The Celebration of Failure in the Black Community

It cannot be denied that America is in some sort of moral decay or shall we say “evolution”. With that being said the black community seems to be taking the brunt of the social decay. In my post “Reversing a Culture of Ignorance: Forgetting Past Representations” I talked about how world star hip hop and other images champions ignorance at the expense of the culture especially considering where the images portrayed of us came from.  I was originally going to drop another post in my “War in the Beauty” series but I had to publish this guest post from Greg Thomas(@theblackmurse) of Greg is Dumb. Not only is he my cousin(ehhh! nepotisim what can I say) but he is probably one of the most abstract thinking brothers I know. He may come of a bit strong in this guest post but deeply think about the words he is saying and the message…


This past weekend, black people on Twitter got together and managed to elevate a hashtag to #2 worldwide. Know what it was about? A girl getting jumped at Clark-Atlanta University and the police subsequently being called and the party being shut down. So what did black people do? They created a hashtag called #eboneefromCAU and proceeded to blame her for being assaulted by multiple people, commented on the video that some Omega took of the incident, with both black men and women making statements about beating her up when they see her and how she isn’t shit for calling the police. Now usually I could care less what southern college students do in their slave quarter hoedowns, but this one irked me. There were very few voices of reason speaking on this hashtag, which most promoting this incident as how things are and should continue to be. At a college. A black university. Fighting people. Men threatening physical violence against women. People cheering on acts of violence. At a UNIVERSITY. We promoted this shit, for the WHOLE WORLD to see. Then the next day black people went back to complaining about how white people are racist for thinking we act like animals.

Of course the first argument is “white people do stuff like this all the time”. Yeah, they do. Thing is, they don’t air their dirty laundry and PROMOTE further acts of it for the world to see. That comes with our cultural Celebration of Failure. Answer me this: Which video do you think has more hits? Kanye West accepting his first Grammy, or him interrupting Taylor Swift? Which one do you think people who are prejudice are likely to gravitate to? Exactly. Human beings have this thing called confirmation bias, where people who already have a set opinion look for outlets and media to justify said opinion. Hence why Fox News is so popular with conservatives, because they twist facts in order to adhere to their audiences bias and seek to confirm it. Black culture has a history of subjugation and instilled self-hatred into our subconscious from centuries of oppression, and we seek that self-destructive behavior. Hence the birth of the phrases “Don’t hate, congratulate.”

Those of us who grew up with more intelligence than our counterparts in majority black neighborhoods know the experience of being bashed for getting good grades and having parents that give a shit. No other culture looks down on education the way Black culture does. Remember Urkel? On Family Matters this man invented time travel and a teleportation device, and you know what it took for Laura to acknowledge this nigga? Steroids and contact lenses. Because clearly inventing a form of transportation that is world-changing isn’t enough for black people, he needed to go to the gym and get some contacts, that’s how you get some ass.

When a tragedy happens in white culture, the first thing they do, is 1)Distance themselves 2)Brainstorm solutions. They did it for Columbine, OKC Bombing, and numerous other incidents. What do black people do? Promote it. We don’t combat it, it always follows these 2 steps: 1)The intelligent black people either stay unaware of the ratchetness or ignore it and 2)the ignorant niggas promote the shit out of it so all the world. Black people are not a monolith, but the world sees us that way. That’s a fact of life. Denying it does not change it, it just means you will be an inevitable victim of it.

When do you see GIF’s of white kids like this?

Twitter is the best prime example of it. We are overrepresented on Twitter, as black people only make up about 12% of the population, but make up about 25% of the people on Twitter. The Twittersphere has resorted to calling our hashtags as “blacktags” because they have nothing to do with current events, politics, economics, or anything actually relevant. Instead we talk about #ghettobabynames #whyileftmybabydaddy and random negative things like that. We perpetuate our own stereotypes. No one has to do it for s. Enough money we can get Beyonce to dress up in blackface or Flavor Flav to play the uneducated negro and we flock to it in DROVES. Yet when Tavis Smiley‘s show was the first one axed in 2001 when Viacom bought BET, there wasn’t a whisper, but black folks demanded The Game be brought back, which portrays nothing but black people being at their worst, full of unnecessary drama and conflict. No one is asking for a new Cosby Show or A Different World, because who wants to see black people do well? White culture doesn’t and apparently neither do black folks. 87% of rap music is bought by white suburban teenagers. What do you think they want to see? Stereotypes. What do we in turn support? Stereotypes. Then what do we complain about? Stereotypes.

I had this video sent to me 3 times by black folks on Twitter and Facebook:

When’s the last time you have seen someone forward you a video of black folks graduating from college on YouTube?

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Check out more of Greg Thomas HERE.

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53 responses to “The Celebration of Failure in the Black Community

  1. This is a slammin posat right here! You didn’t say anything that is not the truth. Bill Cosby said saome of the same things a few years ago and he waas railed by the black community! But, you know what its starting to look like he’as right

  2. You are right in most of what you are saying I have to admit that…but why did you throw HBCUs under the bus on the low

    • Because, on some serious shit, HBCU’s fuckin suck. They cater exclusively to black people, which on average test lower, AND it’s in the south, which a good chunk of their students being from the south, which tests lower than the rest of the nation, which means their curriculum is catered to this lowered standard of education. On top of that, most of them are in the south, which isn’t exactly known for having a culture of intellect and progressive thinking.

      Disclaimer: I went to Tuskegee, and that school blew all types of ass.

      • Whoa!! That is a lot of stereotypes about HBCUs there bud! Forst off HBCUs send the most prepared black students to grad school And Xavier(my alma mater) sends the most black doctors to medical school. So your assertion is far from FACT. HBCUs actually foster a better education for black students that PWI

        • Wow, that post would have really put me in my place, except for you may have overlooked a few things.

          1. Xavier doesn’t equal all HBCU’s. Matter of fact, Xavier only represents…Xavier. Easy concept, right?

          2. HBCU’s are llike 99% black people, so its safe to assume I only have to look at graduation rates and test scores of black high school students, which are the lowest in the country on average, and that correlates to adjusting the curriculum so that more than 5 students graduate a year.

          3. Med students are smarter than your average college student. I din’t think that needed explanation, but I guess it did.

          So you would have been right, if you just weren’t so damn wrong. Nice try though. Good effort, but falling short. Eh, HBCU’s what can you do… ;)

      • So, “progressivism” equates to intellect?

        What is “progressive thinking”, Greg? And how do “progressive societies” in your mind, compare culturally, artistically and intellectually?.

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  4. I was shaking my head in agreement while reading this…then shaking my head in sadness at the end for the same reason. We as a people have SO far to go without celebrating the same things that bring us down. It’s like a perpetual cycle that won’t reach an end.

    I was like WHOA, when I read this statement “1) The intelligent black people either stay unaware of the ratchetness or ignore it and 2) The ignorant niggas promote the shit out of it so all the world. ” …are our intelligent black people really ignoring this? How can they, when its prominent in nearly every facet of our everyday lives? The media BLASTS the “ignorance” of the black community with an accuracy born from years of experience.

    • When I say ignore, I meant more like we discuss it with other intelligent black folks who feel the same way (that confirmation bias again!), so its like preaching to the choir, but we never really say anything in public as a group. Yeah Tavis or Dr. West may make a small commentary on it, but never really address the underlying problem. Most groups have a vocal minority that sets the tone but is ultimately irrelevant. We don’t have that luxury as our vocal proponent is not only the majority and they not only are the examples of our stereotypes, but are more than willing to outdo each other in fulfilling those stereotypes.

      • Thanks for the explanation – and yes, I totally understand what you’re saying. I was more so expressing disbelief that these “intelligent black people” can possibly be unaware of the state of black culture -at least to a point. While I can see they may choose to ignore placing themselves in the mix, I can’t fathom they are unaware… Though I can’t say I disagree with your statements. We do talk about it (and some take steps to structure change) but these conversations easily fall on death ears without a united front…

  5. I agree that some african americans have lower or misguided standards. But there are many who strive to be better people, the problem is like you said they (we) are not highlighted as much as those of us who chose to act a damn fool. We leave childen and teens to be the main example to black life. We dont have a lot of grown mature examples of us out there for the youth to grasp on to. I work with youth and have for years in some of the “most ghetto” parts of st louis. I have not met a single teen who when presented with an alternative way of thinking that was more healthy and honorable did not embrace it. That is not to say that they all turned their life completely around but they desired something greater for themselves. In the post from yesturday about women it was surprising to me that some brothers are okay with double standards and treating others with less than the utmost respect. I really could go on about this forever lol. Good post I appreciate your train of thought.
    If we dont demand better of ourselves noone else will

    • I usually agree with you Jamala, but I feel like you may be making excuses. Their parents are grown. Out of all the hours of TV they have watched their parents saw good examples and went to other way. Teens, they have the internet. I have been taking coursework at MIT since high school. No one told me about the free courses, I found them myself on Google. If these kids can sit around on facebook all day, they can educate themselves. Having a lack of ambition and drive comes from a culture of complacency where the government does now allow black people (specifically women with kids) to fail, which encourages and fosters further generations of ignorance.

      In the information age there is too much access to knowledge out there for people to be this willfully stupid. And when people say “well I don’t know where to look…” they can kindly miss me with that BS.

      They can Google it.

      • Not making excuses. I agree with you. Many are lazy and okay with mediocracy to a level that is astonishing. You are completely right in saying many dont have the same drive and determination that we had. In addition there is a microwave mentality that wants everything quick, fast and already packaged. I can say that I work to make things different. I also think that part of the problem is lack a consequences some of them need some good ole fashion spankings for being little lazy, disrespectful unprotective…..

        • LMAO that is very very true. I used to get beat all the time growing up, but I see it far too often that people make excuses for these kids, when these kids ain’t shit. At the end of the day, 2 ain’t shit people aren’t gonna make and raise a good kid. Example is that 12 and 13 year old that got shot in the should by this old lady because they broke out ALL of her windows and the police came and arrested the boys and one of the boys grandmother had the nerve to say a)that the other lady should have been arrested for shooting her grandson and b) her grandson didn’t do it though EVERYONE on the block had seen it happen. This willful ignorance will be the death of us, I guarantee it.

  6. I agree with you, but I think it depends on how and where you were raised. I grew up in St. Louis, attended Mizzou but transferred to a HBCU on the East Coast where I never witnessed the behavior shown and CAU or Alabama State. From my experiences I have found that blacks on the east coast are more progressive and value education and intelligence more than they do here in St. Louis. I saw ten times more fights at Mizzou than I saw at my HBCU. If YOU value intelligence, be you black or white, why should you dignify ignorant behavior? Why should I care about what they’re doing at CAU or AL State? That behavior is not typical of black colleges and is more typical of what goes on a white colleges. Most students have too much pride in their “HBCU” to embarass the school the way these kids have. When was the last time you seen this happend at Howard, Morehouse, Hampton, Spelman, Fisk? Black progression is not televised or written about. Ignorance sells, ignorance is entertaining, intelligence is not.

  7. Yo the Urkel inclusion is right on point….A brother gotta be swagged out to get attention….

    Dont fall in love with the cool as Lupe would say

  8. Woooooowww. This is a great post. You are such a humble man, D. I’m impressed at how open you are, not just in thought, but in action as well. To allow Greg to have a guest spot is just another way of showing how we can be supportive and compliment others (even thou he’s fam it still shows humility). We have been led to believe that ONE man can make a difference i.e. Martin Luther and yes, he can, but with help from others. He had tons of supporters, Black and White. He also welcomed anyone who was willing to fight for change/a solution. It’s going to take MANY (preferrably ALL) to restore and recuperate the belief of our validity, pride and respect.

    Bottomline, the truth hurts. I believe that ppl today don’t want the truth especially from a sharp tongue or no holds barred approach. They want you to be sweet and say things nicely. But none of the issues we face today are sweet or nice. There’s nothing good about the state that Black Americans are in right now and it’s mind blogging to outsiders (those from or living in other countries), Black and White alike to comprehend. And yes, we have the Oprahs, Obamas, Jay- Zs and many others with great success of all different kind. But those are individuals. As a community of Blacks we are in shambles still killing, hating, and hurting ourselves and each other. We have to except and embrace (key word “embrace”) the fact that we are different. We are a completely different race of people and the minority. We can’t allow another race to continue to define us and tell us who we are and what we are capable of due to who/what we are (our race) , enviroment or any other excuse given to rationalize our negative behavior. It doesn’t work. It hasn’t. We can be highlighted 10’s of thousands of times and until we believe that we are meant for success, wealth, beauty, etc. we will continue to regress. We somehow are being programmed to believe that the ones who “make it” are different. That they must’ve had a phenomenal mother, if not both parents, money, a nice home or whatever else we choose to tell ourselves to make it acceptable but they are still Black and have faced that adversity if nothing else. Yes, some are lucky and the cards fall in their favor, but they too work hard and their accomplishments/efforts shouldn’t be tainted in any way because of what they’ve achieved. Anywho, I could go on forever, as well. Once again, great post! I love to see this being dicussed and waiting on another “War of the Beauty part…”.

  9. This is an excellent post and you hit the truth on alot of levels. We need more intelligent brothers like you pointing out the real. Keep doing what you do Greg!

  10. I was with you until this …”you know what it took for Laura to acknowledge this nigga?” Nigga? ok. … and
    ” he needed to go to the gym and get some contacts, that’s how you get some ass.” That’s the motivating factor? “some ass” But besides that I see where you’re coming from, it just kind of negates some of your other points.

    • Yeah, let’s just pretend men interact with women to hear about their stories about workplace drama, genetics and the fact that a humans prime directive is to survive long enough to pass on his genes.

      Cmon son.

      And did you REALLY compare Screech to Urkel? That’s a fail on so many levels. Mainly because Screech was trying to beat any chick he could. Urkel went for just Laura. Screech was rarely romantic, and it was usually half-assed. Urkel ALWAYS did romantic stuff for Laura, to which she threw in his face and subsequently bitched about how guys don’t treat her right. Lets be realistic here.

      Oh and I’m sorry emotion in a post negates a point because it doesn’t fit within your reality, ans you are looking for any excuse to dismiss my point.

  11. But I’d say Nerds got no love for a long time on tv. Did Screech get any hot dates? Nope. It’s not only race-specific and sometimes, I think race navel gazing can actually add to the problem. Don’t get me wrong, it is helpful to point out and acknowledge a problem, where something falls short and formulate real solutions and plans of action but not everything should be racialized for this to happen.

  12. Very, very good post!!! I can’t disagree with anything you stated. I definitely have a simultaneous repulsion and attraction to black people.

  13. I totally agree with what you’re saying, but also have to defend HBCU’s! I attended an HBCU and have had multiple jobs(Prosecutor’s office,Feds & Boeing) b/c of the education that I received and b/c of what I brought to the table. Just like everything, life is what you make of it… No matter what institution of higher learning you go to you’re going to get young people who are away from their parents for the first time and in many cases, will do things that ordinarily won’t be done of they were in front of their parents… Like the lady said before, white kids go way harder than most black kids when it comes to drinking/ partying and other mishaps, but of course, you’re not going to hear about it… The altercations that took place at the schools aforementioned for the most part does not take place. I’m not certain where you got your stats from, but like most stats, I’m most certain that they have been manipulated just like most stats are, to make black folks look like we are the worst, have the most and are prone to most diseases and etc… Just as you mentioned before, it’s all apart of oppression… HBCU’s have put out some of the best, most intelligent thinkers out there, we compete with the Havards, Browns and Stanfords of the world and do just as well! Also, if it were not for HBCU’s, no black people would have had higher education!PLEASE don’t forget that the oppression that you spoke of included us not being able to learn, so many men and women pulled together the little that they had to form these GREAT institutions for OUR people… NOW, TONS of whites, Africans, Arbians, etc, attend HBCU’s because they can get a GREAT education at a fraction of the cost and still be able to compete with their peers! Howard Law School turns out a lot more white grads than blacks, PLEASE don’t get it twisted!

    I appreciate your post! Everything you said. (Aside from the snide remark about HBCU’s) was on point! What you said NEEDED to be said!!!! Just like the Tea Party got up and running, I feel like we need to revamp some programs and start roadtripping STRAIGHT UP and down like they did back in the day! Where do you think the white folks got it from? US!!!! Things HAVE TO change and FAST!!! This nonsense is getting UTTERLY ridiculous!!!

    BIG UPS to ALL HBCU grads!!! ALL of my love!


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  15. Decent post! But he seems to be downing black colleges like on the slide. Black colleges have done and still are doing a lot for our community. We just are underfunded and underkept right now. Do some research on black colleges before taking swipes…

    • Well, I was downing them, and it wasn’t on the slide, and I think my research is pretty well sourced considering I attended one, but think what you would like.

  16. @ Greg You said they dont make any good students! There are tons of PWI that aren’t in the top 100 hence the Top 100. The education at HBCUs isn’t up to far because of under funding. If we had the budgets of the PWI we would surely have more schools in the top 100

    • They don’t in comparison to HWCU’s. If I have a scholarship to Stanford why the hell would I decide to go to a HBCU? Exactly, you wouldn’t, and no sensible parent would go for it either unless they let their “Black Power” mindset cloud their common sense.

      • There are people who DID forgo HWCU to go to an HBCU. I think their was a news story a few months ago about it where the kid when to FAMU. So students do choose to not go the Anglo way. Anglo way isn’t always the right way

      • pointing out an anomaly does not in any way discredit what I said. If you have a 100 people and 99 do one thing and 1 doesn’t, you can’t point out the 1 person and say “See! This proves my point!” That’s not how things work fam.

    • I will have to say why is in somewhat of Greg’s defense. Why do HBCUs have big budgets for Waka Flaka but want scholars to come and speak for the low or the hook up?? Just a question…no shots fired yet…lol

      • The misappropiration of budgets is definitely a problem but thise artists brought it are run by the student body not the Administration

  17. This writer clearly knows nothing about HBCUs…smh! they have done things for our community when no one else could. And now since you can go to the PWI you are big uppin them so hard…smh

    • Wow, you would be right, except for the fact that I went to an HBCU…I’m guessing you learned that stellar reading comprehension from an HBCU.

  18. This dude has a point but sounds bitter as hell at HBCUs for some reason. He must be one of them lame cats that no chicks and wanted to leave

      • Your response really shows how lame you are. The mama put down come on dude go back to the drawing boards just like this wack post. Just cause you couldn’t cut it at an HNCU you clowning them….LAME!!

        • Yes, because HBCU’s are a tougher learning environment than MIT or the Marines. And these insults are coming from an internet bad boy such as yourself? Classic.

          I’m sure the irony of the fact that you are bitch enough that you come to the internet talking shit is lost on you, so I will just tell you that whenever you saw your mom lost in thought, she was reminiscing on how my dick tastes.

  19. I’m white and I’ve been trying to deny this happens for years out of fear of being racist. But lately, even as an outsider, I’ve grown frustrated with popular black culture. I’m taught about Martin Luther King Jr., Langston Hughes, et. and in real life, I see bad stereotypes more often than not. I used to like rap before I started to understand the words.

    How do I call out the cultural decay without being racist?

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  21. As far as the post is concerned I do believe there is too much emphasis placed on violence, fashion, pop culture, tv and the like. My contribution to a solution is that I’ve started a non-profit organization called the second parent’s initiative. This organization helps single parents through parenting classes, educating the parents and children on conflict resolution and life skills. If we’re able to contact the absent parent, they are invited to participate in an attempt to bring the parents together to raise the children (not to repair their intimate relationship). Further, to answer your question, on facebook I forwarded a video of a young man who was the first black male valedictorian in 10 years from his high school.

    I get the sense that you are attempting to expose the behavior in order to shame people into no longer engaging in it. On the other hand I feel like you’re just as much a promoter of it as well. I did not get this tweet and I hadn’t heard about this fight until I saw it here. I think there were several ways to approach this subject that would do more to resolve it than promote it. I’m not saying there was anything wrong with what you had to say at all but if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. I understand your vent and I appreciate the passion behind your words, though.

    I read the comments about the HBCUs and I had a few thoughts. I don’t believe college is for everyone although some people seem to think that’s the road to redemption if you’re black. I also don’t believe test scores show anything more than how well a person is able to deduce what answer the tests author believes is correct. Testing and test scores have nothing to do with intellect, skill or ability. How well you do in college does not determine a person’s success or lack thereof in life. Statistics have a way of being altered to suit a desired outcome. It’s easy to water down the numbers and many scientists and staticians have recently come forward and admitted to having done this. Also, the very same behavior you condemn in your post you ultimately engage in, in the your replies to comments that disagree with yours.

  22. This debate about HBCU versus PWI has been going on since the 70s. In the meantime the demographics in America (especially in traditional AA cultural centers like Chicago, Philly, NY, DC) have changed drastically. The African American professional and managerial class became totally invested in the byzantine world of affirmative action and minority business programs. Today the byzantine world of affirmative action and minority business programs is bulging at the seams with non black minorities (read Hispanics, Indians, Asians, Middle Easterners, white women). While Blacks have benefitted tremendously from affirmative action in the past (especially Black Women), its as though the proliferation of non black minorities has sucked the oxygen out of these programs for Black People. You see that in the exodus of the Black professional class from traditional strongholds like Chicago, DC, NY, Philadelphia; and their pouring into places like Houston,Dallas, and Atlanta. What they will find is that the Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta can not accommodate every aspiring Black professional in America. What Black Folk must do is adept to the new Globalized reality that has overlaid every aspect of American life. This is going to be a very difficult process for Black People.

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