The Internet has grown into such a sophisticated collosus, you can find updated information about nearly anything. If you hear a song and remember just one line from it, you can google that one line and find your song. I learned this from experience during the Summer of 2021 when I was visiting Germany. I was sitting in a restaurant and listening to a song coming over the loudspeaker. During a pause in the music, I heard a familiar voice say, "If you don't get your act together, there will be blood in the street!"

After lunch I googled "If you don't get your act together . . ." and got two hits: a speech by Louis Farrakhan in 2009, and the music playing in the restaurant by an English duo Curtis Gabriel and Semedo, titled "Some People Say," released in 2016. 

Fourteen years after the 1995 Million Man March, black leaders pressed Farrakhan to lead another March, to draw attention to the problem of lawlessness in the black community and the challenges from law enforcement.

Farrakhan declined and said that Black-Americans need better leadership: "When people see our young Black men, they recoil. They're afraid now because the violence in the inner-cities has gotten out of control." No one else has mentioned this crucial fact about race-relations. Black men scare the Whites. They don't even bother to act nice. Acting rough-tough and macho is part of their stock-in-trade.

Farrakhan's boldness must have angered Black activists, but he didn't stop there: "In fact, we don't have time. If you don't get your act together, there will be blood in the streets!" He continued to say "Black communities all over the country have become toxic places and they must be cleansed and must restore peace within." Bear in mind he said this in 2009. Outside the Muslim community, no one paid him much attention. Since then, of course, black violence has sky-rocketed, more or less as he said it would.

Wow! You don't have to be a rocket-scientist to figure out what effect black toxicity has on average citizens, but few black leaders have been as bold as Farrakhan. Siebra Muhammad, writing in the magazine FinalCall, said that Farrakhan sees black toxicity as "filled with self-hatred," and that it "results in destructive behavior toward one another."

Few news agencies have the guts to talk about toxicity in black neighborhoods, or that it festers in self-hatred. Well-educated Americans may know it, but we don't want to rock the boat. In any case, the average citizen never gets this insight. I don't blame broadcasters. They can't attract advertisers if they talk about violent self-hatred in their black viewers.

Remember that Farrakhan gave this speech in 2009. I have trouble finding popular blogs who will even mention his speech. The reason is that Farrakhan rages at black leaders—"You elders who have abandoned responsibility for our children . . . You're so envious of one another!" he shouts into the microphone. "So petty! And you don't want nobody to outshine you."

Most people, black and white, view Farrakhan as hardly more than a well-poisoner—a racist and a vicious anti-semite. But I was glad to hear him speak out and take Black leaders to task. Who better to do that, than one of their own.


September 30, 2022

Rolexes and Wealth

I remember the day my eighth-grade teacher arrived at school wearing his new wrist-watch. We saw this guy for the 180 days of the school-year and knew him pretty well--as well as anyone did. We noticed that, among his other mannerisms, he tended to look often at the watch during class. We thought he was keen to know the time on a regular basis. Now, I believe he was just admiring his new watch.

September 28, 2022

Family-life is not a Democracy

I ran into a problem yesterday when I returned to Germany. On my first evening, I wanted to slake my thirst for German beer, big-time! So I ordered a liter-serving right off the bat; but I knew I also wanted some wine and ordered a carafe of it, as well. Shamefully, I have to admit to not finishing either. I slaked my thirst, but had to leave some of it undrunk. I hate wasting anything, but I had work to do and wanted to operate on all my cylinders.

September 24, 2022

Violence in the Real

This article appeared last July in the Sunday edition of the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper, by the newspaper's expert on hip-hop music, Florentin Schuhmacher. He regards gangsta-rap, and its sub-genre Drill, as a legitimate art-form. He can understand the reservations that law enforcement, parents, and teachers have toward music that glorifies gang-life, describes the rush of killing one's enemies, the pleasure of drugs—as a source of wealth—and demeaning women; but Schumacher also says the police cannot simply censor it. They must distinguish between art and criminal acts, shooings, and robberies.

Lloyd Bowers


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