We Have A Right To Be Outraged

Editors Note: The following is an article from writer Ad Faulkner on the issue of Black on Black crime as it has been thrown around as a talking point after the Zimmerman verdict. A great response from a Chicagoan. -M.P. 

We Have A Right To Be Outraged

by Ad Faulkner

For seventeen months I have watched as people posted, tweeted, and photographed tributes to Trayvon Martin without publically voicing any of my personal discontentment about the death of this young man. I could grieve in so many ways and it will all be within my right to do so. First as a human being, pain and death are things that all human beings experience. With seven billion people currently populating the world, I can guarantee you more than half if not all have had to personally experience loss or know someone who has. As a person who has, I can relate, be outraged, protest and entertain any other emotion as long as it does not incite violence and I don’t stay at this place too long.

For it is better to be enthralled with emotion of activism, than to sit back and do nothing. Oh, and let’s not forget the “hoods” role in this national travesty. That is what Travyon’s death has been reduced to, right? An argument about whether or not “we” (I will define the “we” in a minute.) have a right to be upset about his death as the numbers of African American males dying at the hands of other African males keep rising in my beloved city (of Chicago). Well, if I may respond with a diplomatic YES!! I, you and we, can do both!! I wonder who are the “we” “they” speak of. Is it humanity, Americans, minorities, young people, older people, white people, and/or anyone else who feels like an injustice has happened with the acquittal of Martin’s killer? Two things I have never expected from people who have not walked my path: understanding of my plight as an African American woman, and empathy on what it takes to survive and thrive in a nation that has yet to truly embrace the idea of a post racial society.


If you think that racism or any other ism for that matter is a past time, you are sadly mistaken. The level of racism that is entrenched in our democracy is one of the reason’s we can have an African American president and still not be winning politically and/or economically. This administration has done everything it could to make sure the American people see him as a president who happens to be black versus a black man who happens to be president. Therein lies our problem, ladies and gentlemen. I think we should be outraged about giving up over 90% of our vote in exchange for nothing. I think I will save that blog post for another time. The time to be outraged is now!!
If I hear another pundit act like they care about African Americans value of life by bringing up the numbers of those who are recklessly taking lives in Chicago, I am going to scream. Is it true African American males are killing one another, yes! Is it true we are living in times, where some young black males don’t see the value in their own lives and therefore will act carelessly to end another’s, yes! Is it true we have not been outraged, NO! For every person I see post, comment or tweet that “black folk” need to sit down somewhere and stop the killings in their own communities before they can feel the loss and injustice related to Martin’s death. To this I say, exercise your right to be informed, immediately! For everyone person you say is not doing anything about the current state of our community, I can present you with three. I will present to you Diane Latiker, Father Michael Pfleger, and Phillip Jackson. Ground level activism requires working after the cameras stop rolling. Consequently, mainstream media are fixated on “if it bleeds, it leads” campaign. Primarily when it comes to “black life.” Although I acknowledge the issue in our communities, I refuse to buy into the hype that all young African American men are consumed with killing each other. Frankly, I am tired of it and I hope you are as well. If Martin’s death did anything, it started a dialogue about the lack of value we have placed on it, that includes us all. From black to white, we have to hold each other accountable for what happens inside and outside of our race and communities.


In my final point, I would like to make a special plea to the religious institutions or those who feel they have a special access to God. Can we please come out of the four walls? Yesterday, I witnessed an entire church takeover the street corners for hours. House of Hope- lead by Pastor James T. Meeks had his members “doing it on the corner” praying that is. It was a sight to behold. Red shirts took over the Roseland community for block and blocks on end. Regardless of what you think about his politics, the former senator understands the special role churches play in helping our community grow and heal. Religious people, we have to grasp the concept that God has never been about doctrines and services. Your service should be about educating people on how to live in a world that excludes God in practice but welcomes him in theory. If you are going to have millions of followers for no reason but to say you have millions following you, the least you could do is to raise up politicians, doctors, lawyers, engineers, community activist, teachers, leaders, entrepreneurs and world changers, who care more about the state of the world than they do about the speaking engagements at church. If the world is to follow the church, let us see the current leadership of these institutions addressing the social issues that continue to jeopardize & threaten our flawed and unequal coexistence.

Ad Faulkner

GSA, Senior Strategist



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  1. I felt your article was very enlightening, we as people need to talk less and act more. I feel a lot of injustice still exist because there’s a lack of communication between races. They d9nt understand us and we don’t understand them, so we continue to rely on the miss conception society have placed on another race.

  2. Thank you Ad! I seriously cringe every time I hear people make their point that “kids are dying on the south side of Chicago and people are not doing anything”. What a big slap in the face to activist who work day and night fighting this problem! What a big slap in the face to family members who have to live without their loved ones. And what an irrelevant point!

    Yes, kids are dying in Chicago and as a community we need to fight harder!… but yes! We also have a right to be angry at Martin’s situation and also model this act of community and movement in local cases. These are two seperate and critical situations. I hope people understand this and don’t discredit one while focusing on the other.

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