This Fight is Far From Over

TC Boyd isn’t impressed by worldwide protests against police brutality, and he’s here to remind us that police violence isn’t the one thing that isolates and degrades Black America. True equality is a long-term, uphill battle – or rather, a war composed of many battles – that doesn’t end with justice reform.

Be sure to scroll through to check out some of the revolutionary programs that effectively support People of Color – especially youths – and find out what you can do to help in your own town and beyond.

The following was originally a Facebook post; to preserve the writer’s voice, it has not been edited.

I want to preface this. I do believe police brutality exists. I believe racist cops and systems exist. Protesting isn’t bad. Please do protest, work for change and speak about it.

But for me, I personally don’t want to attend your anti-police brutality marches unless you are involved actively in anti-gun violence and gang violence marches/ protests and/or programs. My brother wasn’t killed by cops but by gangs. My cousin Douglas wasn’t killed by cops, but gangs. My cousin Jerry wasn’t shot 7 times by a cop, but by a black dude who disrespected my cousins girlfriend (my cousin was protecting his girl and the dude had the nerve to shoot my cousin). My father didn’t die from cops but by drug addiction and AIDS. I never fought cops, but I fought gangs/criminals. I was never shot at by cops, but by gangs/criminals. I never had the threat of being jumped by 40 cops at once, but I did by gangs/criminals.

There’s a reason the media and these politicians that claim to care about blacks don’t truly talk about this stuff I’m saying. We just get a short news clip “15 dead in Chicago from shooting… ok, now back to our normal business as usual…” While there a numerous organizations working to overcome violence. It’s not popular to mention because the government is the one that put the “guns and drugs” in our black communities. They want the destruction of our communities. The true racism is clearly seen in how they’ve wanted a lot of our communities to have fatherlessness, poverty, drugs, gangs, shootings, and mass incarceration. This is the true agenda. Why isn’t the media and world outraged by this? I’ll tell you why, because black folks dying isn’t really what they truly give a crap about. They only promote what will further their agenda. #BLM Organization isn’t truly about black lives it’s about an agenda. The Democratic Party isn’t about black lives it’s about their agenda (most violent crimes happens in cities and states ran by democrats ie Chicago. Ask yourself why? They don’t really give a crap). The Republican Party isn’t about black lives their about their own agendas.

All my so called woke black and white friends if you don’t see this you’re not woke. A racist cop killing a black person is part of the racist system, but it’s honestly not the biggest worry or problem our community has. You are more likely to be shot by a violent criminal than you are a cop. Death is Death, don’t care where it comes from. People still gonna cry and be heartbroken whether a cop did it or a black person or any other ethnicity did it.

The countries system thrives off the gang violence, incarceration, drugs. Prison is a booming industry thanks to the 13th amendment. So yes, we need reform. But we have to fight the right fights. We must first address the things the mainstream media won’t truly address because the mainstream media doesn’t give a crap about blacks.

Cops ain’t our biggest issue. I won’t attend your anti-police or anti-police violence rally’s just because it’s the popular thing to do.

What are you truly doing to help the black community? Are you speaking against gun violence? Are you speaking against drugs? Are you helping black kids? Are you mentoring? Are you promoting education? Are you promoting entrepreneurship/economics for blacks? Are you speaking against gangs? Are you speaking against violence? Are you speaking against having many casual illicit sex partners/teen pregnancy?

If you’re not just sit your butt down and learn something. Then truly start helping black folks. Then speak after that. Your police rallies don’t mean crap to me. Because as soon as you’re done with that, my family in the hood still has the threat of being shot by a stray bullet.”

Here are some groups combatting violence and helping youth in Chicago. These important groups seek to engage local communities, identify cycles of violence, and work to prevent the spread of violent crime through productive and positive methods. Check out their methodology so you can bring the same programs to your own neighborhood!

The North Lawndale Boxing League‘s mission is “Boxing Out Negativity”; it’s a non-profit after-school program focused on changing the lives of at-risk youth in Chicago’s underrepresented communities. NLB gives participants a space to let out their aggression and learn self-discipline via sports like boxing. Because resources are limited, they have a long waiting list to get into their program. Find out how you can help.

Diane’s Kids off the Block is a 501(c)3 community youth organization. What started out as a woman opening her home to neighborhood kids without shelter, Ms. Diane and her volunteers help curb youth violence by finding places for South Side youth to live and learn with some stability. Featured in an episode of Noisey Chicago last year, the group maintains a memorial to young people killed by gun violence. Check out Ms. Diane’s book and learn more about how to help.

BUILD Chicago has been around since 1969 engaging local youth in some of the roughest neighborhoods in the city. Their goal is to help kids realize their potential and encourage them to seek out alternatives to gang activity. They empower kids to go from being “at risk” to “at hope,” by engaging their own talents within their communities in a positive way. The program’s staff is a diverse group of volunteers, with social workers, reformed former gang members, and reintegrated past offenders who coach kids in avoiding lives of crime.

Chicago Survivors is an organization devoted to helping families who have experienced a loss due to homicide. They provide legal and mental health resources that are crucial to surviving such a deeply traumatic event.

Founded by four women in 1973, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence (ICHV) is committed to fighting the alarming rates of handgun violence in Chicago. Since then, ICHV has grown into the largest statewide organization in the US devoted to preventing death and injury from firearms. They recently teamed up with the Gun Violence Prevention Education Center to expand each other’s reach.

The Chicago Area Project was founded all the way back in the 1930s! Their localized approach to reducing juvenile delinquency was revolutionary, and today they’ve formed a network of over 40 community-based grassroots organizations, all working to empower local youth in their communities to prevent violence and crime. CAP believes that every individual community has the leaders it needs to solve its own problems [Ed. note: I added the bold, because I really like this idea and it’s my blog so I do what I want.] and that bringing in larger, outside organizations to “fix” local issues like gang violence is ineffective.

Cure Violence is a Chicago-based NGO. They treat violence as a health issue [Ed. note: again, my blog, do what I want, etc.], working to stop it through the same three methods used to prevent disease outbreak: interrupting transmission of violence, directly treating high-risk individuals, and changing social norms. Through their innovative model, Cure Violence aims to shift the culture away from treating violence with criminal prosecution and towards prevention.

TC Boyd is an artist, author, performer, and teacher, as well as the Owner-Founder of Wear Unity Clothing. To learn more, visit TC Boyd The Artist.

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