I particularly like the saying of “If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.” Put simply, if you desire to see a particular result, you simply have to repeat the actions and decisions that led to the result that you seek to repeat. Despite what many think, success is far from being accidental, in fact, it results from the adherence to several logical steps. It is the science behind “luck” that guarantees that the same people will experience success while others languish in a pitiful mediocrity.
When one reflects on it, the above quote may be the most efficient way of explaining unceasing African-American politico-economic powerlessness. There is little room to debate the reality that African-Americans repeated failure to prioritize pressing politico-economic issues has led to their consistent position as the have-not’s regarding important matters.
Recently, the general foolishness that rules the lives of so many negroes was reiterated yet again when I noticed that hip-hop icon Nicki Minaj was the top trending story in Black America. Apparently, out of all of the issues facing black folk (rampant unemployment, alcoholism, police brutality, domestic violence, the disappearance of black children, the sexual exploitation of black girls by forces within and foreign agents from outside), the “rap beef” between Nicki Minaj and Remy Ma supersedes them all.
Although I would love to attribute this foolishness to yet another routine engagement of African-American youth with an inconsequential black popular culture moment, however, I do not have that luxury as many of those mesmerized by this absolute nonsense are adults whose attention would be better served on a host of other important issues such as raising their children, improving their credit rating, or even pursuing long overdue entrepreneurial endeavors. Consider for a moment that at a time when African-American women are being attacked by non-black men as they shop, African-American children are disappearing from their homes for one reason or another, and injustice continues unabated for the members of our community at every turn, huge swaths of Black America have somehow managed to ignore such matters and create sufficient psychological space to eagerly await Nikki Minaj’s response to Remy Ma’s Shether.
What a stupid people we have become.
At a moment where African-Americans are outperformed in every societal measurable, the cowardice of our population, especially African-American men, is best displayed in their refusal to engage their opponents in the realms of education, business, or politics. Instead of battling their opponents in meaningful areas, African-American men do their fiercest competition via video games while black women display a similar level of ridiculousness by denigrating other black women regarding hair weaves, designer bags and clothes, not to mention their ferocious commitment to maintaining copious amounts of unnecessary drama, usually regarding a no-good man, that serves as stifling agent to their advancement.
I am confident that in due time, Nicki Minaj will respond to Remy Ma in the same vein that Jay-Z responded to Nas, or LL Cool J responded to Kool Moe Dee, Canibus, MC Shan, MC Hammer and Ice-T. Beyond the sheer entertainment value that it provides, these rap battles are in a word, worthless. However, I doubt that their absolute lack of utility in the uplift of Black America matters one iota to the droves of hip-hop heads perched on the edge of their seat awaiting Minaj’s response. One thing is for certain, if African-Americans continue to make useless black popular culture occurrences their top priority, they will pursue their age-old pattern of lagging behind all other groups in every important facet of life. Despite our most fervent attempts, there is one rule that we will never conquer, that being, “If you do what you always did, you are going to get what you always got.”
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
© Manhood, Race, and Culture, 2017