BLACK FLAG : AMERICA FORCED TO CHANGE
By Lorenzo "Renz Julian" King
Being followed around my East Bay neighborhood, questioned if I live here, and getting the dirty looks from the entitled oppressors has become my new norm. I bought a brand new home in this nice area and to raise a family and start a new life yet still can never feel too comfortable with all that’s going on in the world today. As I do my morning jog I look over my shoulder and see a cop car slowly trailing me and looking at me like I don’t belong in this rich white neighborhood. Is it because of my hoodie and beanie? Or is it the mask (bandana) I now wear due to the Covid-19 requirements making me look like a burglar or gangbanger? I don’t really care what I look like to them, one should never judge a book by its cover. So after all the black men killed by police in America, whether jogging while black (Ahmed Arbery), or simply walking with a hoodie on (Trayvonn Martin), when will America stop hiring these fearful racist officers, that use aggressive force towards blacks they automatically think are criminals? When will these fearful entitled stop stereotyping us as being up to no good crooks that don’t belong in their neighborhood? Now I don’t want to generalize all of one race, I friends and loved one of all races, but this racism against blacks that still exists in 2020 is unbelievable. This latest George Floyd incident got my blood boiling yet it gives me a feeling of deja vu, like this is the norm when I know it shouldn’t be. So what can we do to force change? I put together my 5 steps to get us on the right course. Now these are my opinions and I am up to debate and take constructive criticism, but we all should at least agree that something needs to be done to create change.
1. Police Reform-
I think there needs to be new standards or requirements to become an officer. There should be a deeper analysis of the applicants psychological profile. The current requirements seem far to lenient to let all these bad apples pass thru. This is why we have so many police shootings of unarmed black men. These officers are unstable mentally under fire, and therefore unqualified. Stiffer education requirements and a more stringent background check and interview process should be implemented immediately. I actually think we really need to totally tear down the current way of doing things and re-brand them because there is a total lack of trust in the police in our community.
2. Political Empowerment-
I myself have been guilty of ignoring the political process due to lack of trust and a pessimistic outlook due to the status quo not changing during my lifetime. However now I feel I can no longer afford to do that. Whether its forming a new political party with the emphasis on African American social and economic empowerment, or joining a current under represented party that has my best interest in mind. I don’t have all the answers but I know that the current way things are set up isn’t working, and we need to change it up. A black nation succeeding from the union is a radical idea that I’d normally want not to talk about, yet in a way its not such a radical thought. With our incarceration and homicide rates where they are, now more than ever its evident that we need to come together as a unit in this country, so that moving forward we can be stronger.
3. Family Structure-
Growing up without a father during the 80’s crack epidemic in the east Bay Area taught me a lot. I had to learn to be a man on from my mom, and from people I hung out with. Thanks to a few of her spouses over the years I did learn and am greatful for the time they looked out for me, however without my biological father around I was bitter, angry, with a chip on my shoulder. Keeping the family together is crucial, and creates a healthy environment. Too many of my friends grew up in broken homes, and lacked a mentor or guidance which is unfortunate. In entertainment culture I was force-fed images of pimpin, gangsterism, and drug dealing which is an every day occurrence in the neighborhoods I’ve lived in, but for it to be looked at as the norm is a problem. Without a father that’s the lifestyle I looked up to and now I realize it was all BS. It seems thats what the government or powers that be wanted to be engraved in our minds in order to destroy, divide and conquer the black family. When you read about conspiracy theories such as Cointelpro operation to bring down the Black Panthers, and the Iran-contra scandal to flood California with cocaine, it makes you wonder if we’ve been set up and are fighting a never ending losing battle in this country. So therefore we as men need to focus on keeping the family unit together, being a strong fatherly presence to our kids, and positive mentors in our communities. This needs to become the new cool in 2020 moving forward.
4. Community Protection-
Instead of mean muggin’ each other and having our guard up immediately when we see each other, now more then ever brothers need to come together. We need to form a united front in each neighborhood and pool our resources together. If any threat of violence whether it be from the police or anyone to our men, women, and children immediate defense mechanisms need to be activated. Lets know the state guidelines for firearms and protect ourselves and our homes accordingly. Stay physically and mentally ready with proper physical fitness, healthy living, and educational awareness of topics that affect our total well being. No more hatin’ on the next man for what he has, we need to connect and uplift each other, and utilize our strengths to help others in need of assistance in our communities.
5. Trade Game-
For our own economic stimulus let’s trade game with each other, maybe learn a trade and start our own businesses. Why not support these black owned businesses and keep the dollar in our community. Too many times I’ve seen people sharing posts supporting things from athletes or entertainers they don’t even know, but won’t share their own friends business page or post on social media. A simple like or show of support to your friends and family that are black business owners will go a long way. It saddens me that some close friends of mine I had to let go of because I recognized their jealousy and lack of support for my businesses. I’ve seen people I’ve helped financially and gave them game and counseling for their issues, turn around and go silent as crickets in the night when my career and businesses started blossoming. Some even went out of their way to try and ruin me, slander, my name, and steal from me. We know who our leaders are in our community, let’s not try to destroy them, how about learn from them. The old saying of “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” holds true today. Everyone can’t be a boss until you learn under another boss and become seasoned. So-called bosses need to step up and develop the young lions, and not withhold game or try to smash on the up and coming. This Willie Lynch mentality is a cancer we must iradicate immediately for us to have a chance in this world.
Black Flag featuring Spice 1 (lyrics)
A mob figga’ verses a ____?
All my ____ unite yes its time for us.
Brainwashed and divided us with ___ books
Willie-lynched and separated us in tribal clicks.
But its our fault right? The alt-right proud of Trump,
At night they outside, torch high clownin’ us.
While we fightin’ over colors, jewelry means nothin’,
See ya brother in the street, no meet and greet, mean mug him.
The cops shot the kid, the white jury seen nothin’.
Zimmerman walking’ free, but you ____ mad at me.
Cause I wanna’ be somthin’.
My best friend, and my brother switched cuz I started succeedin’ seein’ money.
Dream coming’ true they hate you, plot to replace you.
Social media, they on, spreadin’ lies to disgrace you.
State of my black America is that sad.
I’m tearin’ up, throwing’ up my hands, thrown’ up the black flag.
Black Flag, Black Flag
Military mind, time to organize ya trap pad.
Black Flag, Black Flag
Milli’ on the line, I aint leavin’ in a black bag.
Organized they don’t wanna’ see no smoke.
Organized they don’t wanna’ see no smoke.
All the time they want it to be no hope,
Me and my ____ at the ____ store , we so woke.
About the author
Lorenzo "Renz Julian" King is a Bay Area (Oakland/Antioch, Ca) hip hop artist, founder of the record label Field Of Dreamz Ent., & radio station 510radio.com. He's a former Pro and NCAA football player turned entrepreneur, and father of 2.