As everyone clamored about the recent Syria bombings, gawked over Russell Westbrook’s record-breaking triple-double, or giddily await Kendrick Lamar’s upcoming album, you may have missed a series of Instagram posts from Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant.
First and foremost, I would like to say I do a great job of minding my own business, but it's pressing on my heart to share my thoughts about white Americans and black Americans (racism).
I saw a person quote Charles Barkley when he said, "We as black people, we're never going to be successful not because [of] you white people, but because of other black people."
I hate to admit it, but I understand that quote.
I've been [racially] profiled on numerous occasions, but not once has it influenced an ill feeling inside me about anyone outside of that issue. REAL SLAVERY is different from what's going on in our world now. We all (every ethnicity) have the opportunity to lead by EXAMPLE.
Instead of making videos about the history of racism that get applause or people with influence merely doing things to post for social media, we should focus on individual accountability to be better as a whole.
I recently ran into a guy I grew up with who spent his adulthood dealing drugs. While we were catching up, he shared with me that he wished that he chose a different and better path. He said seeing my success was inspiring and that it encouraged him to do better with his life.
Real question: What is wrong with being sophisticated and black? Why do we associate those who choose the straight-and-narrow as not being "black enough?" Why was it that I was one of the first examples of success to my friend?
We focus hard on fighting the realities that exist instead of creating our own reality. The ones who came for us (Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Malcolm X) paved a new path for us to follow. The struggles and hurt they endured created new life for us today.
It is not our job to carry the burden, but it is our job to lead by example.
Not that my opinion matters, I'm just sharing my thoughts.
Throughout my life, I have been hit with several different labels because of my straight and narrow lifestyle. “Socially awkward”, “weird”, “crazy”, “creepy”, “lame” and “a square ass n*gga” is just the tip of the iceberg. Years ago, I was trying to spit my limited amount of game to a woman, we'll call her Alice. I was telling her my theory on why Hip-Hop is a form art and not just a means of entertainment. She glanced at me with a stare emptier than a school corridor in July and said, “I can tell you don’t date a lot of women because you are too smart for your own good. You are not black enough”.
“I can tell you don’t date a lot of women because you are too smart for your own good. You are not black enough”.
This was one of the most conflicting statements I had heard in my life. Where did this unwritten universal code on “being black” come from? Who created it? Was it a group of white men who run a television station and needed ratings for their television product? Was it a record label executive who wanted a way to sell more records? From my perspective, Blacks who sag their pants and communicate in uneducated jargon are given a Black hall pass and make more money quicker than a Black who is educated and has respect for themselves and others. Drama, violence and slang are all money makers for the white elite. An intellectual Black man with an education, high moral standards, integrity and a book in his hand is considered to be “acting White” and does not garner media attention. The saying “If you want to hide something from a Black man, put it in a book” unfortunately still rings true today.
President Barack Obama, in a 2004 Democratic National Convention speech, proclaimed, "Children can't achieve unless we raise their expectations and turn off the television sets and eradicate the slander that says a black youth with a book is acting white”.
It is time that Blacks stop with the “black enough” narrative. It is a mere “divide and conquer” strategy for our contemporaries to make money off of us. Unfortunately, this message will probably fall onto deaf ears and blind eyes.