Legendary fighter and knockout artist Muhammad Ali stated some years ago,
“The man who views the world at 50 the same way he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.” Well I am here to denote that, I have not wasted 30 years of my life, during my tenure here I have learned a thing or two. More importantly I have learned a few notes on being Black in America.
With that being stated, people have been asking me about my opinion on this Trayvon Martin episode that has unfolded over the past month. As I told my employees, I will express to our African-American News&Issues readers. My heart and sentiments go out to this young man’s family for the unfortunate circumstances that led to his untimely death.
Nevertheless it brings me to a fact that many members of our community are insistent upon ignoring. I would say that our children need to understand something. But these days it is not just the children that are without understanding. Children these days are demonstrating the example that is being set by the role models they have readily visible in their lives. Furthermore, it is bad enough just being a Black American in America. This is not being a racist this is just stating the facts! As it is we have been taught since birth that as an African-American, you have to work twice as hard to get twice as less. We are automatically a target for harassment and many other plagues that consume our communities. So, “Why do so many of us draw excessive, unwanted attention to ourselves, when at least some of it could be totally avoidable?” I just don’t get it!
Black folks need to know how they look to others and how others perceive them. We brought a story to you a few issues ago entitled, “The Hoodie Experiment,” Deric Muhammad recorded his experience in professional gear versus hood attire. I encourage you to refer back to that issue because it entails a lot about how others view us when we are out amongst society. Here it is you have women walking around in pajama pants, rollers, and rags adorned on their head; and then men walking around with their pants sagging below their rear ends and then you wonder why you are targeted? You were born a target.