DYING SENTIMENT OR THRIVING HATRED: HOW MUCH OF MY ETHNICITY REALLY PLAYS A ROLE IN MY SUCCESS

“Sins of the past don’t have to be the future.”


The above photo is of a woman by the name of Vivian Malone. Vivian Malone was the first African American student to register for classes at the University of Alabama as an undergraduate student. The university was racially segregated, and up to this point no had been successful in entering the school. Even the governor at the time, George Wallace, stood at the door, blocking her entry temporarily before she was allowed access inside. Now, this topic is not about Vivian Malone, this topic is in reference to how much has changed since that time period. That was back in 1963 when she was denied entry, and my mother was only 3 years old herself. Since then, a lot more students have been admitted to Alabama, and no one thinks twice about Black children attending. But we still have conflicts in America today, as exemplified in Virginia a few weeks ago.

So my question is, how much does my ethnicity even in today’s society contribute to my success. Because I see so many men and women that look like myself that are successful, but then you see what has been going on in the country today. There are marches for White Supremacy in America, yet there are counter protest on the other side. And the counter protest are bigger than the supremacy groups. So yes, racism does exist, but on what scale. I have experienced it in life and still do. But what role does it and will it play in future success? A lot of the sentiment, I am not concerned with at this point in America. Because if you don’t like me by this time, then you never will. My only obligation is working to succeed how I want to succeed. I’m not in this world to convince everyone to love me, that’s not practical.

Yet, you have to deal with these types of people. I was reading somewhere that only 10% of the American population are supporters of these Neo-Nazi groups. Now, looking at this from a percentage basis we say, “10% is not a lot of people. But the American population is close to 320 million people. With 10% of these people following hate groups, 30 million people are a lot of people. But see, I am not trying to win those individuals over. I know they have and never will like me. My goal is I don’t want to have to come into contact with them. Yet when you see the Virginia march with tiki torches, you say to yourself, some of these guys were professors and even worked in the medical field. It creeps me out that some of these people could be my doctors. Black men already have and adverse feeling when looking at doctors.

Yet, in the end, I still look at my life with hope. Though in the back of my mind, the thought never leaves. When I come across someone and have what I perceive to be a racial experience, and I say to myself, “Did they because; nah, maybe not.” Nonetheless, I am hopeful; for my future and the country. We like to look in the past and say that people were so awful. But I think there were just as many good people today as in the past. It’s just that we all excepted life as what it was then. And the more we pushed against the grain, the more we look back and say, “You know, this wasn’t ok at that time.” For me, I look at photos of separate water fountains that said, “White Only and Colored Only.” It seems weird to look at, but for older people in my family that was life at one point in time. I feel life is changing, it’s just in real time we don’t see it. We never see life while in the paradigm of living it; humanity never will. Only when you look back over time we become convinced of the changes.


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LIVING UP TO EXPECTATIONS: SHOULD I LISTEN TO OTHERS OR FOLLOW THE BEAT OF MY OWN DRUM

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“Stuck between what they think and how I think.”


Trying to please other people or live by how they view you is a struggle that most of us deal with on a daily basis. But if you’re one of the the few that are not as caught up in how others perceive you, you might have a happier life than most. And that happiness could be the main factor in your success in life. But what is it that makes people so stuck on what others think of them? Why do they need so many people’s approval before they start anything in life? It’s this need to fit into a world that might not even be doing you a favor. Yet you want so desperately to fit into this space.

One of the reasons people work to fit into this space is because as a species, we yearn for acceptance. But most of all, we want some form of companionship. It does not necessarily have to be some intimate relationship. But just enough so you don’t feel alone in the world. That lonesome feeling is why you need that other person or people’s input. Going through this world alone is one of the toughest aspects of facing life. You don’t even have to be dealing with a serious financial or health issue. We as humans are just built to want someone close to us. Someone who will talk to us when there is something bothering us. And who+ are you to communicate with when you’re alone?

Another reason we seek to gain the acceptance of other people is to not be looked at as an outsider. This is an action in our lives that adolescence deal with for the most part. But it doesn’t stop there; it goes into adulthood. You actually don’t start not caring how people feel until you’re almost done with life. But why not when you’re young? Why not have it built into your mind that this is who I am, and that’s that? Well, it has a lot to do with self-awareness. We are quite unaware of ourselves and lack a real defense mechanism. So we are not able to fend off the people who might look at us a certain way. Instead of making people accept you for you, and if they don’t get rid of them, we please them. Then again, the feat of listening to yourself and not others becomes real tough when it’s coming from family.

Here is the hardest part, going against your parent’s wishes. You have been taught since you were a child that going against what your parents want you do is being disobedient. But like I said in prior posts, parents know what’s good for in childhood, not as an adult. Yet when you become an adult it’s normal for them to want to steer you in a certain direction. But what if you found what you love elsewhere? Now you’re in this weird position on who to follow. You’re stuck on following your inner self or your parents. But ultimately, the choice will be up to you. See, in the end, we want to please too many people. Yet, how many people are trying to bend over backward to please you? You have to do what’s best for you, and you only. Because you’re the only one responsible for your success and happiness.


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COLORBLIND OPTIONS: WHY IT’S HARD FOR ME TO DATE INTERRACIALLY

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“I commend those who can do so.”


Living in New York City, you become accustomed to seeing interracial relationships. But me myself, I have never been in one. Not because I am not attracted to a woman of another group, but because of the social strain. To those that are able to do so, more power to them. Yet I have not been able to muster up the courage and date someone non-Black. And that choice is because it is easier dating someone within your ethnic group than outside. It’s not how I was raised growing up, but my mother also let me know the reality of doing so. Date who you want, but this is what comes with it. Didn’t make sense to me until I stepped into society and saw it with my own eyes.

When you see how people behave, it is very uncomfortable. And when I say react, I don’t mean stop and stare. I mean the actions of an individual that places me in a weird situation. As much as we say it’s none of people’s business, that doesn’t sink in that your life could be at risk. Dumb as it may sound, there are men compelled to react just by me being on a date with a woman from their group. And what is the woman to do; nothing. She can call for help, but physically she is at a disadvantage. Now, all of this sounds crazy, and to be honest it is. But when in that situation, it must be very hurtful. As for me, I have never been in that position, and to be honest I wouldn’t want to be. But what can you really do; nothing.

That is one aspect of dating interracial I couldn’t handle. But another is the parental/family aspect. There was a fashion model who not long ago opened up about her relationship to a Black man and what her family thought about it. They refused to communicate with him. Almost as if he weren’t standing in the room. But eventually they accepted him into the family. I couldn’t deal in an environment like that. If you can’t accept me for other more serious reasons, then yes, but not racial. And by me playing into you I am feeding the fire. But to him it must have been worth it, because him and this model are married now.

So in the end, to some it’s worth it, but not so much for others. To have to go through the strain of having to defend yourself constantly can work against you. And if you are with someone that could cost you a friendship, family, and even jobs, is tough to accept. We can’t hide the fact that it exist, and I don’t see the problem going away anytime soon. But until it does, this is just a reality.


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CHANGE THE LANGUAGE, BUT NOT THE CONDITION: HOW AMERICA PUTS YOU BACK INTO SITUATIONS

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“We change the language, but not the condition.” – George Carlin


Diversity, diversity, diversity!! That’s all we hear into today’s society. We must be impartial and open to different ethnic groups and cultures. But are we really as diverse as we think we are in America? We put this image out there that we must embrace everyone, but do you really want to embrace everyone. You really want to be honest and say that certain groups of people make you uncomfortable. Yet if you do, it makes you sound just as aggressive as the people you fight against. So what is the real face of diversity? And how does it have an effect on people who believe in the diversity?

Well, I was in attendance at a high school graduation not long ago and I heard a key not speaker say that they were a very diverse school. Now looking into the crowd, I myself didn’t see much diversity. But the guy started talking, and the more he talked the more I picked up on the problemImage result for un flags that is looming beneath the language. The entire audience was predominantly White males and females. But the problem wasn’t a predominantly White audience, it was the deeper issue with the guy’s language. He said that we have a diverse student body of kids from Italy, France, Germany, Australia, and Spain. And I thought to myself, “What the White men and women in America come from where, outer space.”

And that’s when it hit me, that this diversity push is merely a way of creating new language, but the same construct. Because Black and White in America Related imageare not real ethnic groups, they are constructs. So you can’t say all White school, but you can say student body of Italian, French, and German. But that is what “White People” are in America. French, Germans, Italians, English, and Irish families who came to this country a century or so ago. So this is what we have done in America. Let’s take all these new, “White People,” from different parts of Europe, that are ethnically the same as the ones in America, and instead of White, let’s lead in with their respective countries. It’s only changing the language, but the construct is still the same.

Diversity is Jamaican, Puerto Rican, Indian, German, Iranian, Chinese, Russian, Kenyan, in a classroom. But see, that’s too real, so let’s get the same of what has always been and change the language. And what you do is put people right back in the same situation as the past. I spoke about this in the past  Related imageregarding the neighborhood of Harlem changing parts of its name. SOHA, meaning Southern Harlem, becomes such so that the “White People” moving in don’t have to be attached to the “Black People” already there; calling the new neighborhood name change trendy. All the while, anti-Trump posters hanging up and cultural acceptance signs are everywhere. Real diversity is not removing a group, but bringing what you have to add, on top of accepting what’s already present.

Fact of the matter is, you don’t want to accept it, furthermore, you want to destroy, even more than the people you’re fighting against. So instead of Related imageWashington Heights where a lot of the Dominican population live in New York City, let’s call it Upper Manhattan. I’m coming in with my LGBT acceptance, and anti-racism signs, and anti-Trump movement, yet I carry more disdain than the opposition. This is what is being carved out into Image result for lgbtthe American landscape. And what is taking hold is a new fight; the immigrant population of the same groups here from the old country, and the people who have been here for centuries from the old countries. But this new change is just a hybrid of the old way, making people who want to stay old fashioned feel bad, yet the new is adopting all the old stuff.

And in the end, that’s my problem with this new change in America. It’s not real change, not real love, it’s not real diversity. The people who are now in charge are saying all the right buzz words and not doing the right things, yet they’re still in charge. And it’s these people who want to chastise the populace, behaving the same as the populace. And this is how Trump became our commander in chief. Our dishonesty has become so strong, even the stuff he says that he shouldn’t feels good because it comes from a perceived real place.


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POLITICAL ETHNIC CHOICES: DOES ETHNIC CHOICE MATTER IN MARRIAGE CHOICES

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“Is love really color blind?”


Recently on the morning radio talk show The Breakfast Club, social activist and psychologist Umar Johnson was on talking to the hosts. He made a statement regarding interracial marriage that I thought was quite interesting. He stated that marriage is a political decision. And who you marry says a lot about your priorities when pertaining to ethnicity. Which is why he said that if you are an African American marrying a White man or woman you are not only taking them on as a partner, but also this group’s culture. And you are accepting the group’s community as well. Umar was making a distinct connection between what outside ethnic group you marry and your loyalty to your own ethnic group.

And what I thought about right off the back was, is this so? Does marrying outside your ethnicity as an African American renders you devout of self-love and respect because of your choice? And is this really a choice that is stemmed deeply in politics? Because I see Jews, Asians, Indians, and Hispanics stress marrying another member of their group. This is not just Umar who feels this way. Are those other groups wrong for preserving their culture? Because this is what the fight is about, preserving culture. When you marry a group that is different than your own, the cultures can be vastly different. What do you say regarding this, such as Jew marrying a Muslim?

See, in my household, my mother stressed marrying someone you love. And I felt this way, but when I became an adult, and took on my own experiences I started to look at things differently. I don’t think you are less than for marrying outside your ethnicity, but I also am not against people who are against interracial relationships either. Now some may say, how can you feel that way? I myself, as an African American man, couldn’t marry a woman of any other ethnic group if not accepted by her side. Meaning, if I meet a Chinese woman, and her parents/family didn’t approve, I wouldn’t see myself staying. As against them as I might be, I don’t think you should be forced to allow people into your family if you don’t want me there.

Now, that leaves the woman hurt, but that’s a problem she must come to terms with, with her family. You know your family, and you know what they accept and reject. I don’t want to be a member, nor do I want them forced to accept me. My best bet, is to remove myself from the equation. It’s not in my best interest to stay. Because if I were abusive, that’s a reason to not like me. I can’t stay in a situation where you dislike an aspect about me I can’t change, nor would I want to change. So as much as it would hurt the woman, I have to make a decision to remove myself.

Now others might disagree with my decision. They would say, if you love that person, who cares what others think. But to me, as awful as you might think they are, losing family is easier said than done. Are you willing to lose everything that have ever existed in your life for this one person? And if you and this person don’t last in the relationship, you’re completely alone in the world. Sadly enough, people are put into those decisions. And I don’t want to be the catalyst for that decision.

In the end, there are people who think love is color blind. And to me you like what you like. Human attraction is not always a socio-political decision because we are not that type of species. People are mammals that gain attractions to other mammals like us. Ethnic conflict is a social construct placed by man for means of control. There are men who are members of the KKK that are attracted to Black women and Nation of Islam men who have liked White women. It’s not ok socially, no one would admit that, but as humans you like who you like. Yet the social aspect of our society is far more greater than the emotional attachments.


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ACCEPTANCE VERSUS TOLERANCE: HOW DO YOU WANT TO BE RESPECTED

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“I want love by choice not force.”


In America today, more than ever we are stressing the tolerance of other groups of people. People who you may not agree with, yet you leave them to their own devices to be them. Me on the other hand, I have a different view of the topic at hand. Me myself, I would rather be accepted than to be tolerated in America. What is the difference between being accepted and tolerated? To accept someone is to celebrate them in all they have to give. To tolerate someone is to only accept them by means of force. We push people to have tolerance while acceptance is more pure. Why is this so important today?

Because with the introduction of our new Commander and Chief Donald J. Trump, people feel like he’s very insensitive to certain ethnic groups. Mainly people in the Middle Eastern communities and Hispanics. But when I hear people say that they tolerate a group of people it’s still similar to saying you’re not fond of a group of people. Now, let’s not get that confused with hate. Notice I said it is similar, but not the same. And I say similar Woman in Blue Hijabbecause the similar reasons he disagrees with a group is the similar reasons why people tolerate a group. For example, he says we need to vet countries where radical Islamic extremists are coming from entering the United States. Then people say I disagree with how Islam treats it’s women, yet I tolerate their culture.

You’re similar in that your feelings toward them are strong, maybe not on his level, but it’s there. It’s harder to say you accept Islam because you do disagree with some of its principles. Yet no one wants to think they agree with him on any level. But let’s be clear, is it people who accept and or tolerate communities that they gentrify. No, the goal is to remove those living their and make way for their families. This is on par with the same racial sentiment you’re accusing the president of conducting himself in, in our country. See, I have a different perspective on the whole acceptance versus tolerance belief. Like I said before, I would much rather be celebrated because it’s pure.

Now here is something interesting I can share with you regarding the acceptance. People treat you in the manner in which not only you carry yourself, but how you think someone else sees you. So you are hurt when not accepted because you’ve based your identity off of someone who ultimately does not respect you. And if you’re seeking validation from someone that does not respect you, they’ll see it and use it against you. Still, people fight for the tolerance. Then again, is all tolerance bad? Am I looking at this tolerance word with too much conviction? Let’s analyze the other side.

Tolerance is me not accepting something you say or do, a practice you are conducting yourself in, but I can still respect you enough to not hate you. Meaning, I believe you can be tolerant to gay marriage, yet not hate gays. I don’t believe you should have the choice in them getting married and I Image result for rainbow flagdon’t condone violence against someone living how they choose to live. But I don’t think we should live in a society where are forced to agree. And as long as we can disagree and continue, there is nothing wrong with opposing. Now, with that viewpoint you won’t reach everyone, but as long as people know where you stand, that is key.

In the end, knowing where people stand is the tough part. We live in a country where everyone says the right thing. And a lot of that comes from fear of losing something. So we are becoming a nation where we teach each other how to lie to one another. I don’t want you to lie about how you feel toward me. And if you don’t like something, express your right to not be involved in what the person is doing. Because using means of force will only result in more conflict and further alienation.


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ASSOCIATION IS MOTIVATION: HOW BEING IN A SOCIAL GROUP IS WORTH THE WORK

“How much is it worth being apart of the group?”


A lot of people want to belong to a social group. And for most of us, we have at some point in our lives were members or are members of a group. But what is the reason one need to belong to a group? Well, there are a multitude of reasons as to why. I have decided to write about the few reasons why so many have chosen to be apart of a group. My conclusion that I have come up with as to why we need a group is because of not wanting to become ostracized, fear of being alone, and a need to belong to something. These are, in my opinion, the top reasons why we join.

For starters, we don’t want to be ostracized like the others we deem to be losers. When you’re growing up in school, you want to belong to a group. And when I say belong to group, you want to  be one of the popular kids in school. We don’t pay heed to the personalities of the kids in the group or how they treat other people. We want to be accepted by our peers within the group. So, a lot of times we’ll join in on the ignorance of the group just to be accepted. The group skips school, you go with them. The group gets caught getting high, you’re with them. Whatever they do you do, just to belong. But this goes beyond school kids. There are adults who play the I would rather be in a group than not game as well.

This leads me to my next reason why people join groups. We as humans need some form of companionship. And being in a group is part of that companionship. Because think about it, who really wants to be alone. You see elderly people walking up the street. They have no friends, no family, no nothing. All they have is themselves and the thoughts in their heads. So with all that has been said, why wouldn’t you want to be in a group. Because then again, everybody want to be apart of something. Which leads into my third reason why we join groups. This is the main reason in my opinion why we all want to belong to something great.

Being apart of something great is an aspiration of most of us. Even if being apart of the group means just standing next to the greatness. It’s the reason we apply to certain colleges, associate with a certain groups of people, or work for a certain organization. Just look at the entourage of famous celebrities. Not everyone in that group has a purpose, but some people need to be in the vicinity of something great. In the end, we all want to belong to something. We hate being alone and yearn for companionship. Just as long as you don’t associate with a group that is detrimental to your safety, you’re fine.