I once got a very mean text that said, “Every time Tom Joyner prefaces a sentence with ‘I’m just a d.j.,’ I know something dumb, shallow, ridiculous or racist is about to come out of his mouth.”
Well, first of all, words hurt. And second, it probably just means that you don’t agree with my point of view. And this might be one of those instances.
I’m just a d.j., but I don’t think we need to be involved in Syria. I’m sad about all the people who have been killed by chemical warfare but not sad enough to be willing to sacrifice losing more American lives, especially when I’m not even sure that we should have been in any of the other wars we’ve been in for the last 10 plus years.
Years ago, when I got my first radio job after graduating from college, I worked for a station in Montgomery, Alabama. I had to attend news conferences on behalf of our station. I had no journalistic training, but I knew how to ask questions about things I cared about. And no matter what the topic of the news story were we covering was, I’d raise my hand and ask the same question: “What does this mean for Black people?”
I still think it’s a legitimate question and I’m asking it now.
Even though unemployment rates are down a little, unemployment in major black cities is dismally high. The average kid is attending a high school that is struggling and doesn’t have the resources to get them prepared for life after. After graduation, one of the most viable options is to join the military. So, there’s a disproportionate number of black men and women fighting and I don’t want to see any more of them die.
I support the Big Chief, but this time, I think he should listen to the majority of the country on this one. Like a lot of our social media comments expressed: Funding an air strike might put us in greater jeopardy with the Middle East. That means sending more people over there. I say enough. I’d much rather see those funds used to invest back into cities like Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, New Orleans, Philly, and the list goes on. There’s a war going on in the streets of those cities every night and even though I know it isn’t true, it looks like no one cares.
If more jobs were created, a lot of our problems would disappear. I know it isn’t this simple, but why do we always have enough money for war?
Not everyone agreed with me of course:
“Tom, we don’t want another Holocaust. We should stop them as a team with other countries and not go in there alone. That will make an even more powerful statement.”
Another person who supports the idea of reacting to Syria said, “War creates jobs and boosts the economy.”
Maybe. But since we have no guarantee that our participation in Syria will achieve what we’re hoping, let’s stop gambling on a possibility and let’s start investing in the people and communities here at home who need it the most.
Russian president Putin upset a lot of people when he implied that the United States isn’t as exceptional as we think it is. I disagree. Our country IS exceptional in all kinds of ways. But where we do fail is by allowing our once great cities to die. I’m just a DJ…
But what do you think?