Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Search for the Young, Gifted and Black

Have you ever been embarrassed for being a member of your race? I have at times throughout my life and today I reached my tipping point. I was so embarrassed that when Citizen Hubby picked me up from work today, I began crying. I’m asking myself, “What can I do to make our race better?” Here’s what happened.

While waiting for the light rail, three Black males in their late teens ran towards the train as it was leaving (I was waiting on the next train). Since they missed the train, they sat on a bench near me. Two police officers (black and white) were already at the station. A few minutes later, the officers made their way to the young boys. I did not hear the conversation, but I thought to myself, “Here we go!” They did ask for their train ticket and I guess the one they showed was expired because he ended up writing them a ticket. All while white folks from the business were walking to the platform, looking at what was taking place.

We got on the train and I ended up near them. Two were sitting down and one stood. Our train gets full very quickly, so I stood as well. There was a family sitting in seats next to me with two/kids around 7 and 8 years old. What came out of the mouths of the Black males? “N-word, Sh&^, Bit*!, etc.” while laughing. Of course they were loud; that’s our stereotypical trademark. While this was going on, my skin just crawled, I said under my breath, “Jesus, get me off this train” and thinking to myself, “This is the reason why white folks don’t want to vote for Obama.” They think the majority of Blacks act this way. I mean, how in the hell are you going to say those things loudly with kids on the train? Oh right, they are the generation that does not care and it’s all about them.

I really wanted to say something to them, but Citizen Hubby always tells me that I am going to get shot. But it’s so frustrating and embarrassing! I hate to see us act ignorant, especially in front of white people. I know that a lot of them already don’t have positive thoughts about us. In the car, Citizen Hubby told me about a study that Michelle Martin reported on today regarding how whites still have a negative view of Blacks. When I was on the train, I swear I wanted to stand up and ask the riders, “Excuse me. Raise your hand if you think all Black people are like the 3 men that just got off the train.” Just so I can justify what I was thinking. Oh and as they got off, they constantly said, “Excuse me (in a professional “white person” tone and followed that with “Big N-word coming through.” They were a bunch of string beans. I said “Thank God!” to myself as they got off the train, but my rage, disappointment and embarrassment continued to fester.

I called on my good friend, who works with a lot of African-American males, because I just needed to talk to him and ask “Why do a lot of Black males act like that? And, “Can I say something to them.” He said saying something to them is a risk, but is all in the tone and how you deliver the message (not confrontational make them embarrassed, etc.). I need to work on how to do that. If my Goddaughter (who is 2 years old) was with me today, I would not have hesitated saying something because she does not need to hear that language. No one needs to hear that language.

Citizen Hubby and I constantly debate on what causes this type of behavior. We both agree it’s today’s music, but he thinks that I am a contributor to it by listening to it. I disagree because I know the difference. I know that it’s entertainment and don’t live by it. Is it wrong for me to listen to a few tracks from Little Kim’s “Hard Core” even though the lyrics are raunchy? I have a dance background so I’m really focusing on the beat. I know you are going to say to yourself, “There you go with that excuse!” It’s the truth! I can listen to the track without the lyrics. Again, I know the difference, but a lot of these kids don’t. They think that is what life is all about. I can’t stand the music that is out now, but I do love the music during my high school (89-93) and college days (93-97).

What do you think we can do to make our race better? I don’t know what to do. ~ Citizen Wifey


uglyblackjohn said...

They may looked like you but they are not you.
Whites have the luxury of having "White Trash" - the the normal whites being the default.
For minorities, the lower classes are seen as the norm with the "Good Ones" being the anomalies.
I don't think that it is the fault of today's music only. The music only reinforces what many already see as the norm.
The Ghetto culture, and the acceptence of it as being valid, is more to blame.
I have many bad little "niglet" cousins who act in a tatally different way when they are around me. I tell them to leave the ghetto in the ghetto. When they are around me, they are as mellow as peaches in a pie. They are just now learning that not every situation is a hostile one (and they now act accordingly).

D.J. said...

I have to disagree with you on the reason for this behavior. Somewhere down the line we lost our shame. I think every generation decided that the generation before was to harsh until we got parents that were more concerned with being friends with their kids than parents. They stopped caring how their children's behavior reflected on their family or their name. There was a time that you as a adult could have corrected that behavior and not taken your life into your own hands.