Life is hard for a man. Men, in general, are supposed to take charge and have everything figured out. A man takes care of his responsibilities, but at the same time, does not bring on responsibilities that he is not prepared to take care of. The second part is what we rarely speak about. We talk about being a father to your child, but we don’t talk about avoiding sex outside of marriage. We talk about going to school and getting your college degree, but we don’t talk about starting up your own business. We talk about building credit but we don’t talk about staying out of debt. We talk about going to church but we don’t talk about becoming the spiritual head of our household.
See we get half of what it means to be a man correct; the easy half. Too many men talk about women that they should be smart enough to avoid in the first place. They talk about women that they never should have slept with. Their first mistake was to talk to the same women that all of the other men were talking to because relationships are not a “one size fits all” type of deal. I have done it, just like every other man has, or will, in his lifetime.
Now to bring this home specifically, about life as a Black man. It is extremely, uncomfortably, and irritatingly, unfair. To the casual observer Black women seem to get off easy, but that is to the casual observer. A man should not want to get away with what a woman can get away with; particularly considering how hard women fought to get away with those things that, tragically, were the wrong things to fight for. The movement, was cannibalized, infiltrated, and disrespected to encourage women to stand up for all of the wrong things. To be able to have sex like a man or to earn the same wage that he does, while interesting, do not do anything to build up our communities. A weak man will take on that mindset for himself because he cannot rise above the women that he sees, all of which have good paying jobs but none of which are doing anything to generate wealth for their respective communities. If they are lucky their children might go to college to turn around and do the same thing they’ve done, but it isn’t true wealth and they will still be a slave to debt for the rest of their lives.
No one tells a Black man that he is going to pay higher interest, work harder to become overeducated so that he can get the same job that someone with less education that he has and pay more for “goods and services”; fine dining at top tier restaurants and overpriced clothing, than what everyone else will. Everyone has access to that same lifestyle but everyone avoids it. We worship artists that tell us what clothes to buy, what car to drive, what plane to purchase, what light skinned women to chase, but aren’t telling us how to invest our money wisely. Does anyone notice how a Negro can start off as an intelligent Black man but at the end of the day, is just as ignorant as someone with a fraction of his intelligence, once the mainstream has their way with him?
Again, life is hard; it is not about becoming a square to fit into a White world it is about doing what you have to do to get your money. We like loud logos and emblems, and loud colors and $500 sneakers just like you do but we can’t get money the way that we have been trained to acquire it by putting on that uniform. That works for you out on the street, but it isn’t working for us in the boardroom. We both wear expensive things but for us $500 is a nice pair of shoes no one really wants to wear, but is a mark of how successful we have become, just as it is a mark of how successful you are on the streets. You can wear a $700 pair of jeans and a $300 t-shirt, we have to buy a suit; but we both look nice no matter how you look at it.
You pay a lot of money to attend rap concerts we pay a lot of money to sit in boring plays to be “cultured”. Life isn’t any easier, free of drama, or free of stress regardless of which path you take. Both paths are hard, and both can land you in prison if you get greedy. Either way you are playing a game to get ahead; there are Black men and Black women that have been doing this for years that make the average Caucasian you come across seem ghetto. There is this sense that when we are in charge, and the businesses are our own, that you can sit back and let your hair lay down and that is not the case at all. If anything you have to work harder to prove yourself and compete against a company on the other side of the world.
A Black oasis, an African-American nirvana, where everyone is eating and everyone is doing well, and we’re all educated, is going to be bourgeois. Some of us will still find a way to be ghetto, because that is part of who we are as Black people but it will not look anything like what you have become accustomed to. There is room in the society for other means of expression. How is anyone ever going to become the man or woman that they are called to be without any rules? It is not about keeping a “low profile”, but common sense. I like loud music, but I don’t really need it. I get irritated by the responsibilities of being a driver, but there is nothing to gain by breaking the laws. I tried to do what everyone else does, what everyone else can get away with it, but I always get caught and it simply does not work for me. It is strange, awkward, uncomfortable, and that doesn’t say anything about me but if I were living my life the way that a lot of us high minded, self-righteous, Negroes always complain about and talk out against I simply would not be me. I am a nerd, in pretty much everything that I do, and there is a lot that I simply do not get, that I probably do not need to get. But you cannot attack the ghetto lifestyle, and that is what too many of our intellectuals do. They attack a lifestyle that they cannot understand that is not for them that they should not try that hard to understand.
Some of us have one side of our family that is proper, and the other side is in and out of prison. Personally I think that a lot of people should just let up and relax and enjoy themselves, because their clothing is entirely too tight and it seems as though they cannot breathe. They are always counting pennies, you cannot sit on their furniture and the temperature is always 68 degrees in their McMansion (72 degrees in the summer). If they do drive a Benz or a “Beamer” (BMW) it is 15 years old with 250,000 miles, and if it is new they have a tight lease and they never leave town. The dryer is always on the lowest setting, all of the colors are separated by hue before they go in the wash and the cable bill is $100 and do not let the rates go up or they are returning their equipment.
They have money, but do they really live life? That just doesn’t do it for me, which is probably why I never seem to have any money. Life is short; do we want you to do the right thing, of course we do because we love you as you are our brothers and sisters, cousins, nieces and nephews. But do we hate you because we do not agree with your lifestyle, no, because life is short, and there is more to life than preaching and beating you over the head with what we believe to be the truth. We may not agree with everything, but we learn to live with everything, as everyone is still learning how to live with us …