By: Opinionated MJ
Blog suicide? So be it. This is a call to responsibility.
Yes, I am a proud black male. Father of 1, a young girl. Son with 3 siblings, all women. I am not a racist. I am not here to brag about how many friends of different races I have. That doesn’t matter. Yes, all lives matter. Being a black male in America, though, I’m beginning to feel as if I don’t matter.
I remember learning about Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and other civil rights leaders and many people who complete the entire Black History makeup as a youth in school. Hating I had to do what seemed to be endless, huge reports on these people. I thought it was for nothing. Wondering exactly what they were going through, naïve to what awaited me in my lifetime. I’m currently “feeling” as if I’m living in a time where things are parallel to theirs. Where being black was to be frowned upon. I’ve worked in a dominantly white area and actually an area where KKK members were said to be. I worked as a Sales Rep for a cell phone company there. White people would come in and many would not come to me with their interest in products and to service them. I lost my job. Laid off and given unemployment due to the “lack of a need” for me. All my co-workers were white and they might have seen exactly what I was going through. I understood it. I didn’t allow it to bother me too much. I had been through too much already for this to be something to put me in the dumps, hell, they willingly gave me unemployment without fight. They weren’t racist at all. I actually loved how cool my boss was. It was a learning experience.
When I was 13, I attended high school that was predominantly white at first. Then eventually it became more and more diverse as the years passed. I’ve been able to experience racial backgrounds of many types and never had any hate or resentment towards any of them, nor did I feel any hate towards me. I was in a classroom when the planes hit the WTC on 9/11. I had seemingly felt like something devastating had happened to MY country. I felt for all those people who were on the television running away from burning buildings and debris. I had been frozen in time. Watching a blank sky outside. No planes flying. I had been tuned into television wondering what has happened. Sociology class was very interesting on this day. School continued on, life continued on, things took their course. All I heard comedians say is that we became fully American at this time. At this time though, I had actually never ever felt I wasn’t apart of America. I was American.
Fast forward to today, I remember Sean Bell. I remember Treyvon Martin. I remember Sandra Bland. I remember everything and everyone. I have tried to shy away from usual negativity but the uptick in to whom which group is targeted has now began to set a sense of concern in my mind. Affecting my psyche as I’m sure it is supposed to do by design. This isn’t by coincidence. This has got to be systematic. Who am I to make such a claim? I’m just a citizen. One who is of the skin tone that has had to fight to reach this point. Feeling like we grew too comfortable. I mean, Mississippi just ratified a slave bill, what, last year? Two years ago? I can recall things.
This isn’t a call to blame. This is a call to complain. This isn’t a call to bash whites or policemen who are black, white, Mexican, and so on. This is a call to humanity. On a blog dominated by my love for basketball and sheer drive to create conversation by settling into opinions and driving them to the point of mass irritation. This is a perspective of me feeling American in the past and me feeling like I’m concerned for that status right now in September of 2016. There’s millions of people. Roughly 325 million in America to be exact.
How many people do our athletes touch? How many do they reach out to? How much do they give back to all areas? Doesn’t matter. I see homeless, vacant homes, and empty schools in Detroit. We’re in direct contact with one another and although I get word out and opinion on these same athletes who actually do nothing for me but entertain me, I’ll expect nothing in return. How could I? How dare I. I’m in none of their circles. I’m on none of their payrolls. I’m not apart of any of their charities. My daughter isn’t apart of any of their programs. My family isn’t apart of anything that doesn’t deal with bills, taxes, government, debt, and state. I physically touch roughly 500+ homes a day in my current occupation. Athletes, entertainers, celebs, models, etc. touch that number within 1 minute of a tweet or status update. They directly affect psyche. They directly affect how we feel towards what they like, what they hate, what they’re driven for, what they’re thinking. Cool. Sure. What I’m getting at now is, we have to find a way to touch more people since we are all people, all of us. They are regular people as well. They aren’t better than us no matter their efforts. I am just as good for affecting 1 person if that’s within my means as they are for affecting hundreds, thousands, millions. Right? Fame and status is just that, we are all buried the same when it’s all said and done. 6 feet below. No matter how silent the death. No matter how horrendous the death. Legacy is deeper than classic records, deeper than sports history, deeper than the slimmest model. Legacy is defined by something that lasts for generations to come.
Let’s elevate our perspective to leaving legacies that will touch all. My child doesn’t know who Michael Jordan is or how many shoes he sold, how many rings he won, she probably doesn’t even know he’s bald, but she does know who Dr. Martin Luther King is and what his purpose was. Muhammad Ali would be a good example of a man who went against the grain, against what was expected of him and received support of the community, both black and white. He didn’t spend a dime. He didn’t teach your child to box. He just showed us what being an American is. What standing for something is. That has been lost in this generation. No one stands for anything and accepts everything that makes an overall lesser impact. That’s the point I’m making. Black, White, Latino, Hispanic, we must all come together at a time where ‘humanity’ calls for it. Stand for something or fall for anything. There are some who affect now. There are some who affect forever. Let’s find forever.
Be Blessed. Black Lives Matter. White Lives Matter. All Lives Matter.