Being Black, Brown, African American, Negro, Nigger (yes, I said the word because of the historical relevance), has always carried a negative connotation in this country. What's worse is the stereotypes and prejudice that comes with it being a Black male. No one, not even a Black woman, knows exactly what it is like to be in this country.
Over the past year with the Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman case (yes I brought it up), the killing of Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, and now Mike Brown, it makes me wonder if I am safe to be in this country.
In another post, I mentioned how I had the opportunity to attend a conference on Race and Ethnicity. I must say that conference helped me become more aware of race and the perceptions that many have of me because of such.
I cannot necessarily speak for every Black man in this country, however, some of us are taught to code switch and learn how to adapt to the Eurocentric culture of this country in order to survive. For many of us, we are taught still to say yes sir and no sir to police officers or other white people, in particular men, who are in power. For many of us, we are taught or learn in order to get ahead, we must shut up and keep our opinions to ourselves even if something does not make sense and loose our voice. We are ultimately taught or learn that we cannot be viewed as being too powerful. And some may even say we have an African American president. My response would be to those people "And...look at all the crap he has to encounter just because of his race. And also he is not just African American. He is biracial."
Have you ever been followed in a store because of your race and gender? Have you ever been questioned by the police if you are out walking at night (because God forbid you just want a breath of fresh air)? Have you ever been told by your parents that if you get pulled over by the cops to make sure that your hands are able to be seen at all times (although I find this to be difficult when you are trying to retrieve your license and registration)? Have you ever been viewed as a thug or too smart for your own good? More importantly, do you know what it is like to have a group (not all but many) of people who fear you simply because of your gender and race as well as the perceptions that were passed down from generation to generation? Lastly, how could I forget the perception that we are scary people especially when angered?
Until you are born male and have been born Black, you will ultimately never understand what it is like to be a Black male in America. That is how it is! But what you can do is TRY TO SEE THE PERSPECTIVE OF BEING A BLACK MALE WHY THINGS SEEM TO WORK AGAINST US! Tonight as a sit, being reflective, I cannot help but think of how history seems to be parallel and to an extent seems to repeat itself! When are we going to stop making assumptions about black males immediately when something goes wrong? Yes there are some that do wrong, but so are some males that are of other races.
Too many lives are being lost because of prejudice and stereotypes! Because of this, as a Black male it makes me wonder if I am going to be the next victim! As an educator of students who are primarily Black males, it makes me afraid for their future! It is like you try so hard to assimilate, yet it seems never to be enough! Wonder if the Native Americans felt the same way during the Trail of Tears.
I know I was on a tangent! But I will leave you with a video! The video, while a little comical in the beginning, makes me think of one aspect of being an African American male that seems to be one aspect of my life!