Monday, July 13, 2015

We Must Make The Change

Black Americans are increasingly uneasy about race relations in the United States, ranking that as the nation's number one problem along with unemployment, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Some Of Our Dead Unarmed Black Men
Much of our concern, which began growing last year, is driven by highly publicized police shooting of unarmed black men, also in the news a lot over the last five years.

The fact that race relations ranks so high is not surprising because of how often the news and entertainment media highlight stories that associate black men with violence, crime and poverty,  yet I believe that all races and genders suffer from the same epidemic as does our black communities coast to coast, "Now, Ain't That American?"

When mostly black males are focused on and portrayed everywhere we look in a negative light, our brains -no matter our race or sex - are prone and primed to believe that this portrayal is correct, even the norm, But the fact is,, it's not. Not by a long shot.

One way to address the problem is to "update" the narrative with a more full picture of "us" black men and our black teenage boys.

For example: more than 80% of black men 25 and older have at least a high school diploma. And a much repeated myth that there are more black men in prison than in college isn't true, and if you believe in that liberal disinformation, then, you're the problem.

One Of The Many Black Contributors
The U.S. is bursting with black men that are educated, good businessmen and great fathers, yet their contributions to society are greatly overlooked. So that's why America needs to update the way it views black men.

The nation is in the middle of perhaps its biggest cultural transfer in history. Over the coming years, the baby boomers will give way to the "millennials" as the largest generation in history. As that happens, America will no longer have a racial majority. All of the social myths will be  updated for better or worse. If we make a concerted effort to understand each other over the next decade, I think we can change them for the better.

Recognizing that black men are assets opens up opportunities for all people to build better cities by working with those black men who are willing to uphold important values and take constructive action. We must stop ignoring the overwhelming amount of good that black men do for our country. Letting go of stereotypes about black males will help more than just black males. Valuing all members of the human family is the most prosperous way forward for a nation as diverse as the U.S..

All of us should reject any narratives that denigrate people and prejudice one group against another, that's why I'm committed to informing people of all races and genders to bring about a more understanding, caring and prosperous collaboration.

We can each be the hero in the story of America's future. As black men and as a nation, our challenges are real, but our contributions are more real. What you focus on has power over your life. So, as black males and as Americans, we make our future when we make our choices.