prompts me to ask the question: Can we assign partial blame to ourselves as a community for his death for our failure to raise our children in a disciplined manner? This is a very complicated question that needs to be sorted out by qualified, social professionals; however, one thing is not complicated at all – if a grade school student can use abusive language in public with no shame; or can threaten a teacher with no fear of reprisal; or can participate in a street life that has a very high mortality rate; or can murder someone with no sense of remorse, then there has been a chain reaction of failure somewhere from the cradle to the early grave.

As my outrage simmered at this morning’s report, I couldn’t help but be reminded of the words of the Western Philosopher, Arthur Schopenhauer:

Pardons the word for all! Whatever folly men commit, in their shortcomings or their vices, let us exercise forbearance: remembering that when these faults appear in others, it is our follies and vices that we behold. They are the shortcomings of humanity, to which we belong, whose faults, one and all, we share; yes, even those very faults at which we now wax very indignant, merely because they have not appeared in ourselves. They are faults that do not lie on the surface, but they exist down there in the depths of our nature: and should anything call them forth, they will come and show themselves, just as we now see them in others. One man, it is true, may have faults that are absent in his fellow, and it is undeniable that the sum total of bad qualities is in some case very large; for the difference of individuality between man and man passes all measure.

I guess the best way to end this post is with a tear of gratitude to my parents, George and Mary Tolson, for shining the very bright and often caustic light of discipline during those times that I attempted to travel down the road to destruction.

Pop, please give momma a copy of this, and thanks.

1 comment:

Mrs. DRT said...

One's upbringing without a doubt has great impact on how a person perceives him/herself in life and in many instances, it guides the direction he/she takes in their future. However, it will have very little bearing on the consequences after a crime has been committed such as this. Who will these guys be able to blame? No one except themselves as they sit forever, pondering that very question, while their fate rests in the hands of the 12 jurors and a judge who will determine how they spend the rest of their lives, and it doesn't end there. They will have to face their real judge ... the one who has the ability to determine where they will spend eternity.

Mrs. DRT