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As the east coast is being slammed by inclement weather I think back to the mistakes made during hurricane Katrina and the snowstorm that happened in the chicagoland area earlier this year. When I think of these instances I think of politicians and various emergency personnel telling the people who may be affected by this weather what to do. Most importantly, I think of the people who felt like they knew better who later suffered the consequences. You remember during the gulf coast hurricanes that public officials on every level of government possible were telling people to heed advice and get out. But then we saw the images of corpses of people who felt like they knew better. Don’t get me started on what happened at the Louisiana Superdome. Here in Chicago you remember how public officials told people to stay off of Lake Shore Drive. Next day we saw the abandoned cars of people who disregarded advice from the experts in this field. When will people learn that advice public officials about possible hurricanes and snowstorms are designed to help people make proper decisions in times where listening to people can make a difference in living or dying. Maybe our friends on the east coast will learn from the mistakes of others.
I read the story that Sun-Times columnist wrote about a woman who was suing a nightclub that implemented a policy that limits the number of African-Americans into a nightclub. Of course this topic is nothing new. So I read what some you and some of your friends wrote on social media about this practice. I noticed 100% emotion and 0% logic. As someone who works in this industry you can’t just blame racist practices. You can also blame it on the behavior of certain members of the community. Why do you think there is no bar/club scene on the south and west sides of the city?? And the bars/nightclubs that do exist in those neighborhoods all have a 30 and up policy. These places play the percentages and more often than not these people prove them right. These places can refuse people however they want for the most part. As someone who has to tell people that they can’t go in for several reasons it’s not personal. But having said all of this there are places that do “steer”. The place I worked at we were told don’t let in anyone who looks like a thug. Also people in the industry do talk and somethings are true i.e. angles/kings for not letting some of the bears and some things are completely false i.e. what happened @ mother’s by rush street. Of course it’s wrong to deny someone access due to race. But is it illegal?? Probably not. Only thing that can be done is now everyone knows not to go that place. But every place does this so think about the places you hang out at. Don’t think they dont deter certain people from coming in. Masons, cops, firefighters, people in motorcycle clubs, veterans of foreign wars etc. etc. Don’t let everyone into these places. But this is America. Take your money and find a place that is more suitable to your liking.
This is an explosive topic in the black community. Our relationship with law enforcement. While the aim of this particular post is not to go over the checkered past that black people especially in the inner cities of America( or recently in England)have with police officers it is to put some light on an area that is never discussed. I am speaking the lack of blame towards why certain things go on in the community, on social networking websites like face book and twitter and especially in rap music. Me, my friends and their face book friends go back and forth about their dislike for the police. But I always counter their arguments by asking why the police are there in the first place. No seems to put the blame on personal responsibility. Selling drugs, gang-banging, or being an all-around social deviant seems not to matter. A few weeks ago a friend of mine posted a video of man who was arguing with two police officers. (here’s the linkhttp://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshh1L0JYPAPX06115cX) I read the comments they people wrote. No one seemed to discuss why the police were called in the first place and no one knew the who, why, what and where. It appears that it is very fashionable in the rap world to say “ Fuck the Police/pigs.” I ask why don’t they say the same to the people in the community who make it difficult for good, honest folks to live in peace? Why aren’t there any songs about that?? Not sure but it might hurt street cred to use logic in such matters. It seems to me that the first to complain are also the same people who are the last to be pro-active in such matters.
Most of us have friends from different races. Sometimes we have to pull them aside and explain to them things to say and not to say so that they won’t get their asses kicked. Some of us have allowed our white friends to have more autonomy when comes to the most polarizing word in the English language. I have had several encounters with white people who have black friends. They listen to rap music or date a black person which leads them to think that they can say or do certain things around other black people they do not know on a personal basis. For instance, one of my co-workers friend’s is one of those white people who has black friends and also listens to rap music so one could say that this person adopted “black culture” on his own. This person said the n-word (referencing a 50 cent song). He didn’t say it in a racist way but in a way I would use it amongst my black friends commonly known as “Nigga.” So I went over to him and explained why he should no longer use that word. Especially around black people he does know. This person took my advice in the wrong way. I tried to tell this guy that a lot of black people do not like that word no matter who is saying it. I guess he will learn when he encounters someone who is not as understanding as me. My question is this: When did we allow our non-black friends (none of mine do it BTW) to get so comfortable with us that they feel that can relate when they really cannot?
I am well aware what the church means to the history of African-Americans in this country. It was one the first place we could congregate without being under the watchful eye of the powers that be. Because of this association politicians and other people with ulterior motives think that is the first place to go when want to reach out to the black community. We don’t make it difficult for these people quite frankly. Look at the communities we reside in. Face it! Black people have cornered the market on churches. One could say we care more about religion that we do about education or commerce. The churches look better than the schools. It sad when politicians want to reach out to our community they run straight to a church. So what about the rest of us who aren’t Catholic, Christian, or Baptist?? I guess we would call you out of your bullshit by asking direct questions. Nobody likes that. Our dependence on the church has hurt us more than helps. Look at the last election for mayor and the awfully orchestrated “consensus” black vote. Who were these people who felt that they spoke to the community at large and who let they pick the person they did?? They didn’t consult me or anyone I know. They did whatever they wanted and their plan backfired in spectacular fashion. Epic fail!!
People like Congressman Allen West need to figure out that Black people especially Black men in the public eye cannot afford to be seen as aggressive or abrasive. I guess he hasn’t watched reality TV or sports center before. We do not get “the pass” like Rahm Emanuel or John McCain got. At least the president with some of the B.S. he has gone threw has not has moment where he has appeared as being too aggressive or angry. Sometimes as a Black man is this country you have be aware of how you are perceived. I had situations where I have had to tone it down for the sake of not coming off as being “difficult” or having an “attitude.” The angry black man is something that mainstream America seems to be afraid of. We all know of the double standard that is applied to this. A take charge attitude by white man can be perceived as being loud and combative by a black man. It is what it is folks. Around the same time Allen West the congressman from Florida was criticized for the email he sent. While Rahm Emanuel went off on a reporter. You probably didn’t know that even happened.
Anyone that knows me is well aware that I am a huge advocate of personal responsibility. Having said that, I also believe in second chances. Maybe I get that since most of my family comes from a background of public service (Teachers, social workers, police officers). So I am a big fan of Michael Vick despite his horrible crimes. I did a lot of research on why he did what he did, his rehabilitation, and most importantly: the correlation between him and myself. Like Vick I made a mistake (my mistake wasn’t as awful as his). I convinced myself that my actions were justifiable. When first confronted I lied about it and I even put a good friend in a position she shouldn’t have been in. Soon after, shit hit the fan as they say. I beat myself up about it more than the people who said some awful things about me. I’m pretty sure Vick did too (probably still does). I came to the realization that I like Vick had let a lot of people down with the bad choices I made. But then I realized that this should not be the end for me. I made amends with the people I hurt. Having said all of this, some people out there will always associate me with a moment in time. I cannot control what others still may think of me. I have no ill will towards those people. Shit! It’s my fault! I was the one who screwed up a budding friendship. I made my bed. Recently I read than Michael Vick was headed to Washington, D.C. to speak before congress about dog fighting. Regardless of what you may think of him, this is his way of making amends for past transgressions. Maybe one day I can speak of the lessons I have learned so that some young man out there will not go down the path I went.