My mother used to complain that every time she watched the news she would see black people "acting the fool."
That was forty years ago. Have we progressed much since then?
I fear not. After a decade or two of watching her people embarrass themselves, she finally decided that she'd had enough and began limiting her TV watching to The View. Before you laugh – answer this simple question: When is the last time you saw black folks depicted poorly on The View? Even if you don't like Whoopi, she is clean and articulate and does not speak in the "Negro dialect." In other words, Whoopi does not act as a racial gatekeeper. However, she makes sure that no ignorance finds its way into your view of The View.
Now of course, at the age of 80-plus, my mother has not spent even one minute of her life on the internet, so after many years of struggle, she has finally overcome by effectively limiting her exposure to "black people acting the fool" to whatever The View provides.
I've gone a step further. I watch very little TV (The NFL and The Walking Dead), So my exposure to black people "acting the fool" is also limited. Plus, the fact that I live in a city with a black population iof approximately 3 percent has done wonders for my blood pressure. You would be surprised how tranquil my life has become since leaving the inner city of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Does that offend you?
The secret to my peace is that I have learned to stop owning what I did not purchase. I was not raised to disrespect authority, so I don't listen to music that celebrates lawlessness. I was not raised to lie, steal or cheat, so I refuse to support those who do even if they get shot 16 times after doing so. I was not raised to march and complain and agitate while refusing to contribute to my own betterment, so why should I embrace a culture of people that does just because we have the same pigmentation? Why should I own what I did not buy into? Skin color is nothing to me. In fact, when people emphasize skin color over all else – even when it "benefits" black people – I find that...
Racist. And repugnant.
Simply put, the ugliness that is spewing out of the black culture doesn't define me. I am proud to be black, and I'm also proud to be an individual who isn't afraid to follow my conscience. The anger and rage you see both in the inner city and on American Ivy League campuses may look like me – may even sound like me – but if you or they believe that I am one of the collective, you're mistaken.
Here is my secret: I was liberated from the progressive plantation years ago. It was a difficult and emotional decision, and it still comes with a myriad of consequences – the most significant being the excommunication and shunning from the community of color in this country. My only regret – if I had to do it all over again – is that I didn't free myself sooner. If I knew then what I know now, I would have followed three simple (but difficult) steps to break free of plantation enslavement and live the American dream as God intended.
1. Crucify all micro aggressions
Micro aggressions are the everyday verbal, nonverbal and environmental slights, snubs, or insults – whether intentional or unintentional – that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their race or identity.
Micro aggressions are just a fancy word for paranoia. Everyone has met that sad individual who has a chip on his or her shoulder. Angry at the drop of a hat. Seeing racism everywhere. Well – thanks in part to the collective self-soothing of social media – we have an entire generation with a chip on its shoulder, and that chip is larger than ever.
Here is what you need to do:
Suspend all social media use for a month. If you start in February include the first week of March. (February is already the shortest month of the year, don't use Black History month to cheat yourself and use it as an excuse to follow the herd.) Be your own person with your own mind. When everyone in a room (or on a website) is agreeing with one another, take a step back and evaluate the issue from all sides. It's OK to go against the grain, even if it makes you the black sheep.
Kill cable news and all ethnic-based TV shows for a season. This one simple discipline will change your entire worldview. You might even read a book, like the Bible, or think without all the noise. You'll find that you can direct your own thoughts, rather than having them directed by others.
2. Behead Dependence
Everything from helicopter parents to the welfare state has warped our younger generation. To break free, you must no longer allow us to "help you." You must help yourself. This is the essence of maturity.
Here's what you need to do:
For the next 30 days, look into your mirror. Look yourself in the eye and say, "No one owes me anything. I will depend on God and the gifts and talents He gave me for everything."
Learn to live up to the way He sees you. Not how you see yourself, and definitely not how others see you.
Do whatever you can to avoid taking government assistance. If you find yourself in a situation where you might have to depend on the government, it should be a painful, gut-wrenching and shameful experience until the day you are back on your own feet. NEVER get used to it. NEVER callous your heart by giving up on self-sufficiency. You owe it to yourself to believe in your own talents, potential and capabilities. You must beware of all "free" money, because it's never free. And the price you'll pay in your self-worth and self-respect is far more than paper money.
Your new motto should be: I can do it. Because you can.
3. Self-identify as a successful American
Recently I had a conversation with a family of immigrants. They literally walked out of the Sudan. One woman with four boys; two were hers, the others lost. When asked, she claimed them all as her own. Four years later they all speak English. One is in college, while the eldest and the mother work to support him. They all live in the same, small apartment. Two are in high school with scholarships on the horizon. When all are finished, resources will go to care for Mom, whether she is the biological mother or not.
Here's what you need to do:
Befriend a recent immigrant from Africa or Asia. They make the best Americans. They will teach you how to work hard and to sacrifice.
If you are on a college campus, go to the stacks (that's a library, for you Millenials) and look for these brothers and sisters. You will usually find them there on Friday and Saturday nights studying. Offer to buy them dinner and pick their brain. Prepare to be motivated, inspired and – most of all – compelled to action.
Avoid all other recent immigrants. Too many of them are being used as pawns in the nation-killing game of dependence.
There it is. You are what you eat. And you are what you think. If you eat too many pork 'n beans (processed, manufactured, nonscense), your stomach will surely let you know. And flatulence leads to isolation. This isn't just true for food; it's true for how we think. When entire groups of people isolate themselves from and work against society, they get something worse than a chip on their shoulder.
They harden their hearts. They become addicted to hate.
They act the fool.