The love, light, and joy of my life, William H. Hinton III, finished his 2nd sophomore semester at the University of Arkansas – Pine Bluff on May 6th. He didn’t make the dean’s list or come away with any other honors, but he passed all his classes and that makes me happy. He, along with many of the other guys who went off to college are home for the summer. As I’m close to some of their moms, I can speak for them when I say, we’re thrilled to have our babies home.
What makes me even happier is the fact that he is alive. He is still in the realm of the living. My son is a 20 year old Black male and every day that I have with him is a blessing beyond anything any of you can imagine unless you are the parent of a Black male. I am fully aware of the fact that my friends who are not Black understand my concern, but their understanding can only go so far. Not because they don’t want to; it’s because they can’t.
I know they love me and my son, but they will never fully understand how it feels like my heart stops beating the minute he leaves my sight and doesn’t resume a half-decent rhythm until I see him walk in again. I would never stifle his growth, his adventure, his life even, by asking him to stay at home. I want him to enjoy his 20s. I want him to enjoy college life. I just don’t want him to die.
From All Angles Come the Enemy
Black males – young boys, teenagers, college students, blue-collar, white-color, and even older men are moving targets in any given situation. Whether it’s unfair treatment in the workplace or being overlooked in the first place when it comes to employment, troubles with the police, groups like the KKK or the Aryan Nation, or most sadly, Black-on-Black crime, they are fighting an uphill battle. Don’t come at me with the notion that all races have troubles — I know that — its just that Black men face more than the average person.
The Numbers Are Outlandish
I don’t care what city you check the statistics for, the numbers are heartbreaking. The number of Black teenage males and men killed every single day is staggering. With each passing day, that number is increasing.
2016 has seen an increase in the number Of violent crimes against African-American men. In Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, and Las Vegas, the number of homicides increased in the first three months of 2016 after killings and other violent crimes also went up in 2015.
In the tiny town of Cullen, Louisiana, which is 10 minures from my home, there was a murder not long ago which nearly shut the entire area down because of the fact that not only did we all know the victim and the suspect, they had been best friends.
The neighboring city of Shreveport has seen a record number of shootings and other violent crimes in recent weeks. Few days has passed when there hasn’t been a news report about another Black man being shot. There is always a vigil being held. It all needs to stop. The most recent crime found an 18 year-old boy shooting and killing a 19 year-old male over $10. That’s stupid.
It’s time for all of this to stop. All we can do is pray.