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Guest Commentary:My Open Letter to “US”

Tip Harris | 2/3/2017, 6 a.m. | Updated on 2/2/2017, 1:53 p.m.
T.I. says that we can no longer continue to get caught up in having material abundance and yet be fundamentally ...
T.I. says that we can no longer continue to get caught up in having material abundance and yet be fundamentally and spiritually broke. (Hustle Gang) Courtesy Photo

As I write this letter, I can’t help but express my frustration and concern for “US.” I also can’t help, but question my contribution to the status of where we are. I understand that I, too, have been guilty of doing the very things that put US here. Even still, right now, the state of our community is more alarming than ever. And while I know that this letter may be misunderstood by many and unduly dissected, and misconstrued by most others, I still need to write and speak about these things that deeply concern me.

You see, all of US sometimes feel that one of the most difficult things in the world is to talk to US about US in an effort to help US. However, we cannot dismiss the fact that we can’t fix what we do not address. You see, we’ve somehow allowed ourselves to think it’s okay to neglect and abandon our responsibility to ourselves and to our community. Everything cannot be blamed on THE SYSTEM.

We can no longer afford to be entertained beyond the point of accountability. We can’t keep selling each other out and be willing to do anything to be seen, to be famous or to be rich. Our obsession with material things and lack of self-worth is evident in our need for an abundance of momentary luxuries and must-have amenities that have no true value, for real man. And I mean, we do it just to impress people that could care less if your children or your children’s children have anything left to show for your life after you gone. You see, somewhere along the way, we’ve allowed the pursuit of fame and things to blind us to the issues that prevent us from moving upward. So, we cannot continue to get caught up in having material abundance and yet be fundamentally and spiritually broke.

Every one of us must do something to contribute to transforming our community for the better. We have been underserved, underprivileged and unfortunate for far too long. There are no more excuses. It’s not enough to have limited progress and allow our expectations and sense of purpose to evaporate. So, if that means we must sacrifice some nights at the club and give up buying the latest designer handbags and sneakers…well then damn, so be it. I can only hope that one day soon we’ll understand our true economic buying power by investing in our own communities and putting our money into businesses that keep our dollars in our community.

It is imperative for US to parent our children and educate them outside of the school systems, as the American education system was not designed to lift US out of oppression. If we know that the pipelines to prisons are multiplying, well we must ask ourselves, “what can we do to end it?” We must keep ourselves busy with finding ways to generate wealth for generations to come and work to pass down things to our children for them to pass down to their children. You see man, who wants to fight who on Instagram should not be as important as fighting for equality…and who’s fking who should never be as important as creating a strategy to help break the cycle of economic oppression.