LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

I Got Your Back

How often do we hear the phrase” I got your back.” At first glance, it seems innocent enough.  However, take the time to really study the phrase.  Most noticeably, it suggests being behind and not out front.  Secondly, it suggests someone else will break the trail and will be the first exposed to the element. It is akin to being the point man in a military squad.  The person out front will in all likelihood be the first shot at.  It also suggests an unwillingness to take risks and expose oneself to the unknown.

When you constantly follow, you really do not see what is ahead. Often times, it is too late to take a different path when trouble starts, when you are walking lockstep behind someone else. Finally, it means, in many quarters, that no matter what a person does, you will cover for them.  Whatever it takes, I am behind you. I will lie, steal, cheat, pretend ignorance, or even take a life if it is necessary to cover for you. This is exactly why so many of our folks are charged with being an accessory in criminal activities. Create your own path.  Not blindly, but create a path based on sound principles and tried and true practices. 

Just think for a minute: who has your parents’ backs when they come to the jailhouse to go your bail? Who has your parents’ backs as they struggle to keep you in school? Who has your parents’ backs when they buy you expensive apparel that they can ill afford? Who has your parents’ backs when they come to the prisons on visitor’s day?  Who has your parents’ back when they trudge off to work while you sit at home watching television and drinking beer?

I think it is time to invent another phrase. I’ve got your front has a nice ring to it.  Try leading rather than following all of the time. Try leading others in the right direction for a change.   Lift your head up so you can see where you are going, and stop staring at the backs of others.

There is so much work to do in our communities. There is work for everyone-Mothers, fathers, uncles, aunts, grandparents, cousins, acquaintances, and yes, even you.  All who associates themselves with the community must pitch in and help redirect the focus of our people.  Sights and sounds that older generations did not have to deal with have overtaken our children tender little minds and bodies.  Many of us applauded when Mr. Johnson, started BET (Black Entertainment Television) because of what we thought it would bring to the black community.  I, for one want my applause back.  More of us need to get out front in this area. We need to demand that BET stop making huge volumes of smut available to our children.


Copyright 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
For reprint permission contact:
L.C. Thornton at


August 13, 2006 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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