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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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