Beauty and grace, or do we believe in beauty and disgrace? The question that has paralyzed all of us this day, with a reality that we cannot erase. Twenty years from now when our fascination with Black Reality Stars on TV has waned, how will we remove the blemish and the stain that the ignorant and deranged behavior left behind? The question in the aftermath of these toxic images, flawed characters in dysfunctional relationships remains to be resolved. These faux personas perpetuate the myth and the stereotypical images that result in self-hatred.
Reality? Maybe for some, but for far too few to understand that the implications for those image makers are reflected in the respect and dignity afforded our community. These are not positive images, and they are imprinted in the minds of the masses that we are still puppets dangled on strings of ignorance and replicated over and over and over again. Those who receive thousands of dollars in payment to expose themselves on television, use shortsighted thinking for what amounts to paltry sums in the long term. What a mockery to allow the portrayal of black housewives in such a degrading way. In truth, it’s a case of the inmates running the asylum. Tears fall from our eyes as we lose the pride of the image we had for ourselves that was based in dignity in the past. Why have we chosen to not let this image of distinction last?
Why do we continue to pretend that less is better when it comes to intelligence and ambition? Are we mystified by the ignorance that we assume and consume and the effect it has on us anyway?
We make excuses each and every day for our betrayal of our race and intelligence, by the things we say. But who’s complaining about how things are today? We should not want to perform like monkeys at the end of the organ grinder’s rope and volunteers for such damaging and lasting images that cannot be erased. “Oh mock me and fight me publicly on TV. I’ll be a star and that’s all that matters to me,” is what these fading stars say and see. “To know me for the fool that I am and the fool that I will choose to be. Oh no, that is so beneath me, that’s really not me,” later become their heartfelt pleas. These stars of today become has-beens so soon, that they will never again appeal to millions of people, or make a celebrity appearance at a club that is worth the pay. Four or five years after it’s all over you see, no one will remember them as they fade into anonymity.
I am concerned about why we have made ignorance appear cool, and I am disturbed by the fact that we have so many young people not interested in finishing school. I am even more torn that we don’t complain about it more. It’s unfortunate that there is no cause that we feel strong enough to claim. I’m worried that are so few accomplishments that we want to emulate and frame. It’s important that we stand with distinction — stand straight and look a man in the eye, and find a meeting of the minds to help advance humankind.
Who motivates you to explore and try something new? Who are the stars in your life that you reflect on and copy the things that they do? Do we really support the president and encourage our young to be like him too? Dear young hip-hop brothers, will you don a suit and get a clue? When you will realize that the shadow that you cast goes further and and lasts a long time. So it’s more important to demonstrate a strong and intelligent mind. Help a child with the SAT, the ACT or to get a math or engineering degree.
So why don’t we understand that a clear and focused mind will help us in the end? Why are we afraid of being the great people as our ancestors did intend? Competition has become global and comes from places near and far away, and from people and cultures who are willing to do what it takes to get above the fray.
Let us not be afraid to become more than we are. Our forefathers labored so we could go that far. We have gotten off the educational and achievement track. And many of us are just floundering and wasting our talents, and unaware that we are slipping back. We have swallowed a false reality pill, that blurs our vision of who we are and what is required to get ahead. We clamor for applause with stars in our eyes. We concede to buffoonish depictions of our lives on the condition that we get airtime for any type of recognition.
Be careful what we write in time, for we cannot erase what stays foremost in the mind. Let our reality be something great, not a sad joke that we learn to tolerate.