Confessions of a "Problematic" Black Teen

To Whom It May Concern:

I don't care. I don't care what you think of me. I am tired of caring...

Wait, let me start from the beginning. First of all let me just say I am a very open minded person and I have a big heart. I love everyone. Now the point of this article is for me to express how I have been feeling lately and so I can tell my peers that everything is going to be okay. Now...I want to talk about how I am perceived by some as "problematic." I want to know what exactly makes me problematic? Is it because I speak my mind and don't back down to people who want me to conform? Is it because I am bold and comfortable in who I am as a person? I have something to say to the people who think that individuals like myself are a problem and that is that I don't care. Yes I speak my mind. Yes I always have a witty comeback. Yes I empower myself to stand for a movement such as #blacklivesmatter. No, I am not ashamed to be black. No, I will not push my culture aside and assimilate to please people. That is not who I am and that is not how I was raised. I know how to be professional while still being me. Now you may wonder what it is that is making me feel this way where I have to write a whole paragraph about it. Let me break it down.

Calling me: ghetto, sassy, smart mouth, feisty, hot headed, etc.

Is not a compliment. I made a joke out of sassy and named all my social media accounts "sassymerman" because out all those words that is the one I hear said in a positive way. I have also been called problematic. Now honestly, I think that is a bit out there. There is nothing problematic about me, if you think there is then you are the problem. I am not one to bite my tongue, hold my breath or blink an eye. If someone addresses me in a tone that I perceive as demeaning I am going to do as my mother say and be "nice-nasty." That is not problematic that is just being a human. I handle everything I do with tact. I have never been rude to anyone. I was not rude to the older white customers when they came to my job and refused to give me their money because they did not want to touch my hand. I just smiled and went along with it. I take so much offense to these accusations of being problematic because I have come a long way from where I was and who I was. I have seen the day when I would get a nasty attitude and pop off at someone for acting like they were to good to touch me. That was when I was younger. I am almost 21 years old. I have matured. But don't be fooled I will never let anyone walk over me and I will always be proud to be a black man in this world. There was a point in my life when I felt like I had to get in where I fit in but now I know that it is more fun to stick out. It is more fun to be something abnormal. I love being Bernard and no one can take that away.

Now that I have gotten that off my chest I would like to confess about one more thing, the election from Hell. With the results of the recent Presidential election a lot of people have shown their true colors. Now, before I dive any deeper let me explain that this has nothing to do with my disapproval for Trump supporters. I do not have anything against the Trump supporters who I know and love. The Trump supporters that surround me in my life did not vote for him because of the hate he spewed, they actually voted for him for political reasons and that is fine. Anyway, there is those Trump supporters who are bigots and those are the ones I am about to refer too. After this election I can't lie to you I was left not knowing who to trust. All I see is "Make America Great" hats around campus, rebel flags in people's windows, etc. All of this plus the things I have seen on social media has really made me quite nervous. I have been telling people this since before the election and now I have been saying this all week: I am not afraid of Donald Trump. I am afraid of the bigots who follow him. Donald Trump when he becomes president in January will have to face a system of checks and balances before he can do anything crazy but his followers who follow him for the wrong reasons already have their ignition. People are being hurt around the world. Black people are being threatened, Hispanics are being told to go back to where they come from and Muslim women are getting their hijab snatched off. No one deserves this. The reason I added this part to my confession is because it ties in perfectly with my new motto of "I Don't Care..." meaning I don't care what you mean by it, if I see a person oppressing someone because of their sexuality, race or religion I will say something or I will get help. No one in my environment will feel like they have no right to live. You may call this sense of pride that I have a "problematic" thing and that is fine because I don't care.

In conclusion I would like to finish off by repeating what I said in an earlier part of this message. I love everyone. I wish the best for everyone. With that being said, I have a problem with black youth being called problematic because they are proud of their identity. That is not our problem, it is yours. If you feel some type of way about a black person being proud of their race or a black person being outspoken and having an opinion then you should probably not speak to me. We are over being "yes" men, it is time for us to say "NO." and I for one am telling you, whoever you may be, NO.

Signed,

A "Problematic" Black Teen

PS:

I don't care...

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