SOCIETAL DECLINE: WHY ANGER IS REIGNING SUPREME

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“The easiest emotion to have and the hardest to lose.”


In America today, there is a new trend that is going around and that is the getting upset for the sake of being upset movement. I don’t think any one person started this trend, it’s just what has transpired over time. And a lot of it has to with our social media platforms. Never before have people been able to express themselves the way we’ve been able to do so in America until now. When looking at a platform like Facebook which has a community of about 800 million people globally, you’re talking they have a lot of influence. So much influence, that the election support of Barack Obama in both his election victories were pushed heavily on this platform. But with that comes the people who aim to take issue and express themselves outwardly, their anger.

But what is it? Is it that people are more angry today than any other time in history? Or is the number of angry people reflective of what it has always been? It’s just that in the past, people did not have a massive platform to express how they genuinely felt. Yet, there are indicators that point to why people are so angry in our society than just the internet. Yes when you look at past generations, they didn’t have constant reminders of how little they have in this world. You can click on a Google search engine and see photos of a life that you know people live that you don’t live. Or, there are images of how people look physically that make you think there is a standard that you don’t live up to, that you should be living. So with that said, maybe there is something to knowing too much about our lives.

Then again, if you look at the 1950’s and 60’s, that rock and roll-baby boom era, they had constant advertising of lifestyle in television, magazines, and newspapers. Whether it was the mom on television showing off the latest household appliance, or some movie where the main character was all dolled-up in expensive attire. And let’s not get started on the physical images that were marketed to so many young women in society. The most famous in the past had to have been the corset, where women wanted and were expected to have these slim waist. So with all that said, what has changed in society that contributes to the anger. And that one element that has changed is the employment market. Back decades ago, they were inundated with the same level information flow for their time period. But people also had jobs as well.

Now today, people are having a hard time sustaining in society financially. So seeing people live around them, they are constantly upset. What’s crazy is that there is more money to be made than any other time in history. And you don’t even need a boss to make an income. But like anything else in this world it takes time, a long time. And in the end, the problem with anger is people’s quality of life. It’s why our language is so sensitive, why we hate people for doing well, and follow negativity. It all makes us feel good about our own hell to see someone else there with us. So until the quality of life shift, you’ll continue to see this trend of anger in America.


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BLACK MEN REVEALED: WHAT WE REALLY FEEL IN LIFE

Gray Scale Photo of Topless Man Covering Face

“The fear of being me, that only another me understand.”


Growing up for me, I was always scared to walk outside. Whether it was the gang violence or police officers, it always left me shook. As a Black male, when you walk out the front door, you never know what you may be confronted with in society. So you begin to develop this outer Teflon skin that makes you desensitized to a lot. You learn that being a villain is easier than being loved, and you are able to live with that. Because you are prepared to be hated, you’re not prepared to be loved. So sometimes, you tend to sabotage your own life by engaging in activities that are not the best choices. Why, so you can operate in that space of hatred that you’re used to; that comfort zone.

But what is the real feeling when you walk the streets everyday. Fear; but I don’t mean fear in the context of I can’t leave the house. Fear in the sense of I am afraid of what you might possibly do to me. So I’m going to get the drop on you first before you get me. Because I know that whatever is done to me, will be justified. So it’s better I come prepared to go into battle, even Man's Hand in Shallow Focus and Grayscale Photographyif battle is not warranted. That is the definition of an unfit way to live. Yet for me, it’s perfectly normal because it’s the only life I and many other Black men know. Now, I am not going to go into the history because we all know. But the effects of that fear causes a strain in life in more areas than just walking up the street.

We fight against, and yet sometimes wish death upon any and every man and woman in a position of power. We’ll sometimes call out other Black men simply for not joining in on the disdain. And part of it comes from wanting someone, anyone to feel just as fucked up as what we are feeling in that moment and about life. Problem is, it is so long standing and so generational, it hurts our own community more than anything. Playing stoic to survive has made us detached at times from our own Black women. When in reality you just want to sit back and chill, not really having to care about much of what you could potentially experience that is negative in life.

Our views start young being shaped about people around us, real young. As a matter of fact in my own life going back to elementary school, I had low regard for non-Black people. Going to school where I felt the Black boys misbehaving were treated a lot differently than the White boys misbehaving the same way. So it actually caused me to Man in T Shirt and Shorts Standing on Grass Field Grayscale Photographyhold animosity toward the White males I went to school with because of it. When in reality, they had no control over the behavior of an adult and were just living in the environment they knew. It wasn’t until I hit middle school my viewpoint changed as I came into a more diverse environment. While many other Black boys went to other public schools where their experiences were continuing to be shaped in a negative way.

Our perception of the world as Black males especially is when we’re young is one that is conflicted. Wanting to be open and meet new people. Wanting to trust people and enjoy. And on the other side, waking up with a fuck the world mentality. Fueled by rage, yet tired out at the end of the day. Wanting
to harm others who are in no shape or form responsible for whatever social situation we go through. And then feeling bad the thought came across your mind. Admitting when we’re wrong is damn near impossible, especially in a world where everything you do is considered wrong. So you’re in attack mode the first person tells you, what you can’t do or have.

In the end, we bury our emotions. Part of it comes from the fact that very few people care. And part of it comes from the fact that you will be seen as weak. So we at times become dictators when we really don’t have to be. Stay paranoid and looking over our shoulders. When in reality no one is even looking at you. Everything I have said would drive the average person crazy. Yet the vast majority of us manage to live on Earth everyday just fine. Our african ethnicity, beard, blacklives are by far not normal, and experiences are even more abnormal. We are considered threatening, lazy, insecure, predatory, and flashy. Yet we really are humble, fun, hard-working, and laid-back. We have a narrative that is generational; funny thing is that only we can change that narrative. No one else cares and no one else will attempt to aid. But until then, we awake everyday, we survive, and we pray we make it home alive. And if we do, hopefully we’ll get another day.


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GENERATION FRUSTRATION: WHY WE AS A YOUNG BLACK DEMOGRAPHIC CARRY SUCH ANGER

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“Where does it all come from?”


Ever see the crime rate in the inner cities throughout the country? You ever wonder where so much of this rage comes from? The frustrations comes from a multitude of issues in the community. It’s not just one thing to observe when trying to figure out why this exist. From the gun violence in the community to the rioting when the police shoot an innocent Black male. This rage comes from internal struggle as well as external struggles. But it’s not indicative of who we are as a people. The black community didn’t have these high crime rates during the 1920’s, 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, or even the 60’s. And this was a time period when we barely had rights in America. Well, what happened?

I’ll say the first issue that came about was actually a positive as well. That double edge sword was the Civil Rights Bills passed in the 1960’s. After this time period Black people had this sense of accomplishment. We felt like the work had been complete. Yet, during the Civil Rights Movement, we had our own communities. Black people had our own businesses, schools, hospitals, and social programs. That Black owned mind-frame shifted after the movement. We thought to ourselves, “Why all the Black stuff, we are free now.” Then, communities dried up as Black people left our urban environments to take solace in upper middle or upper class predominantly White neighborhoods. So money left the community, while at the same time spending was poured outward. Whereas in the past money was circulated through the community.

What happened next, coming into the 1970’s as money left, narcotics took hold. The combination of Heroine met Cocaine, led to high crime rates and bombed out buildings. Fatherless homes left Black women dependent on welfare. Which leads into my next reason for the rage. The lack of a co-parenting  situation that made the women both mother and father. Initially Black men were gone from the house for a few hours. Why, well the family needed money from the welfare system. Then hours to days, days to weeks, and then weeks to months. In no time fathers were gone, beginning to get hooked on drugs and alcohol, while women were the new leaders of the community. Now we have this pride in the woman doing it all, when in reality it takes more than just Black women to keep young Black men out of trouble.

Men and women have different skills, thought processes, and emotions. So it’s no wonder why Black women have had such a tough time raising children alone; especially connecting young Black males. So, with no help and forced to work long hours to provide for the family, more than ever the term latch key kid came into play. With her at work and no father around, young Black males turned to gangs as a means of creating bonds with each other they weren’t receiving at home. Gangs started battling for turf over other gangs which were predominantly Black, leading to an even higher crime rate than before. This time was known as the Crack Cocaine years of the 1980’s and 90’s. Which leads to the rage as well of a generation.

Drug trafficking was an issue coming from the 1960’s throughout the 70’s, but nothing was like Crack. Crack took communities deviations down to nothing. KKK were far removed from our communities, while we took over where they left off. Black women who could have been beauty pageant contestants were taken down by Crack. Hair matted on their heads, eyes blood shot red, skull caps & ripped t-shirts, bodily scares from syringe use and scratching, and diseases stemming from drug use. Women who could have been doctors, lawyers, engineers, educators, were taken down by drugs. Black males were dying and getting hit with conspiracy charges and sent to prison for decades, as well as life sentences.

Then the 1990’s came and went, leading into the 2000’s. After a few decades of mayhem, we felt through this past 90’s into the 2000’s this sense of accomplishment as well. But entertainment became bigger influences than ever. Hip Hop hit in the 90’s and early 2000’s, making these men bigger influences than the Civil Rights leaders of the past. And here is another aspect of the rage from young Black males and females. Our entertainment was now raising us, and we would base more and more off of tangibles then intangibles. Boys were more encouraged to be players and pimps than boyfriends and husbands. And Black women were prompted to chase after ballers over day-to-day working men. So now, pickings are slim because expectations became so unrealistic.

So the relationship between Black men and women was even more fragmented. Then in 2008, the United States elected its first Black president Barack H. Obama. Black people flocked to Washington D.C. from all across the country for his inauguration. That sense of accomplishment reemerged and for the past eight years, we felt success. He, a Noble Peace Prize winner, and his wife Michelle Obama was inspirational as well through her public persona. After they left the White House, people geared themselves for Hilary Clinton, the first woman. But the nation elected Donald J. Trump in the year 2016. A man who pulled no punches on how he spoke. Unapologetic and aggression was enough to make him president. And that feeling of hurt emerged from the Black community. Hate crimes rose and everything felt bleak.

And in the end, that’s the feeling of rage from the Black youth of today. We have constantly been told things are different, but don’t feel different. My millennial generation and generation Y were raised into a community of crime and poverty. We feel lied to and with a feeling of limited opportunities, the rage rises. But there is a flip side to the rage. Trump has also had an inverse effect in other ways. Consciousness among young twenty somethings have risen as well. We may be headed toward another Black Renaissance like that of 1930’s Harlem. So with all the anger and frustration, we need more and more consciousness, especially in this troubling time.

GRRRR! RAGE AND IT’S EFFECTS ON THE MIND

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“How anger effects your mood.”

I want you to conduct and experiment if you ever get the chance. I want you to think about a particular topic. Not just any topic, but a very controversial topic. Something like politics, racism, homophobia, religion, etc. Sit at home alone and engage in a full on debate with yourself. And try to get as mad as you can possibly get regarding the topic. Then after about an hour I want you to evaluate how you feel in the moment you stop being mad. Write down how you feel about yourself in this current state. What do you think you feel in this moment?

Now this all sounds crazy, but the thought behind something this extreme is because of the hate on social media. Some of the comments are so over the top hateful you wonder what is going on in people’s lives. And it’s not sarcasm, but flat out hatred. Now, I have conducted this experiment before a few times. Then I tried performing a productive task afterward. I noticed that my head hurt and I couldn’t focus on more important tasks. One of which was performing my daily writing for my blog and novel.

But I was only experimenting, what about the people who actually live like this on a daily basis. For me, when I see something or hear something I don’t like I tend to move on. So, why is it so hard for people to do the same. I have a few theories as to why people are this way. The first is that people don’t have anything going on in their lives. So when a famous person post their lives, even if remotely interesting the viewer just meltdown. Well why does their interesting life effect you so much? Because if you are home, work, home, work, and that’s your life, you look for reasons to be mad.

Which leads me into my next theory why people build rage. In their daily lives, they have no voice, which is why they protest. It makes them feel like they’ve accomplished something in a world where they accomplish nothing. Me on the other hand, unless you’ve broken a serious law, I don’t see the point in getting so mad about someone else’s life. So when a famous person is forced to apologize, they may have been one of the protesters, so it makes them feel like they did something important. It’s the prison inmate mentality. Hey, we’re in prison with nothing but time, let’s file complaints against the corrections officers. Hell, there’s nothing else to feel the time with.

And my last theory is that people spend so much of their lives not preparing for life, that when it’s time for them to get serious they’re now scrambling. For instance, they use their 20’s to have fun, then when life dawn on them, they have spent 10 years partying. Now some people go hey time to build. But others have this inner disdain for wasting a decade now 30’s are arriving. But instead of buckling down the disdain continues into their 30’s to 40’s. And now they have wasted 20 years. And just like that, the rejection of wasted time sets in. That’s why it’s important to pursue a career and life from three mindsets: what do I love, am I good at it, and can I financially sustain over a lifetime.