The Power of Respect

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This article is a precursor to Black History Month.
There was once upon a time, and not so very, very long ago, when African Americans respected each other.
Most likely they were grandparents, great grandparents or even further back than that. Today there are some of us who still respect each other and ourselves yet something has gone wrong, terribly wrong.
Yes, slavery programming and Willie Lynch type brainwashing have taken their toll, but none of this is acceptable for the blatant disrespect our people daily and repeatedly show to each other.   We Blacks, as a whole, expect less of ourselves and each other than we do of other ethnic groups. We expect to be on Colored People Time (CPT) when we have to be somewhere. We become enraged when white police officers do to our people the same thing our people do to each other, even more often. Respect has been lost.
Let’s get real dead serious now; this is where the rubber meets the road. Fasten your seat belts, as the ride will get rough along the way, and those with queasy stomachs can dismount now, with no hard feelings from my end. Respect starts in the mirror, and self-respect shows how you dress, act and react. When a male respects himself then he knows to pull his pants up without having to be told.
When a female respects herself, she knows how not to dress like Kin kar-Trashian, Nick-Key-Mirage or Beyond-Say, because you do not have to show everything you have to everybody who has a pair of objects in their orbits.
This may be breaking news of sorts for some, but believe it or not self-respect commands respect. In like manner when you disrespect yourself or your people, it sets a tone that other races or ethnic groups follow.
Why do you think some white police officers believe that they can get away with abusing and killing Blacks? Simple! They see us doing it every day. When, and only when we respect ourselves and each other then and only then will it send a signal to every race, color, creed or national origin that we will not tolerate being disrespected. Until then, we are more a part of the problem than the solution.
We could learn that lesson from the homosexual community or the Muslims of the Middle East (not that I am promoting them). As a group they do not tolerate disrespect. Treat others the way you want to be treated, especially our people. It has been called the golden rule to “do unto others the way you would have them do towards you”, but too many of our people just don’t get it. If you mistreat people it will come back to you. So whether we call it karma, reaping and sowing, boomerang effect, or what goes around comes around—our people need to know that what we do comes back around Hard and it ain’t no charma.
If you cheat your people it’s coming back. If you speed up when you see someone trying to get over in traffic, it’s coming back. If you have your baby daddy locked up or refuse to let him see his child, only because he has a new partner, it’s coming back. If you sit in your car and refuse to leave the parking lot because you do not want that other waiting person to get that space, it’s coming back.
If you run a scam, it’s coming back. And guys, if you cheat on a good woman who loves you, oh yes, it’s coming back. Be careful in trying to impress other races or ethnic groups by putting down you own. During World War II, some Germans defected to Russia and provided the Russian government with secret information about Hitler’s plans.
The Russians listened and then executed the German defectors. They knew that they could not trust their own kind.
The point I am making is crystal clear and simple. If you will turn on your own kind, other groups know you will turn on them just as easily. Therefore, simply put, you cannot be trusted. Yes there are defectors among us Kiss-Ups, Uncle Toms and “Oreos,” but they are walking a thin line and playing a dangerous game. Woe unto them until the day of discovery.
Regarding business, Blacks have to do better in business towards each other. If you are a business owner then for unity sake do not ‘price gouge’ or sell your people junk. And if you are the customer, please handle disagreements with respect – not by getting loud, spewing W.I. – type invectives or acting like you have lost your mind. It’s amazing how negative programming can continue to make us work against each other.
We cannot afford to hustle each other over price, our products and services, provide inferior customer service or fail to stand by what we offer.
We need to police ourselves, our children and our communities. Call it what you may, tell me what to say, but today Black on Black violence is awful and it is only hurting us.
While I do not advocate violence, I definitely say that we should be policing ourselves a lot better than we are before we complain about cops that are out of control.
We can address both issues simultaneously, but that is not what is happening. Where are our marches, protests or at least vigils to demonstrate and speak out against Black on Black crime? Most are non-existent and our so-called community and church leaders have been strangely silent.
It is only when we respect ourselves and each other we can demand respect from the police and the courts – and get it.
Although the owner and driver of an automobile, I am sometimes forced to utilize public tr0ansportation. On occasion, while riding the metro or the bus, I have noticed so many instances where Blacks will not sit next to each other. Sad, to say the least. Yet, at the selfsame time I also notice White, Indian, Chinese sitting wherever there is an available seat.
Downtown Montreal, especially on Friday or Saturday nights, we see more Black men trying to date white women than ever before. Likewise, we see more African-American females dating white men and putting down African-American men than ever before. You should be able to date whomever you want, but not for whatever reasons you want.
If you are dating a person of another race or ethnicity because you are shunning our race, then a problem exists. The failure to respect our own people has also caused injuries, damage to personal property, court cases and even death. Before we can expect any other race or ethnic group to respect our people, we must set the tone by respecting our own. Respect has to begin in the mirror or you will have none to give to anyone else. In addition, respect has to be given in our churches, schools, homes and neighbourhoods.
Now the ride is over, remove any fear; the message is simple and clear. Spread the word around and abroad. Respect yourself and do not tolerate it when any other race or ethnic group fails to do so.

Aleuta—The struggle continues.