Planning for our own success

00-jbutler01Are we living in the last days? If so, what are we doing about it? It seems the world is coming apart at the seams. The Muslims are attacking the Christians, the Christians are attacking the Muslims; Africa is under siege, the Earth is shaking, the United States is waging war on its African-American citizens, but why are you surprised? Yes, we live in the land of the free and home of the brave and are still not equal. Now what? Do you think we can make people care about us before we can care about ourselves?

I am proud to see our people finally coming together and standing as one unit. Now what?

Now that we all agree that we are not going to let anyone come into our communities and kill our people without a fight, we need to use the moment to improve who we are and how we are perceived.

Our action plan has to include more than threatening a march, pointing a finger and waiting to see if the Department of Justice is going to convict officers for their crimes. That is a distraction. It’s more than tearing up buildings, throwing rocks and dancing in the street for minor victories. It’s not about being interviewed for your perspective on the problem of police brutality. It’s succeeding out loud. It’s about making our money speak for us.

‘Back to the drawing board’
It’s about going back to the drawing board to see what part we play in making America a better place for ourselves. The generation before us changed their status by getting educated, by changing their style of dress and their manner of communication. They outsmarted their opponent.

We have to change how we are living. Point blank. Stop fronting like these killings are not exposing a bigger problem. We can’t expect to be treated fairly when we don’t even treat each other fairly. We turn up our noses and look down on our own people the same way these cops and the rest of America does. We just don’t kill people in the exchange. We have become complacent with a part of the community that is underperforming.

Everybody is toting signs saying “Black Lives Matter,” but who are we trying to convince? The world around us or ourselves? My beef is while we are rallying for justice we are leaving out a few key factors that are necessary for growth and development. How are we jumping out in the streets fighting the establishment, but not changing how we spend our money? Why is that not #1 on the agenda?

Furthermore, if we are asking them to grow then we have to grow. We can’t spit in the face of our oppressor and then ask them to help us in the same breath. We have to have a plan for our own success.

It’s deeper than officers abusing the law, the war been going on and we have known it.

Jineea Butler, founder of the Social Services of Hip Hop and the Hip Hop Union, can be reached at or Tweet her at @flygirlladyjay.



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