Friday, February 12, 2010

5 Phrases Black People Must Abolish If We Are Ever To Get Ahead.

My job as a socially responsible blogger is to sometimes say sh*t that hurts, with intentions of waking people up and steering them in the right direction. One thing that continues to hold black folks back is bassackwards self-limiting behavior that's best evidenced in some of the Negro Talking Points that many of us utilize on the regular. Until we eliminate these phrases from our collective vocabularies, we will stay losin'. And I don't want us to stay losin', I want us to start winnin'. In that vein, I present to you, a quintet of things Black people need to stop saying, as of today.

1. "My Baby Got Good Hurrrr!" - Black people, for the last time: there is no such thing as "good" hair! Black hair comes in all grades, colors, thicknesses, and varying degrees of waviness. Ask any brother who has succumbed to male pattern baldness, or any woman with one of those hideous Vivica A. Foxx hairlines, and they'll tell you: they'd much rather have their own full head of hair back, regardless of how "good" or "bad" it originally was.

2. "I'm An Independent Black Woman!" - Ahhh, the mythical "Independent black woman", a shopworn cliché just as tired as that lame Lil' Boosie song. Ladies, let's face it: if being able to pay your own bills without the help of a man makes you "Independent", then you probably have some Daddy issues that have lead to your dramatically lowered sense of self. How about we just substitute the term "self sufficient" or "able bodied"? I've yet to hear the term "Independent" applied to a black man who is able to knock out the bills without mooching off some chick. The true litmus test of being independent is not having to print up business cards announcing it to anyone. Why the double standard? And BTW, in any marriage that has a chance, there's got to be some level of interdependence. Is all I'm sayin'.

3. "I'm Looking For A 'Good Black Man'!" - Ahh, the mythical "good black man" has become more or less like a Negro Unicorn in recent years. Revisionist history says today's black man is either in jail, dead, gay, on the DL, creepin' on his wife, or all of the above. As if men "back in the day" didn't do all the same sh*t, albeit in a more covert and respectable manner. If we keep it real with ourselves, many of us will admit our Grandfathers either had a family on "the other side of town", or we were that family on "the other side of town". Sorry Negroes are hardly a new development. On the flipside, I've yet to hear a standard definition for what a "good black man" actually is. Is a "good black man" merely one who doesn't possess any of the aforementioned traits of trifledom, or something even better? Since we can't agree, why don't we just agree that this "good man" doesn't exist, and that we're all flawed to some degree, but still worthy of companionship. How bout' that?

4. "We Have A Black President, There Are No More Excuses!" - Despite my "Where Is Obama?!?" tagline, I don't think the man's election is the cure for all that ails black America. Likewise, his ascension to the White House shouldn't be a "wake up call" for Negroes to suddenly abandon The Traaap and The Pole to suddenly raise their standards and pickup a freakin' book. Black people been had high achievement. We've been millionaires, Ivy League Presidents, Astrophysicists (whatever that is), Neurosurgeons, and Fortune 500 CEOs. This is nothing new. If you just figured out that black people have no limits to what we can achieve on 1.20.09, then please go play in traffic. Life isn't going to get any easier for you.

5. "We Are Descendants Of Kings And Queens!" - Ahh, my favorite all-time HBCU Negro Motivational Talking Point, and one that I still occasionally hear on talk radio, at church, and even to motivate AAU youth basketball teams (no, seriously, this one coach actually used that line!) today. Folks, we need to keep it one hunned: most of the people who left Goree island were not descendants of royalty. It it mathematically impossible. Reality is, many of us are descendants of weed heads, janitors, and "ladies of the night". And there is nothing wrong with that. But continuing the fallacy that we are all the spawn of throne dwellers is intellectually dishonest. Admit it: if your genealogy report came back, and you discovered you weren't a descendant of a Kaing, but instead a descendant of the ancient Nigerian version of Gucci Mane, would you be devastated, or somewhat relieved? Putting outlandish standards out there for folks to live up to creates unrealistic expectations that none of us can live up to. Who needs to carry that sorta weight? Create your own legacy, even if that legacy means yelling the phrase "Brrr! Brrr!" every 10 seconds.

Question: You got any more dreaded "Negro Talking Points" that black America needs to abandon for its own good? If you ever needed the invitation to climb atop your soapbox and hold court, consider this your Evite, and have at it.

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