29 October 2007

Things Change...

Hey anybody who still stops through to read what I have to say. I'm sorry that I haven't been around much lately, but real life was keeping me busier than a one-legged man in an ass kickin' contest. Too much going on to even get into, but whatever.

Anywhoo, I was cleaning out some old files the other day when I came across a paper that I had written about 2-3 years ago for a creative writing class. As I was reading it, it dawned on me that this was something that I felt needs to be said. It's kinda sorta in my usual uplifting strain, but not quite... I'll let you be the judge of that. I think it's something worth posting. I actually posted it in another place online, but since this is my spot, I'm adding it here as well. It's going to be posted in about 2 parts, so stay tuned.

This is called, "Wake Up All You Children: An Essay on Race in America"

Education is universal. It has no color, no boundaries. It's for everyone, every race, every nationality, every gender. It's both a privilege and a requirement. Smart people succeed. Stupid people do not. Smart people run the economy. Stupid people do not. For many years, black people from our past have fought and died to give us the opportunities we have today. Black people of the past are more than likely rolling over in their graves (or on their tree limbs) right now, sick to their very souls at our shameful existence. The moment one of us succeeds via education, the hate starts to roll in from our own. When you don't speak like you're from the ‘hood, i.e. yo homie yo, thas my bike punk, fo shizzle bitch, bitch betta have my sweet potato pie, etc., you're not considered "black enough". You are relegated to the annals of the Tiger Woods, the Oprah Winfrey, and basically every other Black person who bothers to speak like they have, and are using, their educations. There are many black people in this world, myself included, who want to conquer and BE. There are black people in this world who want to get out of the ghetto's, the projects, or whatever, to get a substantial position on Wall Street, be the Chief of Staff at a major hospital, make partner in a prestigious law firm. That's not trying to be white. That is called being driven to succeed, and contrary to ignorant folk’s beliefs, that’s completely okay.

Black people please, want more for yourself and your children. Stop thinking the only way you can make it is to hustle bootleg CD's and stolen watches. Sure those things will get you paid in the short term, but what about four or five years from now? Hustle for real. Life is a hustle, so learn to play by the man’s rules. White people who run this country hustle every single day of their lives, they just wear a suit and tie doing it. Black people, you don't have to limit yourselves to ghetto vernacular. Command the King’s English with veracity and eloquence. Expand your mind by acquiring skills that will be beneficial in your work. When your boss asks you if you're finished copying those documents, please don't reply with, "Shimmy, shimmy ya, I got these copies for ya *does the Bojangles*". Please, just stop.

Young black men, man up in school. Study your books instead of the anatomy of every female who passes by. School is not a fashion show. Please stop thinking that just because you have the newest Jordan’s, that fly FUBU outfit and more gold chains than Fort Knox that you're the man. You’re not. You're still a just an ignorant brotha who can't spell, can't read, can't add, but spent all his lunch money on a pair of expensive shoes and yet is rockin’ a report card full of D's and F’s. And then you have the nerve, the utter audacity even, to demand respect? Tell me about the Civil War or World War II, why they started and why we were forced to fight them, and then maybe I'll respect you a little bit. Pull your pants up. Respect the people who gave you life. Respect your elders and treat them as the gold mines of wisdom and knowledge that they are. Don’t be so quick to disrespect a young Black woman who ignores you when you approach her speaking like you just stepped one foot out of the ‘hood. Stop laughing at people just because they don’t conform to society’s standard of beauty. Own up to your responsibilities as a man and as a father. Find positive role models. Read. Try to invent something besides a new sex position. We come from a long line of great inventors. Research the lives and works of people like Benjamin Banneker, Carter G. Woodson and Madame CJ Walker.

Grown men, take care of your women. Stop ho'ing around. That has never been cute, and your "But I'm a man" excuse is invalid. You are not a man. You’re nothing more than a little boy pretending to be something you clearly are not. Black men, realize that the amount of sex you have and number of women you get to lay down for you does not substantiate your level of manhood. Having a job, an education, self respect and self love are what make you a man. Keep getting all that sex and you will most certainly find yourself infected with the Magic Johnson Disease or something else that you can’t take a pill to kill. Stop calling every woman you meet out of her name. Eat better, because too many of our black men are dying of heart disease and high cholesterol. If you have children, be a part of their lives. Raise them. Don't just come around to drop off some Pampers® and a check. Don't just come around to SAY you've been around. Make that child remember who you are. Make that child miss you. Love your kids and respect them, they'll love and respect you back.

Young black women, 2 years from now, nobody is going to give a hot damn that you were the lead Skank shaking her ass in that Lil Jon video. Try to acquire better goals for yourself. You may be beautiful to look at, and your ass may shake more than a Parkinson’s patient, but how about you put the thongs down and pick up a book? Adjust your weave. Fix your broken acrylics. Bathe. Love yourselves. Get born. Embrace positive Black women who are fearless leaders. Sisters, realize that just because that brotha around the way has a nice car does not mean he's rich. Stop going for men who you think will spend all their money on you. That doesn't make you a woman: that makes you the gold digging tramp that most men assume we all are. Love and support your man, but realize your life does not begin and end with what makes him happy. Educate yourself. Make your man and your children proud to call you ‘Wife’ and ‘Mother’. Make your own money. Do your own thing. Have a life outside of your home. Financial independence is a beautiful thing. Stop supporting these sorry men who don't want to work because they're sharing your check. Stop opening your legs for every Tom, Dick and Tyrone.

Young women, stop making babies just to prove that you can. Respect yourselves. Learn to be a lady. Speak English. Stop hating on your sisters just because. Give yourself time to grieve when a relationship ends. Don’t just jump into a new one because you’re afraid to be alone. Enjoy and embrace periods of alone time as a chance to rekindle your passion for you and the things you love to do. Remind brotha’s around the way that neither you nor any of your sisters of the spirit are a bitch, ho, or any other demeaning name. Don’t just say the words, “I am a strong Black woman”, mean them! When you see Black men disrespecting another Black woman, stand up and say “Enough!” Strong Black women, remember you come from a heritage of royalty. Your ancestors built the pyramids in Egypt while other races were still struggling to harness the power of fire. Stop rolling your eyes and rolling your neck all the time, you don't have that disease that Muhammad Ali has, so what is your problem? You only reinforce all the negative stereotypes that many of us have fought to overcome when you act the role of ‘Hood Rat De Jour’, so please, reevaluate your actions.

That's part one... part two is coming soon, so let me know what you think