I am young. I am black. And I am a man.
Combine those three and I am the supreme menace to society – a young black man.
Everyone under the sun has called me a savage, a brute, a beast, a rapist, a pervert, an abuser, a gangster, a violator, a moron and a buffoon.
That is how society perceives me.
The beginning of European colonization of Africa, was also the beginning of the systematic distortion of my image.
This distortion was a failed attempt to exterminate me from this earth as I carry more melanin than any other being.
This melanin has the capability of annihilating the European face; therefore, the rulers of the world have targeted me and I need your help to fight them off.
It’s hard being a black man in a society that is designed for your downfall. There are so many manholes that have been created and then opened by the United States government.
While traveling along the road of my life, I could’ve easily fallen into them. However, I have steered clear of most of them and that is why I have made it to FAMU.
It is so difficult because I feel that I’m guilty until proven innocent in all phases of my life.
In the courtroom, I am guilty once those handcuffs are thrown on my wrists.
When I pass someone on the street, they brace themselves, as if I am going to attack and rob them.
When I walk into a store, all eyes are on me, instead of that Asian girl who has already put $20 worth of merchandise in her pockets.
When I go for an interview, I first have to prove that I’m as competent as my white colleagues. When I step to a beautiful black sister, I am a loser until proven otherwise.
Shall I go on?
I am tired of being stereotyped incorrectly.
Around nine out of 10 black males are not in jail.
I feel like everyone is against me.
I won’t let that ruin my life though and I don’t think the rest of the brothers on this campus will let it ruin there’s either.
I am a billionaire. I am the chief executive officer of numerous Fortune 500 companies. I am a justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. I am the Secretary of State. I make $15 million a year playing a game that I love or singing a song that I wrote. I am a black man.
My image has been damaged even more with the discovery that I was the sniper. It was only matter of time that these huge distortions of the black man’s image would cause one of us to erupt.
As a result now more than ever, I need your help to distill these incorrect interpretations of what I am.
IBRAM Rogers, 20, is a junior magazine production student from Manassas, Va. He is The Famuan’s deputy sports editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.