It’s Not Just A Word by Delayne Whiteside
This 2016 Super Bowl Week has been more than just a display of America’s game. It’s television’s most watched event across the world. It has also brought out some very ugly colors. (pun intended) Racial ignorance has been rearing it’s ugly head all over social media…and in real life too. I could very well act puzzled, but who am I kidding? We all know the source of this tension.
Besides Beyonce Knowles making our Super Bowl Halftime Too Black, Too Strong,..let’s start with the 26 year old gentleman from Atlanta Georgia with swag and attitude coming out his nose.. If you’ve ever watched the movie Bessie starring Queen Latifah, her character states “Folks in the south don’t care how close you get, as long as you don’t get too big. Folks in the north don’t care how big you get…just don’t get too close.” Well last time I checked, North Cackalacky is definitely the south, and when Cam Newton is in a zone, he’s Bigger Than Life! Naturally, when the young man started Dabbing (urban dance) after spectacular plays, “certain” people felt he should be more humble and toned down. “Those People” meaning the “old” regime that didn’t recall that Mr. Newton is from a generation of African American’s who’s motto is “Turn Down For What?”
Newton’s unapologetic actions before, during and after the Super Bowl caused an uproar across the country with a tweet heard around the world. “You will never last in the NFL with that attitude. The world doesn’t evolve around you BOY!” was made by former Denver Bronco Bill Romanowski. This made black America pause and have questions like…“Are we that far gone in America, where the racial boundaries are disintegrating right before our eyes?” “Are we living in The New Jim Crow?” “Why are black men still being lynched in 2016?” and “Why on earth is The Black Man still considered a “Boy” to their white counterpart?”
On February 9 2016 at around 10:05am, a lady of european descent needed me to close an account for her. She’s a fellow employee. What she nor did I realize was, the bank updated the account systems the night before, and I hadn’t familiarized myself with the new features. There was a bit of smugness to her, but she was also witty and cordial. After 3 unsuccessful attempts, she pleasantly stated that she could come back tomorrow. As she got up to leave, she smiled and turned around to me and said “Next time, know your job boy”…pause break… Have you ever had an experience where your body was still from shock, but your insides were setting off all kind of alarms? Yep! that was happening to me. I was on FIRE! It was hard to tell whether she knew what she said or not, but the effect was still the same on my end. Angry and Hurt!
What the poor lady couldn’t fathom just like so many like her, is that calling a black man a “BOY” is actually worse than being called aNigger. The N word has been flipped so many times that we’ve become desensitized to it effects and in some cases embraced it. However being called a BOY dehumanizes the spirit of what a MAN represents of any color. Especially one that has paid theirs dues to thrive in society. A man that is feeding his family based on focus and hard work. A man that feels proud because he is passing on ethics & integrity to his next generations. Being called a boy is stripping a man of all this pride.
In the Jim Crow era, it was common for any white person of any age in the south to call a black man well in his sixties a boy in front of his children and grandchildren. The term was used to inflict a subservient mentality toward men of color. The more I think about it, you’d have to live under a rock to know you can’t say that to an african american male anywhere in the world in this day and age. Sorry I just got mad again. LOL
The famous pictures of The Memphis Strike of 1968 should alone be a reminder that black men have endured every kind of attack against the essence of who they are for far too long. They actually had to wear picket signs saying “I AM A MAN” as a proclamation. As if to say, “We can’t address the money issue until we can first address the human issue.” In fact our United States President Barack Obama has been disrespected at the podium more than any Commander In Chief in US history. So what does that say about every other black man in America?
In closing, I want to let you the reader know that this is not a malicious blog post, but definitely one of ventilation. America, we are your sons, fathers, brother, grandfathers, cousins, doctors, lawyers, presidents, pastors. We’ve contributed to the birth of this nation and reside as the cornerstone. The more you try to kill us, the more we come back stronger and resilient. As I responded in a note of rage on Instagram to an ignorant racial post “America shouldn’t worry about an uprising amongst black people. We’re too smart for that. We know that would threaten our sustainability. The dominant race still controls all the weaponry and money. But what they truly fear is us loving ourselves and then turning that love toward one another. Forming a thriving community. All of the sudden realizing we didn’t need their validation this whole time. We were free this whole time. That will be a true Independence Day and That Revolution Will Not Be Televised! When we no longer have our hand out, reaching out of dependency or despair, only then will YOU SEE A MAN.