Thursday, May 21, 2009

Too Easy

What do: Angela Davis, John Carlos and Tommy Smith, Jim Brown, Malcolm X, Wilt Chamberlain, and Muhammad Ali all have in common?
Besides being Black?
Or being great?
(But maybe being anti-establishment.)
These people are all an example of one's motivation being more important than their circumstance or resources.
All were born during (or grew up in) Segregation.
All had to work for their rewards.
All were battled tested and hardened.
These people were trying to escape poverty, racism or oppression.
It's easier to run fast when something is chasing you. In most of these people's cases, it was Government sanctioned oppression.
Today's poor are given more support (financial, social and cultural) but with far worse results.
Because; When one does too much for another individual - one robs that individual (or group) of the character required to maintain that level of success.
The easiest example of this is the over dependence on the government by many of today's poor. From what do they have to run? Hunger, homelessness or oppression? Probably not.
Too much is given to too many people who would be better off learning to take responsibility for themselves.
It can also be seen in all these grown ass men still living at home with their mothers - and their mothers still cooking, cleaning and paying the bills.
What happened to the days in which success was seen as the ultimate revenge?
What happened to the days when a boy wanted to grow up to be A Man?
(I can tell you - the answer is that most weren't brought up to be men - but instead, they were brought up to be dependent.)
Why do so many, instead, blame "The Man"?
But more importantly, these people (and a host of others) inspired the next generation.
Jordan, Spike, Obama, Public Enemy, Oprah etc. can all trace their cultural roots back to those who had the ability to overcome.
The Eighties were a time of HBCU's social and cultural influence (Spike Lee, Public Enemy, Cross Colors, and leather Africa medallions).
The Eighties are when it all went wrong.
Prior to the Eighties (and under much worse circumstances), people understood that they had to work to succeed.
Even the poor family on Good Times had a two parent household - with both parents having jobs.
(J.J., James, Thelma and Florida had jobs - why couldn't they afford to live in a better area? I mean... even at minimum wage x four - that should have been enough to move.)
Many of today's poor have little incentive to work harder. It would be taking a pay cut (In terms of housing, food, medical and financial assistance.)
They have nothing from which to run.
In fact - many glamorize the 'hood .
"It's all good in the 'hood'?
No, it's not.
The 'hood is supposed to be what one is trying to escape - not something to which to aspire.
After the Eighties, many who made a little money thought that they had "Made It".
But most failed to teach the next generation the costs and skills required with having more.
Many had had the rewards (material goods), but not not the skills or knowledge to acquire them on their own.
Since these children were brought up with more stuff, but less guidance - many are incapable of sustaining the lifestyle which their parents provided.
IMO - The problem isn't Segregation - it's motivation (or a lack thereof).
When people complain about the lack of leaders, they only need to look as far as someone who has gone through some shit (Although what "shit" and how much "shit" varies. But the fact that they know how to fight and persist is what matters).
These people pictured understand the game - not just how to go about gaming the system.
The next generation may have some financial success - but unless some cultural success is taught, they're in a whole lot of trouble.


Mr. Noface said...

"Because; When one does too much for another individual - one robs that individual (or group) of the character required to maintain that level of success."

Like killing a butterfly by breaking it out of its caccoon!

brohammas said...

I would not say the heros you mentioned had less support, they had less government support.
Moms and Dads not just feeding kids but teaching kids is what is missing.
Jim Brown and Angela Davis had support, just not from Uncle Sam.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ NoFace - Yep.

@ brohammas - Exactly.
And those without the support had to learn to function in a hostile environment by their own wits.

Max Reddick said...

Strength grows out of struggle. I worry about this generation. Everything seems to come so easy. This generation doesn't know what it means to struggle. They don't know what hunger feels like. They seem to lack that fire that burns from the inside out that bades one to push themselves forward as if their lives depended on it.

FreeMan Press said...

IMO crack cocaine is the debalitating force that has caused so many to stay where they are. All the people above didn't have crack in their neighborhoods, in their family, and in their schools. All of the above didn't have incarceration rates to deal with at the level you see it since the mid 80's.

Now that's crack has been presented what has been done to counteract it. What new movement since Rap has introduced since the 60's? Where are the leaders that come from the people or are we still looking at the ghosts from Christmas past.

When Nagasaki got bombed no one questioned how the neighborhood might take some time to rebound. But even in that they pumped money into the area to rebuild. Now since Crack was a bomb to poor black folk where was the rescue money, where was the recognition of the problem, where was the Red Cross or do you think Nancy Reagan saying JUST SAY NO is going to work?

You are dealing with the effects of a bomb being dropped and watching a whole generation of their kids trying to right the ship. Struggle against a physical foe is easy but struggle against a substance like mustard gas cannot be seen and thus will take a while to figure out how to counteract it. We can't minimize the effects of drugs by looking back and saying in the 60's they had drugs because they didn't have it like what was put in our communities in the past 25 years.

Can't apply inspiration to cats who catch hell on all ends! What would you say to them? What are the magic words that will make someone think we shall overcome? I'm not saying you can't be frustrated but understand there's more to the story than laziness. We all know it it's just we don't want to sit down and admit it.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ Max - "Strength grows out of struggle."

@ FreeMan - I don't know...
I think I'd rather grow up in the 'hood now as opposed to then.
Back in the day, many people had no choice.

Sure, the new drugs are worse, but Heroin has always been around.

IMO - Drugs aren't as bad on the community as the level of comfort provided by the government.

I'm not saying that the hood needs inspiration, but that they have no need for inspiration.
A lot of kids in the hood say they don't have anything to eat - when they really mean that they don't have any more Hot Pockets.
When we had nothing to eat... it meant that we had to go to a neighbors house and hope they'd invite us to stay for dinner.
When we said we had no clothes - we had no clothes.
Today's kids mean that they don't have a matching set of Forces to match their purple Polo shirt.

FreeMan Press said...

Well then that's just a change in priorities but it isn't the kids fault. It's not like the kids got money to buy the useless stuff. No doubt there is a issue of people being pampered but isn't the only difference between them and being rich is their education. You are describing a entitlement syndrome that is usually associated with the well to do but now we have it with the well we don't. We have to remember that kids are a reflection of their parents. These kids are used to someone buying something for them just like a rich kid. The difference is since their education is solid they stumble into stability while poor kids don't move at all.

Heroin is a east coast drug it never has taken a foothold out west at all. Crack is everywhere and as a result Ali and everyone hasn't seen shit like this in their life.

uglyblackjohn said...

@ FreeMan - " are a reflection of their parents."


Citizen Ojo said...

One of the problems is that we "black" folks have been raised to be bitter. It was done subconsiously (i.e. parents, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles telling us how bad the white man is) Don't get me wrong. There are some devious ones out there. But some of us have decided to sit around complaining while others are struggling in spite of. I complain about "The Man" early and often but I'm still hustling. The pictures of those individuals you have in your post knew that if they didn't handle their business it wouldn't get done. There was no one coming to save them on a white horse.