Friday, August 3, 2007

Some say Thug...I prefer Entrepreneur ...Again It's the Principality.

Welcome back my friends! I know it's been awhile now....I apologize. College.

Moving on, have you noticed the increase in title association lately? No longer is a secretary a secretary, they are now known as executive assistants. The garbage man is a sanitation engineer.
I even had an Executive Director position last year, although I think the sanitation engineer was paid better.

My point put simply, is that we as a whole have become focused on what our title is to a point that salary, benefits and the like can be easily overlooked with director or manager somewhere in the job description.

Are these titles a way of identifying ourselves in a positive view? To some, yes.

Are these titles an easy way to meet friends? DUH!

Then why is their an increase in the amount of young adults easily identifying themselves as a thug? Of course these title's are made with the distinct idea of advancement, correct? Yet the thug mentality and the thoughts that coincide with it, are usually related to negative actions.

So I ask the young black men in the audience. The ones who have taken their life in their own hands, noticed the realms of opportunity in our nation and continued to go above and beyond expectations. Are you a Thug? How about gangster? Hustler maybe?

The other day I had a great conversation with my neighbor. I am comfortable in calling him a close associate. He asked me what I do for a living and I simply replied, "I sell insurance."
He replied with a smile, "So your kind of a corporate gangster, right."


"But you have your little side hustle, that's thug."

I replied with a glorious epiphany,


Isn't that true? The amount of creative energy embedded within the black community has changed pop culture movements, fashion, design, education, and business practices. I argue the young black entrepreneur has been dragged down by these false racial distinctions. Even in amusement, these terms can and will have the negative effect that the Thug, gangster, hustler labels ensue when used in common conversations, to dumb down, and decay the moral fabric it dearly tries to hold on to.

1. a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, esp. a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.

2. an employer of productive labor; contractor. –verb (used with object)

3. to deal with or initiate as an entrepreneur. –verb (used without object)

4. to act as an entrepreneur.

1. a cruel or vicious ruffian, robber, or murderer.
2.(sometimes initial capital letter) one of a former group of professional robbers and murderers in India who strangled their victims.

1. A member of an organized group of criminals; a racketeer.
2. A member of a gang of delinquents.

1. Slang. a person who employs fraudulent or unscrupulous methods to obtain money; swindler.

2. Informal. an expert gambler or game player who seeks out challengers, esp. unsuspecting amateur ones, in order to win money from them: He earned his living as a pool hustler.

3. Slang. a prostitute.

4. a person who hustles.

Even in slang uses, are these self distinctions conducive to a positive environment the black community as a whole craves for? I think not.

Many times in school, we divulge into personal stories such as where your from, ethnic makeup and parents occupation. Is a thug what we really want our kids to be aware of? I ask, on career day, do you want your child to introduce you as, "My daddy the gangsta, because cool people emphasize misspelling"? No. How about the unemployed ex-felon, would your daughter attend a sleepover at that house? I think not. In fact, I argue, it is in the best interest of the parents to disdain themselves from this community, as many do, to reach the best sources of upward mobility for their children.

Securing an education, through the tools abound in this country, living a life of sound moral character and pursuing those things productive in life will halt the cyclical downward spiral faced in urban communities. This does not take the state, it doesn't take FAKE burials of a historical word, it takes personal responsibility aligned with social awareness.

Fake burials, get fake results. I argue it is not the n-word itself that needs to be buried, but the attitude associated with it. Hip-hop, rap, whatever has taken the role of supposedly representing the black community in its pursuit of excellence. I argue it has had an adverse effect. Misogyny, violence, materialism. Does this really capture the sentiment in the anti violence, pro-education, state sponsored rhetoric of our black leaders? Then why, as leaders of the black community, do they promote the tools that let the cyclical trends continue?

Tu-PAC really helps me hammer home this point. A man cherished by many, missed by many and also adored by many in the black community was responsible for this two sided version of freedom. Take a listen.

So I argue, after that crap, simply shutting down the highway for a fake procession, in a city exuding the negative characteristics of said word, will not achieve the desired result.

Christian, entrepreneur, educated, mature, honest, loving...the list goes on.

So in rebuttal to the above link,

"I'd rather be a man of G-O-D, so I can live happy and free all day, raising a family, I know is right, gotta have good in your life."

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