I couldn’t help putting my iPad down to pause for reflection after reading this line. For some reason it resonated deeply with me. Maybe it was the prior sentence that said losing your shield in an unforgivable offense. Maybe it was because it was about the warriors of Sparta. Maybe it’s because that’s what’s been missing from the equation. It makes me think about who I’m fighting for, but bigger than that. What are we as Blacks fighting for? Where is my shield and why should I fight to not lose it?
I’ve been asking myself this question for years and it’s fitting that the time for it to reveal itself so clearly is now. How I responded to this, was to think of my fellow athletes and entertainers. Jay Z and his $100m house and $30m watch that he talks about in he and Beyonce’ new album. Or the many cars of Floyd Mayweather. The list goes on with our icons and the markers of wealth. But why are we praising the possessions of others, while we are fighting a losing battle. With so much poverty in Black America, I don’t understand how we support our celebrities, yet do not demand action from them. After all, their money is our money, Andrew Carnegie understood this aspect of wealth, he also understood the responsibility that comes with it. Our consumerism and support pays the bills. We see the celebrities come out in support of mass protests on inflammatory situations. They walk and march with us then. But what about on the way to the grocery store to buy food. What has the music we support, the films we support added to our lives? Where has protesting police brutality gotten us? After the protest, we walk back into the same longterm injustices. The ones that keep us stuck.
This all comes down to leadership. There is no sense of safety nor a sense of trust with the Black community or within the Black community. It’s hard to work together and support one another that way. We are struggling and it’s only going to get worse. We are in a battle. For our longterm collective well-being. At this point, I am no longer impressed with individual signs of wealth. I don’t care about your car, clothes, jewelry or what you drink. They’re all most likely non black owned anyway. I want to see the shields and how we are protecting the man next to us. We need to prioritize priorities. Right now, our priority should be in building a new future. We need shields if we are to ever end the longterm inequality living in the Black community.