This is why it's important to practice an "Each One Teach One" philosophy in our communities, Soulja-Boy. The more I keep on top of what today's youth read or (or as teenagers and teenager wannabe's say) generation write and listen to (and that's almost laughable since kids are reading less and watching TV), we need to intervene with a sense of pro-active consciousness and responsibility. Now that TI is on a PATH TO PRISON, the new assault on youth behavior are in the actions of people like AKON, SEAN COMBS (ain't he almost 40?) and Soulja-Boy. Certain actions might look like fun and comedic but there lies actions that cross the line of inappropriateness and illegality.
Just the other day I was talking to an associate of mine whom I hadn't seen in a few years. We were discussing how the neighborhood had and is changing and why Whites, through gentrification and the politics behind it, were moving People of Color out especially since the kids on the street just don't care or respect enough to join in the fight their community. Within minutes, and I swear, as if on cue, I was in a Boondocks episode when a young Black kid no more than 16, walked down the street pissing straight out in front of himself, penis whipped out, just striding down the street talking on his cell phone as people and children approached in the opposite direction. There, just leaving a trail of urine as he sauntered to his destination. He had no care, no conscious, no modesty, no respect. JUST NASTY.
But, here I am working on a writing assignment when I get a piece of video from a writing buddy on Soulja-Boy and I am smacked in my Common Sense again. Yet another example of how not to represent ones power, influence or roll to model for our youth. Watch the Video first before continuing:
I DIVERT MY THOUGHTS FOR A SECOND
After watching a recent episode on The Boondocks (The Story of Thugnificent) where the show's premise was an infamous rapper "Thugnificent" moves to the neighborhood of Woodcrest, with his friend Macktastic and Flonominal, eventually leading to Granddad becoming annoyed with his new neighbours. Your basic older generation conflict of image control and respect vs the Niggaism of youth and just not giving a damn. After watching this episode, I took a second to examine if I was coming off too hard on Black youth because I am now moving into the point in my life where I am becoming my parents and envying my loss of youth. Then I later watched a program on PBS where teachers had gone into the slums of India and rescued children of prostitutes and sent them to school. All the while these children are learning, they are aspiring to become doctors, lawyers, engineers and business owners so they can come to America and become something greater than the children of the streets. There was common sense, a drive and a chance to capitalize on opportunity in each of them and that was when I said, FUCK NO !!! Regardless of their assistance, the help, the possible MOST FAVORITE IMMIGRANT STATUS, they would still have to put in the work to become what their goals are. With the amount of resources we have in the US; libraries, mentors, apprenticeships, community advocates, churches, libraries, sports and music programs (and I am not referring to Government Sponsored Programs), and even in the poorest academic settings, there are still outlets for additional resources if you actively seek them out, I can only say that our youth are just lazy, embarrassing ignorant and it's by choice.
Don't Call Me Uppity !!!
How I was raised worked out well for me. Now I know to some that might sound 'Uppity' but hear me out on this. I did not come from a fatherless family with a prostitute mother, my upbringing was not an easy story to read nor one traveled. My parents were not wealthy or anywhere close to wealthy. I wore all the stereotypical ghetto attribute labels but the one thing that divided me from my friends and family was that I did not want my conditions to define me. I made opportunities happen and I took advantage of all things that came my way. Not like a hustle but as distinct decisions that build upon the next as steps toward success. A sacrifice of what was "fun" verses what was "work". The payoff in the end was my goal(s). I made my progress on my own and not something community based. Because in the end, your successes and or your failures are your own. yes there are people who can and will help but you need to know where and when to ask for it or avoid those things that will pull you away from your growth. Do I have mansions and millions? No. But I do know where I came from and its a lot better than where I was. My choice.
When I look at my friends from my youth, we all had the same opportunities/possibilities and I can honestly say that in my desire to move toward my personal success, their choices were their own. Their decisions where based upon "fun" as oppose to "work" and now that we are all adults, when we speak, their thoughts often go back to the point in their lives where they step away from that path and walked in a different direction.
For these kids from India, the bastard children of prostitutes, it will work out well for them and they will be in America. The actions of that boy relieving himself in public like that, I'm not so sure. He was ignorant and nasty considering the fact that we live in a civilized nation with plumbing, running water and bathrooms. You can't tell me that no one ever taught this boy that what he was doing was wrong. He clearly just didn't give a damn. No excuses. Worst case, the boy could have crossed the street and walked into the park -- AH YEAH, THERE WAS A PARK ACROSS THE STREET. He could have relieved himself there. Then there were a number of shops with bathrooms along his walk. Hell, the shop that I stood in front of talking to my friend had a public restroom. How do you begin to address the "disconnect" when no one want to listen or even try?
The Soulja-Boy video, (outside of the fact that you have a 17 year old in a room unsupervised), the kid was in a hotel room. Last I checked, hotel rooms have bathrooms. WHY ARE YOU DROPPING URINE ON THE HEADS OF PEOPLE? Not to mention the balconies of the people below. THEN YOU VIDEO TAPE YOUR STUPIDITY??? Even more so, you are more concerned about having your tiny penis being filmed or having the stigma of being "gay" than being arrested and thrown out of the hotel? GO FIGURE?
I have been told that I sound like Bill Cosby ranting about the poor. I really don't know how to take that. I mean I do believe in a lot of what he has to say yet I am also part of the community he is talking about as well. In being that, and having an open mind, much of what he preaches is true and behind closed doors, inner city parents, clergy, educators, small business owners, and others agree whole heatedly. It just seems that those whom scream the loudest opposing Bill are those who capitalize on the disenfranchisement and perpetuation of Niggaism in the poor as it relates to People of Color.
Bill Cosby has a book out entitled, "BLACK PEOPLE, COME ON", which should be the focus of Black People for the next ten years. Say what you want about the man, he has a serious point to make and we are missing it because all we only see is Bill Cosby as a comedian when he is a man who wants to re-connect the disconnect in all of us by keeping our youth from pissing on the path which lies before them.