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



Black on Black by Lawrence Gonzalez


“… Because engraved in your heart are the memories,
of someone you never really known,
someone that can’t be replaced”


Black on Black

[She packs his bags
as she cries from the distance that time creates]

“This time is the last time”, she wonders
As he headed out.
Just indirect words,
So he rushes to put his shoes on with no laces.
Grapples away from his own shirt,

the person that she couldn't be

a mile in his shoes

She cannot hold him in her arms anymore,
She must have understood by now, that she wasn’t to be.
Wasn’t able to provide that of which she couldn’t be
And wrestled with the idea that she wasn’t enough.
And maybe she was selfish,
But this … wasn’t enough
wasn’t as she envisioned her storybook
so she guilt her heart.
As he rushes away.

Passed the bedroom
He chased the hope that he could keep up with reality.
He stumbles, trips over his own shoes,
Hands out.
— Only to break his fall.

He stood,
Alerted to the instant reaction that followed
And composes his emotional will.
“No tears”. he thought even if the shock never sets in,
No man ever cries from a fall,
No matter how hard, he ponders as he tilts up…

He now stands far enough to see his face.
Waits for approval, so he reaches,
Extending both arms.

This was the only sure way to see his face,
The only way to bring him closer…
that even if he was gone for one minute,
He would miss him…

Engraved in his heart are memories of someone he couldn’t replace,
The face of the man he always knew…

The pen-inked strange marking on his neck were still there,
His eyes were still there…
Set down, he would follow his shadow in awe and admiration,
As each stride grew longer, he would rush to follow…
If he closes his eyes he could here the petter patter of his steps,
Some smooth, others more deliberate,
If he’d cover his ears, he would still make out the syllables,
Even if it was just
“Sup lil’ man”
And he didn’t have to understand it,
But with a smile he would mimic what he knew as love.

No alphabet of degrees really mattered,
No PhD, No Master, no AA, no BS,
Just the reality that he could create clouds with a puff,
Inhales as his hands flickered embers that never hit the ground.

“He could make metal animals stop with red lights,
carried things two times his own weight”

on the shoulders of a giant. Ladies do the world a favor and pick the dude that is going to be a father, not absentee and you will start changing the world.

BLACK on black clothes with a smell that was unmistakable.

That he would wish every day would be just like today,
That he would tried to outrun, that he would catch him by the waist and shake him…
Throw him in the air and catch him…

And he knew just what to do at every moment,
Never grew tired, never cried,
And that every five days, he could see him again,
And every day would be just like this….

He would wish that everyday,
That he would stay,
Wake up and see his face again with her…
And that everyday would be just like today but better.

written by inspiration. Every time i pass by he walks with his son, a goon in black on black. Could of been anyone but he chose to be a father. That maybe one day, his son would grow to appreciate the man he was. Not a lot of cash but a lot of heart. For guys like me who grow up without one, maybe that’s how it would of felt to have a father.

Black Woman

She cries with no tears but turns to anger.

I can see it in the way she walks,
more deliberate less carefree.

She is lost to me,
selfish in her whims,
but I can see when she cries with no tears.

I can tell when she’s alone,
unable to share significant moments with her significant other,
sometimes she feels abandoned by love,
she is unresponsive,
even numb.

Drowning herself in her own labor.

She tries to smile,
set off like a time bomb on issues, and in the end, she cries in her anger, she lashes out with her words, she struggles with her own insecurities,
all because she feels so vulnerable.

I don’t pity her,
And don’t presumptuously call my self a good guy,
nor her hero but as a decent guy;
I can’t ignore that

She needs a hug,

long enough so she can’t and at the same time, can let go,
long enough so she can hold on to me,
long enough so she can know that strength of character still exist.
long enough so she can feel that she fits in this world,
that her purpose is fulfilled.

*Stuck in the gray, Good guys and even decent guys wrestle with the thought of loving a woman who fancies herself to be tough enough to take on the world. We all need love. We don’t live when we are numb.

Willingness to be Better Men

If you want to see change in your community; I would start by asking YOU to be better MEN. Stand for what you believe in, lose friends for it, and be ready to die for it. Change is about WILLINGNESS.

Blockbuster or Straight to DVD

“Action!!” Somewhere down the road, we ended up playing characters that we didn’t want. The deadbeat, the baby mama, the bitter, the depressed, the selfish, the broke, the divorced, the sexually confused. I wonder what kinda character, will we end up being when the director calls “Cut!!” while the scene breaks to silence and the credits roll. Was this a movie worth seeing. #Netflix

The Guilt Trip

To flip the script,
I flick my wrist, and hit the triggers for my Xbox,
transform myself into a robot,
autonomously speak words that sound like coded text,
and blend myself seemingly into the coach.

This is my escape from reality,
so instead of reading about the countless dead,
I sport my designer gear to the club,
twist and dip my way, swagg surf my way,
pretty boy — may as well be gay — dance way,
as I flip the script of the page of reality,

tip my pen on paper,
click clack my fingers and write words on screen,
listen to lecture after lecture like I cared,
follow notes after notes of how business is important.
capitalism is important,
Greed is important,
Personal survival is important
Lobbyist well they think I’m not important unless I got money…

Highly favored by credit,
spiritually broke, and mentally exhausted.
I pray to the same God that the Irish Priest do,
Hated cuz I’m more real than many…
so I click clack on the screen,
words that flip, twist, and dip into a new reality to escape my own thoughts of Haiti.

Instead drop one more Kompa track,
live 15 min at that.

And let me drown my own reality into a soccer fantasy called life.
with high hopes… shoot,

instead hand block
and shatter like spirits in the dark,
shadows when the lite sparks,
and scatter like the light in the dawn
cause enlightenment isn’t easy — more so a curse…
turns out, none of these athletes will ever pay me
for the amount of attention that i garnish them.
and Lebron…
fuck the amount of millions, oops the billions…
I wouldn’t pay you one cent over a teacher, or a nurse,
or a firefighter, or a cop, or a migrant peasant work,
or any student who brave the ghetto streets….

Why make the Grade when jobs aren’t guaranteed,
my future is on loan by corporate greed
My taxes go to some 94 year old politician (God rest his soul)
Why make the grade, rather than some As
buy me some Js and I’ll show you how to ball.
Check my height, check the muscle,
check the size, check my morals,
switch up wives and nothing follows.
That’s my new heroes.

We have doctors and lawyers and our communities are still broke as shit,
for every JayZ, PDiddy party, splurge money that would for certain label me as a Hater…
I wonder why the Bronx still look like shit, why every MLK street still gravitate Bullshit,
why every minority school seem destined for the D list,
and why so many black girls complain about a douche-bag with a history of chronic douche-bag,
and why people still holla at me for change.

PS: I’m not pointed out anyone, especially the celebrities as if they don’t do much,
I’m just the type of guy that knows where we are now,
we all need to do a hell of a lot more,
Me included.