A Race of Friends

I was reading threads on my favorite show and came across this comment:

I don’t understand why everyone is hung up on there being “no black people on this show.” I understand that none of the main characters are black, but so what? Just because there aren’t any there it doesn’t make the show racist. It actually is more realistic, considering only about 12% of America’s population is black, why should there be a black person in every frame or the show. Did Family Matters, the Cosby Show, or any other show about a cast of black people have any white leading roles? No! And you don’t hear any white people bitching about that. Also, every time there is a position of power on this show, have you noticed they almost always tend to be black? Like 2 out of 3 of Chandler’s last bosses have all been black. When he goes to an interview, the guy is black, they do this all the time, because they cant introduce a new leading role 9 seasons into the show when they know its going to end a year later. Just a rant. I saw a comment on it in the paper the other day and just seeing what all you guys thin…Just for all the angry people whose feelings are hurt about the lack of color on Friends, the producers should extend the show for another 5 years and recast with all black actors and call it “Black Friends”. But then that wouldn’t be good enough either, would it?’

I think you would have to be black to understand sounds bad but its true. The phrase ‘it’s a black thing you wouldn’t understand’ plays deeply into this situation. I love Friends and I do mean love. I’m parked in front of the TV every Thursday watching, but as a Black person I am the exception not the rule. Most white people love the show because there is a character to identify with. That’s why Blacks have a problem with the lack of color as its being referred to here because where do we get to identify? Overall we shouldn’t identify with the color but with the personality and that’s where we are losing out.

Yes Blacks have plenty of organizations but if you can not see where those are necessary, your view of this country in a whole is very naive. I love when white people say ‘But Black People have BET and UPN’ (which is like saying, riding in the back is better than not riding at all right?), yes you could say that but compare that to the other 200 channels that cater to the white demographic and we are still under represented as all minority groups are in this country. Is it right for ‘The Black’ shows to be just as narrow-minded? No, it’s not.

My personal opinion is that its television and nothing on TV should be taken this serious. But Art imitates life (yea I said it) and thus what does it say when one of the highest rated shows which has been on the air for 9 years and has only had 2 Blacks in main guest appearance roles (and those have been in the last two years)?

Second Reply

Lesson 1

My father passed away on January 17, 2000 five days after I turned 21. My mother and I knew neither the cause nor the reason because that is how my father was. He believed his problems were just that, his, to bare and struggle with. He could not bare the feeling of loading his problems off on other people. His name was Atlas; any of you familiar with Greek mythology knows the character Atlas carried the weight of the world on his shoulders, as did my father.

I am the clone of my father in the female form. We were both conceited, arrogant, we walked the same, we talked alike even our handwriting is similar and like him I believe my problems are mine. To discuss them with someone is to give that person power over my weaknesses in the end. I promised my mother as well as myself I would open up more because sharing believe it or not is a necessity.

In relation to Harvey’s question of happiness sharing is pertinent.
Because I couldn’t be happy without sharing apart of myself with others, no relationship could survive with both people being closed-ends. Maybe I should explain.

I had my own personal trials with searching for happiness. I thought I could find it within other people, within money, within friends, but I could not be happy until I was satisfied with myself. I moved out of my mother’s house, got a job I really didn’t need, surrounded myself with men and friends and still cried at night because there was always something wrong.

After my father’s death I secluded myself. I stuck my head in every book possible, I didn’t call anyone, I didn’t see anyone mainly because I wanted no one to see me. And one day I arrived. I arrived at a stage where I was not afraid I wasn’t afraid to tell complete strangers my most intimate secrets because they can not hurt me, wasn’t afraid to be myself, to open myself up completely because I realize it is your problem if you don’t accept me. That is perfectly fine because I’m happy with myself if no one ever accepts me, I accept me.

So to answer your question Harvey, when I close my eyes I see the universe because that is just how wide my future is. I have been truly blessed with the opportunities of a lifetime and I didn’t have to alter anything about my person for anyone to cater to me.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with being loved, as long as you are not compensating for loving yourself.

Dew

Second E-mail

Lesson 1
I know a lot of you didn’t get my first revelation, but now a lot of you will hear my second. First I’d like to say that it’s 3:20am, I’m in Wisconsin on active Duty and I don’t get off until 8am. So I’ve had time to really think over the last two weeks. Some of these things I’d like to talk about. As usual, please give me your feedback. Your thoughts along with mine bring understanding.

I can cry tears. Pain, joy, sadness. Even a stranger passing shows concern no matter the type. What of our internal tears. We all hold inside of us things we care not to share to the world. We let it grow and try to put it away, believing that it’s nothing more than a passing experience. Why can we not share it to allow others the chance to learn. I admit I do have things I’d rather not share, but I’m open. If you ask me I will tell. We are secretive people, each with our own specific ways about us. But that’s just a thought not my main subject.

My concern is with happiness. Do we look for what is best for us now or do we look for the best later? If we want something so bad we can reach for it. What if you reach only to see that it’s so far away. We all have goals and dreams, but none of us want to come short of those goals. So what do we do? Give up or drive on. I know sometimes we settle for what we have, not sure if it’s the best and afraid that nothing better is out there. Other times we have what’s best but believe that something better is out there. What do we do? Life has so many twist and turns, but no signs on any roads.

For three years I have been without a “companion”. Not until recently has it really started to bother me. My goal has seemed so close but when I stand there and look around no one is there. I question myself, but I realize I’m just me. I can only be loved for who I am. I stand with open arms waiting, patiently but carefully. I know God has a plan, but he just hasn’t told me what it is. Am I wrong for wanting to be loved? Is it wrong to want to love? Close your eyes and see your future, Does it scare you?I know to some it may be hard to understand, but most of you are deep thinkers and can feel what I am saying. Open your minds and let this make you think. Let it help you observe. Allow it to make you love. Please again I ask for you thoughts.

Harvey “Spike” Lee Thompson II
E PLURIBUS UNUM
Goodfella.s.s. 4life

My Reply

Innocence

In response to innocence I agree wholeheartedly. The question is what has happened to trust? Answer it has depreciated into TOLERANCE. Out of all the people you know you may only trust 2 of them and tolerate the rest of them. Why? Convenience. This person has cool conversion but you know they shady, that person is cute but stupid, this person is cool but ugly, so as people you do not want to invest the time to expand the knowing of this or that person so that you can learn to trust them. It’s so much easier to use you for what you are worth to me and not invest the time it takes to get to know you. Cuz in turn that means you begin to know me and dare I have too many people who know me, because then I become vulnerable.

What if I MISTRUST you? That means you can turn against me and in doing so you have a secret weapon- my own little dirty secrets. And I can’t have that. There’s no way you can know about my personal skeletons. Then you know I’m not as GOOD as I want you to think I am (or perceive I am). Then you begin to see me for the dirty birdy I’ve tried so hard and so long to keep you from seeing. But what I don’t realize is that I’m so fouled up on my own insecurities that I don’t realize you have secrets just like me. You have problems and skeletons of your own, so why am I so shaken?
Because you no longer PERCIEVE me in the way of innocence. I can’t pretend I don’t know about or I haven’t heard or I didn’t see, I can’t pretend I haven’t done or haven’t used any and everything I can no longer LIE for the sake of innocence. Why though? If you must lie about it, why do it? Cause it feels good. Cause I enjoy doing it. Then why lie about it? Because society tells me I’m dirty for doing it. Not just sex, but the cursing the gambling, the drinking, the promiscuity, all of it thrills me, yet I know if you find out I’m no longer an exception, I’m no longer special because I don’t; I’m no longer popular for being different. And dare I not be popular.
The one thing most people fear more than death is the fear of being alone. Therefore I will tolerate Shady Susie and Lying Lewis so I won’t be alone. I’ll lie about myself to form an image of someone you will accept into your realm of lies (think about it). I’ll lower my own standards to be higher in your regards, because dare I be alone, dare I stand on my own 2 feet, dare I educate myself, dare I tell the truth and you accept me for who I am. DARE I BE AN INDIVIDUAL.

We’re a selfish generation we want to be loved but not give as much love, we want to work but not that much, we want to be felt and not feel, be helped but not help. Aristotle said it best “In friendship loving is far more greater than being loved”. You can not trust anyone else until you trust yourself, you can not love until you love yourself, and indulgence in some cases is a wonderful thing but if you have to lie about your indulging you may want to consider abstaining. If you know you’ll regret it why do it?

Dew

E-mail from Spike

Innocence
Whatever happened to trust? I was sitting here wondering why is it that nowadays, more than ever, people lie. Is it something in the water? At what point in time did it become ok to do this? I believe it has a lot to do with the way people want to be perceived. In an effort for others to accept them they feel that a lie is the way to achieve that goal. Why worry about what someone else perceives. When and if they see the “lie” they begin to act differently anyway. This is the problem with relationships today. They come based on lies. These lies become evident inside the relationship. This brings about the saying, “You’ve changed”. In all actuality they haven’t changed, it’s just the lie isn’t being maintained.

Who do we point the finger to? Of course we all would say the opposite-sex, but is this really the answer? Let us look at both. Who can honestly say I haven’t seen or heard a friend lie. Who can honestly say they haven’t told a lie to build a relationship. Honestly in meeting a person that seems to be your potential “friend”(a term I will discuss later) our goal is to impress. At this point we tend to believe that bending the truth maybe a little will help us obtain that goal. Understand what I’m saying now. The unsaid answer, the little grin instead of saying no, the avoiding of questions. This is not keeping it real. If I can’t be honest with you now, all I’m doing is making it harder on myself down the road.

Now the “friend” issue. Now more than ever the term friend is in use. To have a friend suggest that I do have someone I kick it with. This can go from just telephone conversations to sex every other night. A friend is saying I have no commitment to this person so I can do as I please. I’ll call etc. In some cases we see more than one friend in the picture. What do we call a man with more than one friend? Personally I see it as a way to escape commitment. Everyone says they’re young and have time. Well if you ask a few people on this campus who thought the same, but were victims of an unexpected case of herpes, they seem to see it differently. Don’t get me wrong, live your life party if that’s what you like, but if you’re not committed then your friend isn’t either. It’s so much out there nowadays and there is no way to protect yourself 100%.

I was just sitting here and all these things rushed into my mind. It was just something I really think about from day to day. I see it, I live it. The only things I trust are Goodfella.s.s. and my dogg. This is only because I know them. I personally think this is a good conversation topic also. So what are your views?

Harvey “Spike” Lee Thompson
“Don’t piss on my leg and tell me it’s raining”
Goodfella.s.s. 4life