Are you Black Enough?

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Are you Black Enough?

I begin this Blog with a quote from the great Dr. Frances Cress Welsing.  Many people have no idea of what racism is and throw around the term “racist” without discretion.  They use the term in great folly and error without giving much meaning as to what the term actually embodies.  Dr. Welsing provides the most encompassing working definition of what racism is, and when understood it sets a precedent upon the observer and alters their outlook of the world in which they operate within.

Her definition of racism:

“A local, national, global system— behavioral system of thoughts, speech, action and emotional response consciously and or subconsciously determined practiced by people who classify themselves as white in all areas of people activity: economics, education, entertainment, labor, law, politics, religion, sex and war for the ultimate purpose of maintaining white genetic survival and preventing white genetic annihilation on planet earth.  A planet upon which the overwhelming majority of people are classified as non-white by the minority of people who classify themselves as white.  Those who are classified as non-white are genetically dominant in terms of skin coloration compared to the genetically recessive white skin-people.”– Dr. Frances Cress Welsing

I would also add to this comprehensive definition the hording and allocation of the earth’s natural resources.  This inclusive definition implicates so much and one could literally derive several essays from this one definition.  And this shall provide the spring board for our discussion.

I was recently asked a question: How do you determine how Black someone is?  Are you black enough?  If so what does that entail?  Now of course one can not quantify black, but I can provide a definitive exploration of what it means to be Black.  And you can see what side of the spectrum you fall upon.

Truthfully, we all have a li’l black in us… It’s a conscious choice rather to identify with it or repel from it…

At the very core one must understand that they are a conquered people…And I am speaking from a Black-man-living-in-America’s perspective. One must understand that they are indeed identifying with their capturers when choosing to perpetuate their system that is in place: whether this be consciously or unconsciously…

So if one uses the term “you’re not black” or “you’re not black enough”, what is that person truly saying?  When one says oh you’re trying to “talk white” what are they truly stating? If you are called a “sale out” what does that mean?

On a conscious level these statements sound very ignorant. It implicates because you have success, because you have brains enough to fulfill the white man’s idea of success you’re being white.–Because after all only a white man can be smart, have nice things, and speak the Queen’s English. On a surface level it is indeed very ignorant… But one must not stop there, because it is usually the subconscious that drives us. It is the subconscious that is subversive and responsible for most of man’s actions… It is our “ancient brain” telling us that there was a way of life prior to this modern world we live in.  There was a way of interaction and purpose that we as a populace exacted before we became a conquered people. This is not oue natural dialect.  This is not our innate ideal of “success”—the pursuit of money and other superficial gain. Perhaps there was much more to who we are than what we’ve become and have been presented ourselves to be.

So, there is a cognitive dissonance held there of some sort.  On the one hand we are a very talented people. We are pioneers of the earth, so when presented with a challenge it is innate for us to overcome.  So, we excel in this system put in place and tend to blame others for their lack of acumen in which they can’t succeed. It’s their fault… They had the same opportunities as me… Blaming the victim complex because after all it helps us create a disconnect from who we really are.  After all they aren’t like me.  We’re different. I can’t possibly be like them… I’m better…This is a great untruth. A truth rooted in falsehood. Although, I do believe that we all are unique, and the fact that one has climbed a social and cultural latter better than someone else is no grounds for identifying “greatness”.

Thus on some level I can honestly say we all have “black” in us.  We all have the ability to be great, lend hand to brother, establish communities in which man is brothers’ keeper, use talents for the betterment of most not just self, have the courage to be who you are minus the social constructs.  Yet some of us choose to identify with the false truth of reality that has been placed in front of us by our captives.  Our “Ancient Brains” know it is not enough.  Thus we seek outlets—we seek drug abuse, we yearn to get high, we yearn for something “else” something “real”.  Some of us identify with our conquerors so much that we hate the very hair that’s on our head. This is quite ironic, because our conquerors have integrated their captives’ culture into all aspects of their society.–Using it as a means of economic gain by any exploit they see fit.

The feeling of complacency… The feeling that you’ve made it is that which is to be loathed…. The feeling that you’ve accomplished in this world and you choose not to shake up the system that has conquered you… That’s when a lil blackness begins to bleed out… Drip by drip… At that point you are consciously or subconsciously surrendering your bloodline (legacy) and capitulating to a system that has your brothers and sisters in servitude…

This creates a large schism between those with the wherewithal to pursue excellence by all means and the, what I like to call, natural nihilist.  Both are equally destructive to what it means to be Black yet one is looked on a favorable light by our conquerors.  You have those who pursue excellence by any means which have had great success—like our entertainers, athletes, upper middle-class folk.  All are looked upon favorably as something to strive for—an ideal that reinforces the established system.  Then you have the nihilist—those who reject society by any means.–The derelicts who choose to abuse the system—who are looked as being criminals, lazy, jobless, ignorant, violent, compulsive if you will.–Those individuals who have a natural propensity for rebellion but know no viable rather healthy means to manifest this rebellious nature.  So you have this vicious cycle of each hating the other.–Each recognizing the lack of blackness in the other.  The blame game occurs.  When in actuality both are right to an extent and both are completely misguided in their approach to rectifying and creating a better situation.

Thus I can conclude this disposition by answering what I believe it means to be Black.

It means to constantly be in pursuit of the truth.  It is a realization that you may not have all the answers, but you are going to be who you are regardless of the situation.  It is greatness and excellence despite circumstance.  It is the courage to stay resolute and shake up the norm because the norm is forever evolving.  Black is discipline.  Black is not all about I.  Black is love.  Black is rebellion.  Black is self-sacrifice.

Are you black enough?

A Leader of One’s Self (Perhaps the Sheep should herd the Shepherd…)

Leadership is a very enigmatic subject for me.  I am full of ambivalent and conflicting opinions on the matter.  In my most fundamental belief, I feel every man has the obligation to be leaders of them-self(s) and should have the right to do so.  Yet, I myself have a natural leadership/rebellious quality to myself that tends to attract others.  I don’t know if it is some type of gravitational pull but admittedly such it is evident.  Thus I feel–yes, if a man is willing to be led, well then, that man should be led.  He is not void of all responsibility of himself but he knows that he is lacking in certain areas and is willing to be led.  And maybe that man is not lacking at all but has a sense that another has a greater vision than theirs and feels obliged to help see that vision through.  That has very little to do with competence but recognizing the “greater good” if you will.

From my observation, the majority of the general population is grossly lacking critical thinking skills.  I don’t know if they’ve been conditioned not to think for themselves but many of them don’t.  This may be due to a various amount of factors—mainly the nurturing vs. environment dynamic.  I view that the mind and its capacities is on par with any other muscle in the human body.  If it is not engaged or stimulated many of its faculties become stagnate and/or dormant or weakened. Thus with this lifelong inactivity of utilizing critical thinking skills, I am not sure if these people have developed the competence to think for themselves at this point.

You can watch a typical cluster of people become swayed by just about anyone utilizing some form of low-reaching dysfunctional-logic.  There is a clear divide between the clever and the dull witted.  And the dull witted heavenly outnumber the clever. This tends to create a grand amount of problems.

The question then becomes: Is it the obligation of the few, who are capable, to lead the many.  Or is it the responsibility of the individual to lead themselves.  A better scenario perhaps: is it the responsibility of those being led to hold the leader accountable.  But this would require an informed general population one that isn’t lazy enough to just trust a leader to do right by them.  A bit of a catch 22 because an informed individual could very well lead them-self(s).

So when you take this passive mindset and ideology and apply it towards religion, politics and popular culture one can quickly see the danger of this phenomenon.  On the flip side there are opportunities available for a healthy-conscious-righteous leader.  And if one were to emerge from among us all that has been made wrong could be reversed exponentially faster than it has been corrupted.  It is our obligation has individuals to lead, if not leading others to lead ourselves and become an informed public.  So that one day we can provide the platform for such a leader to exist.  And not so much exist, for they are among us, but become…

An informed public creates for healthy public opinion…

Tattoos – A reflection of the Souls Pathway?

Tattoos are a touchy subject. What was at one time considered taboo is now totally main stream—and quite popular.  My belief in tattoos derives from my overall belief structure.  I believe that there is a world beyond that which our sentient selves can perceive.  I believe this world is both parallel with our world yet beyond our world.  Some may articulate it as “life after death”.  Some may describe it as purgatory or the underworld.  While some may describe it as a “Spiritual side” as most of us are spiritual beings.  There is an array of nomenclatures to choose from. I do not have a clear cut articulation of this dimension or even how it is connected to the physical plane of existence that we live in, but every so often life throws a hint or two.  There is a crack in the cosmic egg if you will and elements tend to bleed through.

I do believe in what some would call “demons” or “angels “or “gods” or however you want to classify them—spirits (energy).  I do believe that these entities are beyond ordinary perception.  I do believe they have some sort of vested interest in us and our current reality.  I do believe some of these entities are benevolent, some are nefarious, some are indifferent and many are after their own self-interest.  I do not believe these entities are not necessarily eternal, but I do believe as beings with souls that we are eternal.  I do believe to an extent these entities are dependent upon us as a source of energy (a type of renewable resource), and they draw upon this energy in various manners.  One popular method is through prayer: a manner in which a person voluntarily gives forth their focus and energy to an outside entity.  Some entities may establish symbiotic bonds; some may feed off of pain, fear, and devastation; and some may use skillful manipulation to obtain what they need.  Some of these being are more powerful than others.  Some have different capabilities than others.  Some have different limitations than others.  Some are bound by time.  Some are bound by place.  And some are bound by rituals: ie incantations(songs), patterned movements (dance), sacred acts (sex,murder,etc.), opening of gateways (sex, drugs, alcohol, mutilation, tattoos).  Any of the above acts creates vulnerabilities within the soul to invite said entities in. The most subtle and powerful manner of entry is through thought.  Thoughts are their greatest means and their greatest mode of operation.  Thoughts are innocuous; most don’t take the time to consider where their thoughts are coming from.  And if thoughts are listened to enough they start to become a part of who you are.  They are repeated frequently enough that you begin to build a level of comfort with the thoughts and even start to identify with them.  Thoughts lead to beliefs, beliefs lead to actions, what you do in a way makes you who you are.

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This leads to my beliefs regarding tattoos.  I do believe tattoos are one of those gateways. In a sense they are walking billboards marketing and commercializing your vulnerabilities.  They often times advertise which entities would have the best chance of entering or rather impose suggestive influence or rather afflict the person.  In a sense tattoos are a means of branding, a walking bill board if you will– a manner of free marketing to those who are open to suggestion.  I believe even the most harmless of tattoos can leave one open for suggestion.  All it takes is time and effort and a seed planted for suggestion to eventually manifest.  All it takes is for one small chink in the armor and eventually persistence will find its way in.

Thus I’m always cautious around people, and understand that when I’m around certain people that their actions may not be fully their actions.  I understand that their actions are a conglomerate of complex occurrences.  And I understand that if I choose to connect with these people on any level, I am not simply connecting with them on this physical plane but also on another level.  That the fact that I am choosing to connect with them, I am connecting with all that comes along with them.

Soft Shades of Blue….(A Poem by Jack)

Soft shades of blue
Such soft shades of blue
Caressing your unyielding passion

 Displaying the defeat
That enveloped your soul
Severe lost: suffering
This burden you yield
A truth withheld by you and none alike

Your aura…poisoned and capitulated

By the pitfall of your passion

 Away your glance burns
But the melancholy pervades
Inundating, now, my essence
Bypassing my soul
Enticing me to rescue

Lend hand…

Caress perhaps…

For naught
For only you and the blue
Can be

Submerged as one

You are: but for a moment: expelled into an eternal union…

 Farewell mistress of the blue…

An ode to an undergodess: may not be mine... 

Perhaps she's yours... 

An energy of a different nature...

I know of her naught by name... Only by title...And only by fate...For like the tide she leaves as fast as she comes... 

Gifts of the Universe….(Unto those that Hear shall more be given…)

The Universe brings us knowledge in an array of ways. It is the obligation of the observer to discern the lessons bestowed upon her or him. In my own life, I’ve noticed much of the knowledge and wisdom that I have been granted has been in the form of stories and dreams.  And my reflections upon these stories and dreams dictates the lesson learned.  I’ve noticed some of the best stories come from the many random encounters that seem to inevitably run into me.  And usually these encounters aren’t ones that I would typically welcome but instead of approaching with fear and defense I simply approach with a willingness to listen.  For instance, I’ve had hour long conversations with the homeless, with teen runways, with ex-drug dealers who were fortunate enough to get out the game.  Each one has a commonality to them and each one has a unique perspective.  Each conversation was as random as the next and each one held an earnest level of sincerity.  You see when someone is poignant and honest with you…I’ve noticed that there is always a lesson to be learned.

The other lessons I receive are from dreams. Now these lessons are of a different nature, they usually give insight about my own life and hints as to what paths I should take and my place among the order of things.  Usually the dreams that provide the most insight are the dreams in which I am most fearful but manage to conquer my fears and intake the lesson. Random, but in dreams I’ve been inundated with the fear of being ripped apart by wild beast only to have those same beast impart words of wisdom.  I’ve had dreams where I’ve been lead to a holding cell for various demons only to have knowledge bestowed to me.  I digress; I say all this to say that knowledge doesn’t always come as you would like it to.

Who are you to judge in what form your lesson is to be presented to you?

Most of these lessons and occurrences are quite organic.  For you to dictate on your terms when insight is to come seems rather insolent—timing is everything.  For you to dictate or be dictated to isn’t a communal experience.  It is outside the natural order of things.  An organic course of action is usually triangular– two starting points converge at a mutual time and/or space.  It is a give and take on one level or another.

God vs. Money…. Who controls whom?

The idea that someone can acclaim God and then turn around and exclaim money is quite laughable.

Only because there is a dissonance there that doesn’t make much sense.  Either their concept of God is warped or their relationship with God is warped (devaluing of self).  The idea of God is actually the exact opposite of the construct of money. God represents the omnipotent, omniscient and the ubiquitous—the infinite if you will. Money, on the other hand, is quite narrow, it is constrictive, it is a means to an end, it separates, and encourages individualism.  Money is about control and not much more.  On the other hand the very idea of God is freedom.–The ability to do all things regardless of the situation and despite any circumstances.  —The ability or concept of the supernatural—the transcendence of logic and bounds. God is the ability to manipulate nature, human emotion, and human awe—if one is defining “God” on the most basic of levels. Yet God transcends even these trivial acts in relation to that which is infinite.

Now if you want to delve deeper than that, the architect of the universe has nothing to do with money.  Money is a construct of man—a construct of a construct of a construct.  A construct that is very limited and quite restrictive.  That from which all things have sprung forth life from would have the very least to do with money.  That which compelled the universe into existence would have nothing to do with money a billion years ago, a million years ago, today, or anytime in the near/distant future. That which stands outside of time wouldn’t even acknowledge a brain that was bound to such logic.  Neither would any “God” that is worth its weight for that matter. For any God with any semblance of power can actualize something out of nothing– no middle intermediary necessary.

Thus the fact that one would praise money on the one hand and then praise God on the other hand gives me insight into what really has a grip on their mind.  It isn’t the money that is God but the idea behind the money.–The power and greed behind the money that is God.–The idea that you can control your reality through a piece of paper—very telling.  The idea that you would reduce your existence to being controlled by a piece of paper is also very telling.  The idea that you would willingly give your life’s motivation to the will of a piece of paper is a true tragedy.

The spirit that is energized by such a tragedy would reveal who is truly their God. –Money becoming ruler of man. A construct becomes master, bending god to its will.

Because the mind doesn’t Perceive… Does it not exist?

Many of our Ancient Brain Mental Faculties are falling by the wayside side…

And what do I mean by Ancient Brain?

I consider the Ancient Brain to be comprised of the subconscious mind…The instincts and genetic gifts that have been passed down via DNA since the origin of man.  It also includes a collective consciousness that we all share and binds us as humans.  As opposed to our modern brain which allows us to navigate through our current reality. Our modern brain is everything we’re conscious of and allows us to make our day to day decisions.

This entry is somewhat of a commentary on the opinions within the book The Human Zoo by Desmond Morris.  In his book he mentions something fairly obvious but an idea my mind had never grasped.  He expressed that as humans we essentially are living beyond our evolutionary scope.  As organisms we were designed to live freely amongst nature, among the trees, the water, the animals and open air.  Conventionally we live confined to a “prison” of brick and mortar essentially.  We wake up in a boxed room, we go to work in a box with wheels, we sit in a boxed room for eight hours (in some cases a cubical inside of a boxed room), then go home and derive comfort from looking at a box with lights.  We indulge in a surplus of foods that our bodies aren’t designed to handle.  And this wasn’t a slow build up: this is Pow! –A less than thousand year phenomenon.   We went from an active way of life for millions of years to suddenly a sedentary life style that over works our internal organs.

This modern world we live in has deprived men of many of their instincts and “gifts” that were previously seen as valuable but are no longer deemed as such.  I believe many of the mentally enigmatic are discarded in this modern world because of lack of “Necessity”.  This may be true, in this world in which we rely on technology to speak our truths and tell us what’s what. And define to us our very realities: from what will bring us happiness and fulfillment to who we see as our enemies. The mental faculties that were once harnessed and groomed for a particular purpose (not implying to know what that purpose is or was) are now discarded and thrown to the wayside.  I believe a lot of our “prophets” and “feelers” are either homeless or in mental institutions.  While others have successfully hidden their gifts in aims of integrating within society peacefully. And it’s easy to diagnose someone with a “sickness” or “mental illness” without having any frame of reference but the modern world that we live in.  The modern world where things have been made so simple and so black and white.  A modern world in which man has deemed himself god—all knowing—the judge of all.  But if we have outpaced ourselves physically on the evolutionary path who is to say we haven’t taken the inverse effect mentally–psychologically– spiritually.

Perhaps these mental outburst are life’s way of letting us know that we aren’t necessarily going down the right path. –That perhaps life isn’t all that we perceive it to be.  That perhaps there are abstracts that our five senses can’t articulate to our conscious mind but it takes a specifically oriented mind to even pick up the frequency. And because the majority can’t grasp this phenomenon we deem it as preposterous because after all we make the rules.  In the modern world we are judge, jury, and executioner.

The ranges of these gifts are very vast.  Some are more in tuned than others, some have more gifts than others, and some have greater degrees than others…Many have no idea how to harness these gifts or even have any idea that they have gifts.  It’s something we aren’t taught about within the modern world and something that if manifested is usually “cured” with a pill.  Simply because many of these gifts don’t have healthy means to manifest themselves they often time present themselves in an incorrigible manner.  A corrupted manner in which the perceiver has no practical means of understanding or managing the phenomenon.

I don’t claim to know the extent of said gifts or even the reason why said gifts do exist.  But I am able to recognize truths when I see them.  And because the observer doesn’t fully understand that which is being perceived, it doesn’t make that which is being perceived any less important or necessary or real.

Let those who can see...
Let those who can see…

.

Freedom… America… A Monster too BIG to sustain…

It is said every great empire eventually meets its ruin…

If you would be kind enough to allow an analogy, I’d like to give that which we call America the depiction of a living entity– that of a monster. A monster too big to be restrained or held in any type of cage. A monster that seeks only conquest as well as servitude and eventually devours all rivals. A Monster so big that its only concern is its own survival… A survival that it will seek out by any means. It will go to the extreme of eating its young or feeding off itself when necessary…

Freedom is its greatest weapon. Freedom is its biggest allusion.. The ideal of freedom is how it lures its prey in and feeds its young.  Yet there is so much unfreedom that the collective consciousness of its citizens can’t help but act out.  –Birthing monsters out of men. The unfreedoms push people to act out in a variety of psychic unconscious ways… Some seek true freedom through sexual exploits (sexual liberation or grotesquely deviant sexual acts) … Some seek true freedom through violent acts… Some seek freedom through drowning out the unfreedoms via drugs or alcohol… Some through food…And others, like their mother America, seek freedom through the conquering and controlling of others…

Yet this all works in America’s favor. A monster that requires human sacrifice to thrive… A human sacrifice because she is willing to eat her young…As is America’s economy is its life blood and America’s economy thrives off  of man’s vices… Man’s low self esteem and insecurities is truly the building blocks of America’s economic model–the end result of a vast spending power …

The strength of a man is to know who he is… The strength of America is for a man to be ignorant of self.. It keeps the skewed balance of power in tact… America keeps it’s young in zoo cages…Ignorant of the fact they are indeed men but reinforcing the idea that they are caged monsters as their mother.  These cages are grandiose and glamorized but on the most basic level they are zoo cages nonetheless… Inundated by brick and mortar… Some go hours upon hours without ever even seeing the sun…They wake up in a Box. They travel to work in a Box with wheels… Enter a big Box.. Sit in an box with windows if lucky.. If not a smaller box surrounded by other caged monsters of various degrees.. Leave work and find relief by staring into or at a Box.. Then finally go to sleep in the same box they woke up in–living to repeat the cycle.

Man’s biology has barely had enough time to adapt to this lifestyle of living… If we’re using the premise that men have been evolving over millions of years, this recent caged phenomenon of the modern era is a quite sudden influx.  Our bodies aren’t adapting as smoothly to this life style as we would have liked to imagine. Just look around at the rampant obesity and and influx of disease…We’re struggling to adapt physically because we’re really aren’t designed to live as a monotonous machine.. And If our body hasn’t adapted to such slavery one can imagine how the mind has struggled (better yet the soul)… The psyche or psychic undercurrent of an individual.. Our Subconscious is coping to such a dull perspective of reality… I imagine it constantly acts out and is the source of much deviance as a means of self-medicating… I imagine plenty of resentment is projected on any and all other li’l caged monsters America has birthed…I imagine it would be the cause of most destruction man inflicts upon each other.  For when you see others as monsters as opposed to men it becomes very easy to treat them as such.

What is the true nature of man.. The beginning… Who are you? What are you?   Simple questions… With profound implications… Maybe the answers alone could provide true freedom…

God’s Bastard Child…(Evil makes gods of us all)

What is Evil but the sum of disavowed choices gone unaccounted for…

Bad Me

Utilizing the most basic concept of God, I shall present a speculative deduction.

From one perspective: Evil is nothing but the Self Accountability that God refuses to acknowledge… All of the world’s ills spawn from one source: the eternal.  Just as all the world’s joys are derived from one impetus.  Or what I like to refer to as the infinite.  God (in the broadest concept of the word: metaphorically)  likes to gather together all his unmentionables, all his malicious desires, all his nefarious inclinations, all his shameful urges, and cast them off on an island to be.  Neglecting them if you will.  He likes to isolate them and keep them in a box and act as though they aren’t a part of him.  As though they are not of him and not worthy of acknowledgement.

You see, God, instead of looking after his maliciousness and managing it, would much rather let it take care of itself.  Like a small abandoned child the viciousness is left to raise itself, it is left to fend for itself, it is left to its own devices.  A tempestuous and volatile spark left to survive by any means necessary without any sense of direction. When you allow a child to raise itself it will inevitably lash out and nothing but chaos will ensue.  It will eventually out grow its box and out grow any means you may of had of controlling it.  At that point it becomes estranged—completely unfamiliar to you.  At that point it no longer becomes a part of God led astray but “evil”—a completely narcissistic, self-absorbed, hurt conglomerate of chaos–unbalanced emotion.

You see, the God in man isn’t just accepting all the accolades for all the benevolence one spreads in the world, to one’s peers, and to the people around him.  You see, the true power of a God rest in the ability of controlling all aspects of oneself.  –Embracing the ills as opposed to shunning the ills.  –Understanding the ills as opposed to detaching yourself from the ills.  –Provide a healthy outlet for the ills as opposed abandoning the ills.  For when one begins to understand the entirety of self, only then can one grow with a healthy balance.  Only then can one begin to nurture all aspects of their being.

God isn’t necessarily all that is Good.  Evil isn’t necessarily all that is Bad.  One is of the of the other. One stems from a lack of understanding of the other–an inability to truly love oneself wholly. A fear of an anomaly within, that creates a rift that eventually  becomes to deep to mend.

Being accountable for all aspects of oneself can help us be all that we were meant to be.

Shambles by the Bay… (An unwritten letter for a defenseless student..)

(Modern Covert Racism: Do Groomed Locks Illicit Fear?)

Not Christopher but a close enough example to how his hair was worn...
Not Christopher but a close enough example to how his hair was worn…

To whom it may concern,

In the politically charged and racially sensitive landscape of today’s America I have found myself in the crossfire of cultural insensitivity, racism, and prejudice.  The aftermath of a power wielding institution that has not the individual in mind but merely its own power—maintaining its own survival.  This phenomenon is being personified and actualized in the form of one Denis Kane (Basketball Coach: Mission Bay High School).  I am but a student, a student who is by no means perfect but a student who is trying nonetheless. I attend classes and a big part of my life is basketball.  It takes much of my free time, and it is a large focus of my life and of whom I want to be. I work hard like my classmates, I’m a tax paying citizen like my classmates, I expect to be afforded the extracurricular activities as my classmates, and to be held to the same standard as my classmates. My dream of playing basketball is being derailed by my conviction to stand up for my personal expression and cultural freedom.  I hate that the two are conflicting but I feel obligated to take a stand as integrity leads me to do so.

Allow me to briefly explain my situation.  I, Christopher (Blank), was kicked off of the basketball team for wearing my hair in a particular fashion.  I have my hair in locks (often referred to as dreadlocks) which are common to my ancestors and have great cultural context which I will not expound upon here.  In modern society I will admit, locks have taken on a phenomenon of their own, nonetheless I keep mine neat and aesthetic.  I was told by Dennis Kane that he didn’t “like the way that I had to remove the locks from my eyes” while playing basketball and that he wanted me to fix the issue. I took the proper protocol and decided to put my locks up.   This essentially is to braid the locks in a design that would keep them from hanging in my eyes.  When Dennis Kane saw this hair style he told me that the hairstyle was “ghetto” and he didn’t want “ghetto” people going to his games.  Implicating that I could not rejoin the team until my hair was cut. This leads me to my current dilemma.

Everything is everything...
Everything is everything…

I considered conforming to this man’s demands, but upon further contemplation I feel that this issue is bigger than me.  The scope of this issue is a microcosm of a far larger phenomenon that is embedded in the psyche of the American conscious—its cultural and social implications are far grander. The intolerance and xenophobia imposed by this man’s will is merely a perpetuation of a supremacists view point—a view point expressed and felt by many that commonly leads to discrimination.  For one man to deem my hair as “ghetto” what exactly does that entail?  Am I being judged for my cultural expression? If so is it deemed with a negative connotation?  It appears that I am being punished for one man’s fears and insecurities.  And for a public institution to support this man’s decision would have far greater implications.  Because I look a particular way, he has preconceived, ill contrived notions about a hair style and he is punishing me for his misconceptions.  Now I’ve taken heed to all the young individuals in the media that look like me and brutalized by individuals that harbor adjacent mindsets.  People see an image and they take action. ( See Trayvon Martin, Romie Mims, Jordon Miles, Joquan Wallace)

If my hair is “ghetto” it is also shared by Akintunde Ahmad and many other prosperous individuals.  With Mr. Kane’s Mindset, should Mr. Ahmad not be “allowed” to play sports?  With his 5.0 grade point average should he not be admitted to Ivy League schools because his appearance is “ghetto”, “threatening”, and not up to Mr. Kane’s standards?  The fact of the matter is Mr. Kane’s rationale is solely based off his personal bias; it is bigoted, unfounded, spiteful, and unjust.

.akintunde

This letter is a call to action.  I’m not asking for Dennis Kane to lose his means of income by being fired or anything of that nature.  But I am asking for him to recognize that an injustice has been done.  I am asking that this issue be brought to his attention in the manner of enlightenment not as an attack on his character.  I am asking that I be reinstated on the team and I am asking that no retaliation be taken upon me.  I do fear, that when a man who feels he has a secured arena of power and has that powered threatened, that he will be naturally inclined to retaliate.

Thank you for taking the time to hear my side of the story.

All for the good,

 

Christopher (Blank)

 

(Update: Since this letter was written, I regret to inform you that the above student did indeed cut his hair.  His fear kept him from going through with the letter.  I don’t know if it made a difference with him being on the team or not, for it is my personal belief that this coach had a bias against him.)

(I initially was going to leave out the coaches name school, but upon further thought the only innocent person here is the young man.)

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