No Fight, No Foul: Secret Confessions of a Confident Young Black Male!
Admittedly, I am not a fan of statistics; never have been, never will be. However, when I read stats regarding young Black men, I cringe at the unjust criticisim levied at these youthful warriors. Thus, I placed myself in the role of a confident, albeit slightly exacerbated male and penned the following commentay, in memory of Trayvon Benjamin Martin.
As a fun-loving teen, whose only crime is confiscating my brother's hip-hop memorabilia, I will be the first to admit, that I have no idea of what it's like to be a thug, or what my "row dogs" candidly refer to as a ghetto fabulous hood rat. Therefore, as an articulate and educated Black male, don't I have the right to be recognized too? Or is it just the bad seeds that get all the attention, while we “softies”, linger in the background?
Contrary to how young Black men age 15-29 are portrayed: limited education, criminal background and overwhelming victims of homicide;there are thousands of men who are trying to make a difference for themselves and their communities. So, when I hear politicians and other well- intended hybrids analyzing us, or publicizing our plight, I immediately morph into defensive mode.
To reiterate, as a young Black male, I am constantly asked by curious Whites, what it feels like to be me. Expecting to hear complaints about anger, low self-esteem, or coming from a dysfunctional family, where dad is absent, and mom is head of household. They don't find me quite so interesting, when I tell them, I was class valedictorian of my class of 500. Or that my mom is an architect, and I am currently enrolled in college and seeking a degree in nuclear physics.
Not surprisingly, their impatience grows even stronger, when I tell them I don't drink, use drugs, or impregnate women just for the hell of it. Adding more sensationalism to my life story, is the fact that I have never been arrested. With that said, they shrug their shoulders and tell me how lucky I am. Seriously, luck has nothing to do with who I am, or what I choose to become.
Based on the observations above, it seems that Whites can only relate to young Black men as dejected vagabonds, whose lives can only be changed, if they are helped by the kindness and generosity of people of European ancestry. Granted their intentions may be good, but I don't need that kind of help. Because I am capable of making my own decisions, without having some stranger map out my life for me.
Oh by the way, for that segment of the Black population, who believe that being educated and living the good life is strictly reserved for Caucasians, let me hollah at you for a moment.
First of all, there is nothing WRONG, with using proper English, possessing exceptional reading skills, or deciphering math problems without tearing your hair out. Nor is it wrong to convey respect, exhibit a positive attitude or make maximum use of your talents. As for those damn sagging pants, what message are you sending, by walking around with your trousers hanging dangerously low on your arse, with your underwear showing? Do you really think anyone wants to see that? And lastly, what is wrong with going to college and priming yourself for success? Oh I forgot, you're too busy shooting guns, breaking into houses, and taking a stand for Thug Nation United (TNU).
Hey man, that's it. I'm sure that after reading this commentary, there are those who will still refer to me as a sell -out, a black teen trying to be white,the typical responses ignited by this topic. Guess what? You are entitled to your opinion. As for me, I choose to live my life as a unique and gifted man, who refuses to tarnish my heritage, by behaving as if I'm worthless or worse yet, a loser. But hey bruh, if that's your game, keep on playing. Fortunately for you, I have enough integrity and respect for both of us. Next
If Life Was Like A Soap Opera!
If given the choice between living in a world where people never die; or experiencing life with all its joy, pain and surprises, which would you choose?
by Peggy Butler
Last month while recovering from a debilitating case of influenza, I tuned in to the soap opera circuit, to observe the latest happenings on General Hospital and The Young and the Restless. Not surprisingly, after viewing these shows over a three-day-period, I came away with a unique observation, what if life was similar to daytime television?
Thus with remote in hand, and my brain flowing with adrenaline, I sat down at the keyboard and began typing. The result was a mixture of humor, sarcasm, and a hefty dose of soap representation, thrown in for those who follow these never-ending dramas faithfully. So, without further interruption, I present, If Life was Like a Soap Opera.
If Life was like a soap opera, we could die and mysteriously resurface, either as ourselves or with a totally different face and body. Honestly, soaps are the only place where a person can die on an operating table, with doctors and nurses looking on, only to resurface months or years later incredibly alive. Can you imagine that happening in real life? I donít know about you, but if I saw someone die, and later attended their funeral, where they appeared dead as a door knob, I would approach their reemergence with absolute horror.
Yet on soaps, the dearly departed usually comes up with some convoluted theory to explain their return. And after the shock wears off, family and friends settle down, and treat the person as if nothing ever happened. Are you kidding? This person was dead, and all you can ask them is, "Oh my god, where have you been?" In real life the average person would be too afraid to look at, much less communicate with the living dead. Oops, I forgot, this is daytime television, where nothing is real and every thing is possible.
If Life was like a soap opera, women would give birth and have no recollection of it ever happening. Admittedly, I have never had kids, but friends and relatives who have, tell me the pain is so excruciating, no one in their right mind would forget it. But as I recalled on one soap opera, a teenager had a baby, and didnít remember it until 18 years later, when the girl showed up on her doorstep. Thus only through a series of hypnotism sessions, did the woman recall having a baby. Real life? I donít think so. To reiterate, a woman whether the birth is natural or drug induced, would not forget such a phenomenon under any circumstances.
And speaking of children, if life was like a soap opera, a kid born in 2007, would be mysteriously transformed into an adult 12 years later. Can you imagine a mother rocking her infant daughter, only to see that same baby 10 years later, rocking her own child? In soaps, this process is known as SORAS (Soap Opera Rapid Aging Syndrome). Imagine being 35-year old parents and having a 29-year-old son or daughter. Makes you want to scream, doesnít it?
If life was like a soap opera, couples would wildly proclaim their love, three weeks after meeting each other. Granted, there may be some validity regarding the phrase love at first sight, but three weeks is not long enough to get to truly know someone. But on soaps, you have people declaring their undying love less than a month after being introduced. Rubbish. Sometimes it takes a life time to fully understand another individual, yet on soaps it only takes a minute. Go figure.
If Life was like a soap opera, people would answer doors without asking who it is, and couples would kiss after waking up and before brushing their teeth. I guess on soaps, morning breath is non-existent. Likewise, they would never be seen doing such common tasks as grocery shopping and house cleaning.
If life was like a soap opera, you could discover years later that your millionaire boss is actually your son, or the woman you detest is really your mother. Similarly, you may learn that the man youíve been married to for 20 years is actually your grandmotherís biological son, whom she gave up for adoption when she was 17. Wow, now wouldnít that be interesting in real life? Sick, yes, but nevertheless, interesting.
If life was like a soap opera, everyone would be gorgeous with great bodies. Ever noticed that with few exceptions, everyone on soaps look like they emerged from the pages of Vogue and GQ magazine? Case in point: All the men are handsome with abs to die, for and the average dress size for a woman is a 4. And speaking of perfect, during my three-day soap marathon, I noticed that everyone had great hair, flawless skin and straight white teeth. Yet, I never saw anyone take a trip to a stylist, dermatologist or dentist. Now, this is one soap standard that everyone would love in real life. Maybe, but even perfection has its limits.
Okay, so life isnít like a soap opera, and arenít you glad? For if given the choice between living in a world where people never die; or experiencing life with all its joy, pain and surprises, I choose life without question. And that readers, is my rendition of "The Real and theUnflappable." Until next timeÖÖRemember that happiness is yours for the taking, so reach out and grab it by the rear.