Yall Mythological Niggas is Comical

In recent months, I've seen an uptick in definitions of a real man, almost as if manhood is under attack. I took a step back from what was being said and figured the time had come for Black men to redefine themselves in the age of Obama; I didn't receive a text or e-mail telling me to reaffirm my manhood, perhaps I missed that meeting. In any case, brothas are seeking validation for the roles they play daily; husband, father, employee, entrepreneur, entreponigga, playa or whatever they’re calling themselves, establishing that title in the constitution that makes them a “real man”.

The hilarity of it all is usually those claiming status at the top of the totem pole are lacking in the areas many of us will look to when we’re searching out a few of the characteristics associated with manhood: responsibility, leadership, fiscal accountability, critical-thinking skills, mastery in areas of expertise and what I count chief amongst all, recognition of limitations, strengths and knowing the difference between the two. The list goes on and on, but the roles we assume play the smallest of percentages in being a man, instead what we've picked up along the way goes a lot further than you being a father or me being a husband.

Word is Bond

I’m an 80’s baby, so the term “word is bond” is heavy in my lexicon, it’s used when I want it understood that there’s not only truth to what I’m saying, but conviction in any statement that preceded or follows. I find it ironic that cats call themselves “real men” but their words carry no weight and their actions even less. It’s crazy how many fellas want us to believe they’re a real man, but we can’t believe half of the things that have made it over their lips. I've become immune to the bullshit cats spew over the years, taking it with a grain of salt and a spritz of Lysol.

I Take Care of My Kids

Yeah, child support is automatically deducted from your check and you have your kid every weekend or two, but that’s just proof positive you've failed in one area and the court requires you to do the other. However, I’ll give you credit for wanting to have a presence in your offspring’s life and handling your business. But, let’s not discount your contribution to the deconstruction of the family unit; you had a responsibility to change the landscape of not only your life, but that of the woman you laid with and the child of that union.

Even more, many of you are invading our Facebook feeds proclaiming to be taking care of yours, but lack the bare minimum, like life insurance. Seriously, how are you taking care of “yours” when you don’t have life insurance? I suppose you figured the responsibility ended with your death. We tend to be so short-sighted that we believe everyone else is as well and will disregard where we've come up short and reward us for that one area where we present ourselves as a  success. Here’s the kicker, most of the folks we associate ourselves with are that dense and will celebrate with us our shortcomings, while completely dismissing our long-term failures.

Men make decisions, not only aware of any consequences that follow, but prepared to live with them. I know far too many cats that are indecisive or who make decisions based on emotions, not the logic that presents itself. It’s funny how you’re proclaiming to be the realest nigga around, yet you’re so emotive in how you deal. Am I supposed to believe your word or your actions? I’m often served a curveball by the fellas I come in contact with, because they tell me one thing, yet do another. When things of that nature occur, I realize I’m in the presence of followers or those who mimic what they believe to be “real”, but instead are slaves to clichés.

Those dudes fake it ‘til they make it, portray the images they've mastered until they’re found out or they fool those around them. How many of those cats have you met? You know, the cat that talked a good game until the time to pay the piper came and you found out they were bankrupt. Fellas like this are too deep in debt to their pride to keep it real, yet rest their authenticity on one aspect of their life, forgetting they've failed universally.

It’s sad but true…

We’re always screaming “sky’s the limit”, but not recognizing the barriers between the ground we stand on and what we imagine to be limitless. By 5th grade I knew Math and Science didn't appeal to my strengths, so anything I did from that point would be based around my love for the written word or days gone by, yes English or History. At the tender age of ten I had accepted my limitations, but more importantly, I was willing to accentuate my strengths. Over twenty years later, cats that were still reading on a 1st grade level are calling themselves “authors”, when their skill level is befitting that of an elementary school student.

On one hand, it doesn't matter, because as a culture that’s where most folks are. I've watched society devolve to anti-intellectualism; the bastard children of Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim have exploited the downward spiral of our educational system and values to make enough dollars to pay the rent and front for unsuspecting fools, but nothing sustainable, because they’re unable to break through to the next level because they lack the skill set necessary to appeal to a larger target audience.

Even more troubling is the growing number of wannabe rappers and producers, young boys ill-prepared for adulthood, so they mimic the flavor of the month instead of seeking to develop the necessary skills to feed themselves. I guess Jay-Z was right, 30 is the new 20, because more and more and cats over 30 are still holding on to the dreams of their youth. I suppose I’m not too much better than them, here I am pushing 35, pushing paragraphs to periods, except that not only do I get paid for putting more than 300 words together, but I've also pieced together a career in Higher Education…and I’m nice with these words.

On the contrary, your brother or cousin is spending the grocery money on a pipe dream, because you and their homies have been too nice to tell them their whole style is chump. You see, men keep it real with one another, so if you ask me about you wack-ass song or book I’ll tell you. It’s for that reason alone dudes seem to avoid me like their baby-mothers when an honest opinion is needed; it seems to me that confronting their truth is that uncomfortable or the fear of being exposed so embarrassing that putting on airs is more important.

In the interim, I’ll continue to watch these cats claim to be the “real” and you’ll “like” it and comment and they’ll do it again, while the rent is late and child support is due, but the quotes keep coming to bamboozle you into thinking it’s real. All the while, the cats handling their business around the clock, don’t say a word, because men never find a need to promote what they’re supposed to do.

Leave a respond