Last week I gave you two for the culture as an introduction to deeper conversation. This week I offer you two for self-awareness. Recognition of self. Acknowledgement of our behavior and complete contribution – both, for better or worse.
Thanks to smart phones, wi-fi, and social media, we’re as connected as we’ve ever been. This has so many advantages and perks. I love being able to find new music from all over the world on Soundcloud and watching classic concert footage on YouTube and people watching on Instagram. But for every positive, there’s a negative (or two). Technology allows everyone a platform to say and feel whatever they want publicly. It creates audiences and wherever there is an audience, there’s a performance. And, man, do we love to perform.
We look for and provoke conflict for the sole purpose of collecting footage for social media. We watch TV in front of our Twitter accounts and pack the most ignorant, negative sentiment within the character limitation – again, just to collect retweets and @ mentions. We create memes that humiliate and embarrass innocent people. In the words of Beanie Sigel, we treat Instagram like it’s the “get indicted hotline” posting pictures of ourselves with guns, drugs, and obscene amounts of money with captions bragging about how untouchable the “hustle” is.
We lure women in with money and less-than-politely requests that they bust it open. Then we frown at the lack of loyalty. Our women are purposefully naked and asking to be booked for roles that specifically call for them to be naked. We glorify and support all things ratchet – music, “reality” tv, websites. And then become easily offended when someone outside of the circle calls out the fuckery.
We. Us. Collectively. Because to some on the outside, we’re all the same. Because it’s ‘we’ and ‘us’ when we want justice. Because it’s ‘we’ and ‘us’ when it’s time to celebrate culture. So it’s ‘we’ and ‘us’ when the picture isn’t as pretty. We dress the part. We talk the part. We act the part. We’ll even accept the award for playing the role so well. But please don’t let anyone else comment on it. I mean, who are they to react to the performance?
Be aware. Be better. Be proud.
Goodie Mobb – “The Experience”
Astro ft. Bishop Nehru – K.I.N.G.