Being an adult has come with some surprises. One of those is learning how much you can disagree with family and friends. These disagreements aren’t Lebron vs Kobe vs Jordan, or who’s in your Rap Mt. Rushmore or any of that surface-level bullshit. They are foundational issues that could change your perspective on people, no matter how close they are to you. This isn't about how I changed their mind, this is a reminder that people think differently even if it is far left… or right.
A while back, I had a conversation with some family, without getting too much into detail, they called a neighborhood my wife was from a “shitty neighborhood”. A jaw-dropping comment to say the least, it had similar vibes as Trump referring to Haiti and African nations as “shithole countries”. It's interesting how many Black people carry this elitist attitude toward the hood like our parents and grandparents weren’t there just 20-30 years ago. Many of us are a single generation removed from the hood. Even still, so many look down on the hood and sound no better than the disconnected white people that curse our community while consciously ignoring the systems that led to the downfall and consistent oppression of it. That is self-hate. Change my mind.
I’ve seen friends and random Black men oppose the Black Lives Matter movement. Claiming it is a feminist movement that disregards and emasculates Black men. Mind. Blown. They don't agree with the mission statement because it does not specifically mention Black men like it does Black women and Black LGBTQ+. Damon Young said it best, straight Black men are the white men of Black people. Black men exude the same privilege as white men when it comes to the Black community. We expect things to be tailored to us, our women should submit to us (even when we haven’t established ourselves as a trustworthy partner, reliable leader, or provider), we are threatened when our women refer to themselves as independent, and we are offended when our women challenge us to be better. In reality, Black Lives Matter was conceptualized because of the violence committed against Black men by police and other white entities. While the feminist movement of yester-year did not include Black women despite their major contributions, there is enough space in this movement to fight for the lives of Black women, and Black LGBTQ+ people because their Black lives matter just as much as Black men’s.
“Feminism is a movement to end sexism, sexist exploitation, and oppression.” - bell hooks
Feminism has nothing to do with taking from Black men, only leveling the playing field and uplifting Black women. Change my mind.
Last one (for now) so many people (mostly black men) expressed how they hated both Trump & Hillary in 2016 so they didn't vote and after three and a half years of Trump, they now hate both Trump & Biden for this election so they're on the fence again. Hell, I never liked Trump, and Biden wasn't in my top 3 during the primary. But I do support putting my family and Black people as a whole in the best position to succeed. I think we have to change the narrative from the lesser of two evils to who will provide Black people the most in this 4-year window. In a perfect world, there are multiple political parties with an equal chance of winning an election. I would be voting for a Black man or Black woman that has a realistic plan to create positive and sustaining opportunities for Black families and businesses. This person would be scandal-free and unwavering in their commitment to uplifting Black folk. But this isn’t a perfect world, and there isn’t a perfect candidate. So, we have to consider who can move the needle forward, whom can we apply the proper pressure to see real change. We do this and at the same time, we find Black candidates that we can elect. I believe that we have started on that path, but not voting stifles our progress. Change my mind.
I think these conversations are difficult in general, but especially when family and friends are on the opposite side of what we thought was common sense. They are difficult but necessary conversations.