by Dr. Boyce Watkins
A new game is being played in the streets. The game is called “knockout” and apparently involves teenagers finding homeless people or random adults on the street, walking up to them and punching the person as hard as they can. The goal of the game is to see if you can knock a person out with one punch, the “one hitter quitter.”
Some of the victims are homeless people and some are regular citizens just like you and me. Of course people are afraid and of course the kids featured in the video (below) are African American. This says nothing to the outrageous things that white kids are doing, which I’ve been observing on college campuses for the last 20 years.
But since this is a website for black people, I would like to talk about our kids. Most of our children aren’t going to be the ones running up and knocking out old people for no reason, but most of our kids probably know another kid who might do it. We’d be lying if we didn’t say that media promotes violent behavior, and commercialized hip-hop’s turn for the worse has only served to glorify the ignorant buffoons who think it’s cool to shoot old ladies in the face (don’t believe me, listen to these lyrics by Lil Wayne – your child can probably recite them).
I received a great deal of opposition from those who objected to my article on “How to Raise a Sorry Azz Black Man,” but I am glad I wrote it. The point behind the piece and the point I am bringing up again, is that young black males need older black men to serve as role models. The problem, however, is that many of these potential role models, husbands and fathers are locked up in a criminal justice system that is hellbent on black male extermination. So, the conservatives and bigots who complain that black people aren’t getting married often fail to mention how the policies they’ve supported have been the greatest deterrent to the building of black families since slavery.
There was a story I told during our New Paradigm forum in Chicago, which I co-hosted with Min. Louis Farrakhan. I told a story about a group of adolescents elephants on a wildlife reserve who were inexplicably killing the rhinos. Those in control of the reserve had no idea why the elephants were testing their strength by attacking innocent rhinos for no reason. The conclusion was that the lack of older male role models for the teens meant that there was no one to help keep these young males in check, which led them to go around the reserve attacking innocent victims.
So, when I heard about teens testing their strength by punching innocent victims in the face (i.e. seeing if they can land a “one hitter-quitter”), I thought about adolescent elephants testing their strength by killing innocent rhinos. Sure, they are animals and we are human, but mammal behavior is somewhat consistent across the animal kingdom. So, the bottom line is that we are in need of black male role models willing to step up to the plate to mentor young men in order to keep them focused and productive.
Mothers can’t do it alone, we need men to step up. Simultaneously, women must open the door for willing fathers to be involved in the lives of their children. It’s typically a two-way street and no parent has a monopoly on natural procreation. If we don’t work harder to raise our sons to become decent human beings, then many of them are going to become highly indecent and possibly even predatory. It is our job to save them.
You can watch the video below.