“Silence is a must, violence is a plus.”
These are the words from legendary rap artist Tupac Shakur describing, “living the thug life.”
But is this the life an educated young black youth would want to live?
From incarceration to death, this “thug life” mentality has turned into its own culture.
From the style of clothing, to the phrases used as greetings, this culture has generated millions of dollars off retail.
As a woman on Florida A&M University’s campus, I notice a lot of guys. I notice all different shapes, sizes, and backgrounds.
For some reason, there’s a particular group of guys that intrigue me the most.
Those who came from substandard living environments and brought certain practices with them to college.
This creates the thuggish college man.
I never understood how a guy could come from the ‘hood,’ get an education, and still be ‘hood.’
Some guys are balancing biology classes with trying to get weed from a homeboy. Trying to study yet turning his apartment into the local trap house.
It boggles my mind sometimes when I see these guys in my biology class, and then turn around and see them have run-ins with the law.
Nine times out of ten, their parents aren’t paying for their education. Yet these “thugs” run back to their parents, not their homeboys to bail them out.
These “college thugs” need to choose one lifestyle or the other.
Be the college student you know you were brought up here to be.
It’s not about being a “square,” it’s about having a mind of your own.
A lot of people try to mimic what they see in the media, and they want to be and turn into something they’re not.
I see these same guys in the club smoking and drinking like they were in a rap video. Yet, they come to class the next day and are “Mr. Studious.”
I can’t blame them. Since they watch their favorite rapper guzzle down a bottle of Moet, they can’t help but to imitate these people, right down to the thuggish mannerisms.
As the old saying goes, “monkey see, monkey do.”
Everyone doesn’t blame the thug culture on high homicide rates, drug use, and the media.
Many people blame the environment that some black youth grow up in.
Either way, there’s no excuse for young black men to behave in a way that could jeopardize their college careers.
The thug movement isn’t all bad. It has become a culture where youth can express themselves through music, dance and other venues.
It would behoove young black men to stop coming to class high and to embrace this chance to do something better than what you were doing in the ‘hood.’
Corbin Robinson is a junior newspaper journalism student from Milwaukee. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.