When was the last time you got into a fight? A real fight where you had to actually become physically aggressive and uses your hands, feet, or other parts of your body to bring harm to another person with no interference. As Black and Brown people we have to fight against so much that fighting each other would seem like the last thing we need to be doing. Fighting keeps most of us in our place, discouraging us from breaking the status quo. The rest of us who “want all the smoke” are out here trying to fight all the fights. We’re fighting the criminal justice system, the education system, societal constraints, the police, politics, and major corporations. We cannot do it all. We need a group of us to fight each of these fights on the behalf of the rest of us, but some fights aren’t fights. Some of the “challenges” we face day to day aren’t the same across socioeconomic groups. T.I. has become more politically inclined as he has been vocal about various social issues and has encouraged a lot of us to be more politically involved however; his recent call to boycott Gucci is clearly not our fight.
We can’t boycott brands that we don’t consume although we can boycott the more affordable brands like Puma that are owned by the same entities. Again, is this our fight? As the tastemakers and gatekeepers of style, fashion, and culture we should be investing in Black owned clothing brands, shoe companies, jewelers, handbag lines, and etc. but we don’t. Remember when Dapper Dan was designing clothes for Eric B. and Rakim and every NY Rapper?? We’re so fickle that these major brands can market the worse pieces to us in hopes of us being outraged and selling the same pieces to their friends who own the record labels, the social media platforms, Google, Amazon, and so on. Our fight is on the ground while some of us fight in D.C., and the rest like T.I. can meet in the middle. The “rich” person’s fight is to take the big paydays and reallocate those funds within their communities.
There will be times where we all fight the good fight together or at least lend each other our resources. Jay Z used his legal resources to help 21 Savage fight the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency to get him free on bond. Pick your fight, even if you don’t think you’re going to win. We can’t win every fight but we can learn from it so that if we find ourselves being challenged again can recognize what we’re up against and handling that challenge with style and grace. Being ready to fight isn’t always going to be about physical endurance as much as it will be about money, mental strength, or emotional wherewithal to withstand the fight. When picking a fight, you have to be ready to fight. Are we ready to fight? Our ancestors fought on a grand scale. Our elders fought on a grand scale, yet all we do is complain on a grand scale. It seems easier to pick a fight with each other than to give life to each other.
“You know, you know we from a family of fighters.” – Common (Black America Again)