LC’s Commentary

Listen To The Voice of Reason

Affliction in the Black community

 I remember my Grandmother Maggie Thornton speaking of someone being flicted. She was simply shortening the word afflicted. If I may take liberty with my grandmother’s word- many people in black communities are flicted-plain and simple. Take a moment and look up the word afflict. Webster defines it as; trouble, bother, causes problems, worry, upset, make miserable or distress. It is extremely troubling to see black men and boys wandering through neighborhoods looking like something straight out of vaudeville and/or Ringling Brothers Circus. They are the new clowns without realizing it. Their dress and overall behavior is something to behold. It is especially troubling because most of them do not have a clue how the public views them, and the overall negative affects it has on their lives, relationships and job opportunities. The few who realize their behavior and dress negatively affects them have taken a do not care, so what attitude. Their behavior, especially dress, bothers most people who observe it. However, there are enough people in black families and communities who turn a blind eye and pretend they do not see what is right before their eyes. People wearing obscene dress and exhibiting rude behavior and not being admonished, legitimize their actions. Inappropriate dress and other forms of behavior contrary to societal norms cause problems in communities. Some people feel obligated to say something to people they feel overall behavior is causing problems in the community. Approaching these folks can and do lead to confrontations that if one is not careful can lead to unintended consequences. Many blacks worry about what they see in black communities. They see school age black boys wandering the streets, during school hours, with their pants hanging off their butts, talking on cell phones. They see older mature black men wandering the streets dressed the same way, with a cell phone, beer in a sack and a cheap cigar. Entirely too many black men walk by job sites and see people of another nationality performing work formerly done by blacks and never bat an eye. It is extremely upsetting to see the apathy displayed by a large segment of black men. There seem to be little concern about their stead in life and where it will be when they grow old. Because they are so inclined to be indifferent about their stead in life, many times it falls on their parents and other kinfolks to provide for them. Others take the criminal road to get what they need to survive. This road usually leads to the criminal justice system. Many predominately black communities have many things within that cause them to be distressed-Single parent homes, drugs, high unemployment, high school dropout, robberies, killings, home invasions and other appalling actions, to name a few. Why have our men decided to add additional stress on communities by becoming total buffoons? Why have they chosen their current lifestyles? I guess they know not what they do and black communities will continue to suffer this affliction for God knows how long.

February 24, 2011 Posted by | Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, The Black Family, The Black Man, youth crime | Leave a comment

Someone is looking down on us.

I truly believe that the man whose life was taken at a very young age as he attempted to make life better for all mankind would be visibly shaken, were he to observe current behavior in this nation. It would especially sadden him to see young black men sauntering about with their pants dangling off their butts. He would wonder what in his teachings contributed to their behavior. He would look at the rampant violence taking place in our communities and just shake his head. It may bring a few tears to his eyes.  He would ask the question: why has my message of non-violence suddenly lost its flavor and been replaced with all kinds of unimaginable violence?  The sheer number of violent attacks and victimization of innocent people would deeply trouble Martin. Yes, I am talking about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He might, for a fleeting moment wonder if his work and dying was all in vain. After all, much of what he fought and died for has been lost and replaced with all kind of stupid acts.  Martin fought to see all had access to the ballot box. Today’s voting percentages are dismal and shows no sign of improving.  There are those who think not exercising the right to vote is no big thing. Yet they continually grumble about what takes place in the world of politics.  Fact is; ignorance is the biggest impediment to exercising the right to vote.  Martin fought for equal access to a quality education.  Guess what. Taking advantage of the opportunity to access good schools and take advantage of what lies within has been lost to the Hip Hop culture and mass media.  Little effort and emphasis is put on getting a quality education. Education opens minds and doors.  Martin understood the purpose for getting an education. As Richard Tawney put it, the purpose of education is not happiness, social integration, or political system. Its purpose is at once the discipline of the mind for its own sake.  It is often said-a mind is a terrible thing to waste; so is time. Waste neither.

Martin would look at the makeup of the family and wonder; where have all the fathers gone. As the song says;” has anyone seen them? Society looked up and they were gone.”  Where are the fathers? Look around. Many are the ones wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts. Martin would wonder if they would ever become a real men and not just grown boys.  Somehow, someway, many of us have lost our moral compass. As Lewis Mumford, American writer so aptly put it: man’s chief purpose…is the creation and preservation of values; that is what gives meaning to our civilization, and the participation in this is what gives significance to the individual human life.

Martin was a man of peace. His message was always one of no-violence. He felt an educated and enlighten people would make more gains than a people utilizing violence as a means of seeking improvement in their stead in society. Gandhi preached the same message.


January 21, 2011 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, Respecting learning Institutions, The Black Family, The Black Man, youth crime | Leave a comment


Behold means to watch, take a look at, consider, observe, and view.
Let us apply each one of these synonyms to what is taking place in black society. Are blacks keeping a watchful eye on their children? If they are indeed watching, do they realize what they see? Have they really taken a discriminating look at black men wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts? If black folks are really looking, do they realize what they are looking at? When blacks consider the impact of uneducated black males wandering the streets with their pants dangling off their butts, do they devote adequate time mulling over the negativity this behavior causes? Is adequate time devoted to observing the behavior of black males? Is the black community willing to scrutinize their own and arrive at an unbiased conclusion regarding the problems black males causes in the community? Have blacks seriously considered how black male behavior affects the community and how outsiders view it? How does the black community really view its black males? Is it willing to closely examine black males, analysis discovered problems and take all actions necessary for corrective action? Are black communities up to the challenge of doing all that is necessary to regain control of its black males and the community at large? What will it take to motivate blacks to the point where they will bring about positive changes in neighborhoods? Surely, it is not satisfied with the status quo. Well maybe it is. Lack of real and sustained action rectifying problems suggests many black neighborhoods are satisfied with what takes place within.
Some suggest many problems facing the black community are results of neglect. I read somewhere that we sometime neglect what we do not like to see, and sometime we neglect because we do not see at all. We have to be careful what we neglect. Someone penned the following; the luxury of neglect has to be enjoyed very carefully, or it will make a problem worse. We neglect to deal with many problems in hopes they will go away if we do not pay attention to them; that does not work very often. Look closely at many black communities. Does neglect stare you in the face? Are many problems ignored or shoved aside in hopes someone will come and take care of them?
Behold black people! It is time to stop, look, listen and closely scrutinize what is going on in our communities!

September 12, 2010 Posted by | Angry black youths, Black Youth, Decline Of The Family, Educating black children, The Black Family, The Black Man, youth crime | Leave a comment

Skunks in the work

Approach at your own peril

I grew up in a rural area where there were many dogs-dogs of many different flavors. These dogs roamed freely, because they were not controlled.  Every now and then, one of them would spot a skunk and proceed to examine it. A skunk looks innocent and not very harmful. It will usually turn its back to an intruder if approached-a sign that it does not wish confrontation.  Do not be fooled by its apparent docility.  A skunk is very tolerant but if it perceives a threat, it will unleash a spray of a very pungent and awfully smelling urine.  Well before the affected dog returned to the house, you knew that it has tangled with a skunk. Talk about a terrible order.  Washing the animal would not remove the smell.  It had to wear off and this usually took several days. 


So, what do we have now? We have young people roaming freely and becoming exposed to skunks of the two-legged kind.  You have the Crack, Cocaine, Meth, and marijuana skunks.  These skunks lurk in the shadows and wait for the unsuspecting to get too close.   Those who interact with these skunks may not emit a discernible body order, but other signs will soon be visible. Lack of concern for personal appearance may be the first clue.   Failure to find and keep gainful employment is another sign of exposure to skunk juice.  Disrespect for self and others become pronounced. Angry and malicious outbursts are another sign that not all is well.  Loss of interest in getting an education is another sign that a skunk may be in the works.


Folks, looks are deceiving.  The skunks of the drug world seem innocent enough as they cruise by in their expensive automobiles, draped with young ladies and expensive jewelry.  However, look at the trail of devastation that they leave in neighborhoods. Even if all of the drug skunks of the world went away today, it will be generations before all signs of their harmful impact on society wears off.  The skunks that I speak of do not leave a tell-tell sign of an offensive odor. They leave something more offensive and destructive. They leave a trail of broken homes, broken dreams, shattered lives, grieving mothers, crack addict mothers, dilapidated and boarded up storefronts, and a people who are afraid to walk in their own neighborhood.


Many parents see these signs, but refuse to admit what is happening to their children.  They see the lazy eyes, restlessness, mood-swings and disruptive behavior. People! Be aware of the signs that you children have gotten too close to a skunk-a two-legged skunk. By the way, you may want to check and see if there is a skunk in your midst. There are certainly plenty tell-tell signs.  If you are not aware of them, seek and find out what they are. There is certainly plenty of information available.  


Copyright 2006
This commentary written by L.C. Thornton, for The Peoples Voice Black Weekly News
To reprint ONLY WITH PERMISSION contact:
L.C. Thornton at

April 30, 2006 Posted by | Black Youth, The Black Man, Uncategorized, youth crime | Leave a comment