The truth hurts. It doesn’t make it any less true. Some of us are strong enough to handle the truth about ourselves and others are not. At the same, time many of us dodge the truth about ourselves while continuing to point the finger at others.
As a black man, I’m not ashamed to look at myself when it comes to making improvements within myself or to accept responsibility for any and all of my actions. This is what has allowed me to make it to where I am today. It is not a coincidence that a lot of other people are where they are today due to a lack of being able to look at themselves, make improvements, or accept personal responsibility for their actions.
For them, it is always somebody else’s fault.
I am a black man and I grew up in Baltimore City. Some people may look at my demeanor and swear that’s not the case, but this isn’t up for debate. I’ve experienced all the things most black men have experienced, such as racism, being negatively profiled, discriminated against and many others. There is nothing any black man can say they’ve gone through that I have not.
In reference to my demeanor, a lot of people seem to think that just because I don’t fit the mold of the stereotypical black man, that means there’s no possible way I could have experienced any of this. Again…not up for debate. I’ll be 36 years old in a little over two months. I’ve spent enough time trying to “convince” people of something in which their only defense against it being true is how I carry myself, the fact that I have white friends and the fact that I married a white woman. No hard evidence, just those. That’s like me telling you that you’ve never lived in an apartment because you’re driving a brown car. It doesn’t make sense.
At this time, there are riots taking place in my hometown. It’s not surprising that people are making excuses for the rioters. At the same time, peaceful protesting is taking place. Of course, there is more emphasis on the rioters, because that’s what has more people talking.
The silliest thing about this is that many of the members of our community are saying, “Don’t put the rioters in the same boat as the protesters.” Number one, many of these same people don’t have a problem putting all POLICE in the same boat. Number two, even these people themselves aren’t taking that advice.
The protesting is helping; the riots are not. Period. If they are to be kept separate, why is this so hard for the black community to say? If we can say that “not all black people are the same,” why is it so hard for the black community to say that “not all white cops are the same”?
The answer is simple. Because we are beating ourselves.
We beat ourselves every day. EVERY SINGLE DAY. White people can be completely taken out of the equation and it wouldn’t change a thing. What do I mean by that?
Many of us are brought up to hate white people. Seriously. With some of what people have said to me, it should be a complete shock that I even care about white people today. That’s how bad it is for many of us. Now there’s not much merit behind why “white people hate us” except for what I’ve discovered later on to be that that person who happened to be white had an issue with the person who told me that “white people hated” us.
Along with that, slavery is brought up often as well. Now here’s what I’m going to say about slavery that will quickly put an end to that part of the discussion, once and for all:
Number one, blacks were NOT the only slaves. There were white slaves also, along with black slave masters. Number two, not a single person alive today experienced slavery, so the same way you like to tell every white person out there that they don’t understand you is the same way you don’t understand slavery and what our ancestors went through. The worst possible situation any black person has EVER experienced today pales in comparison to what our ancestors experienced during the slave days, and I’m talking every day. EVERY DAY. We are NOT EVEN CLOSE.
That’s the end of that.
Back to “beating ourselves.” Many of us are also brainwashed to believe that we are worthless and will never amount to anything. Personally, I’ve NEVER believed that about myself or our community, but I’m not sure I can say the same about how other blacks feel about themselves. Again, we’re told that white people are the ones who feel this way about us?
So what are we, puppets? So even if every white person in the world said these things about us, what does that have to do with HOW WE REACT? So because they say this, that means we are to do it?
Why is this a big deal and how does this tie in? In looking at the riots, a lot of justification is being given for the rioters, even though those rioting are nowhere near the same level as the ones protesting. The ones protesting have experienced more and are older. The rioters are a bunch of teenagers behaving like animals just because they can. Now any logical person can see that much and can easily tell the difference. However, much of the black community is afraid to say it for some odd reason.
What this whole things boils down to is this: There is a big difference between fighting AGAINST racism and HIDING BEHIND it, which means using it as a crutch. Way too many members of the black community HIDE BEHIND IT.
I’ll be more than happy to explain.
Racism exists. Big time. No question there. However, it is not white-on-black ONLY. Look up the definition of the word. Nowhere in the definition does it state that victims can only be black. However, how we react to it is a different story. This is what many seem to believe.
Simply put, many members of the black community don’t think enough of themselves to believe that they are better than how they are portrayed. The respect for ourselves isn’t even there. Yet we expect it from everyone else.
A lot of what goes on in our community is our own fault. That’s right; I said it. OUR OWN FAULT.
Travyon Martin was killed in Sanford, Florida on February 26, 2012. Eric Garner was killed in New York City on July 17, 2014. Michael Brown was killed in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9, 2014. Walter Scott was killed in North Charleston, South Carolina on April 4th of this year. Most recently, Freddie Gray was killed in Baltimore on April 19 of this year. Many incidents have likely taken place in that time span, but these are the most widely-known.
Now, let’s say some idiot white person was responsible for all these deaths. Let’s say there is no doubt in our minds that this happened. Hell, let’s say they all flat-out confessed. Here’s my question: How many black-on-black murders have happened in this time span between Martin’s and Gray’s deaths?
Oh damn…not the “black-on-black crime” argument again. Yes…the black on black crime argument again. Roll your eyes if you wish. Huff, puff and blow my house down too. Now that that’s all out of your system, I continue. The main reasons these incidents were made as popular as they were was because the victims were all black and the suspects were not. Now, back to my question…how many times have we as blacks killed each other in that span? I don’t have the exact numbers, but I’m going to take a wild guess and say A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT MORE OFTEN THAN JUST THOSE INCIDENTS.
I know, I know…”but blacks are victims more often at the hands of whites than just these incidents.” Right. I don’t question that. But where’s the proof? Where’s the evidence? I can guarantee that for every incident you come up with, I can give you 10-20 in which blacks have committed crimes against each other.
Now if we cared about ourselves any, those incidents should have us just as fired up as the ones where the suspects aren’t black. After all, no matter WHAT you pull up, the FACT of the matter is that we do it to each other WAY more often. Don’t believe me? You go ahead and search Google to find all the examples where white-on-black happens. As far as black-on-black, I’ll just turn on today’s news.
And tonight’s news. And tomorrow morning’s news. And tomorrow afternoon’s news. And tomorrow evening’s news. And the late news. And the morning after that. And the afternoon after that. And the evening after that. And the late…need I continue?
A lot of people get sore about that whenever it is mentioned. Black-on-black crime is a severe black eye in our community and just like a physical black eye, we’re try to hide it, cover it up, or pretend it isn’t there. It’s too embarrassing for many to deal with. Black folks are quick to snap at anyone when it’s brought up. You can snap at me all day. It changes nothing. Unless you can show me that it doesn’t happen every day, I’m not interested in the twist you want to put on it.
However, the rate in which it happens should be alarming to all of us. I’m not sure why it isn’t. I’m not certain as to why people get defensive when it’s brought up. With the frequency that it happens, it’s confusing to me as to why there’s little outrage, but when the suspect isn’t black, we all want to channel our inner Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
People often come back with “We DO protest the black-on-black crime, but the media doesn’t cover it.” Okay. So pull out your phones. Record it yourselves. People have no problem recording people beating up on each other, but something like this and we don’t think to do it ourselves?
I know these protests do happen. I’ve seen a few of them. However, they don’t happen nearly as much as people claim and people certainly don’t talk about it nearly as often. Oh, except for when black-on-black crime is mentioned.
Let’s say you invite black and white people to your house. Every day, several times a day, the black folks steal items. Then say, once every other day, a white person steals ONE item. Now what the hell sense does it make to raise up strong on those white folks rather than the black people? Which one is stealing more and would clean you out the fastest? Basic math tells you the answer there.
Many of you aren’t willing to accept that. That’s fine. It’s not as if I’m making any of this up. Even so, here are some more reasons we’re the biggest threat to ourselves.
Look at how successful blacks are viewed. What are we all called? Sellout, Uncle Tom, house nigger…and I’m sure the list goes on. Now wait a minute…I’m hearing this from other black folks? Why’s that?
As I stated above, many members of the black community think so little of themselves that they truly believe it is impossible to amount to anything. This is why the street life is embraced so much by our community and why some people feel they are more “real” if this is what they’re about. Many have flat-out told me that they feel this is the best they can ever do.
On top of that, they don’t view successful black people as an inspiration. They view us as threats. They view us as “trying to be white.” They view us as people who hate our own kind. So we are largely shunned by our own community. Many members of the black community think so little of themselves that it seems there’s no way we could amount to anything without trying to be some other race. We have so little faith in ourselves that when someone is aiming for success, it must be an “act” of some kind.
When the incidents happened that I mentioned above, in not one of those cases, were those young men on their way to the library, to perform brain surgery, or to help an old lady across the street. They were out and doing a whole lot of what they had no business doing. Period. Does mean it deserves death? It doesn’t even matter. The results were the domino effect of their lifestyles and activities. A lot of things happen as a result of this and that and none of us have control over the END results. However, we DO have control in the beginning, and while you can say whatever you want, the bottom line is that if these young men are not out and doing what they had no business doing, they would all likely be here with us today and we would never even know who they are.
Now does that mean that in each case, the suspects were justified? Of course not. But the “domino effect” doesn’t care about justified. You push that first domino over, the rest fall. Unless one is moved out of the way.
Which leads me to conclude with this. Until we start looking within ourselves first, nothing will change. Ever. This doesn’t mean to ignore racism from whites. Absolutely not. But some better choices on our parts certainly would help. One of those “better choices” would be to stop blaming whites for every damn thing that’s wrong with us. Even if it WAS true, I can guarantee that damn near everything they do, we do to ourselves a hell of a lot more.
Take white people, white cops and white bread, Betty White, white-out, the Chicago White Sox and white everything else out of the equation and many of the issues in our community would still exist. THAT is the problem. We spend so much time dancing all around that and this is why we rarely see change. No matter how much protesting, rioting, even Facebook posting and Twitter tweeting we do, that’s why change doesn’t happen. It starts with us.
Once I had a friend actually say to me that it was “unrealistic” to expect black people to not commit crimes. I had to ask her to repeat it, because it just blew my mind. We really think that little of ourselves that we feel it is unrealistic? Even so, why can’t we just take ownership when it does happen?
I’m well-aware of all the explanations. Every one. And they’re all garbage. Bullshit excuses that I’m sick of hearing and people using them as “arguments” when talking to me about this. It’s laughable.
The best most people can come up with is, “If you’re not black, then you won’t understand.” Then when black people like me come along who DO understand, that’s when it becomes something else. And then something else. And then something else.
Again…all bullshit excuses.
We need to think better of ourselves than to keep blaming the decisions we make on everyone else. Nobody MAKES us do anything. Even if I were to accept that, then it would make sense if all the crimes were against white people. It wouldn’t be okay, but it fits.
However, we’re doing horrible things to EACH OTHER. What do white people have to do with that?
Yeah. Just like every other blog post and Facebook post I’ve made similar to this, I will lose a lot of people and many will have a problem with it. That’s fine. No sleep will be lost on my end. I just know that we do so much to hurt ourselves and whites don’t have to be involved at all. Change the white person’s involvement and most of these things still happen. However, change OUR involvement and where WE are in our lives and I guarantee the outcome will be different.
I don’t expect everyone to understand that. That’s okay. I’m where I am in life because I DO understand it. Many, sadly, are where YOU are in life because you DON’T. It’s not a a coincidence that I’m quite a bit ahead of those people. You can take that however you want. You’re likely going to anyway, despite how kind I am in explaining why I say that. But if the shoe fits, that’s your burden to bear, not mine.
Thanks for reading.