Although young black men do not have a monopoly on bad attitudes. It is my oppinion that too many black men are suffering from personal,family and spiritual damage. In my oppinion part of the reason for this can be traced to the unhealthy attitudes that so many of them have. Some of the end results and manifestions of these attitudes are a 70% out of wedlock birthrate, a murder rate that is noticably higher than all other americans(blacks make up 45% of those arrested for violent crime), and a higher incaceration rate amongst blacks as well. I could go on but Im sure that whoever is reading this gets the point. Although thier are several parallel and contributing reasons for the problems we are having, I believe one of fundemental reason for many of our problems is the negative attitude that permeates much of black culture. In particular it is black male youth who manifest the most virulent extremes of this negative culture. I believe this pathology is so virulent in black male youth because a large percentage of them have been raise with no male around to guide them properly. Men are needed to provide accurate and positive representation of manhood. Young black men in america have the worse role models of any group in this country. The unconditional love that a son should get from his father is too often missing from the lives of these youth. In fact I have heard more than 1 black woman say that her son was starving for love and affection from his father. This spiritual neglect by black men of thier sons quite ofter leads to deep seated bitterness and anger, which concentrates into these unhealthy and self destructive attitudes. At the same time because of this neglect young black males are not equipted with the tools to handle these unfortunate circumstances they find themselves in. Too many young black males, are learning what being a man is all about from people who no idea what true manhood is. As far as I am concerned a bad attitude is spiritual poison, the worse the attitude the more toxic the poison. It seems to me that some very dangerous chickens are comming home to roost. As it stands now young black men are on the outside looking in of american mainstream society. Thier values are often times not compatitble to work, family or any other personal responsilibity. For these reasons it is more difficult for black men to find and keep employment than anyone group in the country.
A couple of years ago I worked for FEMA and was stationed at Panama City Beach Florida.
I had 2 coworkers and together we made up a 3 man team. Our supervisor was a guy from California with a real nasty and condescending attitude. To be honest this guy was one of the biggest jerks Ive ever met in my life. It seems to me that this guy was alway's doing little nasty things to get under me and my coworkers skin. My coworker was a guy from Indiana named Bill, Bill was a white man, (country boy) who had lived and gone to school with blacks, had been a soldier in Vietnam, and had lived the life of a monk in a monastery for over a year. After one particularly rough day at work with our supervisor. I asked Bill who had totally diffused his negative situation with our supervisor how he could so calmly and serenely put up with our the mess from our supervisor. Bill told me this, It dosent matter as long as I react to him the same way he is controling me. My secret is I have no need to question his or anyone elses authority. I have no need to be confrontational for the sake of confrontation. No one feels threatened Bill said. Although I never reached the same happen medium with our supervisor, I did benifit from the example of his wisdom and his calming demeanor. To be honest our entire office was made dramitically better by the attitude that Bill had. This was an example to me of how one person with a positive attitude can have a positive effect on an entire group of people.
So now the question I ask of the african american community( young males in particular). Is is your glass half empty or half full. Do you have an optimistic outlook on life. Do you believe that tomorrow will be better than today. Do you have hope for the future and do you believe that life has good things waiting for you. What do you see when you look at your family. Have you done anything to make your family stronger in the last month. In no way doI want to blame everthing on black men. Black men do not live in a vacum and are part of and victims of the same problems suffered by not only black communities but all at risk communities. I also do not want to disregard any negative affects on the black community by racism. However at a time when black on black crime is rampant I think it would be far more benificial to rigorously deal with the things we can directly control ourselves. That would be our own individual attitudes along with the way we treat each other. Your attitude dictates your view of the world, your attitude dictates whether how you treat your , family. It dictates how hard you are willing to work on behalf of your family. Whether or not you read and spend quality time with your kids. What have you done to make your family stronger in the past month. Shouldnt every black man ask himself that question. It is a selfish and bad attitude that allows black men to check out of the educational system and commit crimes that make life harder for thier families. It is this attitude that allows black men to strike out in violence against others resulting in the highest murder rate of any group in the country, it is also this attitude that allows black men to strike out at black women in negative and self destructive way’s. All of these manifestations of pathologically negative attitudes and self destructive behaviors have had a and stifling impact on the black community. It has been responsible for the loss of so much blood, tears, pain, heartbreak and self destructiveness to the black community. I look forward to your comments. Mark