While the nation's attention and our tax dollars are consumed by the fatal occupation of Iraq, battles even more deadly are raging beneath the radar here on the home front, devastating our communities: Billions are spent on weapons, while underfunded public education in underserved areas is a national disgrace-and is in fact a pipeline to a for-profit prison industry that's sucking the lifeblood from our communities, stealing our young, our future and our hope.
More than 44 million people in the United States are without health insurance. Jobs are being lost, exported to exploited foreign workers. Hunger is unattended to, homelessness ignored.
The music made for our kids indicts us: I'm a BK bitch, love to ride dick/ Ass in his face, cock spread out/ Nigga uptown, nigga down south...
We have lost our way-pursuing mainstream measures of success.
It speaks volumes that, after Native Americans, young White males, the heirs to America's material wealth, have the highest suicide rate in the nation. And while their pain and pathology are never on the nightly news, ours always are, out of context and absent any analysis.
Given our history, the wonder is not that so many African-Americans are wounded, but that so many of us have survived. Let's not look for healing in the culture that made us sick. We are each other's keeper.
Pick up the February issue of ESSENCE to read the rest of "In the Spirit" and to see what you can do to move our community forward.
On the scribble board below, tell us what you resolve to do to help your community?