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

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

    self-esteem;

    self-regard;

    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;

    self-confidence.

    —-> 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)

 

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“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

 

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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,

Morocco,

France,

Brazil

 

Places that I was forced to go:

US: too many places to count lol,

Qatar,

Djibouti,

Ethiopia,

Somalia

Eritrea,

Germany,

Morocco:: Tangiers; Sahara Grand Desert

Dominican Republic

 

Places that I got to go see:

Cuba,

Iguazu Falls (Brazil, Uragai, Argentina),

Egypt,

Spain,

England,

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

Korea?,

Tokyo, Japan (2020 Olympics),

China (Great Wall)

 

budget-travel_web

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

 

 

 

 

L’endroit

I want to see you.

I spend my time forcing reflections to mirror your image.

Peering into rail carts, hoping that I didn’t miss you.

I pick out aspects of who you are or who you might be,

Superimpose your likeness on others,

And I hold my breath.

 

She isn’t you.

 

I try to make eye contact,

I try to connect…

I don’t know you.

 

I worry that I might have missed you,

Worry that I alter my path so much

that you couldn’t follow the breadcrumbs.

 

I figured that it would have happened by now.

Figured I would have ran into you on a campus,

A bit clumsy, I know.

I didn’t mean to mess you up.

Didn’t mean to interrupt.

Just wanted to bump into you.

Nudge you off the isolated path.

 

Just wanted to help you escape being just you

so that we could be just us.

 

We can pick up the pieces,

I’ll pick up your books,

Maybe help you carry them to your class.

 

Like those other cool guys…

I wish that I could muster the words,

Make you smile by the second sentence,

Make you pause by the third,

And take you out by the tenth…

 

I hope that I didn’t miss you,

Traveling the same road,

to the same place,

2 rail cars away.

 

I hope that you could hear me,

Whispering to the well, wishing you were here or I was there.

Even with headphones,

I promise I’d be worth pressing pause.

 

Maybe we say nothing,

You holding onto my arm,

Leaning unto my shoulder.

 

I promise that spot is for no one else.

I miss you.

I hope that I didn’t miss you at the grocery store,

in route to a small café,

on the dance floor,

or simply headed home.

 

I don’t know you.

I’m here to get to know you.

When we speak,

know that you will always be

where you always been…

Home.

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Je souhaite que je vous trouve dans le lieu le plus important , mon cœur.


			

Public Service Announcement for Black Men

Be pretty. Be fit. Be a cook. Be sexy. Be smart, be humble, be elegant, jiggle less, juggle more. With all those things that we are asking of women, make sure you are bringing something to the plate. Some of us can’t cook. Can’t fix. Can’t commit. Can’t be providers or household leaders. Time to step our game up. This has been a PSA for the fellas. Let’s fix our families. Let’s fix our community.

#beaccountable

 

o-BLACK-FATHERS-facebook

#Hope

I still haven’t given up on her.

Whereas the world says otherwise, I still hope. I know she will find me; for richer or for poorer, I know that she waits for me. And I can’t wait to shower her with love unconditional (or is it unconditional love) with petty realistic arguments on what to eat (because she can’t make up her mind, ‪#‎shecrae‬).

I can’t wait to surprise her on occasions, have her thinking, “should i take in the moment” or “flex on the gram”. I can’t wait to take flights (with her ‪#‎Happy‬ ‪#‎travelnoire‬); end up in places, we’d research‪#‎nerds‬, learning history and languages while i take pictures (cuz i’m #happy while she ‪#‎smh‬).

I still haven’t given up on her.

I can’t wait to support her, give her courage ‪#‎squad‬. And I can’t wait for her to do the same for me. I’m happy because I still haven’t given up on the one, who still haven’t given up on me.

The one who waits for me. The one who wants to start a family with me (‪#‎relationshipgoals‬). The one who thinks of a man of character, the type that cherishes family and community. The type that loves an adventure. The one that creates with his hand and gives life to his words. The one that deserves to love her… until then there is a spot, next to me, on a bed made with memories of time well spent. ‪#‎cuffingseason‬ 

firstlove-flowers

10 yrs later

10 yrs later (need to work on it later)

…from 2 foot nothing, now she’s 5 foot 2
and she swears she’s calling the shots,
I find myself reminiscing about the only changes she ever wanted
was her diapers not her clothes,
not the makeup or the shoes,
the only lift she ever wanted was right into my arms,
to complain about barbies,
tired of walking and conveniently take a nap…

she stops now for a quick cheek kisses,
followed by the hand gesture now all too familiar…
horizontal right hand forward and palm to the sky.

For my credit card, she may as well have pointed her index,
cock back the hammer and demanded it.
for the keys, she may as well stolen my heartbeat,
as tonight threatens to be
a stay up all night kinda worried night
that i’d spend acting like i’m working but really just worrying.
(right about now, I regret not implanting the homing device —
easy GPS SaT finder but Noooo!!! I caved in to the over protective nagging wife speeches)

Back then, she only wanted my keys cuz it was shiny,
made a bit too much noise, and she could throw it in hopes that i would retrieve it,
and then would throw it some more.

as we fade through time,
she would grab the keys and impatiently wait for me to get ready
and for us to roll out…

Now

the keys are merely a means to an ends as she anticipate driving off for a movie night,
but who’s she kidding,
the only movie tonight is deathly romantic and stars her and that boy,
(and I’m not being paranoid about her having sex, and but God forbid that she would)
I just know that she is at that age that she probably could,
so to prevent my own hypertension, I’d try not to stress it…

and finally snap out of it,
catches her by door,
call her by her full name,
as the person that steps back in, reminds me of that 2 foot nothing baby girl…

with her sarcastic, “yeah!!!”
I spare her the speech and pull out the handkerchief…

With one wipe, I’d reduce her eyeliner,
“Sorry i can’t protect you from everything, and wipe away every tear. I do this so the world can see your determined vision”
with the second wipe, I’d tone down the cheek blush,
“I do this to reduce the layer that blocks your natural radiance when you smile”
with the third wipe, I’d reduce the lip gloss…
“honestly, I wipe away the make up for the world to see how beautiful you are,
and for me, cause who you are, is who I’ve always loved from day 1
and that girl, will always be number 1 to me”

I figure that day would come
that’s why it pays to keep Hakim on the security payroll.
Hey…. Its worth a shot!!!