Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who governs the country of Dubai, reportedly said, “My grandfather rode a camel, my father rode a camel, I drive a Mercedes, my son drives a Land Rover, and my grandson is going to drive a Land Rover, but my great-grandson is going to ride a camel.”

When asked why, he responded, “Hard times create strong men, strong men create good times. Good times create weak men, weak men create hard times.” 

For the purpose of this conversation, the term “men” in this column will refer to both male and female. Reading his quote, I had to agree. Right now, the Black community is filled with weak people. What other reason could possibly explain the community’s response to the horrific slaughter/assassination of a 7-year-old child riding in the backseat of a car going through the McDonald’s drive-thru? Since when did a Happy Meal include six bullets to the body? Upon learning/seeing/hearing of this horrific event, did the community rise up, searching every nook and cranny to find the shooters? Did business and community residents in the area pull every bit of security camera footage to help identify the baby killers? Did people stand up and begin to name the kind of car and the individuals in it? Was there a level of insult and disgust finally reached so that relatives would turn in their criminal relatives because they did not want to be associated with individuals who would murder a child? 

Did the churches that sit three to a block with no grocery store in sight hold a “fire and brimstone” vigil and begin a prayer to God to smite the individuals who could do that to a kid? Was the Black community finally at our breaking point when it comes to the senseless violence and back-and-forth gang warfare being waged and perpetrated from within? Was a strong message finally sent to the criminal element that we are not going to take it anymore? 

Hell no! In a community where ‘I’ll beat your ass” is a common, everyday tough refrain, the response was a fricking balloon release. I am certain that action did not send terror into the hearts, minds, and souls of those who committed this heinous act. And it surely didn’t send a message to future killers to make them think twice before attempting such a stunt.

What it did was validate what Sheikh Mohammed said. We we have weak people who, because of their inactions and tolerance of anything and everything, have allowed bad behavior to flourish, thus producing the hard times we currently live in.

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