FEATURE POST: The Death of My People


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There are numerous reports about how hypertension is a leading killer of black folks, then there’s other studies that say it’s HIV/AIDS, then there are studies saying it’s diabetes. I’ve heard gang violence is a leading killer, I’ve also heard that the police kill more of our people than anything else.. BUT as I sit back and analyze what I see daily, and what is being told to me by various media outlets and read reports from scholarly scientific studies. I have to wonder where does ignorance play its part in all of this. Now, I am not speaking of the ignorance of not knowing something; in some respects that is somewhat excusable. If you don’t know, then you don’t know; I understand.

What worries me about my people is the ignorance of KNOWING. Knowing the right thing to do and not doing it. The ignorance of saying ‘You acting like them white folks’ when something is done correctly (the first time), or on time. The ignorance of copping an attitude when you are being corrected because the person telling you ‘Ain’t yo mama’ or even worse IS your momma and is still ignored. The ignorance of settling for second class as a people and rewarding our adults and even worse our children for mediocrity. The ignorance of knowing that yes hypertension and diabetes are leading killers but choosing to continue eat high sodium and fatty foods. The ignorance of knowing that HIV/AIDS is high among our people whether you are gay or straight and STILL deciding to remain unprotected. The ignorance of continuing and repeating the senseless deprivation of our communities that gang violence perpetuates and teaching our youth that the same shit that stopped you from succeeding in life is cool.

Ignorance in my mind is a choice. A choice in choosing to ignore your conscience.

It hurts me to watch my people walk around knowingly ignorant. I myself am not so far removed from being ignorant in many ways that I am speaking with a self-righteous indignation to those who are STILL walking around in the matrix so-to-speak. But as I come into my Conscience self, I see things differently. It troubles me at times to where I get so frustrated I stop talking and just sit. I must admit I do think more about my actions, words and also thoughts (yes I think about my thoughts) I now focus on surrounding myself with those who not only focus on lifting themselves out of ignorance and self-loathing. But also understand enough to help and enlighten respectfully those still in the trap (all definitions of the word apply here)

In all fairness I was taught differently than some and not enough as most.


Ignorance is not bliss, it is ugly.. It is fodder for Worldstarhiphop videos and arguments for pro-Willie Lynch Letter advocates. It is Anti Garvey, King, X, Dubois, Farrakhan or whatever other school of thought you follow.

It is anti survival for our people..

Written by Jayson Smith

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