Recently, I went and bought gifts on behalf of the site and donated them to a shelter for victims of domestic violence in the L.A. area. While the feeling was very rewarding, at the same time it was very burdensome and humbling. No, not because of anything the women or children did, but because of what we – MEN especially – have done to women. Sitting there talking to the women and hearing a few stories was a mirror of sorts. We as men have failed our women. There’s a few exceptions to every rule, but for the most part, we as men, – especially black men – have failed miserably in being men.
It all started while I was shopping for gifts. I saw a lady, my guess, easily past the 6 months pregnant mark trying to lift a big box into her cart. I yelled “Whoa, whoa, whoa… let me get it.” She chuckled and said “You see me trying? Thank God for you because no one is around and I don’t have to be waiting.” I threw out the sarcasm without thinking.. “Next time send him to the store to get the big items, if you must be out, you handle the small stuff.” She abruptly told me “He went missing” and thanked me again. I left and really thought nothing of it, until the days that followed.
At times I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I take on others burdens as my own, whenever they tell me their issues. Especially if I care, because nine times out of ten I want them to immediately feel better. Upon arrival to the domestic abuse shelter, they advised me that because some of the women were abused in many ways, pictures weren’t allowed because some of their abusers weren’t aware of where they were. I agreed. Logically, how can you not? I already submitted a background check just to be involved so I didn’t mind something so minor, but it stuck out to me. I began to hand out the gifts on everyone’s lists and the first tears came as I saw the mothers tear. All the kids were grateful. I sat down and helped a few put their toys together and they told me stories. The more intriguing and heart wrenching stories came from the mothers though. I felt guilt for even being in their presence after hearing some of the stuff I did. The majority of the women were young black women. Upon me leaving, all the ladies gave me a hug and thanked me for being a great example for young black men. Ever since that day, I thought “Am I really?”
A common excuse by the black male is “I’m/We are a product of the environment.” However, how long can we use that excuse if we are the ones exacerbating the issues of the environment? A MANS role is to serve and protect his family, by any means. Our idea of protection is “if someone disrespects” a defensive minded position. What we need to be doing is playing offense. If more black men played the role of MEN in their communities and neighborhoods, we’d have less issues. I actually witnessed someone compare the recent tragedies in Sandy Hook to Chicago. “The news cares about Sandy Hook but not all the murders in Chicago.” For starters, the black community don’t give a fuck about Chicago. We don’t give a fuck about Philadelphia, Detroit, New Orleans, etc. so how the hell do we expect anyone else to care? How do you expect someone to “rescue” you, when you aren’t even putting yourself in a position to be rescued?
Look at the crimes in the inner-city. Look at all the one-parent households led by women. Let’s be real also fellas, your “baby mom” isn’t the issue you make her out to be. Most of what you don’t like about her is a direct result of your role as her man. Women don’t go into situations asking to be single mothers. More importantly, children don’t ask to be fatherless. Now their impressionable minds have to learn how to exist in this world from their peers who are fatherless themselves. Kids raising kids. Now we have kids carrying guns, filming themselves jumping on as well as assaulting other kids for instant internet fame, all while finding themselves being charged with a crime. Yet we fail to see how we contribute to the demise of our society as men. The same kid you could have took 5 minutes to check and tell him what he’s doing is not the way, is the same kid you may see in court one day because he shot, raped, assaulted or robbed your child or your sister or your mother. At one point do we stop playing defense on our home turf and try offense? We don’t like the police, but we refuse to police ourselves. We don’t want a “Big Brother” society, but we push ourselves into it because we preach “stop snitchin” yet we refuse to do shit ourselves. It’s time to start bucking trends. Our women shouldn’t feel abused by us and our children shouldn’t feel abandoned. There’s nothing dope about our sons having their pants hanging off their ass. There’s nothing attractive about our daughters being sexually suggestive and having the vocabulary of an ignorant male. Let’s start our New Year out with a simple resolution: Men being men. Even if you haven’t gotten your baby mother a gift, text her and thank her for carrying your child for 9 months and blessing you with one. Then go out and make a better effort to make your family whole.
I recently wrote a book entitled “Self Medication” and I spoke on the father figures as well as my father whom molded me in to the successful man I am today. The one with no affiliation to my family was Mr. Witherspoon, my middle school teacher at FitzSimons Middle School in Philly. He was more than a teacher, he was a role model and visible example of how a man should carry himself. Hopefully one day your legacy will include a young man speaking as highly of you as I do ‘Spoon. This blog may come off a bit “preachy” but something has to give. We’ve really fucked up. Although I have no kids, thus no baby mothers I’m sure there’s still more – so yes WE fucked this up. It’s time to get right.
In 2013 I vow to be a better man, to volunteer my time to the youth. I refuse to continue seeing the heartbreak in our women’s eyes because of our negligence and failures.
@PhillyTheBoss is Author of the eBook ‘Self-Medication’, a introspective look into his life written in Journal form. It invites the reader in on a relatable journey in order the assist the reader to be introspective themselves. You can purchase Self-Medication on iTunes here: “Self-Medication“