My Perplexing yet Pleasant Screening of a Prospective BLACK Tenant
This morning, I had an interestingly PLEASANT SURPRISE...
I met a prospective Black tenant who was rather interesting...
1. He had the dread, looked rather "thuggish" or "hood", and was tall, dark and looked rather imposing... I'd have to be a liar if I were to say that I was impressed by his attire, but I was determined not to be unfairly discriminatory, or to allow stereotypes to induce me to unfairly discriminate and suggest something negative to my business associates about this MAN who happened to be Black. So I blocked all the stereotypes and decided to listen to him with an open heart not as a Caribbean man, or another Black man, but just AS A MAN!
2. The 29-year-old young man ended up being very impressive, while I'm not sure if my associates will approve him, and while he looked thuggish, he was able to explain to me how he loved to surprise both Blacks and Whites that expect him to fit the stereotypes by telling them that:
a. He does have two jobs
b. He has no criminal record
c. He has no "baby's mama" drama
d. He has a vision for his life
e. While he understands how others look at his "hood" looks as a disadvantage, he is a product of the hood, but doesn't carry hood attitudes into his business activities when it comes to treatment of others and try to hang around those that are positive.
3. He was seemingly honest, caring, appreciative, communicative; and was also an amazing orator, and truly "sounded" like a great lawyer more than most lawyers that I have met...
4. I had an EPIPHANY:
Guys like this guy are the true hope for young Black men. He made some good points:
a. Black men rob black men because they would be out of place in other places, and would be immediately reported as suspicious, and thus, go to places where they can blend in, and that is other Black neighborhoods.
b. In other words, he bottom-lined it to what I would call, scarcity of resources.
IN THE END, here was my CONCLUSION. Here is a man who is a good man, and who managed to convince me that he has all the elements that a human being should have to be a good person, YET, when I met him:
A. His looks alarmed me
B. His Style kind of startled me
C. He is is underachieved for reasons that I can only attribute to his Blackness.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Do not judge any book by its cover. Some of the most thuggish men out there may have the kindest hearts, and some the most decent looking and sounding folks out there are like the DEVIL ITSELF.
I'd love to include this gentleman that I met today in a think tank to help solve issues that concern Black men. MY GOD, I respected HIS MIND more than that of a majority of so-called intellectuals that I have met. In 10 minutes, he explained to me what it was like to grow up in the hood, and how he stayed away from troubled friends and yet loved them, and for sure, I want to hear more stories like HIS and hope that GOD will bless me to help empower people like him become TOMORROW'S LEADERS, which GOD can use to save the next generation.
For sure, he is more likely to be listened to than IV League-educated Barack Obama. One last note. This gentleman told me that he has been trying to convince his "hood" friends to translate their experience with "Street Hustles" into structured entrepreneurial ventures. For sure, he made my day!
By the way, even as a Black man, I had to FIGHT HARD not to discriminate against him because of the stereotypes that I have heard and developed about Black Americans, many of which are not without merits.
There is HOPE, but we have to start b stopping to treat others like they're HOPELESS!
He did leave me impressed, and even some of the so called best minds have failed to do so lately. Kudos to him!