A bizarre and controversial commentary that makes you think, react and say, “Is that possible?” It begins with a shocking premise and culminates in an unusual twist that you have to read to believe. As a show of solidarity, I dedicate this commentary to President Barack Obama, and the most enigmatic entertainer to grace the universe, the unconquerable. Michael Jackson!
by Peggy Butler
Prelude: Since 1989, much attention has been devoted to the status of Black men and their “inevitable demise.” But regardless of what western civilization thinks, Black America continues its tradition of giving props to these courageous warriors. So, to Black men from Alabama to Wyoming, this editorial is dedicated to you.
Picture this scenario: A colossal public housing project embodying 26 buildings, 4210 apartments and 15,000 tenants, stands unnoticed in a low-income residential district surrounded by garbage and overgrown shrubs. Entering the high-rise pigsty—you’re overwhelmed by the stench of urine and cheap wine emanating from the stairwells.
Turning a corner, you walk gingerly amid broken glass and used condoms littering the corridors. Nauseated and disgusted more surprises are in store. As you head for the exit, you pass an abandoned apartment and watch as a middle-age man jabs a syringe into his arm, trying vainly to escape reality. Forging ahead, you watch as gangs fight over neighborhood turf.
As you head for the exit, your feet graze the neighborhood drunks. Asleep in the doorway, unaware of their surroundings and too inebriated to care, they sleep soundly. Welcome to the year 2289. Common sights like the ones above are observed in the congested buildings of Chicago, the dilapidated projects of New York and the multi-complexes of Los Angeles.
It is now 278 years into the future and Black men have replaced animals in laboratory experiments. Having heard in the 20th century that African-American men were moving toward extinction, it came to fruition. Now at the mercy of ruthless scientists, many struggle to reclaim their dignity, as they try to piece together how they came to exist in this state of upheaval.
The massive public housing project, home to 10,000 Black men also doubles as a laboratory. Ninety-five years ago, 50 percent of America’s Black men, unable to cope with social discontent began wondering if there was a conspiracy against them. Thus, began their journey of mass destruction.
On June 29, 2089, a group of young Black men visited the Saravaela Laboratory in Laugford, Ohio. There, using an assortment of codes, they asked scientists to formulate an experiment using them as guinea pigs to determine the validity of the conspiracy theory. A call went out for volunteers, and millions of men permitted themselves to become human fodder. At first they were treated like any other lab animal, but as the months passed, they were subjected to inhumane cruelty.
Rebelling against their plight, a few managed to escape, but for every Black male that escaped, there were thousands more to take their place. Defenseless, his dignity gone, and his pride abandoned; the Black man struggled to free himself from his captors.
Staring through the small cubicle he called home, he wondered how he reached this point-in-time. Maybe it began in December 1989 when the conspiracy theory was first broached. Or maybe it began when Black men started judging themselves by White standards; and gave in to the misconception that they were “lazy, sex-crazed, drug-addicted thugs prone to violence.” But it did begin somewhere—and it ended in imprisonment, and the end of the race as we once knew it!
Stop! Brothers, what I have written up until now, was my pessimistic side, expressing my inner most thoughts. Now it’s time to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. I don’t know about you, but I’m sick and tired of the media and people in general underestimating African-American men. Similarly, I’ve grown leery of White females averting their eyes and clutching their purses in the presence of these men. Moreover, I’m tired of the media explaining in vivid details, the Black man’s demise.
Stop putting all Black men in the same category. Only a small percentage are using drugs and committing crimes. The rest are trying to do their absolute best, thus seeking the pursuit of happiness just like everyone else. By the way, there are thousands of educated and productive Black men climbing the ladder of success. ISN’T THAT PROOF THAT THEY CAN DO MORE THAN SING, DANCE, PLAY SPORTS AND CREATE BABIES?
Black men are not asking anyone for anything. All they’re saying is stop labeling, stop criticizing, stop analyzing. They are not objects to be probed, prodded and petted at will. They are in fact human. See them. Touch them. Feel them. Examine their motives. They are men subject to the same mistakes and temptations as the rest of us high polluting hybrids.
So stop speaking of them as if they were a piece of cheese or a morsel of dust. Stop having programs and panel discussions featuring Black men as the main attraction, and stop saying what a contemptible specimen they are; because we aren’t buying it.
Black men are not animals. They are men. And at this moment they are reclaiming their dignity. Hate it, dismiss it, whatever. The Black man’s motto in the 21st century is “I’m going to keep on flickin until I’m through tickin.” Hence, forget that extinct mumbo jumbo. Peace!
Peggy Butler is a freelance writer based in North Central Florida. She has written for various magazines and Internet publications including Africana.com. and TimBook Tu. Moreover, Butler who lists collecting 60s memorabilia among her hobbies; writes news, features, sports and entertainment articles, as well as commentaries and humor pieces.
Visit her website at peggysbutler.com or track her at Twitter.com/peggybutler647.