Monday, October 16, 2006

The Demise of our Society: Mr. Special, Ms. It ain’t my fault, and Mr. Baggy Pants

I have been told that there is a new attitude out there. New behavior. A new way to respond. It is rooted in they way young people (teenagers and 20 somethings) function when they do not get what they want. This new thing is called Sense of Entitlement.

I first recognized this type of behavior with my son when he was a toddler. I could not understand why Judah could not comprehend that he was not going to get everything he wanted and that everything was not going to go his way. He actually believed he was entitled to EVERYTHING. Now, let me remind you that I am referring to my son when he was a toddler and present day young adults. I am comparing behavior and attitude with a toddler and a 20 something. Do you understand? Do you find this absurd? If you do, please know that I also find it ridiculous. Nonetheless, the following statement from a psychiatrist confirms my thought process on the subject:

This attitude is normally seen in toddlers, who want what they want and they want it now. Every parent has had to deal with this kind of whining. When you see this attitude repeatedly in an adult, then you know you are dealing with psychopathology. Many adults whimper at the slightest inconvenience, delay, or restriction. Why? Because, like toddlers, they are convinced they deserve what they want when they want it. They are "entitled" to it.”

I guess America is full of toddlers in adult bodies. What do you think, or are we making excuses once again for our self serving, self righteous, self centered, and uncaring behavior? Do we (adults) actually believe whining will get us out of the traffic we do not have to be in? Do we believe that if we continue to shift responsibility on someone or something else that our whimpering will get us what we feel we deserve?

This new attitude is destructive, and it has gotten on my last nerve! What does that 23 year old think America owes him? What does the eighteen year old think she is entitled to? Someone please tell me. What makes these rude young people believe they are Mr. Special? Where did we go wrong with raising these people who appear to have it all together, but truly cannot function appropriately or adequately when confronted with real life events? And, this is the kicker: These young so called adults do not take any responsibility for their behavior. Just like the Ms. 30 something-It ain’t my fault. Interesting: we have teenagers and 20 year olds who are of the belief that they are entitled and we have that thirty-five year old who does not comprehend personal responsibility.

Are we so far to the left and/or to the right in our thinking that we blatantly refuse to take responsibility for our actions, and then believe it is okay? Think about the last time you did something stupid. Did you accept the fact that you made the decision to do that stupid act/thing after you realized what you did was dumb, or was it someone else’s fault?

I have to admit as a 30 something person that there have been several occasions where I conveniently developed an excuse for doing something STUPID, but failed to take responsibility for it. Like that time I purchased a car knowing full well that I could not afford the monthly car note. For those of you who grew up with me: It was the white and black Impulse. I may have told you at the time that my cousin took over the payments. I lied. That car was repossessed. Like that time I decided I was not going to file taxes for two years. I just refused to. "Damn the government." That was my attitude. How stupid was that? But, guess what: I blamed the IRS for my asinine act after they began to garnish funds from my government salary. Boy, was I an idiot! I neglected to take responsibility in both occurrences for my actions.

There have been numerous other irresponsible things that I have done. I can go on and on. However, there is one thing that I do not understand: Why do we continue to put ourselves in bad situations and then point the finger at the man, the system, our parents, our teachers, our childhoods, and for us black folk: why is slavery our reasoning for all our problems?

If you are black and refuse to accept the truth about us you may want to stop reading now. Don’t worry I do not have much to say. I have aired our dirty laundry before (http://muatatruthtelling.blogspot.com/2006/02/black-folks-laundry-it-is-dirty.html)
I will bullet point my truths. Continue to read.


-If you are illiterate it is your fault.
-If you sell drugs “the man” did not force you to poison your community.
-If you wonder why white people think we are all thugs and whores just spend 10 minutes watching BET.
-If you are not promoted at work maybe you should adhere to the man’s rules i.e. get to work on time.
-If you are “profiled” in a store that’s operated by a Korean, and the owner eyeballs you the entire time you are in his store you better believe one of us has ripped him off before.
-If you have ever thought about why there are so many black men in prison please do consider the judicial system is the blame for wrongfully putting them there, but also consider the brotha on the corner did rob the white tourist.
-If you devalue education and glorify rims, $200 jeans, Moet, overpriced seafood (Spondivits), and other foolishness you need to run a self check.

Probably every one of you reading this commentary are more than likely saying: ‘Muata, the list above does not apply to me.’ I know this, man! But, I guarantee you someone in your family or close to your family could benefit from the list. Even if it just serves as a reminder of their behavior they should read it because the list is a sad depiction of black folk not taking PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY.

I am so disgusted with us and our excuses. You can call it rhetoric (I am full of truthful rhetoric), but you know as well as I do that this “blame game” has to end. Mr. Baggy Pants needs to pull up his Rocawear jeans and stop being a jackass.

Most of our mommas did not raise fools!!

*All my Asian, Hispanic, Native American, African American and white readers please share this commentary with every Black person you know.

Written by Muata. Inspired by my friend that said: “On occasion, I am ashamed of being black.” Inspired by Jesse Jackson’s comment: “There is nothing more painful to me at this stage in my life than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery and then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

8 comments:

Muata said...

Muata-

a sense of entitlement is not exactly a bad thing. would you prefer for these young people to be more docile and know their place? the issue with this "entitlement" is the lack of understanding that it still takes work and that you still have to earn every ounce of everything that you shall receive. their issue is the lack of manners, work ethic, and basic etiquette. not to mention many of them are the products of parents of the "we've made it" mentality and they do not instill certain values in them as our parents may have. for example, just the other day i asked my colleague...do they teach walk to the right etiquette in school anymore? ultimately, you can blame many things on why people are the way they are because we are all made up of various programming based on things presented to us historically and presently. however, the fact that many people cannot see themselves as a constant factor within their various dramas and never seek to make change, it where that argument starts fade. entitlement is awesome. it is something that was taken from us when we were enslaved and brought to this country. to see it back in the spirits of our children is a indication that we may be able to reclaim our names. but, what our responsibility is as adults is to see this and try to create better "programming" for these young people rather than create commentary on it that gets read by only a select few rather intelligent people. so when are you starting your work as a social worker? you know that has to be your next step.

-MP

MP-

That is an interesting point of view that I do not buy. However, I am able to dialogue with you on your understanding.

I would prefer for the people (black and white) who display this type of behavior to truly understand that this world does not owe them anything. We are born, trained, reared, educated (most of us), and then charged with making it in this fake land of the free. It is this charge that’s crucial: How was the charge to storm the world presented and who presented it? If both, the presenter(s) and the charge presentation is on the up and up, there should not be too much of an issue until one is faced with those stumbling blocks i.e. racism, stereotyping, hating, etc. If confronted with these, one should adjust and then move along as is without a belief “I am special and I deserve a break or some type of handout”. Our ancestors did not receive a freebie from the system. Why should these Millennium Generation crybabies?

“Reclaim our names”. Now, you tell me what the masses of our people are doing to reclaim our names? We have done nothing but tarnish the names of all the African Kingdoms. We are a big disappointment. All we have done is get new cars, homes, and clothing. We left the struggle back in 1980.

Better “programming”. Think about trying to get wholesome black television shows on the air. Many have tried and we did not tune in. But, we will tune in to the crap BET and MTV purport: GARBAGE. When you get in your car today press your radio dial to an urban hip-hop station. It is appalling what comes out of these heroes of adolescent’s mouths (rappers). What you will here is a depiction of Black America. Not, the Black America many of us (70 kids) know and love. We made it. Yeah, right. We are part of the problem, and the commentary is meant to remind and hopefully motivate us to stay in the losing fight.

Remember, these Sense of Entitlement folk will be charged with taking care of us 70 kids. Lord, help us!!

-Muata

Muata-

a sense of entitlement is not a request for handouts...at least not in the sense that i am using it. what i am referring to is the feeling that you deserve and should have what you want. and what i said is that what these young people lack in conjunction with that feeling of entitlement is the work ethic that goes with it and the understanding that while you are entitled, you must earn it first. the programming that i am referring to is necessarily television programming, but life in general programming. it is the propaganda that we hear, see, and digest that create the filters by which we process information and develop our character. it is by creating a different system of programming, introducing new and different perspectives, and being a part of solution that we might be able to make a difference in the lives of these young people. the idea that we might be able to reclaim our names only happens after we lose the slave mentalities that we have dealt with for so long, recover from psychological damage that has occurred post-emancipation, and actually learn from our mistakes and use that knowledge to evolve. what i believe that this sense entitlement can develop into is black people who believe that they can have whatever they want no holds barred which is properly channeled can take us as a people to higher places. my point is that if you are going to be someone who feels this way and feels the need to constantly comment on this plight, then why would you not use your knowledge to get out into the fire and try to put it out? brian, you are intelligent, articulate, and well intentioned; but it is time for you to start walking and stop talking. what are you going to do about all these issues?

-MP

MP-
I understand you now.

To answer your question: I believe what I am doing is purposeful and God directed. I have been on the front-front lines before, and to be honest I do not have the additional energy to fight the fight in that active way anymore. My commentaries are my way of imparting information, stimulating meaningful dialogue, reinvigorating spirits, frustrating to get one to act, and creating critical thinking. This is my way of getting to the core of the issues.

Haven’t we developed and worked within enough programs? We, as a people, know our issues. I believe we are just lazy about rectifying the problems. We are somewhat content. We must be. Look around.

A great man told me one day, “We (black folk) need to reason and dialogue to understand the full magnitude of the mess, and then raise our children to stay out the mess.” I agree with him. I am sure you do too.

I am just doing what I HONESTLY believe I am called to do at this point in my life: I am called to write with this passion I have.

-Muata

Muata said...

Reader Responses:

Awesome!!!

-TM

This was a nice article. Maybe your best yet.

-AG

Preach on ma brutha!! - You know I had to share this with the world in Antigua!!! you need to write up one about banging dem rude ass kids!!! LOL

-BS

Thanks for telling it like it is. If anyone out there does not comprehend this problem they are sleeping.

-Anonymous

Muata said...

Muata Responds to a few readers:

It is so funny and typical how I get these types of responses after I tell the truth about Black people; after I air the dirty laundry we hide; and after I blast Black folk for not picking up the torch that our ancestors carried:

“Muata, it is time for you to stop talking and acting.”
“Muata, are you still active in the black community?”

(The above responses did not “un-applaud me and the responders did not negatively criticize the commentary. They were supportive. I am just making a point)

Now, I must point out that there have been several responses to the most recent Truth Telling on black folk (this commentary) that applauded my words.

Awesome!
Tell the truth!
This maybe your best piece yet.
Preach my brotha!
Thanks, for telling it like it is. If anyone out there does not comprehend this problem they are sleeping.

Well, here is my response to those folk who were inquiring about what Muata is doing:

I devote all of my additional time to writing and to my son. I am responsible for Judah Mordecai. I am, however, scheduled monthly to visit an after school program for refugee kids from war torn countries and I am scheduled to speak to a group of kids in a few weeks on abstinence and safe sex. I also seek out opportunities to speak or should I say spread my message of truth?

By the way, I do believe this message I have is a form of “empowerment”. For example, I have had several people respond to a commentary with: “this one got through to me”; “your writing has inspired me to do more and learn more”; “I am going to look into getting some professional psychological assistance”; “what you are doing is helping, keep the writings coming”.

I have done my part to help save the Black World before and I continue to by commentating on subjects that need our attention. And by raising my son. I devoted years to this save-ship. Now, my way to give back is via writing and being a father to my son. To be quite frank, I am not interested in being a father to no one else’s children. I have my own son to devote my role modeling to. Black men need to be this model and stop depending on the schools and after school programs to be the fathers. I am so sick and tired of us shifting responsibility. That woman running that youth program should not be the sole model for the kids she service. The biological parents need to be the models. We are the only people on earth shifting responsibility. The only ones when it is come to saving our community!! All the YMCA’s, church programs, youth centers, etc. are staffed by people who have decided to take on someone else’s burden/problem/issue. Why should these devoted and selfless people do this? The parents of these youth (I plan to go speak to about sex) should be the ones doing it, and not me. Like I said, we are the only race of people on earth that shift responsibility.

I am fed-up with us!! We are a big disappointment to our ancestors. We failed them. If anyone can put forth an argument on this fact please dialogue with me.

Some of us need to stop getting all upset when the truth is told about our pathetic behavior. Even our ultimate Savior, Martin Luther King, Jr. got frustrated with black folk and their foolishness: “some of us prefer to remain oppressed”, “black people need to improve their general level of behavior”, and “Negro parents must be urged to give their children love, attention, and sense of belonging...”

Muata said...

Readers Responded to Muata's statement:

WOW!!!! people are really sleep walking if they don't think we have a problem as a race.

-TM

You know we have never agreed on this.

-MP

I think you shouldn’t have to tell others what you are doing in the community. Instead of questioning what you are doing why don’t they take a long look in the mirror and make sure they are active? It amazes me how argumentative and confrontational people can get. They should debate your comments with facts and thoughts instead of questioning your integrity. They have the right do so, but it sounds like they are throwing stones when they could be subject to getting their ass hit over the head with one.

-Larikus Scott

D. Campbell said...

"A sense of entitlement is not exactly a bad thing. The issue with "entitlement" is the lack of understanding that it still takes work and that you still have to earn every ounce of everything that you shall receive."

- This statement basically covers the issue, in my opinion. As a race of individuals that were brought here against our will...it surprises me that we(blacks) forget that we have to put out 200%, compared to whites 70%(think George Bush), to be placed on the same level or even get near it! Hell...even that's not enough in a lot of cases. If MLK could see the deteriorating focus and drive of todays youth, compared to those in the 50's and 60's he'd drop dead...again.

Muata said...

Muata responds to D. Campbell:

Work is not something I have seen many of today's youth do. It is almost like it is a foreign “thing” to do. Even my nephew behaves like work is a disease, but yet he still wants and gets the latest pair of sneakers.

Any parent out there not requiring their children to do some level of work is actually encouraging this detrimental Sense of Entitlement. Where will the child learn rules and regulations outside the home? Is it in the school? Yeah, right! The public schools are struggling just to keep the youth in school. School ain't like it use to be! My generation wanted to be there and we respected the teachers/staff.

Anyway, D. Campbell, I am amazed at the level of inconsideration our youth display towards MLK's efforts. Hell, I will bet my last dollar that there is a black teenager out there (in Atlanta) who does not have any idea what MLK stood for. Do you want to lose your money?

-Muata

D. Campbell said...

I will bet my last dollar that there is a black teenager out there (in Atlanta) who does not have any idea what MLK stood for.

That's one bet I won't be foolish enough to take. I'm sure there are quite a few black teenagers that don't understand what MLK was attempting to accomplish for us.

SIDENOTE:
I was listening to the radio, while driving to work this morning and a young women(21yrs/white), former Playboy Playmate of the month, is in Atlanta for some event taking place this weekend. The commentator asked her who was the vice president of the U.S and she honestly didn't know!!!! How the fuck is that possible?

baion said...

D. Campbell-

I believe that it is possible, because today's youth have been seduced by the concept of the quick dollar- while some of life's important values, such as: responsibility, integrity, character, and accountability- have been deemed obsolete. Many of them are so self-centered, that they have become unconcerned with the world that goes on outside of their own whimsical utopia. The fast cash, the bling, the nice cars...that is sexy!!! To hell with the thought of actually EARNING it yourself. Why be concerned with who the VP is when you've already GOT YOURS?? "Success is what finds you when CHARACTER couldn't sustain you." This is now the world's reality- and our youth are aware.