Thursday, October 30, 2008

Plight of the Molded/Educated/Trained Negro

Honestly, I hesitated before writing this post. It's been on my mind for days and in my heart for years. Despite coming off as a pompous jerk, it must be written. I see this phenomenon all to often and can't stay silent anymore. If this offends you, then oh well. It must be said.

Sitting in this two week training class is like going back to middle school. People are just fuckin immature. It's like combining a class of college seniors with 7th graders. The differences in maturity levels and mannerisms is a contrast that can only be described as black and white. When grown women came dressed to work (for a business casual dress code) in jeans, ill-fitting slacks, tennis shoes that were obviously to small (or narrow), and ragedy hairstyles.....I said, "They are just hood." When these same grown women say immature/ignorant comments loudly to get noticed, pop their gum, argue with the supervisor, and get attitudes with their coworkers....I said, "They are just ghetto." When I reflected on my life, and where I grew up....I realized, "I'm both from the hood & have been called ghetto. I act nothing like them."

The fact is, the school I went to was in a district so fucked up that, as a whole, it wasn't accredited. A person just got shot in the front yard of a house I lived in while attending middle school and half of high school. While in college, a serial killer was stashing dead bodies in abandoned homes all around the house I lived in while in high school. The only real advantage I see, is that my mother holds a Masters Degree. Other than her advanced degree, I had the same advantages, in the same city, these women had.

Those who know me, have realized that I'm an extrovert. This means I think as I speak. I think as I type. After editing the title of this post a few times I've realized the key factor: CHANGE

In the title of this post I use three verbs which all involve change:
  • To Mold is to give shape to OR influence the formation or development of
  • To Educate is to give intellectual, moral, and social instruction to
  • To Train is to teach a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time
Clark Atlanta University is known to be the hood school of the Atlanta University Center. CAU takes students who usually attended very urban high schools, and molds them into functioning adults. Our thought process changes, our mannerisms change, our attire changes....Our swaggers receive a complete overhaul. After two years at CAU, you are molded, educated, and trained to take over the world. I have to shout out Morehouse & Spelman for doing the same (even though the raw materials they are working with aren't quite as raw as Clark's).

The truth is, I started my process of change long before I even attended Clark. CAU just put the finishing touches on me. They buffed out the rough edges and gave me a spit shine.

My mother, as horrible as she may be at times, began molding/educating/training me at birth. I learned how to thrive in any and every environment by watching her. When I was younger I didn't understand it. I called it "acting White." Now I call it, being a well rounded individual. Just because I had a corporate mother doesn't necessarily give me the edge. I could have chosen to be completely unreceptive to it. At the same time, people without college educated parents could have been more receptive to sources of molding/education/training around them. For the most part, life is an even playing field.

So what's the difference between me and those select coworkers that make me cringe with embarrassment, the willingness and receptiveness to change.

The title of the post contains the word "Plight." I'm getting to that now.

For Black people who are receptive to this process of molding/educating/training, we aren't necessarily received with open arms back to the communities we came from.

We are called: Pompous, Arrogant, Sadity.
We are told we: Act White, Are Sell Outs, Think We Are the Shit

I think that's all bullshit. True enough, you have those people out there, but just because you know how to carry yourself and speak proper english when the time comes does not put you in any of those categories. Why are Black people like this? My mother always told me Black people were like crabs in a bucket. When one tries to escape, the others pull it back down. She forgot to tell me that when one finally does escape, the same ones who tried to pull it down ask for a handout so they can escape too. Now aint that some shit?!

I silently laugh at the fact that Black people far and wide support Obama. They wear T-shirts proclaiming "Me and My Mama Vote For Obama." When he comes to cities, they flock to him like he is the Messiah. I love the support. What I'm laughing at is the fact that if he went to their high school or was just that "mixed niggga" at their job, they'd be saying that he acts white or is a sell out. They'd call him arrogant, sadity, and find some reason why he thinks he's the shit. If he wasn't about to run the free world, he'd be in the same category as all the other Black people who managed to embrace the phenomenon of change.

Black people crack me up.

I started looking up words, as I so often like to do just to make sure I'm using them correctly. I looked up the word "Plight" and was surprised to learn there are actually two definitions. The first is a noun meaning a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation. The second was one I didn't know about. Plight can also be used as a verb to indicate a pledge or a solemn promise. Let me take this opportunity to Plight my troth.

"The Plight of the Molded/Educated/Trained Negro"
I make a solemn pledge of loyalty to change.
I pledge to always embrace it.
Never be afraid of it.
I hereby, solemly pledge to be a student of change.

1 comment:

Mz. Quanta said...

I'm feeling you on this one fo' sho'...you highlighted so many discrepancies in the mindset of our people...I love it!