Let's Celebrate, National Be Kind to Black Men Day

Let's Celebrate, National Be Kind to Black Men Day

Given the state of our national affairs, I propose a new holiday, “National Be Kind to Black Men Day”. Why? It seems like Black men are the new target in America. Oh! let me take that back. They aren’t the new target,  They have always been the target. But we’re in the new millennium, so the Black man backlash is a wide-eyed phenomenon to those who thought racism was dead.

It’s never been dead for black people – especially black men. What happened to Trayvon, Mike Brown, Jordan and other black men is business as usual.  The rage in Ferguson is just a microcosm of what is being felt across America. Throughout history, Black men were violently targeted as a way of keeping Black folks under control. The black women were raped the black men lynched.

Black men seem to be the most feared of all males. They are darker with broader features, and perceived to be bigger, faster, louder, stronger and more menacing; Many would say they are subhuman and superhuman at the same time. And Black men are always angry.

Black men scare white people. For many, their presence gives the perception of thuggery. Women cling to their purses, walk the other way, police stop them for no reason, shoot them without a weapon. When police put Black men down, many make sure they stay down even if the officers have to kill them. That is acceptable police practice. The laws are finagled to keep Black men in prison. The School to Prison Pipeline grooms sons to join their fathers behind bars. The system gives Black boys a crappy education, make jobs unavailable, so that they are forced to live a life of crime to survive. Even if young Black men find a way out of the cycle, they sometimes fall victim to a bullet either shot by their own peers or law enforcement.

The waves of rage are fanned so that they turn on each other – kill each other. Black on Black crime is rampant. Even if Black men are innocent, they are convicted anyway. Somebody has to pay for the crime. If they ever make it out, they can’t vote, qualify for housing, or find a job that will hire felons… might as well commit a crime and go back to jail. Media will show their black faces on the news. Unlawful black men generate high ratings. It gets the good law abiding folks in a fear frenzy, so that whenever they come across any black man, whether educated, ignorant, well dressed, saggy pants, homeless, well to do, young, old, law abiding or thuggish, they become afraid.

But let’s say we designate a day in the month of February, Black History Month, on a Friday (payday), to make an extra special effort to be kind to Black men. That day we good citizens would be encouraged to look black male strangers in the eyes, smile and says hello. Each of  us would take a moment to have a conversation with the black man across the aisle on the el train; Buy a cup of coffee for the guy who delivers the office mail. Perhaps this day women would practice loosening the grip on their purses when a black male joins them in the elevator.

On National Be Kind To Black Men Day, employers pay attention to the resume with names like, Malik, Jamal, Kevontae, and DeAndre, because as you HR people know, those resumes end up in the waste basket. On National Be Kind to Black Men Day, corporate employers take into serious consideration hiring a black man or two. You know, there are many qualified Black men out there. And hey, they could be a “good fit”. Really.

On National Be Kind to Black Men Day, the police would think twice about stopping any black man driving, running or walking down the street. If a nonviolent crime is committed, police would restrain themselves from beating the black man to a pulp or killing him. It’s National Be Kind to Black Men Day. Even criminals would be treated like normal criminals instead of gun range targets.

And for the black males: Maybe you could hold off cursing out your fellow brother because he accidentally stepped on your new gym shoes, or looked at you longer than your comfort level. Maybe, a familiar nod and “‘Sup” would be the way to greet your fellow black man.

The gang bangers in the ‘hood would do a cease fire on National Be Kind to Black Men Day. They’d have the freedom to come and go as they please in their neighborhoods without fear of retaliation. Maybe some of the pharmaceutical brothers on the corner would take a day off – hey it’s a holiday!

Those Black men who have sons and sons of sons, could take this day to spend extra time with their seed. If they never spent time with their offspring before, this would be the day to do it. National Be Kind to Black Men Day would be a day of healing – a day to breathe a little and maybe smile.

We women would take part in the holiday by showing kindness and understanding to the Black men in their lives; We’d  pump them up, and allow them to be kings of their castle; No demeaning words or put downs. Just support, love and respect.

It’s surprising what a smile and kind word can do for Black men. They need it so much.  Black men want respect, acceptance and to be treated fairly just like you and me. Don’t be surprised if these acts of kindness are reciprocated. Maybe this would eventually lead to celebrating National Be Kind to Black Men Day every day.  #BeKindtoBlackMenDay #BK2BM

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    I pursued a satisfying career in the advertising industry, served as a volunteer mentor and parent educator at my two (now grown up) sons' schools and have actually stayed happily married for over a quarter of a century. However, my most gratifying achievement was raising my sons well. I'm not saying there wasn't a little bit of hell raising going on, but you live and learn. Now I'm passing the knowledge on to you. My goal is to turn these nuggets of wisdom into reference books for parents.

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    Check out my other blogs: "Trending Over 40", An informational blog for those over 40 who find themselves social-media challenged, http://trendingover40.com "Black Copy" Reflections of a veteran ad chick, http://eldhughes.wordpress.com. You can find samples of my ad work on this site. Simply click on TV and Print tabs. Also check out my company, Hughes Who Productions http://hugheswhoproductions.com. We develop games and animation for casinos, marketers and educational institutions. Thank you for your interest. Blessings... Edye
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