Are We Men? Message to the Afro-American Male
Today a great deal of Afro-American males are wanting to grow up so soon. We, oftentimes, yearn to evolve into men in today's society too soon. Unfortunately, many of us want to grow up by doing "manly" things to prove to our friends that we are "men." Many of us want to grow up in the crowd's eyes, but if we follow the "crowd's way," are we truly men?
Over the course of many years, we have undermined, degraded, and destroyed every aspect of a real man. We have destroyed values, we have allowed our children to be murdered in the streets, but we still call ourselves "men." We have blotched out morals- we can't make an honest living, but we still want the world to recognize us as "men." We don't take care of our children, but we're supposed to be acknowledged as men?
A few years ago, the men in the family put food on the table. A few years ago, the men in the family placed clothes on the children's backs. A few years ago, the men in the family put shoes on their children's feet. But today we don't find it cool or we don't find it "hip" to provide for our children. There is a major difference between a boy and a man. A boy will run when troubles comes. A boy won't accept responsibility for his actions- so I ask, "are we men?"
As I ponder this question, I wonder do we understand this three word, nine letter, three syllabled question? I wonder do we really comprehend what this question is asking us? For those of you who don't understand, "Are" is a verb, which is an action word that is often used with a plural noun. "We" is an indefinite pronoun which is often used in expressions. "Men" is the plural form of man, which is a developed boy. In this society, though, we have 40 year old boys! In this society, we have 50 year old boys! In this society, we have 65 year old boys! They may be men biologically and physically, but when it comes down to providing for and supporting and caring for and loving their children, they are BOYS! They are little, immature, snotty nosed little boys, who stepped into the batter's box too soon, and now realize how heavy the load is.
Before we can distinguish between the boys and men, we must examine the characteristics of a "REAL MAN."
Number One: A real man doesn't lay down with everything that comes his way. A real man understands morals and values. A real man doesn't see the need to lay down with every woman that he sees. And one thing that I fail to understand is why do we see the need to lay down with everything? What is it about us laying down with very harlot and "hot-tail Sally" that makes us cool? What is so "hip" about dilly-dallying with every night walker we see? Does this make you a man by laying down with something that everybody else has had? Hopefully not! If this is what you think you have to do to prove yourself to be a man, then you are sadly mistaken- you are and never will be a REAL man at that rate.
Number Two: A real man accepts responsibility for his children.
Real men provide for their children. A real man is not ashamed or "too cool" to get out and make an HONEST living for his children. Real men don't depend on the government to put food on their tables. Real men don't allow welfare to put clothes on their children's backs. Real men don't allow other "men's money" to place shoes on their children's feet. Real men don't sit back and watch other "men" provide for their families. And to be nothing but honest, I wouldn't allow some other man provide for my family.
You know a few years ago, they had this rule- if you don't work, you don't eat. And today, if you were real men you wouldn't be afraid to work. If you were real men you'd be out there providing for your family. Now is the time for us- the Afro-American men to stand up and be men. Now is the time for us to stand up and live up to our names. Now is the time for us to get up and be what we should be- MEN.
Number Three: A real man doesn't abuse his woman.
A real man doesn't have his woman sitting in some police station, or some domestic violence center because he has abused her. Today we must realize that women are to be respected. We must realize that women are to be treated with dignity. We must realize that women are to be treated like queens. We must realize that women are to be elevated and not degraded. We must realize that our women are to be cared for. Think: When you raise your hand at a lady, you are disrespecting somebody's mother- you are disrespecting somebody's sister- you are disrespecting somebody's grandmother- you are disrespecting somebody's aunt- you are disrespecting somebody's wife. Are we real men?
Number Four: A real man doesn't have to kill to get ahead.
If many of us were "half the men" that we portray to the world that we are, then we'd be pretty much top notch. But if we are so "manly", why must we continuously day after day- hour after hour- year after year kill more and more of our OWN brothers? If we were as cool as we say we are, why do we always have to be better than someone else? If we were real men, why do we kill our brothers? If we were real men, we'd get an education and get ahead by knowledge instead of the blade. We'd get ahead by brain power than by gun power. We'd get ahead by our brains instead of gangs. That's if we were real men.
I But truthfully, I think that we, especially in the Afro-American community, have too many boys trying to fill "men's shoes." We have too many boys trying to raise boys. We have too many boys being family providers. We have too many boys, period, in the Black community. We need to decide today that no longer can we depend on President Clinton to put food on our tables. We must decide that we are no longer going to allow Janet Reno put shoes on our children's feet. We must decide that we are no longer going to allow Al Gore put clothes on our children's backs.
IAllow me to interject this point: Whether Bill Clinton puts foods on your table or not- whether Janet Reno puts shoes on your children's feet or not- whether Al Gore puts clothes on your children's backs or not, if you don't give your child the love, support, and attention that it needs then you aren't a man. Being a man is more than providing for your children. Being a man is more than caring for your children. Being a man is more than placing food in their stomachs and shoes on their feet. Being a man is more than placing clothes on their backs and a shelter over their heads. Being a man is giving that child attention. Being a man is putting sunshine in their smiles. Being a man is putting laughter in their hearts. Being a man is putting knowledge in their brains. Being a man is putting morals in their souls. And if we are men, then we'll do this.
And if we do this, we'll see our children stop turning to violence for love. If we do this, we'll see our children stop turning to the streets for love. If we do this, we'll see our children stop turning to fornication and other children for love. If we do this, then we won't have to prove to anybody that we are men- for they'll see it in our children! We will be MEN.