Saturday, May 25, 2019

Tupac Shakur: 23 Years Later

Written by Alberta Parish

On the day Tupac Shakur died from the result of gunshot wounds, alleged Tupac fans and even those not fans of the late rapper were in the news talking about how great a rapper he was. Black women were seen all over the world crying about the violence in the Black community, and how we need to stop the violence. Twenty-three years later, here we are collectively mourning countless deaths in our community. Not only are we mourning the death of the late entrepreneur and artist Nipsey Hussle but also the unknown faces in our community. A few weeks ago, a Black mother who had 13 children was beaten to death by her boyfriend. Aisha Dixon was murdered in front of some of her children. She also lived about 30 minutes away from where I live. Earlier this week, Demarcus Dragg, 21 years old, was shot and killed in South Fulton Atlanta. These are just the names we know about because their murders were reported by the mainstream media. However, all murders don't get reported. Many murders in Atlanta go unsolved. Many murders around the country are unsolved mysteries. Proximity and lack of resources in the community results in senseless murders. A lack of wealth and resources are major contributing factors to the senseless violence.

The Black Conscious community, the Nation of Islam, the New Panther Party, self-imposed Black leaders like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson as well as the new Black Bourgeoisie in Washington like Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, and countless others despite all their policies have been ineffective in completely stopping or at least slowing down the destruction of the Black community. At this point, there's a segment of the Black community that doesn't want to be saved. The question is, do you want to save yourself? I just don't think this  generation has enough integrity for the fight ahead. Among the first things we need to do is save ourselves from a racist society in which over 50% of Black men end up in prison before the age of 25. We've been talking about police brutality since the Black Panther Party formed, and we saw Black men openly carrying rifles. The same complaints the Black community had in the 1960s are the same ones we still have today.

The same rhetoric spewed after Tupac's murder is the same exact rhetoric that was spewed after Nipsey's murder on March 31, 2019. Twenty-three years later, Black people still have no answers or solutions for the senseless violence in our community. We are a marginalized people who are far more violent toward each other than against the system of racism and white supremacy. Continuing to chase hopes and dreams are not tangible solutions.

In 2019, we need tangible solutions. One way we need tangible solutions is in the form of reparations. We need reparations for the harm that has been done to foundational Black Americans so that we may survive economically in this country. By 2053, Black wealth has been predicted to be zero. We cannot afford to waste another half century hoping things will be better for foundational Black people. We have to work to get tangible solutions.

Every time a Nipsey Hussle gets murdered, we come out in droves and throw a huge celebration for the life of those individuals. But for every Nipsey Hussle that is murdered, there are a hundred Demarcus Draggs and Aisha Dixons that are killed every day in some corner of our community. These people don't receive the same fanfare as a Nipsey Hussle. But their life was also important. There are people that will miss them, too.

Hearing the same rhetoric after 23 years has caused me to believe Black people aren't that serious about true equality in income and economics so that we can actually compete with the rest of the world. What happens next? That remains to be seen.

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