By: Reginald Kenneth Mathes, MPA
As a victim of Black-on-Black gun violence, I am familiar with returning home from college and experiencing how bullets feel. Sadly, Darius Barnes of Houston Baptist University was not as fortunate as I was, his life was taken. Darius Lee was on his way to graduate in December and was ready to start a new life after graduation. I’m sure he had dreams of being successful either on the court or off the court, however, those dreams were cut short at the hands of a gunman in his hometown of Harlem, New York. Recently, I heard a “Youtuber” presume that “a prophet is not welcome in his hometown”. Sadly, I have discovered this to be true all around the country in the Black community. As a new father, I can’t even imagine the pain and agony his mother and father are going through right now.
Shortly after pursuing a PhD in Higher Education Administration at Morgan State University, I discovered a lecturer by the name of Dr. Neely Fuller Jr. His lectures pertained mostly to the Black community and how racism and White Supremacy has poisoned the minds of Blacks. Essentially, he presumes that institutional and systematic racism has strategically caused Blacks to hate each other. I hate to admit it, but I think he’s right. I’m sure Darius Lee had no clue about the hate among Blacks and how deep rooted it is as he was traveling back home from Houston to Harlem, New York. However, even if he did understand the teachings of Neely Fuller Jr, who doesn’t think it’s safe to attend a family barbeque at your own home? I remember being terrified to return home in 2021 after being gone ten years, because I knew I had discovered what I refer to as the “Black Secret”.
“We hate each other”. Yes, it’s a secret in the Black community that former NBA star Charles Barkley referred to as “a dirty little secret” in the Black community. In fact, I think, Dr. Boyce Watkins a graduate of Indiana University’s Finance PhD program would agree with Charles Barkley. Recently, Dr. Watkins stated a few weeks ago on his podcast “we hate the shit out of each other”. He was talking about Blacks hating Blacks. As an educator myself at an HBCU, I wish I had the chance to introduce the teachings of Dr. Watkins and Dr. Fuller to not only Darius Lee, but one of our students who was recently gunned down as well. It is essential that our Black parents, teens, families, teachers, and community organizers educate our people on the hate we have for one another. It’s sad, however, I think my understanding of this hate has saved my life thus far. After studying Black on Black crime for the last seven years, I discovered that summer cook outs and barbecues and even family reunions are dangerous in our community.
Dr. Neely Fuller Jr presumes that in the Black community, you can just walk down the street and listen to the conversations we are having on the phone. He presumes that if you pay attention, you will hear us (Blacks) arguing and stirring up poison among one another. According to Dr. Neely Fuller Jr, stirring up poison essentially means perpetuating more hate among each other. Again, I hate to admit it, Dr. Neely Fuller Jr is correct. In addition, Dr. Neely Fuller Jr, has recommended that Blacks need to live by his code that is mentioned in his book titled” The United Independent Compensatory Code/System/Concept: A Compensatory Counter Racist Code” (1984). “No contact, no conflict” is a part of his code that he recommends us (Blacks) to live by. Essentially, he presumes that we should not even contact each other unless we are conversing about something constructive that has value. Has the Black community arrived at the point to where we cannot have family cookouts without one of our less fortunate in the neighborhood wanting to gun us down? Does “no contact, no conflict” essentially mean stay completely away from each other to stay alive? Everyday, I get alerts to my phone regarding Black-on-Black gun violence. Can we even begin to imagine how much worse it’s going to get as gas prices surge to all new highs?