Op-EdOpinion

BAILEY: Many Chicago Young Black People Urgently Need Help From the Big Six

The Big Six — Oprah Winfrey, Rev. Jessie Jackson, Minister Louis Farrakhan, Michael Jordan, Barack Obama and Michelle Obama — have several things in common. All have an international reputation in their various arenas, all have been very successful financially, all have books written by or about them heralding their accomplishments, all have thousands of people who regard them as role models or leaders, all reportedly have financially or otherwise supported different causes of interest to many Black folks in this country.

Another thing they have in common is a close connection to the city of Chicago. They must be well aware that Chicago has a continuously high rate of low-income Black males killing other low-income Black males. Such activities have been going on for years at an alarming rate. If they were killing not even big-time white executives but white homeless males, they would be stopped. If they were killing members of the Black middle or upper income classes at the same rate they kill each other, they would be stopped. If the city didn’t stop them, members of those classes would surely find a way to stop them.

The harsh reality is that most whites and, unfortunately, too many Black folks don’t really care about low-income Black males killing each other.

I am assuming that the Big Six are not in that latter category. That’s why it is puzzling, despite their close connections to Chicago, that they haven’t joined together to do something about the horrific situation. By now, it is reasonable to assume that they can host a conference of highly knowledgeable experts from the mental health, education, economics, spiritual, cultural and political arenas to develop concrete ways to convince young Black folks of the harm they are doing to themselves and their people.

Collectively, they have the financial resources needed to build and staff a cultural and educational center where the young people could be taught the skills they need, physically and psychologically, to promote and protect the vital interests of themselves, their families and their people. It has been said that there are three kinds of people in the world — those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what is happening. Ms. Winfrey, Rev. Jackson, Minister Farrakhan, Mr. Jordan, Mr. Obama and Mrs. Obama, working together, are some of the people who can make things happen.

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