I am not lost on the suffering and the generational trauma that has literally infected the very DNA we breed, or the blatant disregard of human decency some people exhibit. I am not lost on institutional racism and discrimination. I am not lost on the sacrifices, the martyrdom, or the bloodied bare whipped backs upon which this nation was built. I am not lost on the three-fifths compromise. I am not lost on church and cross burnings, the lynchings, and the tortuous methods that enslaved my ancestors both physically and psychologically. I am not lost on the subversion of christian values to justify evil institutions. I am not lost on the policies and practices that our government uses to disenfranchise and institutionally enslave it’s own people. I am not lost on the premeditated introduction of narcotics in to urban areas. I am not lost on the plots that have been carried out to kill and assassinate our leaders. I am not lost on the history that has shaped demonized and marginalized black people for almost half a millennia. The “we had a black president” argument is not valid. Bringing it up shows a complete lack of understanding, so don’t show your stupidity by saying it. Perhaps I’ll speak on Former President Barack Obama in subsequent writings (in case you’re wondering, in my opinion, he is by far the greatest leader this country has ever seen).
I know I have more to learn about this country’s history and more specifically the history of exploitation of minorities. In some ways I think that I have chosen to “block” out that history in the same way that I “block” out the negative experiences I have had in my personal life. I’m kind of afraid to stare it in the face because I know how deeply it would affect me and how much more angry and depressed I would be. The anger that I have though works as a propelling force towards my goals and ambitions and it acts as a fortification in my resoluteness in regards to how I demand respect. Anger (and my ability to “re-brand” it) has served me well thus far; however I believe that too much anger could perhaps cause me to lose focus on my grand plans (another topic, another day).
Here is the point though; regardless of YOUR history and all of the dark, depressing, and infuriating experiences that you have had in your life: two truths remain. The good news is that you get to choose which truth you live by. I am contending that most of us without the force of “love” will choose the truth that debilitates and limits introspective growth. Although we will sometimes fluctuate between the two paradigms, “love” will always get us to at least 51% on the growth side.
I use to believe that I was neither capable nor worthy of creating my own success. I chose complacency and self-loathing. Not just any type of complacency though: Complacency without the freedom of legitimate protest. Since I forsook the prerequisites of professional and interpersonal growth for the sake of vicarious dependency on what I believed I was owed, I lacked legitimacy and the ability to argue that my merits warranted a homogeneous and anticipated result of those that had what I desired. And yet I still argued that there was something extrinsic preventing me from being, having, and doing what I wanted. With every passing argument, I lessened my ability to be heard
I thrived on the exploitation of my impoverished mind and at the first opportunity, used that now learned skill to further my lot in life and lessen that of others.
I allowed the world to define me.
I had no purpose.
Now, my perspective also includes the knowledge that everything for which I need to be capable and complete, is already within me. I don’t need the approval of any person, regardless of the color of their skin or the size of their bank account, to substantiate my value or existence. My aim is to reject and decry any semblance of un-meritorious institutional preference through the work of my hands, the comprehension of my mind, and the strength of ancestral resoluteness to overcome and uplift others and myself. I need only a level playing field, upon which, as it relates to my intellect, skill, artistry, and physical capability – There is no equal.
Truth 1 is the foundation of the impoverished mind. In the inner cities mostly, the impoverished mind rules. It kills the will to live with purpose. Ironically, the impoverished mind is the part of black “culture” we spend most of our time trying to defend. The impoverished mind creates stereotypes and generalizations that we take great efforts to attempt to dispel and explain away. Why? The fact is that almost every stereotype you hear can be backed up by actual data AND the outcomes are not due to extrinsic forces. For the most part, the outcomes are directly related to what we’ve allowed ourselves to believe is OK. We’ve allowed ourselves to believe it because it somehow has nothing to do with making bad choices, but everything to do with whether or not the “man” is against us. Please. Students in Southern Sudan have the same graduation rates as those in Milwaukee, WI and face infinitely more challenges. It’s not the “man.” It’s you! You believe you are not capable, and thus is your result. You have become complacent. You have grown content with dependency on society justified by the historical errs of the founder’s of this nation. You don’t teach your children education is important. You don’t respect your mother’s and daughters.
Speaking from the perspective of a black man, it is extremely difficult for me to understand why black people complain about stereotypes. For the most part, they are true. We do absolutely nothing to solve the “real” problems. We actually celebrate them as if they are a badge of honor. And yes, the truth hurts, but it also heals and provides the space to move on. Oh, did I hurt your feelings? Do you think I might be losing it?
The statistics below, are to say the least, very disheartening. It certainly didn’t make me feel good researching them and then transposing them onto this blog. They should make you question what you stand for. They should make you rethink whether or not you give the impression that you believe these behaviors or outcomes are OK. They should confirm why stereotypes exist. Maybe once you see the information you’ll stop glorifying that lifestyle. By the way, do you let your children listen to messages that approve of these behaviors? Do you listen to them and support them? Do you engage in them?
|1. Black men are thugs and drug dealers||“There are more black men incarcerated in the U.S. than the total prison populations in India, Argentina, Canada, Lebanon, Japan, Germany, Finland, Israel, and England Combined” The Black Male Incarceration Problem is Real and Catastrophic – Huffington Post)
The leading cause of incarceration of an African American male is a non-violent drug offense www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/node/64
|2. Black men have babies and don’t take care of them||The majority of black children are raised in single female-headed families. The illegitimacy rate is nearly 75%.
Between 1994 and 2002 the child support compliance rate by black men in an urban setting was 58% and of the 58% they managed only to pay 39% of what was owed
|3. Black men are uneducated and mostly illiterate||Only 14% of African American eighth graders score at or above the proficient level. These results reveal that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/tavissmiley/tsr/too-important-to-fail/fact-sheet-outcomes-for-young-black-men/|
|4. All black men are “Players”||59% of black mothers with 2 or more kids have children with multiple fathers. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42364656/ns/health-childrens_health/t/us-moms-have-kids-multiple-dads-study-says/#.WLSVH_4zWUk
One of the greatest pains in my life is the look that I get (and I’m sure every minority person has received) when I go into a place predominantly made up of white people. The look says, “Why is he here? He certainly has nothing positive to contribute to this environment. He’s probably trying to get something for free. I see trouble in t-minus 15 minutes….” It’s a certain look that you wouldn’t know unless you were a minority – FACT. The problem for me is although it angers me to a level no one will ever comprehend, I can’t help but to appreciate the honesty. In fact, sometimes I say the same things. It’s hard not to; given the plethora of statistics that are out there for the public to view and my own experiences. The person that says stereotypes are unwarranted isn’t in tune with reality. The point is that preconceived notions are not always baseless and typically have a modicum of truth, but in order for their to be some type of paradigm shift, a clear denunciation of current results without reference to past experience or events is needed to move forward.
The “why” is not as important as the “what” and it doesn’t become important until you’ve done everything that the “what” requires.
Are you angry that I’m not allowing you to wallow in past misery and use it as an excuse for an entire group of people to expect bullshit as opposed to greatness? People who protest their circumstance, but not their deviation of process, render their arguments invalid – Truth 1.
People who embrace Truth 2 and follow the process, have cause.