3 strikes you're out: a "how-to" guide to being a black male in amerikkka

3 strikes you're out: a "how-to" guide to being a black male in amerikkka

waking up this morning to the news of alton sterling, a 37 year old black male murdered by the police last night in baton rouge, i am really at a loss for words. there's not really much i can say to truly depict what i am thinking at this point. all i know is, in a country where the system consistently makes it clear that black male lives have about as much value as an iphone charger that no longer works, the only comfort i have is knowing that i'm a christian. exodus 14: 13-14 tells me that, "and moses said to the people, do not be afraid. stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will accomplish for you today. for the egyptians whom you see today, you shall see no more forever. the Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace." while i have a mixture of feelings ranging from hurt, despair and anger, i am making the conscious decision to hold my peace. but even so, this occurrence has prompted me to look over my own existence up until this point. i was raised in fear by my mom who knew that raising a black boy wouldn't be easy in a world that sought to eliminate him before he was even born. as a result, she was very strict on me as a child. growing up, there were many things i was unable to do...and i hated it. she'd always tell me that i was born with 2 strikes against me. the first strike was because i was black, the second because i was a male. therefore, i didn't have an opportunity to get a third "strike" in life because i'd be out (i.e. dead). i didn't understand it completely then, but i knew there was some truth to what she told me. raising a black male in amerikka is a burden because removing the black male from amerikka is a motive. and because of that, i realize that i've been living my life by an unofficial "how-to" guide because the perception of who i am as a black male supercedes the reality of who i am as a human... which is both unsettling and unfortunate. nevertheless, here is a list of the things i've learned in the ongoing battle of avoiding a "third strike". 

24). don't show your offense when someone says something that is unknowingly racist. but at the same time, know the difference between someone who's legit ignorant and someone who's trying to be blatantly disrespectful.

23). "tone down" your personality around white people, so you aren't considered aggressive.

22). don't wear too much black.

21). don't try to break up a fight. 

20). don't wear hoodies. 

19). watch your words and body language when dealing with the police. 

18). avoid putting your hands in your pockets.

17). don't make eye contact with people that aren't black.

16). avoid flashy jewelry. 

15.) avoid natural hairstyles and if you insist on having one, keep it tamed at all times.

14). when you shop, get in and get out so you aren't accussed of stealing.

13). don't stand outside (of houses, buildings, etc.).

12). don't run from the police, even if you are afraid.  

11). don't play loud music in your car, unless the environment is conducive for that. 

10). always smile...so you aren't perceived as the angry black man.

9). dress in business attire (or business casual) all the time to avoid being considered a thug. 

8). don't raise your voice. 

7). avoid "bad" neighborhoods because the police are already more prone to pulling (black) people over.

6). avoid "good" neighborhoods because the police are more prone to think black people don't belong. 

5). don't drive a nice car. 

4). avoid being with large groups of black people.

3). don't come off as threatening.

2). don't get gas in predeominately white areas.

1). don't be too "pro black".

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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