Respectable Thoughts

Respectability politics or the politics of respectability refers to attempts by marginalized groups to police their own members and show their social values as being continuous, and compatible, with mainstream values rather than challenging the mainstream for its failure to accept difference.

The concept was first articulated by Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham in her book Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880–1920. In the context of black American history, respectability politics was practiced as a way of attempting to consciously set aside and undermine cultural and moral practices thought to be disrespected by wider society, especially in the context of the family and good manners.

The development of African-American politics of responsibility has been traced to writers and activists including W. E. B. Du Bois and Booker T. Washington, and has been used as a way of understanding the election and political trajectory of Barack Obama. President Obama has also been criticized for his use of respectability politics during his presidency, as when he brought up issues of black criminality during his speech following the November 24 grand jury decision regarding the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. One of the most open proponents of respectability politics is former-NBA player Charles Barkley.

——> Dictionary Definition (Game)

Respect, self-re·spect

  1. pride and confidence in oneself; a feeling that one is behaving with honor and dignity. Synonyms;



    amour propre (rightful love of self);

    faith in oneself;

    pride –  a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired (fulfillment);

    dignity – the state or quality of being worthy of honor, a composed or serious manner or style, impressive stateliness;

    morale –  the confidence, enthusiasm, and discipline of a person or group at a particular time;


    —-> What I think (thus my opinion)


Respectability politics is a catch phrase for the now. It’s cool to say and cool to dislike but this is the foundation that our grandparents raised us on. The same foundation that used to breed a sense of courage, confidence, and pride in our community.

The ironic part is that those of us that benefited the greatest from going to school, respecting authority, earning a job, and live day to day – some with families, tell the others that it’s not important even though they yield daily rewards from being decent human beings.

Respect isn’t about pleasing someone else. (that’s not in the definition) 

It’s not about hanging your head low. If you read the definitions; it’s about self esteem, confidence, dignity, morale, fulfillment, and etc…

Having respect for someone else doesn’t guarantee that they will respect you. (that’s not in the definition).

Having respect for someone else doesn’t mean that they won’t kill you. (that’s not in the definition)

Having respect is something that is of you, for you, and your how to. It’s all out how you coexist in the world.

Getting well dressed, open doors for you. It really helps your appeal with the opposite sex. It garners respect but it isn’t part of the definition of respect.

Getting educated builds confidence. It helps you. It breathes new words into life.

Speaking proper English and switching to slang is OK. Other groups do it too. We are all trying to be clear and understood. It’s OK to code switch, if it can help you communicate your message.

Respecting authority is OK. What if they don’t respect you; go ahead and re-read my thoughts. I respect everyone that comes in contact with me, even when they disrespect me. I do have my tolerance level but i’m not 0 to 100 with everyone.

I choose to carry myself with honor until truly called upon.  So I ain’t fighting anyone, you have to be right kind of special and the odds have to be in your favor. I stood up against 1 vs 3. I stood up at gun point. 

I stand up because I learned to respect myself and when push comes to shove, I’d be ready. Push comes to shove, I never run from a fight.

If respectability politics = being confident in my abilities, well groomed, determined, convicted in the commandments, rational, strategic, community growth oriented; well, I’m in great company. The President is a great role model. It’s all a choice. I choose to have a career where I don’t care to express myself in my hair (it is just hair to me). I choose to respect everyone, even those that hate me. It’s a choice; a choice that doesn’t guarantee that someone (black/white/hispanic/other) wont’ kill me.

Fellas don’t let these ladies fool you; in the end, they all want a man with a job, dresses well (in context) and carry themselves with confidence. 


U.S. President Obama listens to remarks during event held to honor members of U.S. teams and delegations from the Sochi Olympics  and Paralympics at the White House in Washington

U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES – Tags: POLITICS SPORT OLYMPICS)



“To see 4 of the best basketball players in the world dressed impeccably and speaking up plainly and eloquently on an issue means volumes. Image matters. Growing up an impressionable sports fan like any young male, you want to emulate these guys. I like that they also broadened the platform to speak on gun violence in our own communities. Critical. ‪#‎espys‬” – Daniel Nicolas, Community Leader, Mentor and young Professional



Passports and Stamps

This is just a list of places I wanted to see since I was 6. No particular order.


Places that I crossed off;

US: Florida (Miami, FLL, West Palm, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville, Daytona, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Gainesville, etc…) Washington (DC), California (San Fran, LA, 29 Palms, Palms Spring), New York (Manhattan, Buffalo, Niagara Falls (US side), Brooklyn, Bronx, NYC)

Canada: Montreal, Niagara (Falls), Toronto,





Places that I was forced to go:

US: too many places to count lol,







Morocco:: Tangiers; Sahara Grand Desert

Dominican Republic


Places that I got to go see:


Iguazu Falls (Brazil, Uragai, Argentina),




Iceland  (I was a weird kid: too many history books and viking lore),


Tokyo, Japan (2020 Olympics),

China (Great Wall)



There are new places but those are the spaces that matter to me. The places of childhood dreams.





Second Choices

Christopher CampbellIn this world where getting into a relationship is as easy as instant messaging and instant coffees. There is this girl who always believed that love is a sacred thing. It is something that you can’t just add to your priorities like as if it just a necklace to add on your loud colored…

via Don’t Fall In Love With The Girl Who’s Used To Being Someone’s Second Choice — Thought Catalog

The Abyss

I remember watching “Star Wars” and learning about how Hate,

even in the hands of the righteous,

transforms the character and erodes the soul.

Moments of fear reveal everyone’s true nature.


Do you bend, do you fold, do you break, do you endure, do you grow.


Are you fair, are you courageous, are you unbias, are you a coward.


Moments like this,

are when you see the true metal of a man.


Moments like this,

are when you see people who condemn racism slowly become racist themselves.


I can honestly admit that I grow in chaos.

I’ve live it. I’ve carried the weight of it.

I speak because some of you will get lost in it.

You don’t have the heart for it.

And there is no coming back from it.

It’s the abyss. It’s a double edge sword that you grab unto in the darkness.


It changes you until you forget who you really are,

That’s the darkness, it twists you, it molds you

And sadly, you know nothing of it.



*Listen to Poison, by Nas (classic)

The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


The text comes in.

Somewhere between 1 am and late.

She only has fifteen minutes to respond.

She stares in a mirror, practices the many ways to smile,

Say nothing, enjoy, be friendly, be courteous, be professional,

Be friendly again but not too friendly.


She’s ready. She elevates the room,

Each heel strike captures your attention,

As she glides through TSA, and hops on her flight.


She graces the flight with her presence,

Boards first in a cabin dimly lit,

Surrounded by the low hum of a perpetual ac.


…The message comes through,

Somewhere between yesterday and the red-eye,

Time bends and blurs; she feels distant.

Constantly leaving and never staying to chat,

But the people love that.


They never see what it takes in between.


She shakes the loneliness of long flights,

thinks about smiling, thinks about being polite,

be professional but not too professional,

be friendly but too friendly.


On the bright screen on her cell,

She writes notes;

Perfecting the pattern of her thoughts.

She prepares speeches.


I imagine her to be a tinkerer;

Desk filled with notes.

Almost a mad scientist,

The exotic location doesn’t catch the glimmer of her eyes anymore,

She tares into new ideas,

She surrenders to her flights of fancy,

She is determined; caught between the lust of imagination.

While most people fear success,

She embraces past failures,

Marinades on the dimensions,

She is a problem solver, she is a presenter,

she is a marketing team; all rolled up in one.


She learned to embrace her authentic self.

She wasn’t the pretty girl,

She is the geek, the genius,

the tech junkie,

Elegant, classy;

She is the start of a conversation that never quite ends…

Caught somewhere between yesterday and the red-eye.


All Fronts and the Battle

I wonder,

How many more pieces of me will I lose before I am no longer myself,

No longer whole.

Like too little butter over too many bread, I’m spread thin.

My heart fractures,

loss in the fog of war,

And all I can hear the melody over a chalkboard,

it’s screeching.

I’m terrified,

I know what awaits me on the other side,

I’m finding little reason to care, I cared too long for too little to matter,

It’s all falling apart.

Or better yet it will.

Too many bad calls on the field,

Too much feedback from people who do too little, no little.

I pity too many because they’ve already lost.

The rules consume me and the pieces keep changing but repeating the same audible tone,

While my soul tries desperately to rage over my thoughts,

The experience already broke me,

I can feel it,

I can feel the chaos….

What’s scares me,

Is that I’ve already been too familiar,

I’m shrinking. Drowing. Buried among the layers,

They will turn on me because they’ve turned on every one that’s been greater,

And since I’ve already lost everything,

My love for the final fragment has already berated me.

They want me to love what they’ve forced on me.

Hate what I already know to be true.