Would you like to know one of the things I did when gas prices started heading
upward? Made sure that the cars in the Ramey household had locking gas tank
caps. Was I being cruel? Did I not trust my ‘fellow man or woman’?
On the contrary--I was exercising wisdom I had obtained in the seventies. You
see back then the gas prices started heading slowly--then quickly--out of sight,
then became hard to buy because of tight supplies.
The ‘old school’ saying still rings true: If one remembers their
history, makes an effort to study it--and learn from it--one can face any storm
It’s a true shame that more of us like to pretend that we don’t
have pasts. Each one of us lives in a part of the country where things may ‘crash’ in
upon us. In the south, one must deal with hurricanes. In the west, one must
wrestle with water shortages and brush fires. In the east, one must deal with
extreme cold and heat during certain times of the year. And, here in the mighty
Midwest, one must be familiar with snow, ice, freezing rain, and the normal
byproducts of having four seasons.
When I reflect upon the tragedy in New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina--strictly
as an outsider--the one central thing that amazes me is the lack of understanding
on so many levels. Public officials failed to fully plan, and were amazed that
the plans they DID have--FAILED. Folk were given the option of leaving or staying--and
the ones who DID stay were amazed that they went from residents--to refugees.
Entertainers went into their ‘agenda’ mode, instead of parting
with some of their OWN riches to help out their customers. Even the NFL made
sure that the New Orleans Saints managed to get ‘out of Dodge’;
silent as to how their fan base was going to survive safe, and unharmed.
I will deal with the race issue later in my column.
MARK IT! HISTORY DOES REPEAT ITSELF:
Many of us are familiar with the saying: “What goes around comes around”.
This may be seen as man’s attempt in sounding ‘spiritual’.
However, Solomon said it much better in the Book of Ecclesiastes: “There
IS nothing new under the sun”.
History has a way of repeating itself for each new generation.
We are in a new century. Thus, those things that happened in the weather realm
at least 100 years ago are right on track to happen again. In layman’s
terms, get out your history books brothers; we may be getting ready to take
a wild ride of historical proportions. In spite of our growth in the areas
of technology, finance, and knowledge, we still manage to come up short in
the area of understanding.
Put it this way. A young man decides to ‘start ditching’ school
at the age of 13 or 14. By the time he reaches 16 or 17, he realizes that he
has ‘missed’ about one to two years of his academic growth. Looking
back at his family tree, we find that mother, father, or a grandparent had
the same path of destructive antics. The end results are still going to be
the same for this young man. Unless he wises up he will become a historical
statistic. His foundation is about ready to cave in, and it will take years
to repair the damage he has done to himself--regardless of the ‘warnings’ he
has received from friends, teachers, and the community.
USE OF COMMON SENSE--MANDATORY:
One of the other things I remember from history--especially in times of local
law enforcement breakdown: Shoot to kill orders are a necessity. No matter
the excuse, the lawless cannot be allowed to rule the streets, regardless
of color. To paraphrase Dick Gregory: “Y’all know that property
has always been held to a higher value than lives.”
I recall the urban riots of the sixties--especially after the murder of Dr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. We were far enough away from the main patrol routes
of the Ohio National Guard, but could still hear those jeeps making the rounds.
The word went around the hood that those brothers in uniform meant business.
There was a curfew, and leave your ‘strap’ at home; there WERE
folk who were not afraid to use deadly force to keep things in line.
This modern mentality of ‘it’s OK to talk any way you want to
those in authority’ got a real ‘upside the head slap of reality’ when
folks with badges and shotguns arrived on the scene. Was it pretty, no. Was
it needed, Y-E-S! The law abiding needed to know that the local cops--and later
the military--were on the job.
We all know what happens when they are NOT on the job.
How can I speak on these things?
I am wise enough to remember history.
To my young brothers: get wisdom, learn her lessons and apply them.
This nation is nowhere NEAR finished being taken to school. Suffice it to
say that in a day and age when racism should be on the decrease, the cameras
were still trained on my people, while the ‘other looters’ away
from the public eye (and of a different hue) were allowed to continue their
efforts unchecked by law enforcement.
OH YES, THE RACE CARD:
On that note, before we wrap it up for this month, I did want to bring up the
race issue. Just from the historical standpoint, mind you.
Please keep in mind that I’m stating--not hating.
While watching the network coverage, one could say that racism may be alive
and well in America through the eye of the camera, but not through the doorway
of the heart.
Cameras don’t blink. It was easy to tell who was ‘walking it’ and
who was ‘talking it’. Many of us who are ‘over 40’ and
have come through the ‘summer of love’ generation, the marches,
pickets and protests know one fact of history: In times of stress, turmoil,
and chaos, folk are going to revert back to who they are! The ‘closet
redneck’ will surface, whether they are wearing TV makeup and ‘come
out’ on camera; or are shielded by a government position. That’s
the color card, right on the table, baby!
Mark this fact also--the ‘true vines’ always surface. The folks
who have had a real meeting with Jesus Christ, and can walk the talk and live
the life. They will also take their place before the camera. I witnessed BLACK
brothers on the same TV screen who were cops, doctors, and military men doing
the job that some folk say we are incapable of doing. These brothers were not
in it for the money, face time, getting their name in the paper or promise
of promotion. They have learned and understand history and were all about writing
their own chapter.
Sure, such labors and appearances by the brotherhood may not seem like much
now. However, I do recall that one brother was in the right place, in the right
time, for what was a disaster more than 200 years ago and we still speak his
name with great reverence.
The disaster: the early months before the start of the Revolutionary War.
The man: Crispus Attucks.
MIKE RAMEY is the author of THE MANHOOD LINE. A syndicated, monthly
column written for men from a biblical, business, and common sense perspective.
It appears on fine websites around the world. Emails, Bmails and Pmails are welcomed
to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2005 Mike Ramey/Barnstorm Communications International.
Used by permission, BlackandChristian.com, 2005.