By: Lanisha Porter
Here's my straight shot. My Crown Royal with no Coke. The Black community is plagued with social ills. Many of them deeply rooted due to the historical forces of racism, slavery and white supremacy. And while public policy has changed and made life much more livable for Blacks, there's still great strides that need to be made. However, just because public policy is lacking doesn't mean you're excused from having personal policy. Before we begin, I'd like to take the time to address any questions that may be left lingering....so here goes:
1. No I haven't forgot where I came from
2. No, I'm not in any sunken place, and
3. No, I'm not a ploy or a distraction placed by the government to take attention off of Trump or this American Health Care Act.
I'm actually just a girl who comes from the ‘hood who has a few critiques that you can use to help yourself.
1. Stop Abusing Drugs/Liquor
You can't complain that the White man has this master plan to strategically exterminate Blacks yet voluntarily, in excess, pour poison into your body. It's like pulling the trigger on your own self. It should also be noted that the abuse of alcohol and drugs come with a pretty steep price tag after incremental usage. It makes me less sympathetic when people cry broke, yet they can hustle enough money to feed their addictions. Yes, I know that ALL people abuse drugs and liquor, but for Blacks it leaves more regressive consequences than that of Whites. (Save yourself from making the rebuttal.)
2. Get Involved
To be in a club line sure to cash in on the 2 for 1 special, yet miss Parent-Teacher Conference is trifling. If you aren't going to be instrumental in the development of your child and their education plan, don't get mad when the "White man" does. If you aren't at the table don't get mad when you're on the menu, as my Pastor would say.
3. Use Contraceptives or Don't Have Sex
Kids don't ask to be born. The very least you owe that innocent soul is the chance at a good life, and that can't be offered when you yourself suffer from a lack of resources and maturity. To be a good parent means you paint a fair representation of the world for your child and help them navigate through it. It’s hard to perform such a task when you don't yet have enough experiences to help accurately inform your child on how the world operates. Too many children are being born into "processes" instead of “finished products.” Though I myself wasn't born into the best or most opulent of resources, I was born to a parent who was very refined in their experiences afforded to them by age. The simple act of thought really is a courtesy to a child—and when you think you’ll mostly find that the best option is to wait. (I'm not anti-kid by the way. I'd like to have five myself. I just would like to have some stability and commas in place first. That's the very least I could give them).
4. Actually Study
You of course will not pass when you don't know the material. Everything isn't racism. We continuously re-privilege white supremacy when we make excuses for ourselves. So because WS is a thing, you're going to stop educating yourself. Yes! That makes perfect sense and honors everything our ancestors ever marched for (it actually doesn't, but hopefully my sarcasm seeps through for you to have caught on.)
5. Stop Buying What You Cannot Afford
You make your own self a slave to financial bondage when you set your heights to buy things you can't afford to impress people who weren't going to like you anyway. Image is the most expensive thing you could ever buy. The truth is a bit more affordable, however.
6. Save Your Money
Wealth building starts with saving and making conscious decisions. Point blank period. Uncle Warren taught me this.
7. Support Your Own
($$$) I-ya-ya…I don't even know where to begin on this! Simply, put your money where your mouth is. Your Black friends have a project? Support it! When I published my first book so many people supported it—one person buying 30 books (dope, right? Talk about Black empowerment)—but it also hurt to see some closest to me didn’t even buy my $20 dollar project. Yet, I witnessed them spend recklessly on other frivolous purchases. I learned in an interview that whenever Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kelly, Michelle, or Solange drops a project, they buy 20 copies of it. That’s a purchase of 80 just from your inner circle, alone. We have to do better with supporting our own. Having support from your own does wonders for ones esteem and entrepreneurial spirit. Speaking of…if YOU have a product, please drop business info below so that I may support it! (It’s all about putting your money where your mouth is)
8. Stop Abusing Food Stamps
There was a point in time—before my family was told we made too much to longer qualify—that we absolutely needed a hand up from the government to be provided food. There is nothing wrong with needing help. At some point we all will and it indeed is less than humane to ignore those on your own soil who are hungry. However, government assistance should be used to assist and not enable. (Yes, you read me correctly). After a while, you have to learn to survive on your own. It's only right. Secondly, just because you are on food stamps doesn't mean you have to fill your body with crappy foods. It's nothing but a matter of choice to buy ground turkey instead of ground beef. Water instead of juice. Bake instead of fry. Moreover, if we as Blacks are so pressed for food, I shouldn't see people online selling their food stamps.
9. Find Employment or a Legal Skill to Capitalize On
If you commit crime, you mostly will do the time. Don't want to do time? Simply don't do the crime nor be an accessory to one. Don't hang around those who do the crime, either. Minimum wage jobs, which I worked at for a number of years, are always hiring. Don't like minimum wage? Create your own business. Need money? Learn to write a grant. Don't know how to write a grant? Find a mentor. There's only but so many excuses one can employ until they must realize until they want to win, they will simply stop resorting to excuses. There's no way Blacks have survived disease-infected slave-ships, undignified and gruesome slavery for 246 years, social reconstruction and the Civil Rights movement, in addition to countless marches, only to give up at the pen stroke of a job application.
10. Stop Understanding The World Through Colors
Everything is not racism. The media has a way of being sensational by adding race in the mix and making people make misinformed decisions about what side of the aisle they should take. Media, especially Black media, is strategic about leaving out the facts that make for a full picture. The intellectual livelihood of the collective, cannot thrive when people don't think for the self. Never allow media to abandon your ability to think critically. I'm able to write this because I'm black. No one will call me racist for having these opinions (though they may try to call me a republican.) However, a White person has a low success rate of publishing something like this without being called a white supremacist or flat out racist. Blacks don't really allow people who don't share commonalities with them to critique them. This is because people understand the world by color and not by critical thought. Therefore I offer, think beyond the labels.
I'm very much for securing access to quality ways of life for the most common people. I'd die for it matter of fact. I added philanthropy to my resume as early as the age of 19. No group should be unfairly marginalized due to their sex, race, class, nor gender. And nothing upsets me more when we as a country make exclusions about who "We The People" are. However, that doesn't mean we leave everything in the hands of policy makers. Some things YOU have to take accountability for in your day-to-day life choices. You can't consistently create problems for others to solve. That's not fair and that's not being a responsible citizen who contributes to society. While I do understand each set of issues present their own unique challenges leaving the need for equity, we must not evade the social obligations we have to flourish into our higher selves. When we embrace the slippery slope of "life just happened to me", it's hard to hold yourself accountable. It becomes easier to watch your life spiral into a downward direction where there's often a lapse of judgement in your decision-making. This post in no way endorses the idea that I believe racism is dead. However, what I am endorsing is that just because racism still lives, doesn’t mean that we stop. So I hope this blog is embraced with the good intention it was written with. As it is said at large, the truth shall sat you free.
Welcome to my views from this horizon!