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Willie Richardson / Mar. 1, 2021

The Black Picket Fence

There are behavioral problems that perpetuate cultural problems.

When you think of a picket fence, you might imagine pristine curb appeal situated in a neighborhood that displays a sense of community. A fence protects what is inside, including a happy family, pets, and personal belongings. In Old Europe, pickets — from piquet, French for “pointed stick or board” — were logs sharpened to shield archers from cavalry. To defend their land, colonists installed fences of pickets bare or painted white.

Today, there is a black picket fence used to “defend” a culture of failure. In this neighborhood, the black middle class makes the rules. The black picket fence is used to defend thuggery, theft, and thickheads. The inner city is the most apprehensive place in America to be after dark. It’s not because people of color live there but because of the behavior of the people of color who live there. Did you catch that? BEHAVIOR.

The black middle class is composed of those who have gone to college and manage to make from $25,000-$100,000 a year and who live in the suburbs or outside the metropolitan areas with black picket fences. These black picket fences aren’t to protect something inside the home but the slum of the inner cities. For tribal reasons, the black middle class lives with guilt. Those in the black middle class once lived in inner-city slums, but they got a grasp of the English language, managed to maintain good grades, graduated from college, and got out of “the hood.” They believe they have somehow left their “kindred brothers and sisters” alone to suffer.

The black middle class loves the American Dream, but there’s just one problem: It can’t act like it. The middle class can live in gated communities and still defend the bad boy behaviors that wreck every major city in America. These middle class folks had nothing to do with the struggle of the masses, but they feel responsible. Although they fear driving through these inner-city shooting ranges after dark, they won’t say one word about it. Black pastors, principals, politicians, and police officers stand behind this black picket fence arm to arm.

The black pastors will be a character witness to a thug, since one of his “paying customers” asked him to. Although the juvenile hasn’t stepped foot in the doors of the church since he was in middle school, the black pastor will defend him. “Your honor, I taught this boy in Sunday School and baptized him at the tender age of 11. I stand behind him 100%” The boy could have cut up four bodies and thrown them into the nearest river, but the pastor will co-sign him with a straight face.

The black principals will tell fellow employees to keep a hush on what’s really going on behind the scenes. “Keep the press out of our mess. It’s our mess and nobody needs to know what’s going on!” The black politicians know the high crime rates of their constituents and still speak against law enforcement if the officer is the “wrong color.” Black police officers catch it if they say anything that shines light on an obvious dark situation. The “black picket fence” isn’t used to defend anything good or well meaning. It is designed to hide the obvious. The black middle class has a fear of the black lower class, so it plays its part to protect those in it. It’s like the middle class believes the rest of America can’t see what’s going on, so it stands there as the great pretender it has become.

Many of the inner-city programs that Americans openly fund are doing nothing but making the black picket fences bigger, but the communities aren’t getting any better. Many resources are basically being thrown into a black hole of no return on investment.

The black picket fence hides “everything.” See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil … although evil is all around. I have to say something.

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