Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Tearing Down Stereotypes.

February 19, 2015 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) A young African-American male stands next to an expensive car around midnight. What do we think? How many people think he is up to something and he does not own the vehicle? A police officer pulls you over for a traffic stop. How many people automatically think he knows the law, he knows what he is doing and he will be fair – or not? A Caucasian female in a business suit and briefcase walks into and towards the front of a courtroom. How many of us assume she is an attorney? A young man in his 20s dressed in jeans, a polo shirt and tennis shoes sits in class as everyone waits for the professor. How many of you do not realize he is the professor? You enter the pastor’s office for counseling and you are greeted by a 25 year old male while a 60 year old short and bald distinguished looking man stands beside him.

Which one is the pastor? You go to the doctor and he/she gives you a prescription. Do you take what he or she says as “gospel” and never do your own homework or research? Who is most responsible for your body, your life and your health – you or the doctor? Then who should make it a top priority? An African-American woman with a nice figure is walking down the street in a rough area and wearing tights and high heels in the middle of the day. What is your stereotypes-2015impression of her and what do you think she is doing? You see a man being arrested and a woman being placed in an ambulance. What is your first impression – that the man is the aggressor and the woman is the innocent victim?

I want to ask you a question. Are the examples you just read and your assumptions about them based on your past experience or prejudice and stereotypes? If you prejudge people without cause and without the facts, you should stop doing that. Suspicion has been imparted into the African-American community so heavily through slavery that many of our people are that way and do not even realize it. If you don’t want to be stereotyped, don’t stereotype others. Give people a chance as much as you can afford to until they show you different. Yes there are alot of con artists or scam artists out there and I have run into enough of them for all of us. But they come in all colors, they were all types of clothing or uniforms, they are in both genders, the sit in offices and sell out of their cars or on craigslist. But so do good and honest people.

When you put a baby or animal in a person’s arms, either one may take to the person or immediately start trying to get away from the person. Neither is looking at what the person is wearing or driving, where the person lives or how much he makes. That ability to sense good and bad people is what we have lost as we got older. But we need to get it back and fast. Why? Because we cannot always judge a book by its cover, everything that glitters is not gold, we should not walk by sight and everything that looks good may not be good for you. I am not telling you anything you probably don’t know, but do you follow it or do the opposite?

I am in process of a major home renovation and I hired several contractors. Some of the licensed contractors did exactly what they were supposed to do but some of the other licensed contractors were just plain sorry. They know what to do but they didn’t do it. They half stepped and took advantage of what we did not know. I also used non-licensed contractors. Some of them were awful but some of them were great. Anyway, I gave them a chance until they showed me different. So what does that mean? It means there are good and bad in every strata of life, in every field, in every economic class and in every race, color, creed, gender or national origin.

As African-Americans we need to fix both sides of the coin with respect to each other. On one side, we need to give other chance unless we have evidence related to THEM that we should not. If we cannot learn to do this, we are destined to carry the programming of a slave into the next generation and beyond. On the other side of the coin, we need to be competent, diligent and trustworthy. You cannot expect a person to believe in you if you are trying to hustle or get over on them. When we do this, we are really the losers and we don’t even know it. We need to be at our best, do our best and set the best example because it is right, because it is fair and because it is how we would want to be done by others.

African-Americans need to reset our expectations of ourselves and each other to excellence and away from half-stepping mediocrity. Doing enough to “get by” is more unproductive to the person who does this than it may be to those he or she does it to. We can no longer do just enough to “pass the class“. Do your best and be at your best because you can and because you should expect it of yourself. I noticed last year people were complaining about the minimum wage and the need to have it increased. People it is a MINIMUM wage, not an all time ideal career salary.

Minimum wage should be low so you will be motivated to climb higher, do more and achieve your potential. Minimum wage should not meet all our needs. We are not to get comfortable with it and stay there. Wake up people and rise up to the excellence for which you were created. You are the solution to your problems, yes YOU! Stop saying you are waiting on God because that’s just an excuse and you know it. God stays ready so if anybody is not ready, it’s you. But you can change that as soon as you make up your mind to change it.

Society has embedded stereotypes within us but it’s our responsibility to screen them out. Everybody in a suit is not an intellectual professional. Everybody in a “hoodie” is not a criminal. Every African-American does not steal. All “black” women are not trifling – just most, lol. Some police officers are not good at their job nor experts in the law. But all police officers are not evil villains sent to make your life a living Hell. White is not always more right. Every woman is not a victim. Every man is not a perpetrator. I think you get the picture. But remember, if you open the door to the demon, don’t get mad when it comes in and wreaks havoc.

We have to shake off and deprogram ourselves from the slavery mindset that is keeping us divided, uncooperative, confrontation and suspicious of each other. We have to learn to help others build and wait our turn. The idea of always being the chief and never the Indians has to be rooted out of our ethnic group. I ask you to share this message with your children, parents, teachers, pastors, siblings, co-workers and anyone else who has the wisdom to listen. We must understand that the parts affect the whole. We are connected, like it or not. And what one of us does can make it easier or harder for the next one of us in society. Time out for only looking out for self, playing games, running game and being divided. Time to wake up.

Staff Writer; Marque-Anthony

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