Monthly Archives: September 2011

“Marriage”, by Khalil Gibran

You may not have heard of this brother. But he is one of the greats, for real. Not really a love poet, but when he writes of love–it’s the real stuff, not the roses-are-red type of stuff. I was reading his book, The Prophet, over tea this morning, and these lines spoke to me.

If you are a student of happiness and relationships, like I am, you’re sure to appreciate this piece.

 

 

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

 

 

Exerpt from The Prophet, 1923.

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The Selfish Giver

I’m in a poetry mood.

So, I have this friend, who has been dogged out by all the women he’s been with. When I say he’s been “dogged out”–he has been DOGGED the hell out. And each of these girls were attractive (except #3, I always thought she looked like a mud duck), and they were the kind of couple that you would think, “how the hell did he get that?”  It’s just that my boy is a good man, he is a good Dad and just as much a good step dad. He is hard-working and very unselfish with his belongings, resources and himself. The only thing is, he is not what many of you would call a really attractive brother, he’s sort of overweight, and he didn’t grow up with a real man who taught him how to take care of himself. So he does the best he can with what he’s got, and the women he gets with do their best to destroy him internally in order to control him. It’s disgusting, but I think he’s gotten the picture.

The main problem now is that his self-esteem is so beaten up, he doesn’t think he’s worth much and he doesn’t really try anymore. What can a friend do? One thing about men is that much of our power and strength does come from our women. This is why having a good wife can make a meek man become powerful, yet having a bad wife can destroy great men and kings. Having your homeboy reassure you that you’re a good catch is not the same as having a woman you treasure tell you she’s a lucky woman to have you. Much of our happiness does come from within; but as humans–with feelings and imperfections we are aware of–a good deal of it can be destroyed by the ones we love. Lopsided relationships are like cancers: the longer you keep it, the more it consumes you until there is nothing of “you” left.

For my friend RSH:

he reaches for the broken ones

the toys on the bottom shelf

the ones no one seems to want

though they all play with them

and discard them

broken

tired of sharing, he’d

rather fix springs and sand edges and ignore chips

than compete to play alone

because the last time he took one home

she hurled stones that stung and singe

one of those fancy ones

with the lights and the new bright colors

the ones that everybody likes

but they make him dislike himself

and he just wants to play alone

giving all he has

without reservations

or looking over his shoulder–

so he reaches for the bottom shelf,

the treasure so painfully gotten,

that make him

feel

new.

2011

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Grown-ups In Training

My dad often says that his generation fucked up my generation. There’s a lot of truth in that.

My father’s generation of Black folks grew up with nothing. They grew up watching their strong fathers give up their seats to weaker white men. They saw their strong mothers being called “girls” by younger white women and treated as inferiors. They literally had to fight to be accepted and any show of indominance could lead to losing your life. They grew up poor. They went to college and often had to take low paying jobs because of racism. They have countless uncles who were killed by white men for sport, aunts who were raped, even some of my father’s generation were the products of such rapes. And, if you can try to imagine this–you couldn’t call the police if you were raped by a white man. Do that and find one of your brothers come up missing…

This was the horror–the very real horror–my father was raised on just a little over 40 years ago. When he went to college in Hampton University, Virginia, it was a scary experience. Virginia to this day is a racist place. 50 years ago it was worse. White men didn’t go to jail for killing black people in those days, and if someone lost a personal item–they could just blame it on a black man or woman and you were going to jail. (still happens today, people are just in denial about it now and it doesn’t happen that often)  Many of you think shit like this only happens in history books and movies. But my friends, talk to your parents and grandparents. Talk to your black friends–this ordeal is only one generation away.

I will spare you another Black history lesson today; but be warned! We will return to this subject again soon. I will need for you to understand the source of all this crazy shit Black folks have been through. It was traumatic and can drive a nigger crazy. So the next time you shake your head at these young fools in the street acting up, understand that there is a reason for this craziness. You try living through a 7-generation Holocaust and then raise normal children…

Anyway, my father’s generation was the first generation of many Black families to be able to work a job that paid above minimum wage. They were the first generation to step out of the slums and into the middle class. The 70s marked the first time a Black man could tell his White neighbor to kiss his ass and shut up–and not get killed for it. It was the first time a Black man could walk through the front door of a store with his wallet in hand, and tell his kids, “pick out what you want.”

And pick, we did. Black families put themselves in debt trying to give their children the “good life” and offer what they themselves could never have as children. I had heard quite a few say that “no child of mine will work with dirty hands”. We thought we were being “as good as white folks” by allowing our children to be lazy and spoiled, while we slaved away at work–providing for them. The better dressed our children were, the better colleges they went to, the bigger cars we drove–all spelled success.

So we succeeded. We succeeded in giving our kids “stuff”. We taught them to acquire, and acquiring was how we rated our sense of self-worth. We taught them to use the system, to apply for student loans, to get the public assitance system to finance our kids if we didn’t have jobs, to use EEO when someone on the job pissed us off, to file for Unemployment Insurance and Fair Employment when we got fired, to use the legal system and plea bargaining when we fucked up. And when anyone said our children did something wrong, we covered for them. We mortgaged the house to get the big-shot lawyer to keep them out of college. We told our boys they were good men when they were really deadbeat dads. We took care of our grandchildren when our daughters had (another) baby/babies out of wedlock.

What happened?

We stopped raising our children, that’s what happened. Some of us forget that raising children requires more than feeding, clothing and loving them. We must also teach them to become responsible, independant adults who hold themselves accountable for their own actions. It seems that we were trying to undo all of the poverty our families experienced, that became the focus of our families and not raising and teaching them.

There were other mistakes made by the previous generation:

  • We divorced like crazy. How can you keep a family together when it’s torn apart?  Not only did it tear the children apart emotionally and psychologically, but financially it destroyed our potential.
  • Alcohol and drugs. There is no such thing as “harmless” use of alcohol and drugs; or “use in moderation”. Okay, I use cocaine, but only sometimes. It is bad for your health, and it made it easy for the children to dabble. Hey, since mom and dad did it, how can they correct me?
  • Kids never learned to struggle. One of the most irritating things about Jews is that they are constantly keeping everyone around them hostage with guilt about the Holocaust. But that’s also the strongest thing about them too. They never forgot where they came from, and why they must excel. Today’s black children (even many of the adults) are both ignorant and apathetic about the Black struggle. There is no sense of responsibility or duty to “their people”. It’s easy for young black men to fuck up, because they don’t have a good reason for getting it right. Those who know, only use our struggle as a crutch for failure, instead of using it as a stepping stone. We must educated our kids and give them a sense of purpose.
  • We seem to think that the struggle is over. I don’t need to expound on this; use your imagination why this notion is foolish.

Young people have to learn how to cook, clean, take care of their hygiene. They need a sense of fiscal responsiblity. They must have a strong spiritual base. They must learn to value education and vocational skills. We must teach them to raise families and foster marital unions. We have to treat it as more than just full-time babysitting; we are raising young grown ups, and we only have 18 years to get them to pass the test.

If your sons and daughters are still moving back home at 25, and they can’t wipe their own asses, if they push off the responsibility of raising their children to you… you probably fucked up in raising them.

But don’t get mad at Mustafa Akamo, just do something about it. Complete their training.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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BIG Shoes: The Impossible-to-Follow-Father

Although this article appears in the “Message to the Black Man” category, I am not writing about a Black man at all–I’m writing about a Mexican man with Black children.

His name is “Seif” (for short), and he a member of my local Muslim community–and a very well-known member at that. He converted to Islam in the 80s, married an African American woman and has been a pillar in the community since. Seif does not drink, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him curse, and he is a true hustler. He is not a wealthy man, but he has certainly been blessed by God. Whenever you see him, he is surrounded by the children and grandchildren in his family or friends; everyone around him adores him. He has been self-employed the entire 12 years I’ve known him, and although we all have our struggles he far from being a pauper and he has held his family together very well. His family is very close-knit and everyone knows them. Now that I think of it, I recall that both his brothers are married to African American women. His brothers, by the way, share the same infallible reputation he has. I would guess that his father was the same way–to raise sons who turn out to become admirable men.

What inspired this article is not Seif, but a conversation I had where a brother briefly mention him.

I know a young man, who is in his early to mid-20s. Like Seif, he is a good man, married with a baby girl, hard working. A rare sight in the Black community these days–at least in my town. He came by my business to inquire about exercise classes, and I asked about his parents and the married life as I attended his wedding several years ago after watching him grow up as a teenager. In the course of the conversation, he was telling me how he met his wife on Myspace. They courted for six months, with chaperoned dates (her father was extremely protective and strict) and plenty of text-conversations. They met and chatted at skating rinks, even went to movies with his mother sitting between them. I’m actually sitting her laughing as I write this, as I would like my children to have this experience with their future spouses. And you know Mustafa Akamo would be right between them!

So in the course of telling me about his courtship, he mentions that before his wife, he had expressed interest in a young lady at the Annur Masjid (a mosque near my home) who was beautiful and smart and well mannered. At the time, the brother was between jobs and young; he was 19 and at the time giving his parents a hard time. He was staying out late, listening to gangsta rap music, not keep up his prayers and just being a rebellious young man. His father was encouraging him to go to college in order to find a good job and get married. He said he was torn between immature friends and his father’s advice, as well as his desire to please his father.

Well, breaking the rules of traditional Islam, the young man approached the young lady and inquired if she would like to exchange numbers and talk and she said something that completely amazes me:

“You will have to speak to my father. You’re cute but you will have to talk to him first.”

What father wouldn’t want a daughter who shuts down boys like that? Wow.

So, the young man proceeds to tell me he discovered that the young lady’s father was Seif, and what he told me next was just as amazing:

“And you know, any brother who wants to approach a daughter of Seif had better have his stuff together! I knew this sister was gonna need a dude who was like her Dad, and I was messing up AND not working. Man I didn’t bother wasting my time. If I had been listening to my father I would have been in a good spot to step, but I realized to them I was a loser.”

Seif set the standard. His sons are intelligent, hard-working family men. His daughters are intelligent, pious women. What more could a father ask for? This young man, who was far from being a loser, felt like he was unworthy of approaching Seif’s daughter because he knew he was not utilizing his potential. He was also under a strong father, but for whatever reason he backslid for a short period of time. Fortunately, he grew up, went to school, got a good job and found a wife he loves and started a family. We spent most of the time talking about himself and his desire to get physically fit. Yet in the back of my mind, I was impressed with a man who was so young and mature enough to self-criticize and rebuild himself–ending up with a good job and a family when many his age still live with parents and are irresponsible. It was a combination of his return to his own upbringing under his strong father and being intimidated by the presence of another strong father AND finding another woman who had a strong father (his wife) that taught him how to be a good man.

When a man wears big shoes, his children perform at a higher level as well as demand more from themselves and their mates. Men, we set the standard of what our boys turn out to be and what kind of men our girls want. Never forget that. If you are a strong, admirable figure, your kids don’t want to disappoint you. You are the yardstick they measure themselves and their mates by. When you have flaws and shortcomings, it is easy for them to accept less-than-acceptable standards. Never forget that.

As for my friend Seif, whom I have long admired, he reminds me of what my father has been teaching me all my life. And I hope that when my children are grown, I have given them the same impossible-to-follow-father that he has given his children. Amen.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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10 Ways to Know He/She Really Loves You

One thing I’ve learned in six failed marriages is how to recognize when a woman really doesn’t love me. Especially by me being a “nice guy”–the kind of man who puts my woman and her needs before my own–I would get used and taken for granted, mistreated and disrespected. And even when the love is gone, I will treat her with respect and take care of her as if I did love her. Most of the time, I knew this woman didn’t love anyone but herself. Some of the times, I knew when they loved another man. But what do we do when we are in love? We ignore the bad signs, we happily misconstrue what appears to be “good” signs, we magnify the good signs, and we go on with the marriage as if it was a good one (even pretending to friends and family that everything is going A-okay) until our spouse actually leaves.

Notice, I did not say “until our spouse says he/she doesn’t want us”. Because you and me both know that she can say “I don’t want to be here/I don’t love you” and we will still fight for that marriage. I get it. I just didn’t get it then.

So to save you from heartache and heartbreak, I want to share with you some of the major signs that your spouse loves you, without a doubt, and you tell ME if I’m on the money:

  1. He puts you before himself. Your spouse is more concerned with your happiness than his own. When a man loves a woman, he doesn’t want to eat out if you’re on peanut butter sandwiches. He will put you in the nice ride, and he’ll drive the hoopty (or catch the bus/walk to work… boy have I done this many times!). He will wear clothes from Walmart in order to see you in the Nordstrom threads. He may be selfish, but when a man loves a woman, he is only selfish on her behalf. On the contrary, he is never selfish with his woman. He will put his boys on hold for you, or try to take you with him when he’s with his boys. A man in love takes his woman to fight parties. When he’s not “as” in love, he leaves her at home and gets mad when she tries to go. Here’s the thing:  If he tells you he needs “space” away from you, his actions say that other commitments and people are more than you, that you are asking for too much of his time–believe him, at least he’s telling you the truth. There are brothers out here who don’t need space. There are guys who will put you on a pedestal and put you first. And those men are not on the same level as the one who’s letting you down. You only need to decide which one you want to be with.
  2. He thinks you’re more beautiful than Beyoncè. Now, I have married a woman I didn’t think was the prettiest girl in the neighborhood, but that was rare. Other than that, each time I married a woman, I was madly in love (or so I thought) and no one could tell me that my girl wasn’t the finest of the fine mamma jammas. I can’t imagine a guy in love thinking some other chick is better looking than his girl, as immature and sophomorish as it sounds. But I am telling you the truth:  Even if he thought it were true, a man in love with a woman would NEVER admit another woman is more attractive or desirable than his wife. Have you ever seen good-looking brothers with so-so looking women and wondered “how the hell did he get with her?” How about sexy women with big, fat men and wondering if he was rich? They were in love. When you love a woman, her beauty is magnified like you wouldn’t believe, and only he understands why that is. A man who loves his woman will tell her she is gorgeous on the regular, and will do it so much that she either believes it too–or she think’s he’s blind. And she’s right, he is; he is love-blind. Leave it alone, and let him do this thing. You wanted a man who adores you, and you got it. (Edit:  He will never make you jealous or do anything that might make you jealous. He will broadcast that he is with the cream of the crop while he’s with you to avoid confusion, because he is conscientious of how you feel and how things appear.)
  3. He will bust his behind to keep his word.  I don’t want to play the brothers to the left by saying that a man in love will “always” keep his word. I know things come up. But you ever see a guy who will not take a day off of work for anything? He will go to work sick as a dog and they have to send him home to recover? Yeah, it’s like that. A man who loves his woman will bust his ass to keep his promises, and even when he is forgetful, he will do his best to make it up to you when he falls on the job. I am talking about the kind of guy who doesn’t make plans on Saturday because his wife owns that day. The kind of man who races home straight from work, and skips hanging with the homies. Letting down your woman is almost as bad as letting down your kids. Real men don’t fail in this department.
  4. He will travel 50 miles to change your tire.  Or something like that. The point is that a man who loves his woman will cross burning sands for her, and distance and time means nothing to him. It’s 11 at night, and he’s in the bed about to drift off to sleep. You have a craving for vanilla ice cream and all you have is butter pecan. Your man, if he really loves you, will throw on some sweats and cruise the 7-11 stores until he finds one that has vanilla. And not just vanilla–the brand you like.
  5. He likes puplo ceviche because you like pulpo ceviche.  For those who don’t know, pulpo ceviche is a salad made with octopus. And for you hard-core ceviche fans, it’s raw. A man who loves his wife to no end will enjoy things just because she likes them. He develops a taste for things that his woman likes because he loves her that much–so much, he wants to enjoy the things she enjoys. Now, I’m not saying that you both can’t have differing palates. However, a man that loves a woman will try to have a different outlook on things because of her and he will try to see the world through her eyes. Maybe he won’t try the octopus. But he will try the Italian dish with the tentacles. Or start listening to country music. Or start wearing ties or watching chick flicks. You get it. It’s like having a wife who can referee a boxing match–she didn’t even like boxing before she met him. But hey, she’s in love.
  6. He knows what pulpo ceviche is!  When a man loves a woman, he will try to learn everything about her. He will develop an attachment to her family–her siblings, he parents, her cousins. He learns all he can about her upbringing, her ethnicity, her family life, her religion. He might even begin going to her church, or learning to speak her language. His friends will laugh at him and accuse him of “changing”. And you know what? He is! He is turning into her man. When a man has no interest in who she is and who she was, and where she came from–he doesn’t really love her. Hate to be negative, but you came to AskAkamo to get the truth, right? Edit:  He also wants your family’s approval–your mom (who may not like him), your children, your friends. And he will do anything to get on their good side. The idea is, if they are a part of you, he wants them to be a part of him too.
  7. He is always kind, and never mad.  Okay, don’t beat me up. Maybe we do get mad. But when a man loves a woman like crazy, it takes a lot for his woman to make him mad. Men who love their wives will actually avoid getting mad by apologizing, giving in during debates, keeping his mouth shut rather than speak his mind. He is actually afraid of making her mad, and he will bend over backward to prevent his woman from being displeased with him. But even when he is mad–a man will be kind and respectful to his wife. He will never yell at her or call her names, or ever purposely give her a reason to cry. He may have an iron hand, with all others, but with his woman he slips on a velvet glove to avoid cracking her accidentally.
  8. All his friends know you.  I have seen brothers hide his woman from his friends. Actually, with #5 and #6, I was one of them. It’s because those women embarassed me. They would say stuff my friends will cut glances at each other over and wonder, “what the hell was that all about?”  On the contrary, he will show you off to his friends, he wants his family to know and like you, he talks about you constantly to them. Men who are hiding their women have a motive for doing so. Perhaps they don’t want to be seen with you. Or they are hiding what they are doing from you. Who knows? But a man who loves his woman will make sure everyone loves her too.
  9. He hides your faults.  He doesn’t want other people thinking ill of you, so he will cover your faults. He will do his best to paint a perfect picture of who you are. Notice I said, “paint a picture”, and not “change”. He wants people to see only your best qualities, but he still loves you as is. A man who tries to change a woman does not really love her as-is. He may love what he thinks she can be, but he doesn’t really love who she is. When he loves her, he loves her the way she is–overweight, chipped tooth, bad hair days, working the low-paying job, uneducated, broken English–you name it. He loves you just how you are. He doesn’t need the highlights to hide the gray. He doesn’t think you need to drop 40 pounds. He thinks you’re perfect. Love is a funny thing. You can be imperfect, but still be “perfect”. All you need to be is perfect for him, and he believes that you are.
  10. He jumps out the bushes at you.  LOL LOL Okay! I just mean he is always thinking of you and wants to surprise you. He pops up at your job, not to catch you with the guy from the mail room–but to see you. When you go to email him, there is already an email in your inbox. When you reach for the phone to text him, his message to you comes in while you’re typing. You both seem to be on the same wavelength. You have a craving for shrimp, he calls and says he’s thinking of cooking shrimp. He is thoughtful, considerate, and always has you on his mind. Not only does he tell you, but he shows it.  You don’t need to ask what’s going on in his mind, because you already know it.

And let me say this:  if you’ve ever had this, you must reciprocate in order to keep it. I am sure you have experienced one or some or all of these signs. If not, I hope you do one day. It’s a great experience, and I think we are all deserving of it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Pray On Yo “Feets”

Uppity, educated Black folks:  I apologize in advance for using old-school Ebonics in the title of this article. I didn’t mean to offend.

Or, should I say–“I didn’t mean to embarass”?

You know how some folks get a little educated and all of a sudden they don’t want anyone to know where they come from. Or the folks they left back in their old life now embarass them. We are famous for that kind of behavior, as if we would rub off the Black if it were possible. Cause some of us think we are “new” Black folk, and the “old” way is somehow outdated, or bad.

But there are many lessons “new” Black folks would benefit from, if they listen to the old Black folks wisdom… and if you listen closely, I’m about to teach you somefin.

There is an old saying that the older folks teached us youngins, that dates back to slavery:

God answers prayers faster if you pray on yo feets…

Back in the day when Black people couldn’t count on no one to help but ourselves and God–when you really couldn’t count on no one else but God. You couldn’t even count on other Black people to help, because everyone feared the wrath of White men more than they feared God Himself. A Black man would turn you in faster than water wets shit back then. The only people it seems we would protect from the wrath of the white man these days are criminals. You know I’m right: you lie to cover your sons–you bail them out, you picket when they get locked up, you believe their bullshit lies when they call home talking “momma, I swear I didn’t know that gun was under the seat–it must have been Trayvon and thems…” When you know damn well the boy down the hall broke into that apartment, you tell the cops you ain’t heard nothing. When pookie and them stole from the job, you just kept your mouth shut, until the boss decides to write you up for coming to work late. You know I’m telling the truth.

So, we can’t trust our own kind no more than you can trust the good folks at the job who blame Affirmative Action for YOU having a job there. Now, don’t be surprised that your slave-ancestors couldn’t trust their fellow plantationers neither. Hell, you can’t even be trusted to spend your dollars with Black businesses before going to them Koreans who treat you so poorly, or the Chinese who rip you off every chance they get. (Asians, don’t get mad–I have a Korean stepmom and I grew up in the Chinese community–so please don’t get your panties all in a bunch; I’m not racist)

The slave of yesterday, had to fend for himself, so when he was praying for God to set him free, he had to pray on his feet. In other words, he didn’t wait for God to arrive in a chariot and carry him to freedom. No, God put a message in his heart and told him to run North. And if He answered “Yes, you get freedom”–he didn’t get caught and ended up a free man. But what of those Black folks who stayed on the plantation, praying on they knees, waiting for God while singing “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot”? Well, they died as slaves–some even died as slaves after the Emancipation Proclamation. The man who prayed on his feet taught his children, and his grandchildren, and his great-grandchildren to “pray on they feets”; while the man who prayed on his knees taught his kids and grandkids, and great-grandkids to wait on the chariot–most likely driven by that White man on the picture (that’s supposed to be Jesus) in the kitchen to solve their problems. Sorry y’all, but God don’t work that way.

And here we arrive at my point.

We must change how we view God, His role, His blessings, and how we incorporate the Almighty into our life. Ultimately, we must change how we deal with our problems.

It is a slave mentality to expect our Master to feed us, to clothe us, to provide for us, and all we have to do worship and obey him. Black brothers and sisters, this was taught to the slave to keep him docile and neutered. They didn’t want us to ask for rights and fairness. They didn’t want us become self-sufficient. They didn’t want us to fight for what we wanted and stand up for ourselves. So, to teach a “turn the other cheek” religion was the method of warfare. Question. WHO DOES THAT SHIT? Have you ever seen a Western (supposedly Christian) government turn the other cheek? Do you see the White man turning the other cheek? Did the Roman Catholic Church ever “turn the other cheek”?

Do you support the war on terror?

Do you believe in men having the right to defend themselves and their families?

You don’t even believe in “turn the other cheek”, admit it. But for some reason, whenever we are discussing rights for the Black man, we are back on that “turn the other cheek” garbage, and no Christian nation or people have ever turned the other damned cheek.

Now, because of generations of this stuff, we are still in the slave mentality. The slave, despite working the land and tending livestock, and building things with his own hands, and being stronger and just ask capable as the master, still relied on the master to eat and to have clothing and a home. Today, more than 100 years after slavery, you still rely on your Master to clothe and feed and house you. You still look to the White controlled government to solve your problems and the problems in your community. You still blame the white man when things don’t go well, and to say that slavery is the cause of your plight.

But let’s look at some other people who have been oppressed and overcame–without their oppressor’s help:

  • The Vietnamese. Arrived in America in the 70s and 80s after we bombed the hell out their country. The French, the Russians, the Chinese raped and pillaged, and left their economy in shambles on top of our military. Hundred of thousands came to the U.S. dirt frigging poor, and today they are one of the highest per capita income ethnic groups in America. In the BLACK community, the Vietnamese are perhaps the wealthiest people. With one industry–ONE–they have put three generations of children through college, and today you would rarely find a poor Vietnamese. The industry? Nails. Who made them rich? Black women on welfare. Think I’m lying? Go into a nail shop during the first ten days of any month, and count how many girls working there. Then go in the middle of the month, you’ll find half as many. Want to know why? Most of the girls have another job, they come in only at the beginning of the month for the rush. How do I know? My mother used to be one. What I wouldn’t give to see a Black-owned nail shop! But you probably wouldn’t patronize them…
  • The Korean. 60 years after the war, these people were over run by our military, then Japanese raped them, and then they had an internal war. In the 70s, the Koreans came here to be our poor. But they worked as landscapers and laborers, and in the back kitchens of Japanese restaurants and Chinese laundries. But they discovered something, and today, they are one of the richest in the Black neighborhood. What is that something? Niggas like to drink alcohol. So they sell us liquor. The same legal drugs that is killing our families, our health, and our communities and our morals. But we buy the shit like hotcakes. Then they discovered something else. We are terribly irresponsible with our money. Now, every liquor store offers two things:  credit and check cashing (some even offer payday loans). And who mad them rich? YOU DID.
  • The Jew. Don’t hand me that world-domination bullshit. The poor Jew from the Third Reich and the Rockefellers are completely different, unrelated people. But they have something in common. They stick together, and they believe in working for the NEXT generation. They bust their ass, so their children will prosper. We haven’t learned that as a people. We floss, generation after generation, and no one saves a damn dime. So, when we die, we don’t leave our children shit but memories and a crapload of hospital bills to pay with our insurance money (assuming you left them insurance). The Jew of the 1950s and 1960s–the ones who didn’t go to Israel to steal the Arab’s land–were hard working, yet shrewd people. But they weren’t given a thing, except hope and a future–something every Black man has. The only difference is that we squander our opportunity. Even our wealthy do nothing for the community, and in many cases–our wealthy act like its a race to see if we can spend our entire net worth before our children can inherit it. Yesterday’s Jew was a poor man, who ate light so his children can dine rich. Today, you probably work for his kids. Even you six-figure making Black folks… the Buppies.
  • The Middle Easterner–Don’t give me that “oil money” bullshit. I’m talking about the old cab drivers you use to laugh at with the accent. The guys driving the ice cream trucks you use to patronize as a child. The men at the 7-11 your momma use to cuss out, while you shoplifted. Remember how we use to imitate them when we were teenagers, talking about “homie, smell you later!”?? What happened to him? Well he is now driving a brand new Mercedes. See, chances are his children and grandchildren are most likely your doctors and they bought him that Benzo. His son now owns the 7-11 you just went to today. Or his kids own the used tire shop you got your used tires from. And you had the nerve to laugh at his kids 20 years ago because they wore K-Mart clothes while you had the designer jeans.
  • The Mexican. 30 years ago, he was the landscaper and fruit picker you laughed at when watching racist TV shows. You imitated his accent while watching (racist) “Speedy Gonzales” cartoons. Your fathers and grandfathers turned their noses up at the jobs he took, talking about “Nigga, I’d NEVER work on a damn plantation again!” Well guess what? Farms are million dollar business ventures. Landscapers in my town make around $20 an hour, and tell me where a guy with no high school diploma can make that kind of money. Vicente Fox was telling the truth when he said that Latinos take jobs that Black people don’t want. Yeah, today they work at “Yack in the Box” for minimum wage, and in ten years they are managers at some company, because they have a stable work history and don’t take a day off for nothing. The joke about Latinos living on top of each other in a home? Yup, it’s true. But that’s how money gets saved, and children get educated and families stay together. Tell you what, those who know me, know that I am very close to the Hispanic community (my stepfather is a Cuban, and my mother worked with Latinos her whole time in America) and I can say I have never met a Latino who was a deadbeat Dad. Latin men will wear thrift store clothes and put his children in new outfits, and there is a lot you can learn from these brown brothers. This is why White men are all up in arms, because this community brings with them the vision, work ethic and discipline that the American Founding Fathers arrived with. It’ll be less than half a century, I guarantee this, before our future Presidentè will live en el Casa Blanca.

God answers all prayers. But he is most likely to give a “yes” answer to people who do for self, and then pray for success. When a lazy man prays, God usually answers with “Maybe later, right now you ain’t ready.”

Consider the following story, straight out your bibles (paraphrased). When Moses saw the Promise Land, the people didn’t want to go in with him because of the giants. God answered for them to wander in the desert, and when they died off He gave their children’s children the Promise land. Your Great Grandfathers were go-getters, so they reaped the rewards of their labor (the rennaissance). Your Grandfathers were go-getters, and they reaped their rewards (Civil Rights). Your father’s generation was the recipients of that generation, so they came up allowed to date white girls, get jobs next to white men, and a kind of prosperity man of our people were previously denied. So our generation grew up lazy, materialistic and prideful. We forgot God and His laws. We have been acting a damned fool. We still rely on our parents to bail us out, and where we don’t have them, we turn to the government. We accuse the government of not caring about Black people (which is true), but at the same time we expect it to give us Affirmative Action and Reparations, welfare and financial assistance. We need to think like a people who can rely on no one but ourselves and God, and then act accordingly–by praying on our feet. Once we do that, we will see our prayers being answered.

Consider this story. This young lady, as beautiful and talented as she was, was talking of “rescuing her mother from the projects”. Excuse me? Why do I keep reading about children rescuing parents? We must change our mentality. We keep asking others to do for us, what we should be doing for ourselves. We must grow up as a people. We have to.

Thanks for visiting my blog.

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Filed under Message to the Black Man

The Gift

Written for a friend’s daughter, who almost didn’t get here. She is a beautiful 8 year old girl who really is just happy to be here and has no idea of the battle she fought just to be among us. Her name is “Zori”, btw….

 

Delivered on a glass platter

hovered between the heavens and the Earth

suspended by a silk string

carried the weight of her world

like the whispers of a soft violin,

strands stretched from Michelangelo’s brush

to the veins on her tiny ankle

played

a music barely audible from beyond silent prayers and incubator breaths

of that lonely room—

it rejoiced as well as cried a distressed, desperate wish:

I’ll do anything.

 

she barely recognized the clear umbilical lifeline that fed her

quite different from the last

they both lead to a bag but…

the last one was warm

this one’s cold?

taught her how fragile

the outside world is

and it’s asking if she’ll stay

suspended in the brittle balance of all we take for granted

 

see, she’s just happy to be here

if only she knew

unaware of the stressful struggle

the battle she fought during the dawn

in that cold and sterile, unforgiving mausoleum

where she dared to arrive before they said she should

and she finds the sun warmer

the water sweeter

the music more soothing

she knows life is a much better place

where that glass coffin that became her throne

was quietly caressed in the strong, powerful palms

of God himself

and He gave her undignified arrival

a welcome party that’s never ending

she enjoys her luck-zorious life

winking back at Him, she sings:

I made it!

 

And so she did….

 

 

 

The Gift

 

© 2010

He Spit Fire

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Filed under Poetry