INTERRACIAL DECISION MAKING: WHY I HAVE NEVER DATED OUTSIDE MY ETHNICITY

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“Such a difficult decision.”


interracial 

Within my life, I have ever dated outside my ethnicity. Not that I don’t find anyone attractive, it’s more than just that. It’s a social aspect of living in America. Living i this country long enough, you realize there is a stigma with being in a relationship with a Black male. So I never even held a real conversation with a woman of another group in years. So I guess you can say I live by the ways of society. But it’s just too much of a job to date. I just want to meet someone and date. Why is everything a subject of debate?

lonely evenings

If you are going to only date your own ethnicity, then be prepared for a lot of lonely nights. Because you may be single for a very long time. Depending on what you want that cut of meat most likely is not available. Or, if you do meet someone in you group, it’s not in the right space and time for you to be in a relationship. But the life I am living is more conducive to women than men. Yet I am not holding out for a specific ethnicity. More so I am not able to deal with the hardships of interracial.

off limits

Remember I said earlier about Black men and stigma. Well, this notion that we are not to be spoken is a real sentiment. So, even in a space where the woman may come from an excepting household, it still is a bigger issue. That probably is a reason why I have been so single for so long. When you are only dating one type of person, that can be a very limiting selection situation. But still, females are told from other groups not to date us, so it’s hard to ignore.

playing life safe

When you play life safe, you will never know what else is out there. But for me, I still have that fear of coming in contact with what so many have to deal with, It’s depressing because you see people you like, who may like you, but the fear lingers. I don’t want to be the reason someone choose me, and it doesn’t work out. Then they lost everything around them for nothing.


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GUILTY NO MATTER WHAT: ARE BLACK MEN EVER GIVEN THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT

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“Why do good?”


born black

As a young Black male, I grew up in the Midwest. Watching a lot of things take place around me, there was something I saw that I rarely talked about until I became and adult. And that is that there is never a real due process for Black males. You are guilty no matter what and if you are innocent the court system got it wrong. And it makes you wonder, what the hell is the purpose of being good, if everyone still thinks you’re bad.  And there are so many places to start when I say still looked at as bad.

court systems

Guilty, “Good, the system did what it was supposed to do.” Innocent, “How the hell did the court get this one wrong.” And you think to yourself, what is driving the idea that it’s always a guilty. And with that, you almost think what’s the purpose of even going to a trial. You already know the outcome. I think that’s why O.J. Simpson’s case was so big at the time. It was because this Black man was found not guilty, even though inevitably people on both sides eventually would think of him as guilty. The country was split, so split, people went as far as not speaking to anyone who believed in the other side.

relationships

When it comes to dating, we are seen as these attractive men outside of Black women almost behind closed doors. But the moment it’s publicly outside of that, then things get a little uncomfortable. But in all, we still have this aspect of guilt that lingers over our heads. That look, the look that is given to you when someone feels you have committed a crime or done something else wrong. So you stand still, trying to piece together what is is that you have done, if anything.

real or fake

Is what I have been saying a reality, or just a stretch. The above feelings are sentiments that so many Black males feel. Now, do I feel this way on a daily basis no. I have never felt like a bad guy dating or in society. But I guess everyone’s reality is different than my own.


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BLACK EXPECTATIONS: HOW LOW STANDARDS FOR BLACK MEN HAVE MADE ME PUSH BACK HARD

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“You’re supposed to fail!”


As a Black male in society, I have noticed something since I was a young boy. And that is that we are not only expected to fail, but almost encouraged to fail. And what it has done to me was turn me into an overachiever. Some might say, what is wrong with overachieving in society; well a lot. If you spend your time trying to be the best in your career pursuits, then where is the time for you to enjoy life around you. So what I have done in my 30 years so far on this Earth is utilize my time for not being what I am expected to be. Which is a baby daddy, I have no children; a criminal, I have no arrest record; a woman beater, I have never been in a relationship. What you’l wind-up doing is taking the odds against you to the extreme.

Well, if all is true, then what should be done by us as Black males. Should we disregard the stereotypes and live our lives? Or should we continue to forge ahead and fight for greatness. What’s scary is that once you die as a person, the only one that remembers you on a constant basis are those that love you most. People talk from time to time about the great things you have done, but does it matter. Does how much I work to combat stereotypes actually mean anything? Because what if 100 years from now, there is no disdain toward Black men, and what I have been living is something of the past? That would mean I gave up so much of my life for nothing. Instead, I could have been partying and enjoying every step of the way. But what about the flip side of things.

What if I continue on my path, and in time I do something great. Something so great that it completely alters the course of history forever. For example, what if Martin Luther King Jr. chose to be an academic instead of a Civil Rights leader. He might be some retired elderly man right now, still living in Atlanta, Georgia. Or what if Joan of Arc or William Wallace never stood up for what they believed; how would life have changed? So, in the end, there is something to me working and not enjoying in life. Maybe there is something that is indicative in me as a Black male that needs to be in society instead of out partying. I’m not saying that I am better or more special than the rest, but the ideas for society that I have make me realize that I am not supposed to fail. I am here for a reason, and that is to pass my gifts on to the world.


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DYING SENTIMENT OR THRIVING HATRED: HOW MUCH OF MY ETHNICITY REALLY PLAYS A ROLE IN MY SUCCESS

“Sins of the past don’t have to be the future.”


The above photo is of a woman by the name of Vivian Malone. Vivian Malone was the first African American student to register for classes at the University of Alabama as an undergraduate student. The university was racially segregated, and up to this point no had been successful in entering the school. Even the governor at the time, George Wallace, stood at the door, blocking her entry temporarily before she was allowed access inside. Now, this topic is not about Vivian Malone, this topic is in reference to how much has changed since that time period. That was back in 1963 when she was denied entry, and my mother was only 3 years old herself. Since then, a lot more students have been admitted to Alabama, and no one thinks twice about Black children attending. But we still have conflicts in America today, as exemplified in Virginia a few weeks ago.

So my question is, how much does my ethnicity even in today’s society contribute to my success. Because I see so many men and women that look like myself that are successful, but then you see what has been going on in the country today. There are marches for White Supremacy in America, yet there are counter protest on the other side. And the counter protest are bigger than the supremacy groups. So yes, racism does exist, but on what scale. I have experienced it in life and still do. But what role does it and will it play in future success? A lot of the sentiment, I am not concerned with at this point in America. Because if you don’t like me by this time, then you never will. My only obligation is working to succeed how I want to succeed. I’m not in this world to convince everyone to love me, that’s not practical.

Yet, you have to deal with these types of people. I was reading somewhere that only 10% of the American population are supporters of these Neo-Nazi groups. Now, looking at this from a percentage basis we say, “10% is not a lot of people. But the American population is close to 320 million people. With 10% of these people following hate groups, 30 million people are a lot of people. But see, I am not trying to win those individuals over. I know they have and never will like me. My goal is I don’t want to have to come into contact with them. Yet when you see the Virginia march with tiki torches, you say to yourself, some of these guys were professors and even worked in the medical field. It creeps me out that some of these people could be my doctors. Black men already have and adverse feeling when looking at doctors.

Yet, in the end, I still look at my life with hope. Though in the back of my mind, the thought never leaves. When I come across someone and have what I perceive to be a racial experience, and I say to myself, “Did they because; nah, maybe not.” Nonetheless, I am hopeful; for my future and the country. We like to look in the past and say that people were so awful. But I think there were just as many good people today as in the past. It’s just that we all excepted life as what it was then. And the more we pushed against the grain, the more we look back and say, “You know, this wasn’t ok at that time.” For me, I look at photos of separate water fountains that said, “White Only and Colored Only.” It seems weird to look at, but for older people in my family that was life at one point in time. I feel life is changing, it’s just in real time we don’t see it. We never see life while in the paradigm of living it; humanity never will. Only when you look back over time we become convinced of the changes.


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CULTURAL APPROPRIATION: HOW AFRICANS RECEIVE AFRICAN AMERICANS IN AFRICAN ATTIRE

Image result for AFRICAN MEN CLOTHING

“Is it and to what degree?”


There is this unspoken relationship that is between the indigenous people of Africa and those of us who were brought over to the Americas is ongoing. There is this constant disconnect that they really don’t care for us in the states. And the converse feeling is that we tend to look at them not as fondly. But lately I have noticed more and more of the African American population wearing traditional African attire. And then the question comes up regarding is this a form a cultural appropriation. And in my opinion, it is seen as cultural appropriation because it is not the culture in which we have here in America. Culture is not necessarily being the same skin tone.

But I want to know to what degree is this cultural appropriation? And how is it received when we as African Americans wear attire from Africa. Because from my understanding, the print in the clothing of African attire tells a story. In America it looks nice to those of us who wear the clothing. Me myself, I have never worn any clothing that is synonymous with Africa. All the clothing I wear is of this country that is America. Interestingly enough, I have been asked by numerous people before ever hearing me speak am I from Africa. And my response has always been no, but I found it interesting that people would ask. But this does not qualify me to wear such attire not of America.

This topic has always been brought up about us regarding everyone else in attire we created in America. But I never stop to ever think about it as cultural appropriation when we as African Americans wear the clothing of Africa. Then again, how do Africans receive non-Black groups such as Europeans when they wear African clothing. I will admit, I have seen European men and women wearing African clothing and it always appeared odd to me. And not odd like why are they wearing it. But odd in the sense of, “Hmmm, this is different.” And that feeling has come from the notion that I know that they didn’t create it. It just looks less authentic than when a non person of color is wearing the clothes. But this also goes both ways. I don’t tend to see African Americans bothered by Africans wearing clothing we made popular in America.

And in the end, it’s not about who wears the clothing of what other culture. A lot of people are protective because people tend to run it off as their own. And then they disregard where they found this idea. And now the world credits this person for something that has been in existence for centuries, if not longer. And what it does is that it cheapens the cultures identity. And to Africans as with many other groups, they don’t look at their clothing as a mere fad, but an extension of their identity.


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I OWE IT TO YOU: WHY NEVER FORGETTING THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR YOUR RIGHTS IS IMPORTANT

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“For those who died, I thank you.”


As a young man born in the year 1987, I did not experience those turbulent years of the Civil Rights Movement. Now my parents on the other hand saw the tail end, and there’s of course the generations prior. So as a child, I grew up going to school, eating where I wanted, and using public restrooms. Not once did I understand how I got to that point. All I knew is that when someone needed to go to the bathroom, you went. But what I didn’t know until my mother sat down and talked with me, is that it was not always like that in America. And that I should never forget why I am able to do what I do.

And she reminded of this because for the longest there were not only demographics of citizens, but an entire systematic push to keep me from having the basics of necessities. So as I went to school, I always performed well academically because she reminded me at one time how illegal it was for me to go Image result for white onlyto the schools I went to in America. Whenever I used a restroom, she not only told me, but we watched the video footage of Black men and women being attacked just for trying to consume a meal or urinate at public rest stops. So my reason for not getting into trouble is not mainly because of the enforcement of the judicial system, but more so by way of these men and women who died. There are unmarked graves of countless Black people who gave their lives, a lot of which you will never know their names.

So now as an adult, I do so much because they really didn’t have to pave that way. Still today, some of those individuals from that time period are here with us. People who were either teenagers or adults in the fight. And even at times when I see things differently than they do, I can never hate. I can never hate those who Image result for civil rights movementsacrificed so much for me. And no, these men were not the reason I got into my college of choice or landed a job I wanted. But it was because the pressure they placed that made companies even look in my direction. America didn’t want me to have those rights, and had it not been for these men and women, how long would Jim Crow have really lasted. 90 years,  100 years, 200 years; when was the appropriate time to end segregation.

We all would like to think that those types of events had to end, but why? If not for fighting for rights, whose to say? You have of course the critics, yet their voices are to a great degree irrelevant to me. A country tells you to go fight and defend your country, but when you return don’t sit at this table counter. Then you can’t Image result for al and jessesay my country, because in my country you eat where you choose. Otherwise it’s your country, and if I am the lesser, then why are you depending on a lesser to fight for what is yours. So thanks to the men and women who challenged the ideologies of what I am and what was expected of me. For it was you who reminded me before you’re Black, you’re a man, and before that you’re human. You weren’t fighting for my freedom of speech, but my freedom to exist. You did in the past, and still in the present. So despite what the critics think and feel you have my love and respect.

In the end, I dedicate this life of mine to you. Those who fought who are still alive and to those who died in the struggle: Al Sharpton, Alex Haley, Andrew Young, Angela Davis, Assata Shakur, Barack H. Obama, Bobby Seale, Booker T. Washington, Cornel West, Denmark Vesey, Dick Gregory, Dred Scott, Eldridge Cleaver, Elijah Muhammad, Fred Hampton, Frederick Douglass, Gabriel Prosser, George Washington Carver, Harriet Tubman, Harry Belafonte, Huey P.Image result for black historyNewton, Ida B. Wells, Jackie Robinson, James Baldwin, James Meredith, James Weldon Johnson, Jesse Jackson, Jim Brown, John Lewis, Kathleen Cleaver, Louis Farrakhan, Madam C. J. Walker, Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., Mary McLeod Bethune, Maya Angelou, Maxine Waters, Medgar Evers, Muhammad Ali, Nat Turner, Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, Shirley Chisholm, Sojourner Truth, Stokely Carmichael, Thurgood Marshall, W. E. B. Du Bois, and many others who were lesser known or even unknown, yet gave their lives for me. I love you, “WE” love you.


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NEWBO: IS THERE TIME FOR A CULTURE SHIFT

Image result for BLACK CULTURE

“We carved one out before, why not again?”


In the 1610’s, the African American population was forced to the United States as indentured servants. Later becoming slaves, losing names, religions, birth place of origin, and overall identification. Once freed in 1865, we went from slave labor to still no so full citizens. And with limited citizenship, and no real ethnic identity, we began to carve out a face for our community. And a lot of the culture that has made up the African American community is in the music and food. But what if we decided to take it a little further. Let’s say we made a full conversion from where we are now. I named the title NEWBO, which in today’s society stands for the New Black Overclass.

When you hear the words New Black Overclass, you think of wealth and abundant resources. And how did that manage to take hold? There are many different factors that have influenced that over the years. From young Black children growing up watching the Cosby Show to the electing of America’s first Black president. We have taken what was a bad situation in the past and made the most of it today. Yet there are still so many of us that are still below the poverty level. And not only the poverty level, we make up a disproportionately higher percentage of crime in our community relative to anyone else. So with that said, we are doing better than the past in the area of success, yet lagging behind in other major areas.

And as much as I love Black culture, there is an aspect of our culture that have taken hold in recent history that has cast a dark shadow over the community. And that has to do with the crime in the community. Because of the introduction of Heroine, Cocaine, and Crack Cocaine, from the 1970’s in the 1990’s, the face of the community has changed to much. And it has become so impactful, it is rapidly becoming our culture. Yet when you look at the overall history of Black people in America, this recent violent culture is new to us. So, how about we begin to design a cultural identifier that is us. And when I say identifier I mean clothes we wear, food we eat, music, and behavioral traits.

Having an identifier shows not only togetherness, but it creates a sense of identity outside another group. Our problem as Black people is that we are too concerned and defined by another group. And for the longest, it has been the predominantly White community. So our vision for what success looks like has always been someone in position who is White. Yet when met with resistance by anyone White it boils over quicker than anyone else. Which never happens to any other group because they create their own identity. So what another really has to say becomes irrelevant because they have defined themselves for so long feelings are trivial. But if you have no name, to language, no religion, and you adopt ones culture that’s not yours, yet someone else’s, it could become a problem if not accepted into the culture.

And in the end, that’s a real problem with why there need to be a cultural identifier. Number one, you eliminate the care for what any other group thinks about you; their views are not relevant to who you are in scoiety. Number two, you begin to take pride in something that not only you created, but you’re accepted within. Which brings me to number three, the need to fit into a group. And I think this is why we as Black people cling to Hip Hop music so much. When you create something versus forced to adopt something the sentiment is different. Christianity was never a choice, names given weren’t a choice, and language wasn’t a choice. But the music we create was a pure choice. Though not liked by many, it goes on deaf ears when pushed against because the one major thing we created that we are fully included within. And if we created something impactful and global as Hip Hop, we can create a new identity of acceptance and not tolerance.


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