The Night Milwaukee Burned…… What’s Next??
Written by Danny P Ocean on August 14, 2016
The morning after…….
I sit here thinking as my city still smells like smoke, What’s Next? We should have watched the clues that were laid out before us all summer long and knew at some point this could possibly happen. We should have noticed the current temperature in the United States and realized that something like this could happen. We could have read between the lines of all the reports we like to share on Facebook that details how Milwaukee is the worse city for African Americans to live and realized that yep, something like this could happen. We should have read the history books and saw Detroit, Watts, LA, Ferguson etc. and realized this could happen in Milwaukee. But nope, we ignored the cries of frustration and now sit here “embarrassed”.
But I wonder, how can we truly be “embarrassed” by last night? For years the people saying they are “embarrassed” have ridiculed the people they are now embarrassed by. We have posted “ignorant” videos on Facebook and now we are “embarrassed”. We have mocked the youth for their choice of ignorant music and now are “shocked” that they do ignorant things. We have talked about how the youth aren’t being educated, live in poverty, do criminal activities, and now we are “appalled” by the events that transpired last night? No, we should be “embarrassed” by the fact that we ignored the cries of frustrations.
So again I ask “What’s Next?” Now isn’t the time to point fingers and ask how come?
“How come y’all ain’t do this when such and such got killed?”
“How come y’all burning down your own businesses?”
Instead of divisive questions, we should be asking “What’s Next?” How can we rebuild from this madness? The community is hurting right now and what we don’t need are people throwing rocks from a hill. What we need are answers. What we need is unity. What we need is for less talking and more action. Demand sweat equity from your pastors, community activists, educators, politicians, neighbors, yourself. Now is the time to use elbow grease to repair the fractured soul of the community.
Instead of posting about how funny it is that people stole hair weave or cans of beer we should be posting about WHY we ignored a community for years. I fail to find humor in the fact that some people chose to come up in the hours of despair. I fail to use last night as a moment to “shake my head” at the actions of a few. If we don’t use this as an opportunity to have some productive dialog we will have more moments in the near future where we will be left “shaking our heads!”
We can ignore everything that just happened last night and write it off as a “they know better moment” But clearly they don’t. This is the same city that has been listed as the worse for African-Americans, what did you think would happen? Rainbows and unicorns? This is the same city where Black males are more likely to get arrested than go to college. What did we expect? This is the same city where the educational gap between the Blacks and Whites remain as wide as it was during the Jim Crow days. What did we expect?
No one wanted this, but deep down inside no one should be surprised by this. Eventually shit hits the fan, it always does. So again I ask What’s Next?