Accountability Starts With Us: Five Ways We Need to Do Better

Martin/ Malcolm/ Barack

Martin/ Malcolm/ Barack

Whenever there’s a tragedy involving a young black man and a police officer or white man we as a community are outraged. We want justice, we want revenge, we want respect. Often times you have people saying, “What about black on black crime?” “What about what the victim did wrong?” In the heat of the moment asking those questions feels like you’re blaming the victim instead of uniting behind the victim.

This is the truth. We have to do better as a community and as a people. It’s really that simple. I’m not saying that officers or men that decide to play judge, jury and executioner shouldn’t be punished but what I’m saying is their ignorance may not ever change but our looking the other way has to. There is no difference from an 8 year old getting gunned down in Chicago or a 17 year old getting stabbed in New Orleans by a black man then there is a 18 year old getting murdered by a police officer. All of them are domestic terrorist.

Here are ten things that we as a community have to do better at or just do more of.

Five- We’re not directors or producers. There’s nothing cool about recording fights and sharing fights. If you see two people about to fight step in to stop it. Most of the time one person doesn’t want to be there anyway. Instead of five people with their camera phones out; how about we have five people calming the situation. When I see these videos I rarely see a white man holding the camera. I see us. It’s not funny to see a little girl get the hell beat of her while other people watch. Stop watching and recording and start stepping up.

Four- Read before you share. We live in a social media age where information flows so freely. Read! Don’t share a link if you haven’t given it five minutes. You’ll know fairly soon if it’s made up information. Don’t get so caught up in wanting to be first that you’re wrong. You share bad information and next thing you know a hundred people have shared that same bad information. That’s not cool nor is it beneficial to anyone. The news can be depressing, I get that but reading different news websites, watching videos. Learn what’s going on.

Three- Stop making excuses for people because you like them or love them. Wrong is wrong. If your favorite rapper goes out of his way to tell us that he’s really a gang member, that he really pimps hoes, that he’s really in the streets. All for the purpose of making sure we know his music is authentic, don’t be surprised when people look at him crazy when he is standing up screaming, “Just stop the violence!” The content you choose to put out is a reflection of you. You can rap without saying “Women aren’t about shit and I’m going to kill other black men.” It’s possible. We have to hold each other to higher standards.

Two- You can’t speak and write like you have no education online or in your text or when you’re talking to your friends and then expect to not have that carry over when you’re at work or writing something more official. It breaks my heart to see so many younger kids who can barely talk. Being articulate covers a lot of flaws. Being well spoken and making eye contact. Having confidence in what you’re talking about. It’s universal no matter your educational background or financial background. You can’t go around here calling women that look like you bitches and hoes and calling men that look like you niggas and think that’s okay. It’s not.

One- We are not each other’s enemy. When I have a disagreement with anyone on social media and I can see my words have been taken out of context or what I said was offensive. I apologize. If they say something out of line I try and understand their point and make them understand they could have said it better. It won’t always end with a smile and an understanding but it will always end in mutual respect. I come to work and have to deal with people that can be difficult. I have to worry about what will happen if I get pulled over even if I haven’t done anything wrong. I don’t want to fight with people that look like me, that I love. I want us to prosper together. To excel together.

This article isn’t me saying, “It’s our fault when other races or entities come for us.” This is me saying we can’t worry about them. We have to worry about ourselves and the more we build us up, the more we fix us, the less what they do affects us. Awhile back Don Lemon said that black men should get married and stop having children out of wedlock. That we should keep our communities clean and stop littering. That we have to speak better and pull our pants up and respect authority. People hate Don Lemon and CNN so they threw out the message with the messenger. Even though he was right. Go in Sunnyside, Southpark, 5th Ward, any other community that’s mostly African American and you’ll find beat up streets, trash. We have to start reporting people that are dumping illegally.

Four Signs She Wants Back In Your Life

Conversations Between Adults

Conversations Between Adults

There’s phases to everything in life. Moments where you feel the excitement of new beginnings and moments where you feel the heartbreak of endings. Often times before that end comes there starts to be signs, moments in which things just aren’t what they once were. I’m writing this from a male point of view but I’m sure some of these same things can apply to women.

One- The “Hey Stranger” text. For months, maybe even years you haven’t spoken to her because she was in a happy, committed relationship. There may be the occasional Happy Birthday text or random small talk but you knew you two were never really friends so not talking didn’t bother you. Then all of a sudden you get that “Hey Stranger” text at nine, maybe ten pm. Not too late to be disrespectful but late enough to where you know she’s thinking about you. Late enough to know she wouldn’t be texting you if her man was around. It always starts with a “Hey Stranger” or “How have you been?” Her coming back to communicate with me means she’s falling back when it comes to him.

Two- Body Language. Body language is so official. We’ve all heard the term “church hug.” Where a woman sort of gives you that half shoulder, half arm, “stay away from my breast and pelvis” hug. You get one of those, you’re done homie. A lot of women aren’t overtly flirty. They don’t whisper in your ear and rub your thigh. There’s no, “I’m going to the restroom,” and then she sends you a freaky text and walks back to the bar or table like nothing happened. It’s all in her body language. Sitting on your side of the booth, making a lot of eye contact and facing you. Hugs that are tight, There’s a certain energy that radiates off her body, a heat that lets you know she’s not playing. When a woman has a man that body language is reserved for him. Once she opens it back up, all rules are off!

Three- Conversation. I saw this picture awhile back of the faces women make when they’re talking to a guy and he’s being too aggressive or cheesy. She says, “I’m about to take a shower,” and he asks, “Can I join?” She says, “I’m lying in bed,” and he asks, “Can I join?” We know that’s tacky but let’s not pretend women don’t get the biggest smile on their faces when the right man asks those same cheesy questions. You can talk to a woman for months and it be strictly fun and interesting and plutonic and then one night you ask her what she’s doing and the answer is no longer just, “I’m lying in bed.” It’s now, “I’m just lying here naked,” or “with panties on.” One small detail that changes everything. It’s deeper than just sex though, when you ask her how her day is going and two months ago it was, “It went okay.” Now it’s “I had a presentation today and I’m not sure I did so well,” or “My mom has been feeling sad lately, I think she’s lonely.” When she starts to entrust you with information important to her, real feelings. She wants back in.

Four- Marking Her Domain. When a woman is really into you she has her own way of letting people know. Dropping hints in conversations with mutual friends. Liking comments that certain women put on your social media. Asking questions about where you’re going are who you’re talking to, questions she didn’t ask before. A certain level of jealousy is normal, it’s actually appreciated. Once she stops being that women for the next guy; she’s going to want to be that woman for you.