Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Do you identify with America's American Dream? Do you know what the American Dream means? How do you define it? Are you an American Dream come true?
These are critical questions as this country endures the present state of unemployment, resurface of growing religious intolerance, on-going racism, blatant disrespect of the presidency, the new face of poverty, entitlement behavior and attitudes, growing United States' isolation, and pervasive apathy.
To be honest I have never identified with an American Dream. I really do not have any idea what it could be for me. I just worked extremely hard on NOT becoming what the status quo said I would become e.g. an inmate, convict, father of 5-8 bastard kids, dead by 30, etc. This in itself is interesting - and somewhat sad. All this time me and quite a few other black men in the United States worked tirelessly at proving others wrong instead of simply working to achieve goals like going to college, completing college, getting a job, keeping a job that's a career path, etc.
Because the pressure to 'not be like your no-count daddy, uncle, older brother' - creates unwanted pressure that hangs over a black male child's/man's head that immediately morphs into a life environment that makes black brothas more concerned about f-ing up instead of developing a strategy to be the BEST. Imagine the constant fear of failing your family and falling for the systematical traps. I must admit that I grew tired of this. I recall one moment when I wanted to just jack my life up. It was after I had just won my second national hurdling title. I was depressed. Hating life. My thought on one night was to go out, buy some crack cocaine, and smoke it. My idea was to get addicted - and become what I was fighting not to become. All I wanted was to have a life like countless 'majority' kids: free of the pressure of failing. I just wanted that monkey off my back. *Never thought I would share this...Wow!
May be this is why the American Dream is some illusive intangible for blacks? We have to admit that the concept of the American Dream when framed was not for black people. So, why should we identify with something that was not for us? Another reason why we need FUBU (For Us By Us).
*I have always wondered what stopped me from becoming a crack head...I really want to know so when I share this story with black youth I will be able to help them identify/discover their life protecting intervention powers. Believe it or not, there are black boys/men wanting to destroy themselves. They are literally thinking about killing themselves in more ways than one.