Black on Black

blackonblack“All this talk about black on black crime when people should be finding examples of black on black appreciation instead.”

I have a difficult time interacting with people who fit stereotypes because I don’t know the right words to say to them. Maybe it’s because I was raised in the time of PC — Perfect Christian — when people pretended not to notice things like others fitting a stereotype while at the same time mocking them in private. And stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, because enough people in a particular group fit them, but maybe it’s self-perpetuating too.

It’s like when a crime goes down in the hood and the cameras are rolling so that they can get some footage for the news. Somehow the reporter finds the one person in the entire area who sounds the absolute dumbest and sticks a camera in his face.

“Yeah, I seen what dey did, sh*%, naw mean? Dat sh*% be buggin’, yo. Dis gon’ be on da news?”

And the whole time he has his pants down around his ankles with a pick sticking out of his lopsided afro, with eight teeth missing and a few holes in his t-shirt. In the background you can see his cousin waving at the camera, and you imagine TLC’s “No Scrubs” as the soundtrack for the scene. People in the neighborhood scratch their heads while they watch the broadcast, wondering where this “brutha” came from because they’ve never seen him before, and they swear the news program hired someone to play the role so no one forgets this happened in the hood.

I always want to shake the reporter and tell her, “We’re not all like that!” because guess what? Too many non-Blacks see that fool on the TV as a representation of all Blacks everywhere. Continue reading “Black on Black”

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

harvardThere’s a young man going to Harvard who had a 4.0 GPA last semester. That’s no surprise, as Harvard is one of the top universities in the country, and it takes someone with superior academic ability to even be accepted. The surprise is that this young man was born and raised in a trailer park, to a single mother who had him when she was a teenager.

This young man went to public schools all his life, and walked a mile to get to the bus stop every morning, but he never let any of that stop him, and he never felt like he had to apologize for it either. Instead, he broke the cycle and is in the process of making something of himself. Why should that be so surprising? Because unlike so many others, he believes in being other than what he was. He believes in a future of his own choosing, not the one he was born into.

Self-fulfilling-Prophecy

“A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to come true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior.” -adapted from the theories of Robert K. Merton

I liken it to the placebo effect, whereupon a person feels the effects of a drug they didn’t actually take because they believe they did take it. It’s all in how you approach your life, not in how others see you. That’s one of the major problems in society, the feeling that everyone else knows us better than we know ourselves. Too often we give in to peer pressure, to the ideas of everyone else about who we are, and about where we’re going in life. But it’s not about them and their views. It’s about how we envision our lives, and we can’t afford to forget it. Continue reading “Self-Fulfilling Prophecy”