Wednesday, March 23, 2011

...Chris Brown is his Own Enemy...

For the life of me, I can’t find this clip anywhere online but does anyone else remember Martha Stewart getting testy on the Early Show?

She was there doing a regular cooking segment when the little upstart known as Jane Clayson tried to grill Martha on her role in the ImClone scandal. But you can’t grill a domestic goddess like Martha. Ms. Stewart answered by expressing her feelings on the matter and her hopes for a speedy resolution.

When Jane pressed the issue, Martha stopped her chopping and with knife still in hand pointedly faced Jane and said, “I just want to focus on my salad.”


G’on girl.

That definitely made headlines at the time, and it was entertainment, but let’s not miss the lessons:

  1. Martha Stewart loves her some salad.
  2. Reporters need to ask themselves if they’re willing to be stabbed on live TV to make a name for themselves. (Jane Clayson was booted from the show less than 5 months after she started and played the “chick card” claiming to have given up her career for family. Sure she did.)
  3. An older white woman wielding a knife and stern tone is still not as scary as a young, virile, strapping, black buck, I mean, black man doing …pretty much anything.
Remaining poker -faced and holding your composure is a hallmark of black folk. That’s why our blood pressure is always so high.

But once you master it, you’ll find some sort of pleasure in staring into the eyes of someone you know is trying to incite you into hysteria and watching the expression of disappointment slowly spread across their face when they realize they won’t win.

My sister Cass is one of those people that blows up, changes colors, shoots tear rockets, and practically flips herself inside out like the original Rumpelstiltskin (what a provocative name) whenever she gets upset or feels attacked. The problem is she often gets upset and feels attacked.

But here’s why:

  1. If you plant your feet firmly where you stand, no one can knock you down.
  2. But if you aren’t sure where you stand, then you waiver, and it’s easy to be tipped over.
Sometimes we make choices – or to be fair, sometimes we react faster than we mean to- and looking back we can think of 1014 different ways we could have handled the situation.

We can’t change it or undo it, so we focus on moving forward …as we should.

Except we aren’t as focused as we think we are.

You still can’t stop thinking about what you did, how it started, the repercussions of it, how horribly wrong it all went so fast, how terribly worse it could have been, how much more will you have to endure before it’s finally over…. Will it ever be over?

You can try really hard to make it right, but it may never be what it was. It’s probably safe to say that it won’t be.

You can ask to be forgiven, and most people will forgive. Those who know your heart, and who you are at the core of your being also know we all make mistakes but we learn from them if we are wise.

Some who don’t know you from li’l dude from across the street will hear bits and pieces of the story and understand, or perhaps not even care and consider the whole thing minor if they consider it at all.

And some will take every opportunity to draw it on a bat and try to beat you with it.

TV reporters liquefy it, put it in the barrel, and needle you endlessly with it.

Forgiveness is a concept I have yet to fully grasp.

You’ll find the definitions vary more than what’s reasonable. And I’ve always thought that forgiveness was a right that belonged exclusively to God. Who am I to tell someone that something is okay and done with? And who are they to tell me?

And the hardest part as they say is always forgiving yourself. (Good Lord, am I tearing up right now? Emotional walls, Angel, emotional walls)

I have lived my entire life believing that I did something wrong once. Unfortunately I don’t know what it is. (no, not the other thing, something else.) I get angry because I feel like the people that know won’t tell me. The others that might know are out of reach. I pray about it a lot and keep asking for clues so I can correct it, or at least make amends for it, but no reply yet. God hates me, I think. So maybe, sometimes, I hate myself because deep down I think that I am very bad and unlovable.

One day, I’m upset over this mystery bad deed, and my mom says to me, “At some point, you have to say to yourself, ‘I did the best I could.’ Acknowledge it, declare it dead, bury it, and walk away.’”

Mm. G’on girl.

Now, Chris Brown is still young, but he can’t play the "kid card" forever. At some point, you have to make the decision to become a man in the most inexplicit of manners. It’s subtle, but strong. It is, ironically, one of those things that people don’t see when it’s there, but will see if it’s not. It is, and it comes from, patience. He’s almost there, but it’s patience, so it can’t be rushed.

I finally saw the movie “Takers” the other day, and I thought, “Wow, if Chris Brown doesn’t have more acting jobs within a year, he needs to fire everyone around him.” Then I rented “This Christmas” just to double check that it wasn’t a fluke.

It wasn’t. His talent is unbelievable, and he could definitely make the arduous leap into a long, successful acting career with the right guidance and – pay attention- some clear thinking and good decision making. (You too, T.I.)

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where people see what they want to see. And they are intent on seeing young black men as angry little out of control monsters. Regardless of any right to be angry, or any need to lose control, young black men need to be mindful of that. It does not behoove you to flex, or rage or become anyone else’s interpretation of who you are.

You know who you are.

And if you aren’t sure, then explore and find out, but don’t rely on other people’s opinions, or approval, or forgiveness to do it.

No one’s opinion of you is more important than your opinion of yourself. And it is unhealthy and downright dangerous to seek approval from others: you are responsible for your own soul (+mind = spirit), and – pay attention-

You have to forgive yourself.

Diddy- Dirty Money "Yesterday" f/ Chris Brown
(All that passion while performing… it either entices people, or it scares them)

RJD2 f/ Kenna - “Games You Can Win”

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