| "Get off my foot nigga!"
The above exchange is from Chris Rock's latest movie "Down to Earth" an updated soul food version of the George Burns classic "Heaven Can Wait". Unfortunately the above confrontation sounds eerily familiar when compared to scenes played out across this country every day, especially in the inner city. But, a strange thing has happened in the last few years. Random outbreaks of violence among people of color are no longer restricted to the "hood" and people who are very much victims of their dire circumstances. We've progressed in the new millennium. Now, so-called educated, college going Negroes are participating in senseless physical acts of bravado. Old folks will tell you, "You can take the nigga out of the ghetto but you can't take the ghetto out of the nigga." Well what about the nigga who didn't grow up in the ghetto? What about the young cat who grew up in suburbia? The closest he came to the ghetto was "Boyz in the Hood" and he probably waited until it came out on video because he was too shook to see it in the theater, with the real "boyz in the hood".
As a graduate of Howard University I wish I could tell everyone that the future of black America is bright as Soul Glo. Sorry. I've seen the future and it frightens me. For years we as a people have had to endure the fact that we cannot get together at a venue without, "someone actin up". I didn't grow up in the roughest neighborhood in town, but I saw my share of beatings and robberies. I had a gun pointed at me when I was 14 years old. It wasn't too surprising then, we were young and not everyone had the ideal family structure. But, when I got to Howard, the Mecca of African American academia, I thought things would be different. I couldn't have been more wrong if I had said 2 plus 2 equals horse. Imagine my surprise when I found out parties attended by the future bright minds of America are just like parties attended by high school dropouts and thirty-year-olds who live with their parents.
What makes an ignorant person act ignorant? Pretty self-explanatory, right? Now what makes someone pursuing a college degree act like they just lost their damn mind? Shouldn't college students know better? Shouldn't Howard University students know better? Don't they know people died in order for us to have the opportunity to learn to read? Literacy; millions of young men, women and children perished, just so you and I can, "see spot run". We should know this, whats more we should act like we know.
I went out last Saturday night. I decided I needed some time to unwind, go get my party on. My two compadres and I hit the neighborhood club around midnight, the perfect time to make an entrance. The coyness so common early at a party was gone and the vibe was very festivous. I know it's a stereotype but, black people do love to dance and we do it so well. Well I think everyone knows where I'm going with this. Just when the party reaches its peak enjoyment a fight breaks out. What was, an enjoyable and civilized social gathering, transforms into a violent melee. Bodies fly, fists flail and shouts roar throughout the club. After things settle down, the mass of people becomes discernible and I notice a nice looking girl in the corner, her face doubled over in pain. She looks up and the deep bruise surrounding her eye strikes me with the force of a Mike Tyson left hook.. She was just at the wrong place at the wrong time. It's amazing how a group of young, intelligent African Americans can turn into a bunch of niggas in the blink of an eye.