Ridicule and Ridiculous are such similar words

Ironic I know.

To ridicule someone or something is ridiculous!  Some regard this behavior as an expression of fear; fear of those who appear different from us – different backgrounds, race, culture, educational attainment, experiences, religion, dress or economic status amongst a list of other things.

Fear prevents us from developing a sense of love that is needed to survive the lives we lead.  We need not fear things that are different, but recognize them as a gift from God that everyone and everything posses its own beauty.  And just because it is different, it doesn’t mean that it is wrong.

There is, however, something that we can do to combat this illness of ridiculous behavior: Understand.  The lack of understanding someone, something, or certain circumstances creates a sense of fear, and to deal with that fear we often find ourselves spending more time ridiculing people than understanding them.

This ‘ridicule’ approach takes place amongst young black males in our society all too often.  On a daily basis this population is ridiculed and stereotyped beyond belief.  During this day in time, considering the economic security and the financial state of black folk, I could say a lot of things.  I could ridicule my people and talk about how many black males are incarcerated, don’t graduate from high school, aren’t fathering their children, and on and on and on.  But if I chose this approach, as many do, I would gain nothing.  My people would gain nothing either.  Instead we must shed light on the possibilities that lie within their reach.

Many black youth that act out or display disruptive, disrespectful or distasteful behavior do so because in their minds they are misunderstood.  Considering that I am not that far removed, I know firsthand that ridiculing these youth does nothing but disengage them more.  Instead of ridiculing, let’s reclaim these youth and reaffirm them – letting them know that they indeed have something to live for.  True indeed, their pants may sag, but as Michael Eric Dyson once said “If we lift their aspirations, their pants will follow.”

Let’s not ridicule…its just ridiculous!

With God, nothing is impossible…


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