20 December 2007

But They Stay the Same

Part 2 to "Wake Up All You Children: An Essay on Race in America":

On the flip-side ladies, all men are not dogs. Stop thinking you can change a man, and for the love of yourself, stop getting involved with these immature ass little boys thinking you can force him to grow up. Boys are trouble, men are worth it. A man will respect you if you respect yourself. A man will love you if you love yourself. Most of all, stop trying to make good Black men (or good White/Hispanic/Asian men too for that matter) pay for the mistakes that a few dumb asses in your past have made! Realize that not every man is your ex. See your man as the beautifully fragile and wonderful human he is. Don’t berate him just because he’s sensitive and shows his emotions, and for the love of G-d, stop putting all of his business out in the streets if he should show those emotions in front of you! Contrary to popular belief, your friends can and will live their lives quite happily without knowing every single detail of what goes on inside of your home.

Black women, love and embrace your kinky hair, your big lips, and your amazingly ample curves. Believe it or not, you are beautiful. We've got other races trying so hard to capture the amazing beauty and sensuality we were blessed with naturally that they’re literally dying to look like us. Look at white women, with their tan in a bottle, lip injections and ass implants. All things we have already, without a receipt. Be proud of who you are. White America jocks Jennifer Lopez and Selma Hayek because they have the features of a black woman, but aren't black, so it’s safe for them to sweat them. They will never be that hard on our beauty, so stop being so deep off into theirs. We will never get the props. We will never be in GQ® or Maxims® with the article focusing on our juicy asses, full lips and womanly curves. It's beautiful to them when it's on somebody else, but when it's on us? It's invisible. Fuck that, and fuck them.

One of the biggest problem black people as a whole suffers from is lack of self love. When we struggled so many years ago, we loved ourselves. We came together as a people and made differences. We loved ourselves because nobody else did. Our leaders demanded it. We were put down, spit at, beaten, hosed down, been attacked by dogs, told we were lower than those dogs when it came to us asserting our rights as dignified human beings and turned into strange fruit, dangling from trees all over the South like so many Christmas ornaments. That's just some of the tragedies our people have endured in this century alone, yet many of our people refuse to even try to go out to vote when the elections come around. Why? I don't know why black people are so comfortable with the tiny bit of real "freedom" we have. The ability to walk down the street without getting "night-sticked" to death has made us way too content. The only time black people really come together and exercise unity is when one of us gets our ass beaten by the cops. Then we’re ready to call Al Sharpton, ready to riot, ready to make a stand. We should be doing that stuff already! We are sleepwalking through life people, and while others excel, we’re busy hitting that snooze button, begging for just a few more scraps from Ole Massah’s table.

Bill Cosby called us out, and he was 500% correct with everything he said. Black people got pissed and were ready to call for a boycott of his television shows and books. Why? Truth hurts, I suppose. He said nothing more than most educated, moneyed Black people think about the ignorant ones languishing in the ‘hood: the "Man" is not to blame for every gotdamned thing that goes wrong with your are! If Oprah Winfrey can overcome all the personal issues that she has and be the billionaire she is today, why can't we all? She went through some stuff in her life: victim of incest, loosing a child by 15, on her own by 17. This woman came from absolutely nowhere, now she's a household name. She’s educated and positive, giving back everything she can to the community, but how do we who should be her biggest fans reward her? We call insult and denigrate. Because she pronounces the endings of her words and decided not to air the contemptible morass of idiotry that are regular fare on shows like Jerry Springer, we call her a sell out; accuse her of catering to her white fans. Oprah has set an example that we should all be busting our asses to follow, but we’d rather be sitting at home visualizing ourselves as the next hot video hoochie du jour. Oprah is a worthy role model, Petey fuckin’ Pablo, Superhead and Cognac Jack (aka Remy Ma) are not.

Most Asian cultures focus on education. The White race forcuses on attaining what they need to survive by hook or by crook, but what is our focus as a race? What is the black goal? Settling? Stop settling! Damn it, we are the only ones holding ourselves back! Stop blaming whites for everything. A lot of them don’t have our best interests at heart, but believe it or not, most of them aren't trying to bring you down. Stop wanting everything handed to you on a silver platter just because your ancestors were slaves! That should push you harder. They paved the way for us, now it’s up to us to make something of it. Fight. Fight for your mind. Fight for the continuation of your freedom. This system was NOT made for us, it's been written, trust me. The justice system does not work for black people. If a black man and a white man commit the same crime, guess who's going to get ass raped for a longer period of time? It sure as hell ain’t gonna be Billy Bob, so please stop doing stupid shit that will get you locked up. The more of us that are locked up, the more us that aren't allowed to vote.

Martin Luther King died, wanted us to "overcome" and all we've done is "oversleep". We get a National Holiday and a day off from work and we think we've finally made it to the damned Big Time. We think we're finally respected. We think we're equal. We think we've got it made. We can just sit back and chill cuz it's all good in tha muthafuckin’ ‘hood, right? You better wake up and recognize, because life, and the struggle, are slowly passing you by.

Well, that's it. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thanks to the lady who helped me put these ideas into words: Momma, I love you and thank you for helping me to rise.