“A little less complaint and whining, and a little more dogged work and manly striving, would do us more credit than a thousand civil rights bills.”--W.E.B Du Bois American Scholar, Sociologist and Civil-Rights Leader, 1868-1963
We live in a society where perception is everything. The perception may not be the truth, but the impression or vibe that you exude to others is basically how you are labeled. Now before I continue with this article, look at the above photo. How would you react if your daughter brought home one of these characters? These types of children (typically 35 years old and under) are what the media wants us to believe is what the typical black man is all about. Well, I am a black man and I am opposed to this stereotypical shadow being cast on all of us. Sure I like relaxed jeans, sports jerseys, Timberland boots and wearing my hat backwards, but some of these styles and attitudes are just ridiculous. Some of us feed society the ammunition that is killing our community, and until we realize what is harming us, many of us will continue to inject our communities with this poisoned mentality.
During this current economic downturn, I was fortunate enough to land a very good paying job. It was an all white office staff before I arrived, and the only black and Hispanic employees worked in the warehouse. After I successfully completed the two-interview process, the boss told me that he was very impressed with how I carry myself, how I dress, how well-groomed I am, how articulate I am and how well I know the business. This is very encouraging because I did pray about this job. But prayer wasn’t enough; I had to present my natural value to this company and they saw it and appreciated it. What do you think would have been the outcome if I walked into the interviews late with my pants hanging down, gold chains and teeth, braids wrapped in a doo rag and referring to the boss as “Homie?” They probably would not have interviewed me. But this is the type of sentiment that some of us have in the black community, and it is viewed as acceptable or “keepin’ it real” in some circles. I see that the way that I carry myself reflects God, my familial upbringing, and it is also a reflection on my race. Unfortunately, some people judge the whole (race) by a part (individuals), so I want to do my part to represent us well.
It is really a shame and an embarrassment to all black people that some of us don’t have enough decency and couth to act responsibly in public places. Well, this article will help us to see where things went wrong so that we will no longer make any excuses and correct these mishaps sooner rather than later.
Men-The Spiritual Head Has Been Cut Off
I want each and every reader to understand something very important: this type of behavior and the portrayal in these photos is not cute, nor is it funny. This article is not about black vs. white, or male vs. female; it is ultimately about good vs. evil. The Bible teaches us that God created man in His own image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), and He also created man to be the head of the wife, as Christ is over the Church (Ephesians 5:23). Now the issue here is authority and who has the say so as to how society goes. It is clear from creation and from New Testament example that man is the familial authority. Now if you read (Genesis 3:1-7) there is an exchange between the serpent (Satan), Adam, and Eve; the authority/dominion (Genesis 1:26 & 28) that God gave to Adam was what was in question. Satan is a spirit being (no tangible body) and he can’t just go around killing people, even though his purpose is to kill, to steal and to destroy (John 10:10). Humans have authority to be on the earth and we have the natural ability (a body) to physically operate in this realm. But Satan is not manifest in this material world as a human. So if he has no authority to operate in a material world, as far as being a natural human is concerned, then how does Satan fulfill his purpose in killing people, stealing and destroying things? He uses the (bodily) authority of willing vessels that will submit to his purpose. In other words, if someone decides to go and rob someone and kill them, Satan has found a willing vessel through which he can work. That person didn’t just have a coincidental thought. That thought had an origin, and that origin is the enemy, Satan.
Why is this important? It is important because this is precisely why Satan is out to destroy the human male specie, especially the African American male. If Satan cuts off the head of the family (the male) then the remaining structure (the family) will die. Look at some of the males as you walk through the malls. Can you see some of them as the head of a family? Remember, the enemy’s job is to steal, to kill and to destroy (John 10:10). Have you noticed some of the scathing statistics that plague our race? Illegitimate births; multiple illegitimate births; the abortion rate; percent of single mother homes; HIV and AIDS contraction; heart disease; violent deaths; gang related incidents; deadbeat dads; the exploding prison population; increased welfare recipients, and a host of other devastating statistics that prove to be a disaster for our community. These results have nothing to do with the white man or the government. These statistics have everything to do with a race of people who have succumbed to a belief system that is counterproductive. Let’s not forget that other races have struggles and issues as well, but proportionately, the black community as a whole is doing a poor job of being responsible and setting the next generation on the right path.
What is a male? Quite simply, a male is any creature born with a penis. What is a man? A man takes his rightful place in God, in society, in the family, and in regards to his responsibilities. We need our males to become men. But if we don’t have our men showing the young people how to become men, then we are rowing upstream without a paddle. There are some instances where the male influence in the home suffered an untimely death, and that is unfortunate. But most cases of a fatherless home are deliberate demonstrations of irresponsible behavior and abandonment. Are you a male or are you a man? Are you faithful to your wife? Do you provide for your family? Do you honor your parents? Are you a good employee? Are you a law abiding citizen? Or are you looking for a mother figure to take care of you? Are you always borrowing someone’s car and cell phone? Is someone always treating you out to eat? Are you always broke? Are you driving a beat up car with no registration or insurance? Do you have a bank account and a legitimate driver’s license or some sort of legal identification? Are your parents still taking care of you (an able bodied grown man) and you’re pretending that you are helping them out? If you have children, when is the last time you paid child support or spent quality time with your kid(s)? Are you making babies all over town and using that as a badge of your manhood? Are you walking around with your pants hanging down showing your underwear? Is your greatest aspiration to be a rapper or to play in the NBA? Do you spend all weekend playing Play Station, smoking Black & Mild’s, and sipping on Hennessey? Do you have an expensive grill and/or rims worth more than your car? Real men do not behave like this; real men are responsible and handle their business first, and then they enjoy the entertainment. If some of these questions are a reality to you or to someone you know, then you and/or they have some things to consider.
Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.—Proverbs 29:18
The head (the man) is the one that provides direction, insight and leadership. The above-mentioned Scripture is fitting because it shows us what the enemy is doing. He is trying to and is succeeding at destroying a race of people, and if he can cut off the familial head, the family and ultimately our society will die. Can your natural body live without a head? No, it cannot. Well neither can families survive without a head. Some families do make it by the grace of God, but it was not God’s will to have a fatherless or a motherless home. God made it so that a man and a woman could procreate and raise the child in the nurture and the admonition of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4). But without a head, which is the location of the brain (the housing for the mind); there is no future or direction. So with men being ever so absent in the lives of our women and children, it is easy to see why the black community is in such shambles. From the days of the Old Testament, the familial blessings were always passed down from the father to the firstborn son. God was referred to as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of the Patriarchs, the men (the head of the family)!!!!!! How can men be a blessing to the family if they are not present? The men, in times past, were the “Elders in the Gate,” the ones who were the seat of authority in the homes and in their communities. But we have lost sight of that. But the enemy hasn’t and he is fully aware of what is going on. Every time our people act like a bunch of monkeys, the enemy’s will is being done; and the males do so in the name of being cool and “keepin’ it real.”
This leads me to ask the question: aside from the mothers who are raising these children alone, where are these children getting there images of males to emulate? Unfortunately, if you have noticed the pictures in this article, you will see some of the pathetic answers to that question. These moronic celebrities and wanna-be thugs that we see are the pseudo role models to which many children look. I see groups of pitiful African American males walking around with gold teeth, tattoos covering their bodies, and clothes too big for them walking around as if they are the latest fashion statement. They are emulating the idiots they see on television, i.e. Lil John, Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, G-Unit, T.I. and the rest of the no-talent phony rappers of today. The sad news in all of this is that these sorry individuals are not the only choice for role models available for our youngsters. These are the pseudo role models that the media chooses to set before them; and since the family unit is broken in many instances, most children have very little guidance in choosing friends or role models. So they choose who looks cool, or popular or rich. Some criteria! Huh? Well young people are unskilled, hence the reason they need guidance, and hence the reason our community is going astray because the authority (the male) is in jail, trying to be a rapper or busy being cool somewhere. All the while, a school teacher, a local doctor, or a respected business owner can fill in as a positive community role model. This situation presents a perpetual dilemma for our posterity.
Women-A Battered Support System Still Standing
This leaves the women in a very precarious situation, especially if they have to raise a male child. Since most households are without a stable male figure, the pressure is truly on the woman if she is going to make it and raise her children properly. I do applaud the good women who were and are acting as the support post for the family. While that pillar of our community (the man) is down, the good women need to rise up in a big way until the man can get back on track. In his absence, the women have to pull double duty and do whatever they can to be the nurturing, caring mother, and to supplement the absence of the positive male influence.
Unfortunately, I see that many women are apart of the problem when it comes to the behavior of many males. Allow me to explain………some men are like dogs and children; they only do what you allow them to do. The males that are acting like thugs and looking like monkeys are doing so because there are a lot of women who accept that type of behavior, and that, in turn, encourages males with low self-esteem and no identity to continue to emulate the circus acts that they see on television. There is one thing that we have to remember about the people seen on television, those people are actors and paid very well to portray that persona. They are not struggling to survive in this economic downturn. They are wealthy and do not live in your neighborhood. They can dress and act the way they want because they don’t have to go punch a clock and report to anyone’s office at 7am and work for 10 hours a day, like a lot of us. This is where many of us are disconnected from reality.
Now back to the women who accept the thug mentality. These are the women that are ruining it for the good women out there. They put their stamp of approval on males who carry themselves this way for a myriad of reasons: women feel secure around them; some women think that the rugged look is sexy; these guys are somewhat adventurous; and whatever other reasons make them attractive. So now we have a market for thugs. But never mind that a lot of these guys are very disrespectful towards women and treat women who allow it like sex slaves and servants. The question that we should be asking is: what kinds of women condone thug behavior? I know some women who are into thugs and a lot of these women have very low self-esteem, they are very loose women, they are needy women, and they are not the type of women that you would want to introduce to your parents. Now, here is my advice on this matter because men and women respond to one another. If the all of the women would band together and wouldn’t give their phone numbers or any attention to these disrespectful thugs, then these thugs would change. Either they would change their behavior and act respectably, or they would become eunuchs. If there is no market, the supply goes away. Women you have more influence in the fashioning of our society than you think!!!! Start making these males and the silly counterparts of your gender accountable because they are embarrassing our race before the world.
“The black man must step forward, but that doesn’t mean that black women have to step back.”— Representative Shirley A. Chisholm, U.S. Representative, 1969–1983, Democrat from
Motherhood is an integral part of raising successful children. Mothers bring unique qualities to childrearing that fatherhood cannot, and vice versa. But an excess of anything is too much. One mistake many mothers make is that they are afraid to let go, especially of their boys. In many ways, that failure to let go is manifest in many mothers defending their children no matter what they do. This is wrong because you have to know the personality of your child and face the facts if your child has issues. If your son is a crack head, then it is what it is. If he is a gangster, then so be it. If he is a thief, then call him what he is. You pray for him, you love him, but you don’t support or defend your children in that foolishness. You get him some help, if he genuinely wants help! Stop pretending that sweeping everything under the rug will solve the problem. Denial just makes you look stupid, because everyone on the outside has come to grips with reality, except you. Wake up, mama!!!
I have seen too many mothers defending there sons while they were accused of crimes or behaving irresponsibly. The mother’s responses were: “not my baby!” “Y’all stop pickin’ on him!” “They’ll do anything to tear the black man down!” Of course injustice exists, I am not naïve. But when mothers don’t let sons grow up, or be accountable and face the music of their crimes and actions, then they are delaying the inevitable. They are opening the door to a “billy club” upside the head for “baby.” Stop calling these teenagers and adult children “baby,” these are not babies; however, many mothers are allowing them to mentally remain, as such. It was cool when they were 3 yrs old, but no “baby” stands 5’ or 6’ tall. Stop buying these boys clothes that don’t fit them, the grills (which are an excuse for them not to brush their teeth), the chains, and stop letting them come outside with a retro 70’s afro without combing it. These excuses for sons are not born out of love, but out of motherly insecurity. Some women are so afraid to let “baby” go, that they would rather cripple the child and keep him tied to mama’s apron strings, rather than prepare the child to leave home and be a productive member of society. This is a shame before God. This doesn’t mean that these mothers are bad people, it just means that these mother’s have issues with which they need to cope. If these mothers don’t let go, these boys will never become men, they won’t know how to properly relate to a wife, and they won’t know how to properly raise children. What does that all mean? It means that a dysfunctional family trend is in motion, and it needs to stop now, because the black community is dying.
Today is a dating market for men. All of my male friends are either married or going to be married. But a lot of my female friends are either waiting for the right guy to come along or are utterly frustrated with the low-quality of males they encounter. I know of at least one instance where a young lady chose the lesbian lifestyle for a while, and I cannot begin to tell you know how many women I know use sexual toys to take the “edge off.” Why are these statements important? It is important because when you have one thing out of order (in this case the black male); it always causes a chain reaction and messes up other things associated with it. For example, if I made a perfectly straight line a mile long, if I was out of line just 1/8” in one foot, in a mile I would be out of line over four feet. How’s that for getting off course? That is just a natural illustration about what happens when even the slightest deviations occur. The man and the woman have deviated in the black community; and look where we are, as a people. What is going to happen in the second mile, and the third mile, etc., ad infinitum?
In the last third of this article, I would like to deal with the progeny. The endgame here is the youth: the next generation. If the male (the head) is gone, and a percentage of the women are trying to “stand in the gap and make up the hedge” (Ezekiel 22:30), then all you have left is the product. Why? If you can get the attention of the children, you can either use them to influence the parents or you can retrain them to veer away from the teachings of their parents. This is precisely why I said this issue has nothing to do with black vs. white; it has everything to do with good vs. evil. There is a spiritual war going on for the mind and souls of humanity (Ephesians 6:12). I know that it may sound strange, but there is no sense balling your fists up and trying to fight the wind. You have to know your enemy, know your weaponry and defend/attack. Many people in history, good and bad, concur with my analysis. Adolf Hitler, in his autobiography Mein Kampf, basically stated that if you enticed and attracted the women, they would bring their children and the men would subsequently follow. See what happens when things are done out of order? But again, the end game is the children.
Educator John Taylor Gatto states:
“Schools train individuals to respond as a mass. Boys and girls are drilled in being bored, frightened, envious, emotionally needy, generally incomplete. A successful mass production economy requires such a clientele. A small business, small farm economy like that of the Amish requires individual competence, thoughtfulness, compassion, and universal participation; our own requires a managed mass of leveled, spiritless, anxious, familyless, friendless, godless, and obedient people who believe the difference between “Cheers” and “Seinfeld” is worth arguing about.”
John D. Rockefeller’s General Education Board, Occasional Letter Number One, 1906 stated:
“In our dreams. . . people yield themselves with perfect docility to our molding hands. . . . We shall not try to make these people or any of their children into philosophers or men of learning or men of science. We have not to raise up from among them authors, educators, poets, or men of letters. We shall not search for embryo great artists, painters, musicians, nor lawyers, doctors, preachers, politicians, statesmen, of whom we have ample supply. The task we set before ourselves is very simple. . . we will organize children . . . and teach them to do in a perfect way the things their fathers and mothers are doing in an imperfect way.”
Educator John Taylor Gatto:
“A mass-production economy can neither be created nor sustained without a leveled population, one conditioned to mass habits, mass tastes, mass enthusiasms, predictable mass behavior.”
Professor Benjamin Bloom, called the “Father of Outcome-based Education,” summarized it well:
“The purpose of education and the schools is to change the thoughts, feelings and actions of students.”
Do you understand it now? It’s the children that are the ultimate targets of the commercials and propaganda on television and in the schools. Look at the pictures in this article. This is what our young men and women are seeing and emulating. This is not positive; this is a cry for help from their souls. They are begging for help and they don’t even know it. They are looking for an identity, acceptance, and a natural voice of expression of who they are. Fortunately, they are not what they see on television, but unfortunately, not many men are connecting with the young people who are emulating the thug life.
For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.—Galatians 6:8
Even with an in tact mother and father operating in a functional family, we still must have some very vital components in place. Here is a guideline, but not an exhaustive list of things to do to ensure a proper foundation and the installation of sound self-esteem principles in parents and children. First, Jesus Christ must be the ultimate object of the heart. If you want God’s best for your life, then you have to surrender your life to Him. Second, live a right life before your children, so that they have a real person to emulate. They look up to you, believe it or not. If you make some bad decisions, admit it, and make amends. Kids need to see that humility too, so that they can emulate that when they fall short. No one is perfect, but make sure that you run to God in times of trouble (like David did) and don’t hide from Him (like Adam did). Third, endeavor to live a balanced life. Often times, Christian equate quoting Scriptures with living right in God’s eyes. Wrong!! Yes, we must know the Word of God so that we know how to do things God’s way, but if we don’t know God Word in context, or if we don’t know how to apply God’s Word to our particular 21st situation, then it’s useless to us. Fourth, make sure that you always look to the One that can never fail-Jesus Christ. I know many people who are Christians, but they put their pastors or someone else on a pedestal. Only Jesus is your light, salvation and redeemer. Fifth, don’t make excuses. Everyone has been given something called common sense; it’s just simple, natural knowledge. Don’t act like you don’t know the difference between right and wrong; decency and immorality. Everyone has a conscience and the Bible says the Holy Spirit convicts the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8). However, if your heart (not your flesh) doesn’t condemn you (make you feel guilty) then you have confidence to act before God (1 John 3:21). Now that’s what I call keeping’ it real. Sixth, you have to know and teach the youth that God has created each person for a Godly purpose (Jeremiah 29:11).
“Each one teach one, each one reach one.”—African Proverb
Those of us who have a good identity structure and are responsible people should make a conscious effort to reach out to the lost. All are welcomed into God’s fold, but in particular I am after the male specie. These pictures of sad, young males are disheartening. They all have a sour look on their face and they all believe that they are tough, cool and trendy. How sad it is when the external demeanor is the defining aspect of who you are. If their parents, guardians and responsible family members could only see how ridiculous they look, they might able to speak some sense to them. Obviously the people being photographed don’t care, but that’s why those of us who do care need to reach out, before more of these young males end up like Tupac and Notorious BIG. All the while, people like me are seeing these young people slide down razor blade mountainsides headed for an alcohol lake. Lil Wayne, T.I., Snoop Dog and Adam “Pacman” Jones are not our friends and they are not on our team. These are entertainers whom the system is giving a pass so that they can make enormous amounts of money to be losers and to convince our children to join them. Stop buying their clothes, their music, and stop cheering them on. You are indirectly putting fuel on the fire when you do this. Let’s grow up and be responsible.
In conclusion, the black community is its own worse enemy. The males, in particular, have forgotten the struggle of slavery and civil rights, and have been reduced to what you see in these photos. This is the losing team. This is the team that would cause me to “go off” if my daughter brought one of them home. This losing bunch doesn’t have to stay the losing bunch, but while they are the losing bunch, that isn’t an excuse for us to support or to encourage their losing effort. If we do, we all lose.
Let’s endeavor to never be that missing link, and if you are the missing link, then endeavor to reverse the curse, and pull others out of the fire. God is counting on us. Our families and our communities are counting on us. Even the relatives that haven’t been born yet are counting on us. We are laying foundations for those who will succeed us. We cannot fail. If we fail, we are putting future generations behind the 8 ball before they even arrive. Let’s make some positive and permanent changes in 2009……….Live well!!!!