Putting RESPECT in EFFECT – By Yvonne Sam


By Yvonne Sam

Once upon a very long time Blacks respected each other. They were our grandparents, great grandparents or even further back than that. And   today, although there are some of us who respect ourselves and each other, yet there is still something terribly amiss.  The effects of slavery programming and brainwashing are no longer acceptable excuses for the blatant disrespect that our people repeatedly show towards each other.   

Blacks as a whole expect less of ourselves and each other than we do of other ethnic groups. We expect to be on colored people’s time when we have to be somewhere, and we are outraged when white folks talk and treat our people the same way we treat each other. Plainly put respect has been lost.

Respect begins in the mirror, for when you respect yourself, it shows in how you dress act and react. Guys when you respect yourself, you know to pull up your pants without having to be told, and always be there for your children.  Girls when you respect yourself you know not to dress like Kim Kartrashian or Nikki Mirage, because nowhere on God’s green acre do you have to show everything you have to everybody and everything that sports a pair of eyes.

The difference must be understood between being respectable and respectful. Being respectable is walking with honour, honesty and integrity and behaving with good character, strong values and morals. Being respectable is setting a consistent example regardless of how people treat you. Being respectable says a lot about you – not about the other person. Self –respect demands respect, and by the same token when you disrespect yourself and our people, it sets the tone that other races or ethnic groups follow suit, although they should be held accountable as well.

Has any thought been given as to why some white police officers believe they can get away with abusing and killing Blacks?  They see certain behaviors in us. Plainly and clearly put, when we respect ourselves and each other it will send a strong message and signal to every race, color, creed or national origin that we will not tolerate an atom of disrespect. Until such time, we are more a part of the problem than the solution. There is a lesson to learnt, from the LGBTQ community or the Muslims of the Middle East (not that I am promoting them), but as a group they do not tolerate disrespect… period. When we respect ourselves and each other, we can demand respect from the police and the courts – and get it

We must also be careful in trying to impress other races or ethnic groups by putting down one of our own. Do not think that by so doing you will be favorably thought of by the other ethnic group. During World War 11 some Germans escaped to Russia and furnished the Russian government with information about Hitler’s plans.   After listening the Russians then executed the German defectors. They knew for a fact that they could never place trust and confidence in those who would turn on their own kind. A simple point in question—If you will turn on your own kind, other groups know that you will do likewise with them just as easy, and at less than the snap of a finger—therefore you cannot be trusted.

Also as African Americans we must do better in business towards each other. If you are a Black business owner, please do not sell junk to our people or price gouge them. Also as customers we must strive to handle disagreements with the utmost of respect—not by getting loud, rambunctious or behaving as if you have lost your mind. It is amazing how negative programming can continue to make us work against each other. Let us strive to treat others especially our own people the way we want to be treated. It has been called the Golden Rule—- to do unto others the way you would have them do towards you, but far too many of our people still do not get it.

If you mistreat people, it will come back to you. So whether we want to call it Karma, reaping and sowing, the boomerang effect or what goes around comes around – our people need to realize what we do comes back around and hard. If you run a scam, it’s coming back. If you speed up when you see someone trying to get over in traffic, it’s coming back. If you take a parking space you know someone else was waiting for, it’s coming back. If you have your “baby daddy” locked up or refuses to let him see his child only because he is with a new woman, its coming back. And guys, if you cheat on a good woman who loves you – oh yes that too is coming back.

Another unsettling thing that I have noticed is so many cases where Blacks will not sit next to each other on the transit system. They will leave an obvious seat vacant and stand up instead. How sad! At the same time I also notice white folks, Asians and Indians sitting where ever there is an available seat. Now more than ever before we see more African American men trying to date white women. Likewise, we see more African American females dating white men and putting down African American men than ever before. One should be able to date whomsoever you want but not for whatever reason you want. If you are dating a person of another race or ethnicity because you are shunning our race, then right there lies a problem.

Before we can expect any other race or ethnic group to respect our people we must set the tone by respecting our own. Respect has to begin in the mirror or we will have none to give to anyone else, it has to be given in our churches, schools, homes, neighborhoods and black-owned businesses. We cannot afford to hustle each other, overprice our products and services, provide inferior customer service or fail to stand by what we offer.

My intended message herein is quite simple. Respect yourself, respect our people and do not tolerate when any other race or ethnic group fail to do so. Then and only then will it show as we grow and onward go.

Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Hermina  On 04/09/2018 at 4:27 pm

    Thanks once again. You have released gems of wisdom in there for everyone especially those who use this forum as a means of talking to others in the diaspora.

  • Ali...  On 04/10/2018 at 4:35 am

    I agree that blacks should respect each other. But you fail to convince me that they don’t do so. You have not given enough examples to make your case legit.

    As a personal rule I respect all races until given reasons to act differently.

  • Mark  On 04/11/2018 at 10:26 pm

    The black community needs a positive role model, but contemporary America will not allow that to happen. Ever noticed how that whiter complexion feminist who created that fugazi video in Harlem tend to portray black and Hispanic men as criminals for saying “good morning” to her?

    Well guess what? Nearly that entire part of Harlem is gentrified and occupied by upper class yuppies. Many of our friends in Harlem were forced to move out of their community because of the American yuppie and their intolerance of our cultures and the way we are—They dislike my skin colour, my ancestry and my heritage, but I respect myself to use that grievance in a positive way such as working in Legal Aid to represent poor and marginalized youth accused of bogus and lying accusations.

  • BERNARD N. SINGH  On 04/14/2018 at 5:27 pm


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: