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Are We Living in A Dream World?

"We are a unit. We have always been a unit. We  function best as a unit." D.L. Smith

Freshly crocheted dreadlocks swung in unison, falling slightly below her shoulders, drawing my eyes to her slim waist and protruding lower half. Covered by a modest dress, she left more to be desired.  She held a torn and tattered Bible in her right hand, indicating hours of studying and living with God’s word.  Her walk embodied soul music, not the kind found on the radio but the kind found on city street corners, poetry lounges, and in Grandparents’ vinyl collections. Her joys and fears, anxieties and triumphs radiated from her skin just as much as the melanin.  We are related–not by blood but by spirit–a match felt most at the heart. Her eyes captivate me, keeping my attention strictly on her mind as we discuss life, love, and our communities. “I wish these black men would step their game up.  Too many of them act so immature and they’re always avoiding responsibility.  Where are all the real men at? … (Sigh)  I’m gonna end up marrying a white man.”  As these words poured from her mouth, I heard the frustration in her voice and watched the despair on her face.  It was as if she had been unwillingly subjected to a life behind bars.  I ask her, “Do you think marrying a white man is helping the problem or hurting it?”  She paused, and then replied, “It’s not my fault there are so few successful black men.  I just want to be loved.”

This is where the problem lies with black men and women.  There is a fundamental disconnect.  It is all of our faults collectively that there aren’t that many “successful” black males and females.  Though we have been systematically separated since slavery, we stay separated partly due to our own mentalities–which are born from the situation the original separation produced.  The oppressor society benefits from us hating each other. It is by design.  Divide and conquer.  As long as we remain at odds with one another, how can we ever expect to rise together as an entire community?  Black men and women need to stop thinking individually and more cohesive.  We are a unit.  We have always been a unit.  We function best as a unit.  Once we begin to think of ourselves as a team then we can look at how society has continually tried to split us up.  We can redirect our anger away from one another and towards an unjust society.  However, in doing so, we must not simply place the blame for our condition against the system.  We have to take on responsibility and hold ourselves personally accountable for our actions as well as the actions of our counterparts and community.

Black women it is your fault there aren’t as many “successful” black men as you would like because when loving black men becomes difficult, you choose the easier route. You condemn us instead of accepting the calling to nurture us.  It takes a village to raise a child.  It takes a bunch of strong, loving black women IN that village to raise a black male.  For you to negatively criticize and condemn black males, without much sympathy towards our collective struggle, you are only part of the problem.  It is easier to shun than to love.  The reason why you have to take responsibility is because no one else will! No other race cares about us the way you do!  Us black men don’t even care enough to save ourselves!  Love produces love and abandonment produces more abandonment.  Please, save me from myself and Love me.

Black men it is our fault our women feel abandoned.  It’s because we don’t take the time to gain the knowledge and realize that we try to play a game that isn’t made for us to win.  As long as we keep playing by the oppressor’s rules, we will continue to fall into the same life traps (jail, drugs, unemployment, etc).  It is up to us to demand change.  We need to be part of a society where our presence is needed and from that we can provide for ourselves and our families.   We have to realize that sellin’ drugs, pimpin’ hoes and blowin’ money fast are community breakers, not builders.  We have to realize that us endorsing these issues only makes us look like clowns. Meanwhile, other communities leave us in the dust.  We must realize that being smart is cool.  And where I’m from (Cheaptown, USA) blowing money fast is NOT COOL.  We too, are also guilty of thinking too individually.   We think having the flyest clothes and most money equates to manhood.  Meanwhile the Gucci CEO doesn’t give a damn about us and our little cousin can’t afford to go to college.  Our women feel abandoned because of the countless “successful” black men they see in society married to white women.  We see the white man as having power.  So we strive to do anything we can do to be like him–even take his women.  He will even encourage us to TRY to become like him but the fact is we will never become him.  When we do so much jockeying in an attempt to be like him, we ultimately turn our backs and look down on our own.

Black men and women it is up to us to take our community back.  It is a shame that 7 out of 10 black children grow up in single parent households.  The cycle will continue unless we take individual and communal responsibility.  No one else will save us.  If we are all surrounded by positive and long-lasting relationships the chances of our own relationship being positive and long-lasting, skyrockets.  So bruh, if it’s out of love, then marry that white girl (Yeah… I said it!). Love sees no color boundary.  But if you are marrying her because you think it will give you status or you will be free from “attitude,” forget it. You’re still gonna hear her complaining about you not being emotional plus the cops, court system, and banks still think yo’ ass is black.   So come on home, at least there will be some good food (with seasoning on it).

To all the black women in my life and to the ones I’ll meet in the future, thank you for saving me.

“I’ma do the best I can do, cuz I’m my best when I’m with you.” Common – “Come Close To Me”

About DLSmith625

Direction. Love. Solidarity.

9 responses »

  1. I love love LOVEEEEEEEEE this piece. Mr. Smith, I think you have outdone yourself here. This piece is everything me and Mr. Right-For-Now have been talking about and you brought my own thoughts to fruition.

    However, I do want to say one thing. I think that if a black man or woman is exploring interracial dating because they feel there is some type of deficiency in their own race, they really need to do some self exploration. You kind of touched on it but then you said if a man marries that white girl for Love then go for it. I dont think people should just go for it. Even if you’ve never said aloud “black girls are too much” or “Black guys dont have jobs” but you’ve just always been attracted to other races, have you ever stopped to ask yourself why? There might be some serious self-hate issues there. And when people ask me why I do not agree with interracial dating it has little to do with prejudices against other groups of individuals (because I try to live with Love for all mankind) and everything to do with a concern for the thoughts and behaviors of my own people. You have to start holding yourself accountable for the types of people you fall in Love with. Falling in Love is NOT as accidental as it may seem.

    • I’m only responding because the Word of God is mentioned. Jesus said “my people are those that do the will of my father”(matt.12:50paraphrasing). That’s the perspective God’s children live from. Your expectations are what’s throwing you off if you expect race to be the basis for some kind of
      bond. My belief in Jesus trumps my race. I don’t automatically consider AA’s my people(though I love all people). Race is not a determining factor in dating for me, but the Christ-likeness of a woman is. Where does God tell us to stay within our ethnicity when dating or marrying?

      • Amen, God doesn’t say to stay within our race. That’s why I said “Love (God) sees no color boundary.” I can’t control who God places in my life for me. If I want Love and that’s how it comes, that’s fine. However, if I’m seeking outside BECAUSE “black girls have attitudes” or “white women are easier to deal with” then I think I am hurting the situation more than helping…What do you think?

        I don’t expect our race to be our bond. I expect Love to be our bond. It just so happens that a lack of Love (from various areas) is the reason why our communities are in such shambles. So its the Love IN our communities that I’m advocating for because if we don’t love ourselves, who else will?

      • You are a fool.
        Jesus Trumps your race? Jesus never existed. Christianity was given to our people to keep us obedient during slavery. You dont consider Us your people? Our ancestors sure died together. And whites sure look at you that way. You are a disgrace, cannibalize yourself.

  2. Jesus loves us of course! But what I meant to convey initially was that for God’s people dating “outside” doesn’t mean to us what it means for the people of this world. For me to date outside would mean dating an unbeliever or lukewarm(double-minded) “believer”. This is an obvious mistake that would be extremely difficult for a true believer to make. The peeps of this world have no all-knowing guide, so the influences behind their decisions could be whatever. There’s no method to their madness. Man says “you’re black, she’s white-you two don’t belong together”. God calls His people to be beyond such trivial matters. God’s TRUE people have maybe the smallest dating pool in the world(next to sexy albinos). That would make a better story-but maybe just to me. As far as hurting the situation, if you don’t have a right relationship with Christ your situations will always be unstable. Our bond is doing the will of God, btw.

    • I don’t think how we feel about race is trivial to God. Because as children of God, what burdens us often comes from Him. Our spiritual purpose is tied up into the things that burden us. Therefore, some of us will be destined for black empowerment and others of us may be destined for racial inclusion. Neither is wrong. And both are equally as Loved and used by God. Dating an unbeliever, for example, isn’t as taboo for me as it seems to you. I grew up Christian but identify now as spiritual. So I only require that my man be spiritual and believe in a power outside of himself. And so I can be much more understanding and not put off by someone who identifies as agnostic. Or non-denominational. Or any other belief system. And I think we’re both right. And I think God will continue to use us both!

  3. As I read your piece, there were some excellent points you made; however, I had an issue with a few. If a woman is in a relationship with a Black man and believes in him and is trying her BEST to pull him up and do right by him, but every chance he gets he slaps her in the face by not helping himself and doing everything in his power to pull her down to his level, their is no reason for her to go on dating him. And if she has found herself in the same situation with every Black man she dates and hears accounts of the same thing with every Black male her friends date, there is no reason why she should be condemned on dating outside of her race–whether it be a white or any other race.

    • Well my blog (the Misadventures of Ms.Not-Right-Now) as a whole advocates strongly that individuals are the common denominators in their relationships and are therefore responsible for the outcomes, not the other party. And that comes through a realization that in every single one of my relationships, the man changes but I have not. So to blame black men for my inability to find a good one is counterproductive. It doesn’t help me get one. It doesn’t make one appear. As I worked on and bettered myself, however, a legitimately good black man found his way to me. And I have watched girlfriends focus on bettering themselves and Love found its way to them as well. So it makes me wonder what about you has attracted these type of men into your life? Is it an internal belief that there are no truly good black men? Because changing the race of the man or woman you’re dating can appear to solve the issue but it does not. The root problems will surface no matter what race of man you’re with because the root problem is within you. This piece is no different from the rest of my blog in placing the PERSONAL responsibility and accountability that we all have to one another as a black people in our laps. It’s not even really about dating black men if that’s not your preference. So no woman will be condemned. It’s about your duty to continually lift up your brother no matter who you’re dating.

      • I hear your concern Junie B, but what I am trying to argue is for a consideration of the larger problem. To me, the problem isn’t interracial dating, the problem is a population of black males in trouble. For every 1 black male that graduates from college, 100 are arrested. Though there are various reasons for this troubling statistic, there is no doubt that these men do not need DIScouragement, but Love. This is an issue that needs community support. I truly believe that no one other than the black community can best resolve this problem since we are most directly affected. Also, if we rely on others to help us out of this situation, I think we will only remain dependent on others for future troubles. I welcome other groups aid in this struggle, but the black community must be the centerpiece.

        That being said, I don’t want to condemn anyone for finding love outside of their race, however I do want them to consider their reasoning behind their decision. I agree with your example, she shouldn’t continue dating the man who isn’t trying to better himself, but I also agree with Ms-Not-Right-Now when stating that the woman should probably do some self-evaluating. She may find that it is not “all black men,” but rather “all the black men she’s attracting.” I believe Ms-Not-Right-Now is 100% right arguing that switching races won’t solve the problem the woman is facing. I guarantee you, not all black men lack ambition and self-awareness. However at the same time I will admit that as a group, we black men do have a lot of work to do and it is our responsibility.

        What do you think?

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