What In The Hell Is Wrong With Young Black Males??
A couple of nights ago, I had a truly retarded interaction.
As I’m walking home, I see four shadows in the distance walking in my direction. It’s dark, so I can’t make out any details of their appearances, no big deal.
As I get closer, one of the four shadows starts rapping, no lyrics that I recognize, just a bunch of gibberish, like he’s trying to free-style and can’t flow.
The second I’ve passed him and am about an inch behind him he raps “see that guy– he is a square.” I knew this was directed at me. How did I know this for certain?– pattern recognition, that’s how. Similar yet different situations happen to me on campus regularly. Every so often when I’m walking somewhere on campus, I will pass a young Black male, and as he gets closer in passing, or I get closer, all of sudden he will break out a rap, usually something “gangsta” and threatening. And as I’ve completely passed him, he stops. My presence alone seems to be the catalyst for this verbal show of bravado; it doesn’t start until I get close, and it stops as I get further away from him.
If it wasn’t in the socially acceptable form of a rap, such behavior would look like a schizophrenic talking to himself. But they aren’t talking to themselves; for some reason, they want me to hear this. I don’t get the motivation behind this. It reeks of insecurity and a cry for attention.
But this incident was a little different because this swag-fag lobbed an insult at me, in an indirect/ yet direct/ passive aggressive manner, and I’m 99% certain it was directed at me. The only people on the sidewalk were me, this guy, and the three people he was walking with, two males and one female. There is no one else around. I’m pretty sure I was the “that guy” he was calling a square. I know this m.o.
I wasn’t in the mood to lay down to an insult, so I decided to check the kid: I turned around and asked “who’s a square?” He didn’t respond. I then said “Hold up, are you talking about me?” Then he did respond. He started yelling his head off, saying he wasn’t talking about me.( when I knew he was) He then yells “You wana lose yo’ life tonight,nigga.” I’m not one to automatically dismiss such talk, but what he did next let me know he was full of shit.
He didn’t lift up his shirt to display a chrome .45, like Ice Cube in Boyz In The Hood. Instead he yells out “ALL I GOTTA DO IS MAKE ONE PHONE CALL.” “I GOT THE PHONE RIGHT HERE.” This made me think he might have been mentally retarded. I didn’t have to pull his bitch card; he put it on display when he held up his cell phone, like that was supposed to scare me. I guess an iPhone is an instrument of death now.
He’s talking about making a call when he’s got backup with him, and I’m all by myself. I asked who he was going to call and told him “that’s a lot of bark.” He then parades out into the street, away from me, posturing like he wants to fight and yells “THE STREET’S RIGHT HERE NIGGA.” I told him that if he was going to attack me, I would defend myself. I then walked away, continuing on my way home, and he continued yelling the typical shit. By turning my back, I gave him the perfect opportunity to run up on me. He wasn’t serious; it was all bravado and posturing. If he was a “gangsta,” he would have shot me; if he was brawler, he would have socked me. He looked like he was all of 18, and he was acting like he was about 11.
Such nonsensical behavior is not a rarity; it’s common among a huge segment of Black males. Such behavior is the reason why I have more Asian friends than Black friends, why I have a lot of international student friends, yet I’m friends with none of the basketball players at UCM.
As I arrived back at my apartment, I thought I should have hit him. But that would have run counter to the credo and code of behavior I’ve adopted. When it comes to violence, I will only get violent if someone brings violence to me, in the case of self-defense or to help a friend who is in harm’s way.
Given my analytical nature, I started thinking about what compels someone to act like that. My guess is it’s partially the result of what happens when someone listens to Rick Ross all day and believes the Scarface inspired fantasy tales from a morbidly obese former prison guard can become their reality.
I also have to wonder how did this behavior become so prevalent throughout a race of people.
George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party, once said “ the Negro is an immature race,” and unfortunately I see that. The perspective of someone like Rockwell was undoubtedly from the fallacious point of view of an assumed genetic inferiority of Blacks, but because I have knowledge of psychology, I’m able to probe a little deeper and come up with more substantial reasons.
What creates frozen emotional development? One answer is trauma. You will see this in those who have been molested, along with alcoholics and drug addicts. A history of trauma is prevalent with the history of the African-American. The system of slavery itself served as a long time hindrance to development and advancement.
The fatherlessness that is prevalent among African-Americans also factors into the equation. It might be an old school point of view, and some of my professors with feminist leanings might accuse me of using gender biased language, but only a man can teach a man how to be a man. Part of being a man is conducting yourself in a dignified and respectable/respectful manner, respecting those around you, until they give you a reason not to. When you have widespread fatherlessness and broken homes among a people, that leaves the perfect opportunity for any type of nonsense to come along and fill the void of a male role model.
I can understand the contributing factors that lead to douchebags acting like the swag-fag I had words with, but it’s a universe removed from my mentality; I don’t see how it’s OK to fuck with people at random who aren’t bothering you, but I think I can explain that, too…
Both the swag-boy and the dignified, intelligent brother were raised in a society with the lingering ghosts of a past that placed them both as second class citizens. The ambitious, intelligent brother gets busy using his talent, intellect, and drive to help dismantle the fallacy of Black inferiority. The swag boy and the pseudo gangsta corroborate the so-called “stereotypes.” They can’t compete in a so-called “ White man’s world,” so they create an insular, micro world in which they can feel important and valued in, but in the back of their mind’s they know the educated, ambitious, suit and tie brother will end up surpassing them in the game of life, so they lash out at him, knowing he has the potential to achieve what they can not. In psychology, such behavior is called misdirected aggression, but in the modern, common vernacular it would be called being a hater.
To be completely on the nose about things, the behavior of most young African-American males is embarrassing and pathetic and would have Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, and Frederick Douglass spinning in their graves. While incarcerated, Malcolm X read the entire dictionary from cover to cover. Paul Robeson was classically trained in the art of opera singing . In this day and age, to be a young Black man pursuing such high-brow interests is to run the risk of being called a sell-out, bitch, or square.
I once had someone tell me I could serve as a role model for wayward Black youth. I wouldn’t even want to do that. I’m not trying to play a Joe Clark role, and for someone to play the role of a role model, they have to be in a position in which they are looked up to. I don’t think those who he would have wanted me to reach out to would even listen to me. They think I’m a square, and at this point, I think the damage is irreversible, with lower-class millennials in general, and concerning the mentality that so many young Black males have chosen to accept, it’s now become a matter of self-inflicted damage.