The world is an unfair, uncompromising, bitter place, filled with racist, rude, despicable people that would almost rather spit in your face then help you. At any given time, life will hit you harder than you ever have been hit before, drop you to your knees, and keep you there. The only thing that prevents us from staying down when that happens is our will.
Our desire to get back up when we’ve been knocked down is what drives us. Knowing that if you can stand up again after taking life’s best shot, then you have already won and are just waiting to be on your two feet again.
Well, my fellow Black Americans, what the fuck are you waiting for?!?
Our ancestors, whose backs this country was built upon, were beaten, spit on, lynched, burned, hung, and faced far greater perils than we do today, and they kept on fighting. Some took to religion, some took to peaceful demonstrations, and others employed a more militant approach, but all of them worked toward building a better tomorrow for Black Americans. And what have we done with their sacrifices?
I am tired of hearing that “the man is keeping us down.” The man is keeping everyone down. We need to stop making excuses, stop robbing and killing each other, stop perverting our selves and our music and our culture to make a few of us rich. School is cool. Respecting women is advantageous, not just to our women, but for our men as well. Having strong nuclear families are important. We need to get off of the drugs, stay out of the jails, get caught up with current events, and stop patting our selves on the back saying, “Woe is me.”
We need to stop waiting for someone else to help us. We have to help ourselves.
I know it is tough out there. I am a young Black man who grew up in Orange County. I practically knew every Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley police officer by name. They harassed me, chastised me, and illegally detained me every chance they got. But I didn’t let it get me down. I knew they were trying to provoke me, but I wouldn’t let them. I knew what they were up to. They were just waiting for me to give them an excuse to mess me up, and more importantly my future plans. But I didn’t give them that pleasure.
It sucked, but I never said it was going to be easy. It took me being a better man. I also am a realist and know that being the bigger man won’t always work in our favor. I think the people of Fullerton know damn well that a cop is going to do what a cop is going to do.
I know it seems unfair. The system has fucked us every chance it has gotten. But I am tired of all the boo hooing. Life is unfair, bad things happen, and just when you think you are getting a leg up, life comes along and kicks you in the other leg so it all comes crashing down.
That is just life.
It’s not what happens to you in life that makes you, it is how you respond to those things when they happen. It is important to plan for these occurrences. Asians do, Jews do. We can learn something from the strength of their communities. This is why you don’t burn your bridges. This is why you create strong family networks and have good friends, so that when the times get tough, you have a community behind you to rely on. But if we are scared of each other, and cant trust our friends and neighbors, then we are fighting against ourselves as well as the world.
I know it seems that we have been wronged so many times it would almost be laughable if it wasn’t true, painful, and sad. But, we need to just get over it. Develop a thicker skin, know that it will always be like this, and move on. I know it is unfair. I know that exacting revenge is the more attractive play, but we will ultimately lose. I have had bad things happen to me. But I got over them.
I remember in 4th grade I had the biggest crush on this girl in my class. And she not only didn’t care about me, but crushed my heart into a million pieces. I was devastated. It really hurt, I was very sad, but I moved on, and I am stronger for it. It is something that happens in every young man’s life. I am not going to use that occurrence or occurrences like that one to shape the relationships I have with women. And neither should we use what has happened in the past to shape how we act now or let it sabotage our future. We should learn from it and keep moving forward.
Oh, by the way, Harmony French, Go fuck yourself. I said I moved on, I didn’t say I don’t hold grudges.
We can all glean something useful from the line Michael Corleone, Al Pacino’s character in the Godfather made famous, “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” You don’t have to like everyone you meet and work with. God knows they probably don’t like you. But you need to get along with them because you are there to get a paycheck.
And don’t go crying that you have a responsibility of being a man, so you have to defend your honor. You are right, you do have a responsibility as a man. And that responsibility is to provide your family with a house, a car, food, a safe environment, and a good husband or father. And you get all of that by keeping your job.
Praying isn’t going to do it either. I am happy that a lot of people in the Black community has found Jesus. But it doesn’t appear he wanted us to be the ones to find him. Lest I remind you that the White slave owners forced Christianity onto our people as a way to placate us, stop us from organizing and rebelling against our slave masters, and to make us more docile workers. They used the Christian religion to brainwash us and strip away our African culture and heritage. And after 300 years they were successful.
If anything we should resent the Christan religion as an emotional and spiritual yoke still binding us to our slavery days. But I digress, it is a reality in the Black community and it gives a lot of people hope. But instead of being so worried about the next life, we need to be concerned about this one. We can’t wish and hope our problems away. Religion is a good tool to use for building a stronger community, or keeping one’s faith in humanity, but as far as our problems go, we need to be the one’s to do something about it.
If you do believe in God, then believe he gave you the tools you need to rise up and change your life now. You are what is keeping you down. You need to realize that you have the power to lift yourself up, or to push yourself down.
We need to stop all of this nonsense now. We need to heal as a Black community. It was more likely that I was going to end up in prison than with a degree from a university. White people have washed their hands of us. Our movement has come to an end. That is the problem with a movement; it has a beginning and an end. Rosa Parks can be credited with starting it, and now President Obama is the finish line.
But he isn’t for me, and he shouldn’t be for you either. We have much to offer this country, our community, our families, and ourselves. We need to educate, reevaluate, and heal our communities before we go the way of the mastodon or the saber-toothed tiger. Two giants in North America history, extinct now and hardly ever thought about. I refuse to let that happen to us. And what is the most ironic part of all of this, is that it will not be from the hands of White America that Black Americans’ futures are destroyed. We are doing a fine job of it ourselves.