Houston Forward Times

25 September 2013 Written by  Jeffrey L Boney


black man on newsIt seems that every day, we hear or read about something negative involving the African-American community on our televisions; in our newspapers; on social media or on our smart phones.  It doesn’t matter whether it’s the 5, 6 or 10 o’clock news; we are constantly bombarded with a myriad of stories that seek to bring a negative depiction of the Black community.

The lack of monetary resources in the Black community has led to high unemployment and a culture of high unemployment, murder and rampant crime.

It truly bothers me when I see these stories permeating through our various media channels and it always makes me want to challenge these media outlets to refrain from reporting on Black people in a negative light.  But, then there is the flip-side of the situation.

It bothers me even more, when I see and know that my people are adding fuel to the fire, by committing the very acts that I challenge these media outlets not to routinely report about.

Do I believe that the mainstream media goes overboard and reports differently when it comes to their coverage of African-Americans?  Absolutely!

However, the fact that we, as Black people, make it so easy for these media outlets to report news involving Black people the way they do is an issue that we really need to address.

I know that I have had countless conversations with my people, and it seems like the more I talk,black man arrested the worse things get for many of them.  I have warned, encouraged, motivated, educated and offered assistance to my people, and it saddens me how so many people ignore it or show a lack of appreciation for it.  There are many who are willing and eager to learn and accept offerings to better themselves, but you have a significant number of people who seem to be content with remaining ignorant and accepting of a culture of behavioral ills.

When I look at the news and see how Black people are at the focal point of every major negative issue, that concerns me.  Moreover, I don’t understand why we aren’t collectively outraged about it, to the point where we take a collective stand to deal with these issues.

Aren’t we sick and tired of seeing our people getting caught up in the legal system?  Aren’t we sick and tired of seeing drugs and crime ravish our communities?  Aren’t we sick and tired of seeing us lose jobs, land and schools in our communities?  Aren’t we sick and tired of seeing us lead the nation in every negative health-related issue in our communities?  Aren’t we sick and tired of having no true political clout and strength?  Aren’t we sick and tired of looking for someone else to do for us, what we can so aptly do for ourselves?  Aren’t we sick and tired of being sick and tired?  I know I am!

Recently, I went by my old neighborhood to check on some things.  While riding down my old street, I ran across a longtime friend of mine who grew up on the street with me, and we began to talk.  We quickly caught up on old times and began talking about the things each of us had been doing lately. He proceeds to tell me about one of our good friends, who is doing another bid in jail for drugs and guns.  Mind you, he has been incarcerated several times before, as early as his teenage years.  He tried to do right for a minute, but eventually chose to jump back into making the very decisions that got him caught up the first time.

Like I said, we should be sick and tired of seeing people like my friend go to jail for something that they should be sick and tired of themselves.

My friend also told me about one of our older neighbors on the street, who had recently died.  The man had a daughter that had been raised there and had went away for school, and when I asked him if the man’s daughter was going to be inheriting the house, he proceeded to inform me that the man didn’t own the house, but had been renting the house for nearly 50 years. Renting for 50 years?

Like I said, we should be sick and tired of seeing our people squander money and leave nothing to their children.

Lastly, my friend and I spoke for about thirDrug exchangety minutes about his immediate need for gainful employment and his wanting to change the direction of his life; being a man in his mid-30’s with no transportation or idea of where to start fresh.  I listened to him and then immediately encouraged him to allow me to work with him to come up with a short-term plan to address his immediate need and then come up with a long-term goal that would eradicate the idea he had of feeling compelled to sell drugs to make a living. I also gave him my direct cell number and told him that he and I should work together on it.  Since that discussion, I haven’t heard from him.

Like I said, we should be sick and tired of seeing our people squander their talent and opportunities, and refusing to take advantage of the resources that are available to them.

So, what’s my point?  First off, the struggle is real, but we must be willing to work with those who need guidance and assistance in this world and stop making excuses for the people who are not committed to making decisions to better their lives and do what is right.

I often ask myself why I was able to change course and my mindset and many of my friends and associates haven’t. It definitely wasn’t because I was better than they were, because we pretty much had the same circumstances and started in the same place.

It took every bit of the grace of God on my life, but more importantly, it took me having a made up mind to be sick and tired of being sick and tired of living the way I was.

So the question I have for you my friend is, if you are truly sick and tired, what are you going to do about it?

Jeffrey L. Boney serves as Associate Editor and is an award-winning journalist for the Houston Forward Times newspaper.  Jeffrey is a Next Generation Project Fellow, dynamic, international speaker, experienced entrepreneur, business development strategist and Founder/CEO of the Texas Business Alliance.  If you would like to request Jeffrey as a speaker, you can reach him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


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