Monday, March 24, 2008
Social Commentary - I Love Black People, but...(Pt. 1)
(This is an entry I wrote a few months back on my other site - and yes, these words still ring true today)
A dichotomy exists.
As a Black man, born and raised in Southern California, I have come to expect one of two responses from other Black passersby (or standers by) that acknowledge my presence.
On the benign end, other males of African descent simply nod at you. Some ask, “how are you my brother?” Others still simply give you a look that is worth a thousand words. These facial expressions often scream: “I’m glad I’m not the only motherfucking Black person here!”
I love these moments. These brief exchanges that have led many to believe that some sort of innate Black male camaraderie exists. For brief moments in time, it appears as if all Black men get along. As if we walk around with our skin serving as a testament to our involvement in this not-so-secret fraternity of Blackness. We bond briefly and then move forward with our tasks at hand; never allowing the Brotherhood to distract us away from our daily mission.
Yet, every yin has its yang. Every Shaq has its Kobe. Every Biggie has its Pac. Every Black man driving has its police officer. I believe you get the picture.
For some reason that exists beyond my realm of understanding, other Black men opt to meet me with unwelcoming glares. Sometimes they’re in the car right next to me while I’m stopped at the traffic signal. In some cases, they’re walking past me while I’m shopping in the mall with my cousin. Sometimes they’re waiting to be seated at the restaurant while I’m walking out after enjoying a delectable meal. I swear it seems like they’re everywhere. And I swear, that without fail, they are looking at me. They are pointing their unpleasant mugs in my direction and showing their distaste for my person.
I vowed while in high school, to keep my head off of a swivel when dealing with other Black males. I mean, the only time that I go out of my way to break my self-imposed rule is when one of my Black male counterparts is being accompanied by a beautiful young lady. But otherwise, I want nothing to do with them – at least in the “I like to shoot mean glares at strangers” sense. I don’t want to see what kind of shoes they have on. I don’t want to ask them where they got their tattoos done. I don’t want to see what kind of car they drive. I just want the silent head nod, the “how are you”, or nothing at all.
How much of a threat do I really pose to other Black males? Why do I bring them so much displeasure? Is it something about me or are Black males conditioned to view their brothers as a competitor; as the enemy?
The notion of a Black male brotherhood is a façade. The notion of a Black community that is interlinked throughout American is a myth. As far as I can see, the unity in this “community” is missing in action. Of course there are roots to this evil held closely by history. However, Black men must take the initiative and work to stop perpetuating this venom that is stagnating the “Black cause.” Or at the very least, stagnating my personal cause, as a Black man.
I beg of you Black men. Stop staring at me. Just because you see me in the streets, homey you definitely don’t know me.