PSA: Notorious

So I see Notorious, this movie about Biggie — which I hear is actually pretty good — is coming out on January 16.  As many of you have heard, the patron saint for us tall, skinny lightskinneded smart dudes is being inaugurated four days later.
With that in mind, I ask for one thing — can y’all please not get to shooting or nothing like that?
Now, here’s the thing…
There is a belief that you can’t take black folks nowhere, cuz we’re gonna act a fool.  Now, will we act a fool?  Probably not.
Will someone?  Absolutely.  
Why?  Because we can’t have anything without the fools showing up.
That’s the funny thing about race.  It’s taken a wildly diverse group of people and convinced them that they’re all the same.  When white folks get together in large groups, they do so in small groups centered around some common interest.
Spring break at Panama Beach?  The college students head out.  Biker rally at Sturgis?  The bikers come out.  It’s cliqued up like that.  There’s enough cool stuff for white people to do among themselves that they can break up into crews and do what they do.
Oh, but when my folks have something, we’re all showing up.  All someone needs to say is that there will be tenders, and we are all there.  Freaknic started as a picnic thrown by the DC Metro Club of the Atlanta University Center.  Few years later, it’s a friggin’ phenomenon.
Why?  Because someone heard Freaknic was off the chains.  And once word — and video — hit the barber shop, we were alllll coming, from the SGA President at Hampton to the cat wit the fattest sacks in Brooklyn.
That’s because black folks events are just that — black folks events.  The game hasn’t really allowed us to break into groups (at least not in any way I’d deem positive).  We all go to everything.  Go to the All-Star Game, and we’re all there.  The bougie, the students, the working man, the hoodlum…we’re all showing up.  We all like to kick it the same way, and we know there will be tenders.  Even tenders wanna go where they know tenders will be there cuz they know dudes will be coming to swarm the tenders.
So, without those clear class lines in the way that black folks congregate — an interesting study in essentialism, btw — there’s always a chance that a knucklehead is going to show up.  In fact, it’s a guarantee.  That’s actually not so much of a problem…assuming none of the knuckleheads the first knucklehead has beef with come.
But if they’re in the same sphere?  Smoke in the city, pimpin’.  Smoke in the city.
There’s your explanation for why something seems to go down whenever a bunch of black folks get together.  For better or worse, you can’t get some of us without getting all of us.  Don’t put it on all black folks when you see that stuff.  Just understand the circumstances that make these things happen.  It ain’t like they start buckin’ at the Jack and Jill convention, yanno?  That’s actually a place where we don’t all show up…but shit, who the hell would want to kick it with them anyway?  A couple of shots might liven those parties up.
Back to Notorious.  There are two sorts of people that are certain to show up for this affair — wannabe rappers and dope boys.  Who’s most likely to look at the screen and see their lives, yanno?
Remember the thing about two knuckleheads in the same sphere?  See why I worry about Notorious?
So, you think we can get the knuckleheads to create a Facebook group or something that’ll allow them to coordinate what theaters they go to?  It ain’t like quarreling knuckleheads wanna be in the same place, yanno?  Let’s just do what we can do to make things easier on all of us.
Cuz we all know that if there’s so much as a fistfight in DC that weekend, it will be front page news for the whole weekend.  We don’t need that.  And while I’m talking about the Negroid “we,” it’s also a larger “we.”  Anything that distracts us from one of the positive milestones in American history cheats us all.
So holla at the bootleg man if you’re in a bad mood on Notorious weekend.
I refuse to allow anyone to pretend, even for a second, as if some dude I’ve never met is at all a representation of me.  That groupthink bullshit reinforces the racism we claim we’re tired of, completely ignoring that racism, by definition, strips us of our individuality.  And, well, individuals are allowed to be as foul and stupid as they want.  Ain’t got a lick to do with me.  If there’s a groupthink attitude to take toward those people, then Americans should be doing that.  As Americans, let’s be embarrassed about the knuckleheads and try to fix it.
I mean, we are Americans, right?
That said — if only for that weekend, please don’t shoot at the screen.  In its own way, it’ll be like stabbing your own folks in the back.

6 thoughts on “PSA: Notorious”

  1. You only touched on this indirectly, but it’s worth revisiting. White people don’t hate black people, or any other group. We hate absolutely everyone, ESPECIALLY other white people. That’s a big part of why you find those smaller groups you noted.

  2. Well said, Baba.
    I would hate to see “fools” turn the upcoming victorious day of January 20th into a News at 11 situation.
    And for those who just feel the urge to “accafool” STAY AWAY the D. C. area that weekend.

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