Writer: Tahir Register
Date: June 19, 2013
Published: september 10, 2013 6:43pm
Have Brown Men Forgotten What It Means To Be Gentle?
“The modern day man has no idea what it means to be chivalrous”. In speaking with many women. older and younger, I find the latter to be the commonality between them all. Whether or not the statement is true, well, that remains to be proven. Have Brown Men forgotten what it means to be gentle? Are men unaware of what it means to be gentle, a gentleman? I cannot speak for all, but what I can say for sure is, not all men are the same.
As a man, a man of colour, a Brown man, I find the Worlds odds are against us. It is known through statistics that there is a high percentage of Afrikan American males living, born, and raised in urban communities. It is also well known, broadcasted through media, News, and social networks that urban communities have a high drug, and crime rate, a high percentage of new born babies do not have fathers, or mothers, and a high percentage of babies, children, and teens are raised by people other than their biological Mom and Dad. Unfortunately many urban communities have a large high school drop out rate, and low test scores statewide, and sadly many elementary schools are tailgating them. These odds play a huge roll in the type of men being molded in the Brown community. Afrikan American’s, Latino’s, Asian’s, Caribbean’s, and Afro-European’s, are born into a tilted World that expects the most out of them based on precedents set in many of our Historic guides, like the “Bible” and more specifically US standards.
Since before the turn of the Millennium there has been great examples of Brown Men, leaders, guides, and templates for young Brown boys to learn from and follow. There is no excuse for not being able to live a healthy, well life in America as a Brown man, but you must consider the odds.
Have men forgotten what it means to be gentle? The simple answer to this question is, no. I knew a friend in college who was born without the sense of smell. In a conversation with her one day I asked; “Wow, do you miss it? Smelling flowers, food? How do you taste your food? Does it all taste the same?”. Considering the fact that she said she was born without the sense of smell, my questions were, well, stupid! She responded politely; “Well, you cannot miss what you’ve never had”. So, I pose this question to you, can you forget something you never knew?
It is my strong belief that most Brown Men born before the year 1991 have been groomed by their parents, aunts, uncles, teachers, mail men, and even store clerks on what it means to be chivalrous.
CHIVALROUS – /ˈSHivəlrəs/courteous (polite, respectful, or considerate in manner) and gallant (giving special attention and respect to women), especially. toward women.
As technology grew, parents started to let the TV raise their men. The era of the cell phone became popular, cameras, online dating, and many other things that distracted these urban parents, and guardians from raising well men. And then there are those who have the good homes, the well parents, the great education, and balance, but get sucked into a world they find exciting, a world where selling drugs and gang banging is more exciting then going to school, being the bad boy is fun. There are many ways a man can become less than a man, but a boy at 35 years old. I believe it starts with the truth.
The truth is, growing up in urban communities where street groomed men have a higher influence on little boys then the “Bible” does, or US precedents, is an enormous reason for the unfortunate growth of a young Brown boy into a respectable adult. Living at home being told to sit up straight, speak properly, take out the trash, respect women, love, and its okay to cry only lasts about five hours of a twenty four hour day.
A young Brown boy goes to school at 8am. He returns home, excluding after school activities, at 4pm. Eight hours of his life is spent with seeing the streets of his urban community, seeing the already lost grown boys hanging on the corner, experiencing life in school that’s more exciting than what’s going on at home. After school is over, he walks home witnessing what he could be, reminded everyday that if he does not do right in school and keep clean that it will be him on the corner in a white tee, smoking, blasting music on a cell phone, waiting for the next drop! Talk about pressure. At 5pm, the Brown boy is made to clean up, do his homework, get ready for dinner, pray, eat, watch TV for a little while and by 9pm he is showered, face is washed, teeth are brushed, and is sound asleep to get up and do it all over again the next day. With about eight to ten hours of sleep, most of his day is gone, and what he witnessed in school, and out of school the day before in his urban community is where the influence is greater than the word it’s self. The weekends? Well, the weekends are the times where the Brown boy is truly tested. Those same gangsters he saw standing on the corner in there white tees have now introduced themselves as the friendly neighborhood “cool kats”. And they are! There’s no denying that when you see the forbidden fruit you are tempted to touch! What does a child know about temptation? It’s cool to be called ‘lil man’ by the “cool dudes” on the block, and have them introduce you to their friends and their little cousins, and before you know it, you are apart of the gang. A secret easily kept from your parents because what can a parent do except instill their lessons within the five hour window during the week?
It’s about choices! My parents made sure they kept a watchful eye on me. My mother was most impressive. She knew things happened even if it was in the dark in a tunnel in a different country! We called her inspector gadget under our breath because of how impressive she was. My father was the rock. Even though we feared our mother, the fear of my father was greater and that still wasn’t enough. I hung out in the streets without them knowing, I’ve witness drug deals, I’ve tried smoking, Drinking, hanging out with the girls, being fresh, all of it, but the choice was mine! My parents used their five hours to beat into my head what it means to be a gentleman. My parents showed me, they trained me, and they made sure I knew right from wrong so that if I choose to do wrong, I know that it’s wrong. Many do wrong thinking it’s right, I was not one of them and that is because of my parents. It starts at home!
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