Posts Tagged ‘black friend’
This is your official invitation to join me on BlackfriendTV for the serialized reading of my book with commentary. You are free to pick and choose the questions of interest. Sharing is caring. Be sure to share with your friends and/or the people you want to save from asking these same questions. Learning is fundamental.
By now you’ve seen Django Unchained. It’s a movie and as such is meant to be entertaining; a means of distracting you from the reality of your day-to-day life. Mission accomplished.
However, when it comes to the big picture, it’s an unimportant footnote. It’s astounding to see Black people constantly revisiting old circular arguments and repeating the same observations about Hollywood representations. In this case: how no Black person could’ve made the movie (untrue), how the movie is disrespectful towards ancestors (give us your version Spike), how White people were laughing inappropriately (Black people too), how the depiction is inaccurate (it’s not a documentary)…the list goes on. But does any of it truly matter?
Obsequious validation seeking from Hollywood, blaming “The White man” or any other boogeyman to whom you attribute all your personal and social ills is not getting you what you want. Right now you’re stuck in a behavioral loop because you’re getting something from it. Somehow you’re still at the stage where you believe that even negative attention is good, complaining is productive and if you rage long enough, you’ll get your way. [By the way, that’s not “The White man”, that’s your infantile ego.] So you remain immersed in negative thoughts (energy), never changing the things you rail against or yourself because you’re thoroughly conditioned by forces (media) designed to keep you asleep. It’s not too far a stretch to say that right now, YOU ARE a SLAVE to that which you have given over your power (including your mindset).
Listen, I am merely doing the friend thing here and drawing attention to the behaviors that keep you in the same angry, frustrated, bitter 2012 state of mind. I want better for you in 2013 but that’s not enough; you have to want better for yourself. Consider carefully what truly matters, what it will take to get what you want and act accordingly.
“Emancipate yourself from mental slavery” ~Bob Marley
There’s a meme floating around the internet that states: Every 40 hours, a Black person is killed by the police. I didn’t vet this report but it’s linked for your consideration. Now, whether we can actually know if the number is 100% accurate, it’s likely enough to have gotten everyone’s attention. And when I consider those numbers along with Black on Black crime statistics, it’s enough to literally make me cry.
Like many of you I care but feel powerless to stop the ever increasing wave of senseless violence or have any impact on changing the reasons why it’s occurring. And before we consider solutions, we first have to accept the fact that it IS actually happening. Sparse reporting, overwhelm and a lack of concern has led many into denial and thinking the fish-in-a-barrel style taking of Black life is an overblown urban myth. It is not; it is real.
For those of us who see and care, I have a simplistic working theory and a partial solution. It sounds trite (and unoriginal) but if I had a fancy infographic, my theory it would read like this:
People don’t like Black people: Police are people. Black people are people: Black people don’t like themselves.
Accordingly: Hurting people that nobody likes (Black people) is okay (deserved). And people that don’t like themselves hurt people (esp. those in close proximity) that look like them.
Black people and Black men in particular are in desperate need of a strong public relations campaign (damage control) and mass deprogramming sessions.
I am in no way excusing Black people from the ways in which we contribute to the reasons why we’re (to put it mildly) “not liked” and flat out killing each other. However, I am suggesting that these behaviors are in large part a vicious cycle of self-fulfilling prophecy, further promoted by the way we’re portrayed –and as a consequence, become how we view ourselves and others who look like us. [That was a mouthful] Even the shining beacon that is President Obama in the Oval Office has not been enough to overcome massively deficient public and self-perception; especially when not even the President can escape blatant, race-based disrespect.
How can we convince damaged people that their lives are worthwhile and valuable when there are so many indications to the contrary? My ideas are not totally practical. I am frustrated and sad but I am not totally without hope. I am merely venting.
Did I need to say I wasn’t referring to ALL Black people? Does it matter? The overall perception does not change. Please click the picture or this link and check out Brainwashed.
The great thing about a good post is the ability to repost – enjoy:
When I was a child I spoke, thought and reasoned like a child but when I grew up I put away childish things. 1 Cor. 13:11. When YourBlackfriend was a youth, in the years before the first celebration of Dr. King’s birthday, there was a lot of opposition to the creation of a national holiday. Part of the opposition argument was the potential cost to tax payers, singling him out above other persons and his controversial career (but we can celebrate Columbus Day?). Of course another great part of the opposition was singularly focused on his minority status as a Black man. And once the holiday was pushed through I, like many, was glad for the possibility of a day off– nothing more. But worse than that I had bought into the idea that this was somehow a holiday for Black people.
Today it’s hard to imagine people getting caught up on those things if you understand that Dr. King was a humanitarian. This means that while his primary work appeared to be centered on civil rights for Blacks, his overall goal was the improvement of conditions for ALL mankind. The only way this doesn’t apply to YOU is if you’re not human…and maybe not even then. [It seems to me Dr. King would hold the Navi lifestyle in high regard.] Nevertheless, I know that there are those who still have a problem with this Holiday.
To you I say that it’s true that as a youth I only understood Dr. King intellectually. But older, wiser and more educated, I now understand the connectedness of ALL mankind and appreciate the impact and meaning of his legacy. Simply put, we rise or fall together. This is clear in the age of globalization and poignantly highlighted by the current plight of Haitians. They and others are OUR problem. It is high time to put away childish thoughts, reasoning and petty squabbling; we pay tribute to a higher level of consciousness when we do.
Enjoy this day of remembrance but know that beyond this day, any hope for a better world depends on an ONGOING ingrained sense of duty and obligation to work towards fairness and equality for all peoples. You are your brother’s keeper and “We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
The answers to most of the questions I receive on this website have the same general themes: (1) Have you thought about it from the others perspective? (2) Do unto others (i.e. how would you like if it were done to you) and (3) What do you think (because people usually stop thinking when they can defer to an “expert”). Additionally, the questions are mostly repetitive and/or can be found in my book. Among other reasons, this is why in all these years I’ve resisted writing a follow-up book. “All these years” is significant because the book still sells pretty well.
Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,078 in Books #15 in Books > Reference > Education > Questions & Answers #22 in Books > Nonfiction > Social Sciences > Sociology > Race Relations > America
And while that’s great for supplemental income, mine is the type of book you’d like to see fade into obscurity for lack of need/interest.
I mean it’s simple (and sometimes funny) to point out our differences. And I could easily cobble together enough new material from this very unchanged post-racial Obama era. But I won’t because as far as I can tell, drawing awareness to and documenting differences (in treatment or behavior) hasn’t caused any major positive shifts. Yes, I know change happens slowly and progress has been made; but we are way behind where we should be race relations wise. Just as knowing better does not mean doing better; neither does acknowledging our differences lead to wide range acceptance or appreciation. And in my opinion, racial tolerance is low sight to set. So, I am leaving it to the comedians, race baiters/mongers and the defenders/racial apologists. Until I can find a meaningful way to address what I see as a not so complex race relation problem, I am exiting ala Dave Chappelle (minus the fame, money and opportunity) and there will be no follow-up.
This is not a concession or acceptance of the status quo. I DON’T believe our problems have been solved or will work themselves out. I DO believe our current adversarial paradigm is due for a major overhaul. And we can do better starting with me. In the future look for something from me that strongly advocates a change in oneself as a first step. Sure, I’ll continue to answer your questions (I am your Black friend afterall) but please consider the themes in the first paragraph before you ask – then buy my book. Thank you.