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J Boney Speaks ColumnI am often amazed at the brazen audacity that many people have, that allows them to tell themselves that it is okay to deliberately seek out and harm another person.  

You read about story after story in the news about a crime or a murder being committed, along with other elements of hate being expressed. The Trayvon Martin shooting opened up a wound that has never healed in this country between whites and blacks, causing everyone to revisit an ugly past full of ugly actions toward blacks in this country.

v17_black_on_black_crimeBlack people have found themselves fighting against the brutality of slavery, as well as the economic, social, political and judicial implications of slavery. There is no denying that black people have historically suffered at the hands of white people in this country and have had to deal with the recovery aspects of what was taken and withheld from us, along with building a strong foundation ourselves.

Sadly though, greediness and a lust for power and position have caused many of us to become our own worst oppressor.

Black on black murders continues to plague our communities. Every day, you hear about senseless killings over senseless things. Things such as gang violence, black people ego-tripping or black people simply trying to prove who the bigger man or woman is, lead to this epidemic continuing to plague the black community. This goes beyond the committed actions themselves; it goes to root of the issue plaguing black people.

See, for me it’s not just the black on black murder crimes that concern me the most.

The thing that concerns me the most is the current state of mind of black people. If the state of the black mind is right, then our actions will follow, producing more positive reports and the positive results.

We are so quick to blame the media, or the white man, or the system, or the government or anyone that looks like we can blame, instead of looking in the mirror at ourselves. We need to stop lying to ourselves about where we are and face it head on. We need to stop pacifying one another and tell the truth about things, so we can acknowledge those things and address those things.

The fact of the matter is we live in a ‘real world’ that is controlled by a majority of people that don’t look like us.   Black people make up 12.6% of the U.S. population, while whites make up 72.4%. So how are you going to really make a difference and be considered relevant if you are outnumbered nearly 6 to 1?

By working together and being on one accord, that’s how. As they say, there is power in unity. But we have had a real serious problem with this for some time, especially since the passage of the Civil Rights Act and desegregation.

Whether you start talking about family members, close friends, co-workers or just plain ole’ associates, I have seen so many black people get stabbed in the back and stab others in the back by their own people, all for the sake of a position or some crumbs from the table.

I have seen black people disrespect, tell lies on and mistreat their own people, so as to be the chief Negro at the head of the table, when in essence their power is relative and can be taken away at any time.

We see it when black people refuse to support their own businesses and use excuses as to why they don’t. For many, Mr. Charlie’s ice has to be so much colder than our own. We see it when we eat at the trendy and swanky establishments that are frequented by white people, even though they really don’t want you there, regardless of your level of education completed, current salary or job title.

We see it when black people are in positions of decision making capabilities, and they want you to beg them for an opportunity or support, so their egos can be fulfilled. We see it when we degrade our own people by calling them terms like ‘ghetto’ and calling predominately black areas of town ‘the hood’. We see it when we move out of our own neighborhoods to move to the next best place in Houston, only to be treated the same way we would be treated anywhere else.

We see it when we consider it cool to walk around looking hard and seeking an opportunity to prove that toughness by pulling a gun or a weapon to do harm to another black person for no other purpose than to win at being tough. We see it when we expect black businesses to bust their butts to provide you great service, while seeking to get them to reduce their price and treat you like a flea market vendor.

But where does this mentality stem from and why is it so prevalent? Why is it that most of the people that you work the hardest for, appreciate it the least?

I mean, I know that I have agreed to help people for nothing in return and even offer discounted rates for services rendered, but get treated like they paid full price. I wholeheartedly believe that black people have a bright future as a people. The things that we bring to the table make us extremely relevant. We must own our resources (people resources, mental resources, financial resources, physical resources, etc.) and not give them away like they don’t matter.

Slavery did impact us as black people and has caused many of us to hold on to that. Many times we hold on to things and never forgive those people, when those people have moved on with their lives and don’t even think about it and may not even care. We don’t have to forget what happened to us, but we need to forgive and get our act together and focus on us!

As Jesus hung and died on the cross, he uttered the words “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” Jesus did not say to forget about what happened, He simply asked God to forgive them.

I want to say though, that before we start looking at other people to deal with concerning what has happened to black people, we need to first start sweeping around our own front door and stopping this black on black madness.

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

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