Surprisingly, I agree with the rapper Two Chainz’s preoccupation with “I’m different.” We need some different mindsets in many aspects of our public and private lives because what has happen in the past simply isn’t fair, isn’t working and has us on a path to destruction.
Politicians: I have been waiting for two decades for a new type southerner officeholder/policymaker. We need leaders who will tell the people the cold, hard facts—straight, no chaser; the good, the bad and the ugly. A congressman or woman who goes to every community, builds trust, then sits on the tailgate of a pickup truck and tells the God’s honest truth about pulling everything on the fiscal table.
I have never been a fan of conservative columnist Cal Thomas but last month he wrote a classic about conservatives needing to “show up.” The late Rep. Jack Kemp would show up in every neighborhood and people could sense his sincerity. Former RNC chairman Michael Steele tried to create a new subsection of conservatives who regularly dialoged with the other side and with regular non Republican folks but the Tea Party Movement wasn’t having that kind of different.
Tea Party People: America would be better off if those people weren’t so ticked off. Their fiscal and governmental concerns are valid but being angry isn’t healthy or helpful. Look, Black people have every right to be pissed with our bondage history in this nation but we (like the Native Americans) can’t carry that bitterness in our hearts. The issues that have the Tea Partiers upset is still a pebble when compared to the boulder of slavery but we all need to make peace and move forward with positive energy.
Southern Youth: While this blog post started with Two Chainz I must take issue with the mindset of our kids. The glamorization of thugs and strippers found in today’s hip hop is (in my opinion) is moving Black folks backwards. In my neighborhood, the clean-cut kids with belts on their pants who speak English properly are different and I am so cheering for them. The “yes, sir..no,sir” young ladies in my town are the remnants of our southern Black elegance. That elegance is what we saw in the movie “The Help.” I wrote a blog post once about Justice Clarence Thomas’s book about his grandfather. Thomas’s grandfather didn’t like the government having the right to ask questions about what happens in his house. I love that.
Hell, I will tell you about two chains. The first chain was wrought iron and put by masters around the necks of slaves. The second chains, which are golden, are in current times and put around the necks of slaves by slaves themselves. I am different because I haven’t worn chains or any precious metal jewelry since 1979. We need music like “De La Soul is on a roll…Black medallions…no gold.” Two Chainz says “I wish a N-word would…like a kitchen cabinet.” I wish the youth would watch our hip hop on VH1 Soul then view a Cosby Show marathon.
In summary, I hope that we create a movement of different in my community because what we are doing and where we are heading isn’t working. We spend too much energy and time on the wrong things then struggle and suffer as a result. All I want for my birthday is some guys who don’t reference to women as big booty garden tools. While Two Chainz says “me and you are cut from a different fabric,” I say that we are all woven into the same tapestry.