You know, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to sometimes asking the question, “Are we our own worst enemy?”
I’ve recently seen a number of headlines that have had me wondering, again, “Are we, black people, our own worst enemy?”
Cases in point: First, there was this nonsense with that New York bar brawl between the entourages of Chris Brown and Drake where eight people were injured, including Brown himself as well as basketball star, Tony Parker.
How many times are we going to replay this tired scenario where two artists and their camps start beefin’ with one another, and then someone gets badly hurt or killed?
To make matters worse, as most of you likely know, the brawl took place just days from what would have been the 41st birthday of Tupac Shakur, the late artist who was no stranger to violence.
Then, there’s this controversy over Adidas’ now cancelled sneakers, the JS Roundhouse Mids, which have orange cuffs with chains attached to the ankles that many have likened to "slave shackles."
Yes, I’ve seen the shoe and I seriously question, in this day and age, why any company, especially one with a large consumer base in the African-American community, would not be aware enough of America’s racial history to avoid such insensitivity.
That said, what’s even more remarkable is that Adidas felt comfortable developing a product like this in the first place. Regardless of intent, it’s like these companies believe they can throw anything at our community and we’ll buy no matter how offensive.
And why wouldn’t they feel this way? Given the popular practice of sagging pants, inspired by a beltless prison culture where folks wear their pants low to intentionally show off their underwear, why would a company not think black youth would run about in shackles?
What’s next? Are we going to celebrate lynching culture by getting young black men to overstarch their ties so they no longer hang downward but stick straight up in the air and form the shape of a noose?
And I’m scared I just said that, not because of any controversy that may result from it, but because I think somebody might actually take the idea and run with it.
Finally, there’s the recent controversy involving Gwyneth Paltrow, Jay-Z and Kanye West over use of the N-word. I’m not about to rehash the argument over “who can or can’t use the N-word.”
My point is: if we as African-Americans publicly and willingly go around calling each other N-words and B-words, then we should expect such controversies.
Look, folks, it boils down to this: yes, we have a ton of forces aligned against us. We always have. But more importantly, we, as a community, have the power to set the tone of how we are treated and respected, or how we are mis-treated or disrespected.
We can choose to participate in our own degradation or our own advancement.
Let’s hear from you.Text us here at 64-64-64 to let us know whether you feel that we, black folks, are our own worst enemy.
I’ll close with this great African proverb: “When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.”
Until next time, this is Stephanie in love and hope.
Also On Black America Web:
This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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