Sometimes it takes someone to point out the obvious before people begin to mention the elephant in the room. Last week I asked people to look in the mirror, and ask themselves: are they to blame for the death of Trayvon Martin. It was a difficult question but it had to be asked.
This week I am not longer asking questions, I am declaring the time is now to make a change. Earlier today while a guest on the popular radio show The Takeaway, Celeste Headle said we have not gotten to a safe place to talk about race. Well I disagree. These conversations have been going on in the black community for quite some time now, and we are just waiting for the rest of the world to join the conversation.
But, as the conversation continues and race relationships begin to change, we all have to hold ourselves responsible for how we represent our race. I'd like to share a piece from a note my friend Ismael El-Amin wrote over the weekend:
"In my daily routine, I am the only black male that a lot of my friends and colleagues come into contact with and, like it or not, I represent black society at that point. The judgements I make, the tone I direct towards others, the way I handle adversity as well as success... they are all storing a perception in my non-black counterparts. I do my best to uphold a positive light... I've never used my size or undeniable HULK-like physique to intimidate or impose my will on another. Can the same be said for those other black males in our lives? Are we continuing the NWA mantra that we are not to be eff'd with? Three generations later... do we have to boast just how hard we are?"
He continues by asking the very valid question.
"Why can't the current and future generations eliminate the existing imagery and reinstate the imagery that the mark of a man is not the flash and flare," but rather the mark of the man is the influence he is able to pass on to the kids coming after him.
Because our kids, black and white, are crying for some positive images to uplift them.
He closes out his note by asking us all to think twice before we react.
"Please consider your surroundings when you decide to 'snap' because the grocery line is not moving fast enough. Please keep your cool when you're in a fender bender. When you're playing basketball and the white kid with a sick jump shot just won't miss... words won't help you, play some better defense. Hold the door for someone. Watch your language on a crowded bus. Go home and do homework instead of hovering around on the streets drawing attention to yourself. If you don't feel like learning in class... don't disturb the rest of the class. Find something positive about being at work (maybe the blessing that you have a job) so you aren't labeled as the black person complaining all the time. Take ownership of your attitude and image."
It starts with one, and while we cannot erase the images of aggressive violent black males with guns, we can provide a healthy alternative and break the cycle of stereotypes! Who knows, you just might save a life.
Xilla is the Sr. Entertainment Editor for GlobalGrind.com as well as CEO of the number 1 relationship blog BlogXilla.com/M2TB.com. He has been featured in XXL, The Source, Essence, LA Times and is considered one of the premiere bloggers in the industry. Follow him on twitter @BlogXilla