9. Stop voting for candidates who visit your church just to buy your vote.
The easiest way to get a lot of Black votes is to show up at church with a big donation (usually to the infamous building fund) and an invite from the senior pastor to say “a few words.” Please, please, please stop throwing support to the most recent candidate who has decided to buy some votes from the church. Ask yourself, “when was the last time I ever saw them here?” If the answer is never, you know what to do on election-day.
8. Stop being afraid to be the first Black person to do something.
Whether it’s the first Black person to attend a certain school, the first Black family to move into a certain neighborhood or the first Black person to hold a position at your job, our entrance into the mainstream did not occur because we were afraid. There are still boundaries that need to be explored, and they may be in the areas where your passion lies. Don’t let being the only Black person in the room discourage you. Let it be an asset.
7. Stop saying “Black people don’t talk like that.”
Speech patterns are mostly affected by where a person lives and what they hear as their brains are developing. Believe it or not there is not a “talk like you’re Black” gene. That would be like an “eat with your mouth open” gene. Please, stop it. You sound ignorant when you say those things.
6. Stop supporting artists who are cultural/moral vultures.
The old adage “but I was just listening to the beat” should be re-examined in the wake of newly published accusations by music insiders that there has been a concerted effort by the corporate music monster to intentionally redirect what the Black audience is used to hearing. There is no depth that many of the most popular young artists are NOT willing to go to denigrate themselves, the Black women, the Black men, Black children and the image of the Black family. These cultural assassins will change their message if the consumer stops supporting them.
5. Stop fighting to own the proprietary rights for the usage of the n-word.
Ah versus Er, capitol N versus lowercase n, these are all the same scenario of an old childhood game. The game went something like this: there was an old sleeping dog in the backyard of someone’s house. You and your friends would each take turns jumping over the fence seeing who could get the closest to the dog and make it back over the fence before it chased you down and bit you. Everything was fun and games until someone got bit. The dog was being a dog and you were being a kid. No harm, no foul. That’s what trying to take ownership of the word is like. Whenever we hear it today it’s primarily because we’ve been messing with it. If you don’t want to get bit (aka hearing it from “others”), leave the dog alone.
3. Stop not supporting our businesses.
Opening a business is very, very difficult. It takes a lot of energy, determination, sacrifice and money. Foreign people often come into our communities with low interest government loans that are not available to us, or they borrow money from their own national banks, again with money that is not available to us. So many of us have been brainwashed into thinking we can’t trust another Black person to do business with and we run to those other places to spend our hard earned money. This is ludicrous. Supporting Black-owned businesses is smart because that money is re-circulated in the Black community.
2. Stop getting style and substance confused.
Style is simply a vehicle for substance. However when style depletes your substance, yup, there’s a problem.
1. Stop being surprised/jealous when you see other Black people doing well.
Black people who are successful should not be treated by other Blacks like they’re the bearded lady at a circus side show. Their greatest purpose is realized when they’re fully embraced, not when they’re told they aren’t “Black enough” for varying reasons. That sentiment reinforces the subconscious defeatist notion that Black people doing well is actually something strange, like seeing a dog with two heads that plays the bongos and roller skates. Successful Black people should be the norm and not the exception (and please note that success has nothing to necessarily do with how much money you have.)