Black Male will ensure charity begins at home

Today Slice of Life will endeavour to steer clear of the issue of race, ostensibly skin colour.

I say this early on because the past few weeks passed by fast and furiously because of the "b" and "w" words flying all over town.

You see, I'm even wary of saying black and white, lest I evoke stares and accusing fingers.

But what I want to say needs for me to mention black, at least as an adjective, lexically as a word imputing a characteristic to a noun or pronoun.

So I ask all blacks, non-blacks and the others who might feel excluded to pardon me.

I advocate the establishment of a movement which, if I am allowed to impose, will be known as the Black Male Responsibility Movement. The idea might not be original, some will say.

But the movement will be known as Black Male in short, so that it sounds awesome with a macho ring to it.

Black Male will have a constitution, and be open to every male who subscribes to its provisions. It will also have an emblem and a distinct salute. Not the black power salute of a clenched fist because people will cry "racists" again. The salute will be like that of the military, but with the index finger shooting from the chest jumping forward saying that is where we are going - forward.

Black Male Is Going Forward. That will be the motto.

Now for the part I think everyone wants to know: what the heck does Black Male aim to do?

There is a great deal of seriousness in this idea.

If you subscribe to this notion look around you. Things are not going right. No, not at all. We drive around the cities, towns and townships daily and see black children begging and sleeping on the pavements.

In Soweto, for instance, there are boys who work in coalyards when they are supposed to be at school. Beggars fill the streets of the CBD in Johannesburg. We pass them by and look the other way, wishing them away.

Many have abandoned their parents in informal settlements because they are too old and useless. They are an embarrassment to their newfound status as executives on the BEE gravy train.

The list is long, but the task is one.

Black Male will stick to the adage that charity begins at home. It will rekindle the virtues of personal and communal responsibility and pride. It could start by teaching young future members to stop urinating in the streets and respect women both in the home and at the taxi rank. That will go a long way.

There is a good television advertisement I saw the other day that could back this idea.

I forget what product it promoted. In the advertisement a young man notices a severely disabled old man begging outside a tall glass building.

Instead of throwing a coin into the mug the old man is holding, he runs into the building and into his office, I think.

He returns with a wheelchair. The old man thanks the young man, and continues begging in relative comfort.

It makes you think, doesn't it?