Thursday, January 29, 2015

Self Expression or Self Hate?

Ever have one of those moments when you're sitting on the train with a bunch of folks (overwhelmingly white folks) and a group of youngsters get on the train cursing and using the "N" word?

I'm sure you have.  So, imagine that you're walking down a crowded street in the financial district during morning commute and out of the blue you hear very loud, foul, crude, sexual, N-word laced music pounding from a "boom box" on some dude's shoulders.  First thought.  "Is he crazy?"  Second thought, "What do these white folks think?"

That happened to me this morning.  And I got to my office to discover another sister walking behind me who witnessed and experienced the same thing.  While she was totally repulsed and said that he needed "a good spanking," I started to think, "He is actually very sad.  He not only needs attention.  He lacks self-respect and self-esteem."  And the question isn't "what do white folks think," but "what does he think of himself?"

I'm all about expressing your art and I'm certainly down with "I Can't Breathe."  But, if we continue to berate and disrespect ourselves, what do we expect from the masses? 

I don't know the answer.  I'm not even sure of the question.  But one thing is for sure, Marvin Gaye's lyrics were never more relevant, "Makes Me Wanna Holler."

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