Never Let Them See You Sweat

by Cinque Brown

As I took the train to the gym this morning, I saw stickers posted throughout the train. In very fine print, the stickers read "If you are not angry, You are not paying attention". I agree with this sticker, but anger must be channeled, to really appreciate its irresolute meaning.

This sticker made me recall a moment when I channeled my anger. I was in a job interview. The white regional manager of a franchised educational facility asked me overtly racist questions and made prejudicial statements for example, "If you were given the General Manager position here, ‘what type of people' , would you hire?", "Why would you want to work so far from home? " and the qualifying statement "sometimes people seem like a good fit for our organization, despite their education, they just don't fit here".

I knew he was a bigot, but I answered his loaded questions and responded to his comments with the following answers "qualified", "I do what's necessary" and last but not least "yeah, I know what you mean". With the exodus of affirmative action, African-Americans can expect more of this nonsense. Throughout the whole three day process, I never got mad, lost my cool, yelled or showed outward frustration. To do so, would give my enemies too much satisfaction.

There is a deodorant commercial, which uses the saying "Never let em' see You sweat". Yes, I get mad. More often than some might imagine but I have to show patience. My mom tells me, patience is a virtue. Therefore, I did not curse out the interviewer. There is a time and place for everything; even war. I will pick my time and place, for war. As a man who works with young people, I get frustrated but I always try to show patience with others. Below are some reasons, that you won't ever see me sweat.

       I get mad, because it cost so much to eat out.
I am patient because there's nothing like a home cooked meal.

       I get mad because most people are not ready to die for their freedom.
I am patient because Death is inevitable.

      I get mad because every time I compliment a sister, she thinks that I want something more from her.
I am patient because sometimes, I do.

       I get mad because there is so much oppression on this planet.
I am patient because as long as there is oppression there will be resistance.

       I get mad because all my life people have stolen my creativity.
I am patient because my creativity is infinite.

       I get mad because in the African-American communities in the U.S., half of the Black males are in jail or under the authority of the penal system.
I am patient because half of them have "earned" the right to be incarcerated.

       I get mad because my girlfriend expects me to go to church with her every Sunday.
I am patient because soon she will run out of money.

       I get mad because there are still "allegations" of slavery in the Sudan.
I am patient because soon you will find out it is a "fact" and become as enraged as I am.

       I get mad because the government treats the majority of Americans like naive children.
I am patient because the majority of us qualify, this treatment.

       I get mad when I see African men with culturally meaningless, Greek symbols, branded into their skin
I am patient because it is their body.

       I get mad because I disagree with much of what is written in the mainstream media
I am patient because my slight dyslexia, sometimes causes me to read things wrong.

       I get mad because the bus has to pressure down every 10 minutes to allow a young Black man in a wheel chair, to be lifted on. (Sometimes with a colostomy bag)
I am patient because it is only my "assumption" that they were probably shot by somebody who looks just like them.(Accidents happen and also, tomorrow is promised to no one.)

       I get mad because every Friday night when I go downtown in Manhattan (NY), I see more Black men with men - romantically, than I do with Black women.
I am patient because I am secure in my own sexuality and the world is getting more overpopulated.

       I get mad because I know that CIA/L.A.Gang-Crack allegations are true.
I am patient because God has granted me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference.

In closing I only ask that you remember the words of Coco Chanel. Who said "Since everything is in our heads, it would be wise, not to lose them".

AUTHOR'S NOTE: It takes 72 facial muscles to frown and only 15 to smile.

Never Let Them See You Sweat by Cinque Brown

© Copyright 1997. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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