Not Living Up To A Stereotype Has A Price | Real Talk
Good morning ladies and gents of the X-Army, hope you are all doing well. Welcome back to Real Talk, a segment where I provide my own personal opinion on topics I find compelling in our modern world. Today the topic of discussion is Not Living Up To A Stereotype Has A Price. What has it been like not to check the Black Box on me being a black man in the U.S? Join me today as I share my view on what’s happening. Let’s get to it!
The Way You Act Is Not Black |
Since my youth I have often heard this from people who see how I act in contrast with how black men are portrayed on T.V. and this shocked me. Am I not an individual? When migrating from Jamaica to here back in 2005 my own perception of Black Culture was from BET and what I saw in movies. My personal reality was not like that what so ever. I was an introvert going through what I now know as depression, but I played sports, I was in extra curricular activities in school, and I grew up with strict biblical principals that were beaten in me. I was also given capital punishment both at school and at home that instilled discipline in me, but I will get to that in a moment.
When I came off the plane and began my American journey I knew I either had to conform or just be myself. I tried the conformation of blackness for a very short 3 days and looking back I am ashamed of how I acted. At the time sagging pants was highly popular so I picked that up, the Crips and Bloods handshake were highly popular so I picked both up, and I bought fake grills at the time when they were popular. What I learned from these 3 solid days of constantly pulling my pants up, constantly adjusting the crap in my mouth, and feeling like I was a foreigner in my own body was this is not for me. Once I went back to who Stefan was my experience being me was wonderful.
I have always been a quiet, polite, reserved person, but people around me had this expectation that since I am Jamaican I should be this way and because I am black I should be this way. Needless to say I disappointed those people for not being a weed smoking, overly chilled, abrasive, and aggressive person as they expected. I was just me and the hype for my arrival in school fell, which was blessing. I never knew at the time but all these stereotypes of what I was expected to be I am glad to have never matched them. Because I am how I am I am in a much better place that what the stereotype leads many. I am marketable for my skill set, I don’t walk around like I am owed things, and I don’t think I am better than anyone because of my skin color. If I want something I rather earn it and work towards it, but most see blacks as victims and not makers of their own demise that can better themselves.
The Racial Slurs I Used To Get |
High School and College were a the best years of my life for the friends I made, the career I carved out for myself, and how I conducted myself as a student-athlete. That however was never good enough for the black folks I encountered along that journey. Coming here I was under the illusion that the only racial issues I will encounter would be from white people, but ignorance is bliss and the media can paint an entire population of people as a supposed enemy. The ONLY racial issues I have ever had were from other black people and I found it so bizarre at first. Being called Oreo, Fake Nigga, House Nigga, Uncle Tom, and apparently white boy. In High School I wrote this off as kids being kids and most of my friends were white anyway, so I didn’t really found friendships with the majority of black kids in my school. A minority of the black students were cool. When I got to college it was unbelievable and thinking back I am glad I went to an HBCU versus a traditional college.
The ignorant children that I saw as fellow students at my college surprised me to say the least. The laziness, the not care for education, and party mentality I saw perplexed me as someone seeking higher education. I was privileged to have the grades that allowed for scholarships and some loans were taken out, but the parents sending kids to college to do the things I saw took my breathe away in shock. I was criticized by classmates for doing class projects, showing up for class on time, and answering questions I knew the answers for. For the first 2 months I thought I was still in High School where in the U.S. it’s free, but no it’s a institution of higher learning and the students can’t take responsibility for themselves. I never liked being called the N word by black people because the good Lord blessed me with a name and I am not a dog to no one. For football and soccer these were my outlets to let out frustration. I see earning respect as a key in anything I do and to anyone I come across. I used the racial insults and teasing I got from my teammates to out perform them in every avenue. I ran faster, hit harder, and earned respect. I didn’t for them respecting me, I wanted the ignorant kids I am scholarship-locked to play with to know I can kick their asses. Don’t let my appearance foot you. In class I out performed to where most of my classmates had to benefit from a curve. You are welcome.
My mental state at the time in both scholastic periods of my life was in a bit of empathy and anger. I was angry because people who have no clue who I am nor what I stand for call me a racial term that is supposed to be good, but if you add the E and the R while dropping that A it’s a bad word. Insulted me with further words for doing what I went to school for and belittling me for taking my class work serious. Okay. I felt empathy because unlike the vast majority of black students I was around or even in the country never grew up with both parents and they took my level of seriousness in my education as something that affected them. Maybe if that was placed in bettering themselves rather than insulting someone and learn they could come out of whatever mental prison they were in, but for a lot of people that is too much work. Oh fun fact, in my years of being in America and becoming an American I have never been racially profiled nor had any issues. I guess when you don’t look for trouble or walk with a chip you will have peace of mind.
What Beatings In School & At Home Did For Me |
When I look at a number of kids in this day and age I think to myself that these kids could use a good beating from a parent. Then I remember that a majority of the black community are single parent households. Nothing to be ashamed of, but I do see the impact it has on a child’s development. I was fortunate to have 2 parents who were on different sides of the spectrum where their personalities contrast each other and the punishments I got from both really impacted me. My mother was more the vocal and physical disciplinarian, while my father was more laid-back but also a physical disciplinarian. Point is I would get my ass beaten by both, but on varying levels. The benefit of coming from a household like that it taught me the expectations of how a child should act, what my role is in the home, what reward systems are, and grades at school are currency. Bad grades equals lack of privileges and that was a great lesson to learn. If you want something you have to earn it.
In school back in Jamaica teachers had the legal right to whoop your behind also. You misbehave in class, act like an idiot, or disrespect the teacher then you will see the repercussions. The culture clash for me was when I came to the U.S. and saw how the kids spoke and acted towards the teachers. Slamming doors, calling teachers bitches, and sizing them up. But how does this fit the stereotype topic Stef? I am getting to that. I conducted myself in a way that made school like a job. I carried myself a certain way and the teachers took note. The only people who had an issue with how I acted in both High School and College were the black kids. Like I mentioned before the racial slurs tossed at me was a given, but when someone tells you “You Are Not Really Black” my response was cool. I didn’t care. Both school levels after a period I didn’t care because I am not there for them. I am their for me to learn and better myself. I tried explaining this to someone, but it was a waste of my mental energy to convince someone I am an individual.
My upbringing in Jamaica, both at home and in school, were the blueprints to my self discipline and scholastic success without me knowing. I conducted myself as a model student as I was brought up and I treated all with respect until they lose the privilege to have my respect. I was never confrontational nor was I angry at the world. If I had an issue I spoke to the person one on one or I took care of my business on the field of play in the sport I played. It’s amazing how idiotic people can fuel you with energy and you have sport as an outlet to turn that negative energy into a positive. By me saying I am not a victim goes against the black code of constantly being victimized, but not me. I took and spoke for up for myself. but rather than knocking these ignorant individuals out I just took the energy and turned it into something I am proud of. Life will even out the score in time. Remember a little thing called karma.
Not Sized Correctly & Feeling Inadequate |
So the pride and mountainous stereotypical privilege of black men are sporting talent and penis size. If you have talent you can take your talents to South Beach like LeChina James, sorry LeBron James, in the NBA along with the NFL or Basketball. If you have a massive penis like the stereotype dictates then porn is your avenue. The question is what happens when the stereotype doesn’t meet reality? Well my dear reader that’s where you have me and it’s my only insecurity that I am dealing with. I have athletic ability, but not on the level to be pro and I was never interested in taking my skills that far. The penis is the tough one to process for me. How can you be black and have a small penis? I am an anomaly I know. It’s taken me a long time to even talk about this and I have mentioned this in different blog posts, but I never mentioned this here. Supposedly only black men are the ones who have the coveted penis length women deem worth and the dating scene is filled with women who primarily seek these men. I never knew how to feel about this.
Did God not bless me like others? Am I really black? Why me? The questions have all come across my mind. The idea of cosmetic surgery has crossed my mind. To the point where I went to a Urologist for a check up to see if my penis is normal. Surprise surprise I am normal, but I don’t fit the black label and that has been a conflict within myself I am still working out. It never hit me until I hit 30 that this became an insecurity. Living in a country where size matters and black men have this expectation from women to be massive has stopped me from pursuing women since the pandemic happened. It’s strange because I had a long-term relationship, but sex was never a factor. Feeling this fear of trying to date someone became apparent when you see online or forums where you need to be X size for women and all black men are this. When keeps me though is knowing that people are individuals. I don’t meet the stereotype of size and the majority of women will not accept that here. Maybe a minority will be open minded to someone with my disappointing size, but those women are hidden.
The realization that shocked me is a lot of other black men or men in general have this issue. Having a clash with identity and self to what I am supposed to be. I am not going to lie and say I am not ashamed of what I have, I am. I am not at the point where suicide is a thing for me or taking this out on others. I read a story years ago where some black men went on a killing spree or hurt a Tinder date due to inadequacy of their penis size. I am nowhere near that street. Not even that zip code. Life has blessed me with a number of things and God has opened a ton of doors for me, but this is something I am dealing with and I am willing to work on. To know that other black men relate to this negative stereotype made me know that I can overcome it. It’s just going to take time and effort on my part. Being open minded and accepting of myself fully to say I wholeheartedly love my flaws is what i am trying to do. Going from a 90% of fully loving me to 100% is the goal and I intend to get their. I don’t know who made this disgusting stereotype, but if has single-handedly damaged a lot of black men’s self esteem. Not falling victim to in however is up to the individual.
In Conclusion |
The best way to end this would be to say my name is Stefan and I don’t live up to the black stereotype that is portrayed in the media nor in society. I am a laid-back INFJ who is more intellectual than aggressive. I have an average sized penis for a black man that I am ashamed of but working through. I have accomplished a lot in my life, got racial abuse mainly from the people with the same shade of skill as me yet I persevered and became a business owner with the energy I took from the treatment. I am not a victim of the ignorance of a select group of a community and they don’t reflect the majority, but I am proud to be me. I am proud to be a man that doesn’t see color in others, but the actions that the person or group carries out. I am a black man yes, but I am an America and damn proud of it. I don’t fit the idea many have for a black man, but I don’t care. I am my own man and I know damn well who I am as such. Amen.
Ladies and gents thank you so much for checking out this personal blog post of me and my experience. Stereotypes are negative and not many of us fill them. For a portion it benefits and for others it’s a burden that can’t be lived up to. All you can do is be you and live your life. God gave us one and all we can do is live it the best we can. Have a blessed day and I will catch you on the next post. Take it easy!
Originally published at http://xagonspeaks.wordpress.com on January 14, 2022.