Working for Change

by Young Che on May 23, 2008


One of the lines from a classic Mobb Deep song (survival of the fittest) starts off something like this, “There’s a war goin on outside…” I’m not sure of the rest of the lyrics right now but they often come to mind whenever I think of my own personal struggle to overcome my own inertia to do what it is that is required of me today. Our people are dying in the streets and if I don’t step up to do all within my power to help to offset this situation then I am signing my own death certificate as well.

It feels like we’re starting all over. I have been at this for fourteen years now. I would have never imagined that we were this far away. In a lot of ways it really seems like we are stuck in the twilight zone. We are not learning the lessons of history. We are doomed to repeat ourselves unless we recognize ourselves and how we fit into the bigger picture. Why is KRS-ONE doing another Stop the Violence Tour? We are repeating history because it is necessary. We did not learn the lessons of the eighties and early nineties. Then we were duped by a clever manipulator of images and mind control. He allowed us to publish the worst of our experiences which in turn defined our whole existence. We refer to it as Hip Hop culture. Yes we created it but we do not control it.

I gave my heart to the mission of resurrecting our people only to learn that it is so much harder than it looks. Now I am being called by God to give more. Wow, I thought that I’d done my part. Where is the cavalry? This war is ongoing and we can’t stop fighting until the war is won. We are still fighting for our liberation.

We’ve been building up our strength little by little so that we can go into this decisive battle with the right spirit. Today we went into the Iberville Project, one of the few remaining in the city. Its days have got to be numbered because there is a high-priced condominium nearing completion right across the street from it. I can’t see how they can possibly sell the idea of a high priced condo right across from one of the most infamous projects in the country. Well at least the modern urbanites who will inhabit the new digs won’t have to travel far to get their drugs of choice, even though I’m sure they’d much rather the day when they can just order them over the internet.

For the last couple of months I’d been thinking about “easier” ways to reach our people. Well, the truth is that the ones most in need of help, support, assistance and other resources necessary for them to get the most out of this life are not necessarily easy to reach. If they were easier to reach we probably wouldn’t be having the black on black violent epidemic we are experiencing. We are facing a very dark hour as a people. The polar bear’s are not the only mammal facing extinction. The black man and woman of America are facing extinction as well and it has nothing to do with global warming.

For the last eight months or so we have been attempting to go out into the community to spread the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to our people. Prior to Hurricane Katrina I think we had grown somewhat complacent in regards to the overall mission of going after our people. Then of course Hurricane Katrina hit and we all had to struggle to put our lives back into a “normal” state. We all were struggling to survive and figure out our next step. This never diminished the fact that our people were still suffering from a various forms of institutionalized norms which keep us as a people in a perpetual state of poverty and ignorance. We suffer from a lack of knowledge.

Walking through the Iberville Projects and interacting with our people is a necessary component of our work. We have to engage with our people wherever they are in order to make a difference in their lives. We also can’t do it as a feel good mechanism for ourselves. We have to commit to ourselves to helping those most in need all over the city, one neighborhood at a time. We have done it before in our past right here in New Orleans with outstanding results. We know how to do it and we have begun the next logical step; doing it. Overall we had a great time and the response was good. Naturally our people are going to measure our attempts to assist them carefully because they are accustomed to false promises only to realize that no one in particular cares enough about their condition to commit to helping them continually. We are even guilty of not staying the course. There are a list of reasons/excuses which could easily describe why we have such a hard time committing to the work of resurrecting our people. However, we can no longer afford to allow any kind of obstacle stand in our way of helping our people to realize that they can have the very best in this life in spite of their current reality.

We know the power of the message of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad first hand because of the difference it made in so many lives all over this country. Some of our people enjoy success as a direct result of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad without really knowing that He paved the way. Look at the success of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. He is doing the work of his teacher and is making a difference in the lives of all those who want to improve their lives. He is also not accepting any excuse from us who claim to want to help him. He is pushing us to help our people whether they know they need help or not. They are not aware at times that they have to be helped enough to see the necessity to want to help themselves.

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