Understanding The Hood Mentality And The Role We All Play In Its Creation

You don’t have to be a certain color to understand a colorful concept. Just like you don’t have to actually touch a fire to understand that its flame will burn. If you want to see what just a small degree of heat feels like just hold your hand over an open blaze and feel the intensity caused by just knowing that you are seconds away from being scorched. Now close your eyes and hold your hearts over this … One day you are sitting in your house minding your own business. Maybe you are cooking dinner for your kids. Maybe you are singing your favorite song. Maybe you are just relaxing after a long day. Either way … You are doing you and you are HAPPY. All of a sudden, in the blink of an eye somebody whom you’ve never met nor saw before in your entire life comes in and kidnaps you. They take you to their house which coincidentally is a long way away from any thing you are familiar with and if that isnt bad enough they turn you into their personal Slave. You no longer have the same rights and privileges that you used to. No more cooking dinner for your kids. No more singing your favorite songs. No more relaxing. No more being happy. Instead you are now terrified. You have no friends, nor any family, and no place to escape to as everyone in this strange house seems to hate you. You will never forget where you came from but as self-perseverance kicks in you learn to cope with your new life just to stay alive. As you get older you have more kids and they too are powerless against the abuse that you are all forced to suffer.  Your maternal and paternal instinct compels you to protect your children. But in this situation, protecting them seems to mean allowing them to get abused or watch them die. The choice is clear. You are humbled by grief, hardened by life and forced to smile and bow down to your abusers. Then one day you get mad. Mad enough to not care about repercussions and you decide right then and there that you will fight or die trying. Unfortunately a lot of your relatives did fight and did die trying. But even still slowly but surely as more people develop your concept ... the abuse begins to stop. Not indirectly but directly and for now that is good enough for you.  And finally not you, but your children’s children .... Children, are allowed to go and build their own homes and live in them freely. They do so but they are weary that one day in the middle of the night somebody will come and kidnap them like they kidnapped you so they hold on to the "fight or die", mentality. Then one day someone who looks and talks like the people who kidnapped your relatives says to you "Why are you so mad. Why are you so violent?  Why are you so aggressive?  Why do you feel so oppressed? Why are you still a victim? And all you can do is look at them with the dumb face. Don't they remember back when you use to be nice. Don’t they remember back when you were singing in your own kitchen minding your business. Don’t they remember how it got you nowhere but kidnapped, tortured, raped, murdered. Have they read the same text books as you? Haven’t they seen the photos of your ancestors hanging from trees with crowds of people standing around them laughing at their fate? Don't they understand that while their ancestors were handing them characteristics like "success-fulness, and "education" my ancestors were handing me "survival techniques to live inside your successfully educated wicked world"! Listen I’m not excusing the "Hood Mentality". In no way shape form or fashion am I saying that the violence that seems to be predominant in our black communities is excusable behavior for 2012. But let’s not play dumb as to understanding why and how it developed. Let’s ALL take accountability for our roles in its transition. If my race, if my culture, If our lifestyle comes across as a little bit more aggressive than yours its because we're simply still playing the defense! Were over here just trying to maintain our position. Back up from our starting line and you won’t get tackled! Listen, you don’t have to be a certain color to understand a colorful concept. Just as you don’t have to touch a fire to realize its hot. Rather you realize it or not … America has placed your hands, my hands, our children's hands, over an open flame called racism. Touch it or stay within its vicinity for too long and you WILL get burnt! We can sit here and argue over who's responsible for this fire all day. But in the end the only way we are going to be able to put it out is if we all agree we must smother it with LOVE!   Good Day, And God Bless. Amarie Wray

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