I’m sitting here watching a lot of these videos that talk about the state of affairs between Black Men and Black Women and I have come to a few conclusions. The Black community that we loved to hate, that we debated back and forth about since the late seventies has come to an end. In its place is the idea that we can talk about the Black community and affect change, online in social networks and on YouTube, but it isn’t a conversation that many of us want to have.
I used to say that we want to be entertained and watch BET and MTV Jams, or hang out on social networks like Black Planet or Media Take Out, but I don’t think that is the case anymore. The novelty of a Black community is a distant memory. How many page views do these guys on YouTube or on the blogs get compared to the page views that people who just happen to be Black doing what they love to do best are receiving? Some of these videos might receive a thousand page views in three years.
If you do watch a video it is because the girl looks good or has inflammatory, controversial, or incendiary things to say. You do not even have to agree with what she says, but it is entertaining to hear her say it. Black Men take a more calculated approach, but its all cerebral and their righteous indignation is boring. I would rather watch someone like proteanview wax poetic, and he’s an atheist and I disagree with his views on religion. Stick187 is interesting as well. But please, stop talking about how much you guys are concerned about the Black community because talking is one thing that we can do very well. We love to talk, we love to hear ourselves talk, we pay good money to hear someone else talk, we place in high esteem, those that can talk better than the next person.
A Black person needs to know how to talk as it is essential to their survival and if they don’t know how to talk they are useless to everyone around them. Even the geekiest, nerdiest, most eccentric, out of the way Black person learns how to talk slick and work their way around a conversation before the end of the day. You may not know how to dance, you may be horrible at sports, you might not even be able to dress, but if you can’t talk, there is something seriously wrong with you. There is nothing impressive about that at all.
How much do we really care about our community and our neighborhoods? How angry could we be, really, when we continue to laugh at another Black person that is doing something we’re not willing to do? How angry can we be at Black women when we are always friends with some “hoodrats” “rollers”, or whatever else you would like to call them; I think I am old enough to remember “skeezers” or “stunt”. As much as the average Black man would not like to admit it, he is often right there. If we really cared about Black women that much why would we reward the behavior and engage in a situation we’re not willing to own up to or claim for ourselves but then complain when the same girl is out with some thug. Of course that goes both ways, so how can Black women complain about what we do when they treat us the same way.
There are people you will sneak around with and people that you are proud to stand next to; it has always been this way and it always will be. We all talk about ‘hood culture, but it doesn’t take that much to get us back into the ‘hood. Some of us are a paycheck away from being in the ghetto, or live in the ghetto but we do not really fit in there but we don’t have enough money to live in a nice neighborhood so we don’t associate with anyone there. But of course we’ll go to someone else’s neighborhood because they invited us there.
You can be middle class, and Black, and still be insecure because you’re not up on the latest trends, listen to the latest music, watch the latest Black films, wear the same clothing the drug dealers are draped in or read the latest “street lit”. Beyonce is a prime example of how the middle class finds their expression in the morals and values of the street culture. But even back in the days of the Cosby Show I knew other middle class Black families where the children were not remotely interested in living up to the aspirations that their parents had for them.
We need to stop talking about the Black community, because we honestly do not care. No one really wants anything to change. Anyone who does is off doing their own thing and could care less what other Black people think about them. The Blacks that are the most vocal on what plagues our community are often those that feel out of place and are nervous and perplexed by the state of affairs; you never hear from middle class and rich Blacks that are profiting from the misery and you never hear from the poor who are encouraged to be ignorant. You only hear from those that are out of place, have no space of their own and no identity in this community and then espouse these deep and profound convictions, revelations, and prophetic ideas. But if they were accepted into this community, and if they found a way to profit off of the status quo you would never hear a peep from them.
Today’s public intellectuals talk a good game, but they do not go any further than where Martin Luther King and Malcolm X have already taken us. They are a waste of space and resources. You have a few people with genuine concern but if everything was fixed a huge sector of our intellectual resources would be totally useless, a lot of people would be exposed, and a lot of people would be out of work. Either this community works, or a lot of Blacks feel good about what they are doing and see no reason to change the status quo. The only thing I have learned in 38 years is that you are not going to change this community, but then again, you aren’t going to change America either.
People simply do not see the whole picture. Ignorant Black culture is a viable industry and a huge money making machine that rakes in trillions of dollars for a lot of people and it is not going anywhere soon. There is a reason why we went from having record levels of college attendance in the seventies to where we are at now. Ever since the seventies we have continued to talk about how those that actually care about us did everything they could to marginalize ignorant culture that only served to lead us to our demise. But the heroes of other cultures are ignorant as well, so we need to stop beating ourselves up about the fact that we look to the negative because that is an American thing, not a Black thing. America has been ignorant since the sixties, so we should stop saying that other cultures have everything together and have all of the answers when they have not had the answers for at least the last 50 years.
We know that they do not have the answers because we were brought here to work for free; so what is it that we are aspiring to? Do we want the riches and wealth that was gained through illegal, immoral and unethical means, or do we want to be better people? Why are we so ignorant to the way that the world really works? Why do we continue to romanticize about a reality that simply does not exist? Why doesn’t a Black person stand up and tell the truth, which is that other races are often as messed up as we are. The crime might not exist, the poverty might not be as profound, but the state of mind is not always what you think that it would be.
Ignorant culture is not our problem; ignorance is a human condition that has to be addressed on an individual level. Our problem is that we do not truly believe that we can be a better human being that anyone else has. Our problem is that we sincerely think that if we have as much money as White people, that we will arrive and be transformed into something that they have not. Our limitations continue to be a microcosm of what America represents, and capitalism continues to be our glass ceiling. No one is thinking outside of the box, and no one is proposing anything that is truly revolutionary. Please, shut up about the Black community and stop espousing the same bright ideas that our leaders have suggested decades or even hundreds of years ago. Forget about being Black, and focus on becoming a better human being.