I have a true confession to make: When it comes to movies I implement the 12% rule. Oh please don't act like you don't know what the 12% rule is. I bet the white people reading this know what it is.
OK, for those of you who really don't know, I will tell you. See, it's like this: the 12% rule says you don't go to any event or function where black folks make up more than 12% of the people in the crowd. For instance, if you go to a restaurant, and say 50% of the people there are black, you roll. If you go to a club and over 12% of the people there are black, you roll. If you go to a mall and over 12% of the people there are black, you roll. Get the picture? You always want to go to events where the status quo of the nation's general population is maintained.
So back to my movie issue: I love my people, I really do, and I never ever practice the 12% rule. Except, of course, when it comes to movies. Black people can we talk? Why the f^%$ do you all talk so loud during movies? Seriously! If I drop 30$ to see a movie (I am adding the concessions in the mix) I want to watch that bad boy in peace. I really don't want to hear your kids crying; your cell pones ringing; and exactly what you will be cooking for dinner when you get home.
I mean let's keep it 100% with each other. I read a book by Ralph Wiley back in the day called "Why Black People Tend To Shout", and the premise of the book was that we black folks shout because we are so frustrated, confused, and have so much pent up shit that we can't help but shout. Trust me, there are times in the middle of my day when I just want to throw down my brief case, stand on top of the "LOVE statue", and scream my damn head off. But if I am dropping some dead presidents to watch a movie, I just want to watch it in peace. I really don't need to hear people talking over the actors in the movie. That shit is not cool.
But I swear there is some deeper stuff going on here with you Negroes. I think it has to do with other pathologies and insecurities that we deal with as a people. (Maybe one of the brilliant posters here can explain it to me) Like why in the middle of rush hour must we (black folks) have our car windows down and blast our shit out of our rides for the mother f****r in the next county to hear it? Or, why must we yell "SHANIKA" across three city blocks to our girlfriend when we see her? Hey that's why you have a cell phone, so that you can call Shanika instead of yelling at her across the five city blocks. And speaking of cell phones; while riding on the train after a hard days work, I really don't need to hear every word of your conversation about how your day went at work. I mean really, can the shit just wait five minutes until you get off the train?
But black folks, I swear you all kill me with this need to be seen and heard sometimes. Honestly, the shit is not healthy. We need to do a deeper study of this phenomenon.
That kind of pathology hurts us in other ways as well. When we drop serious dollars on tricking out our rides so that we can ride around and be seen instead of investing into our homes, it's a problem. When we spend more money on our own clothes than proper food for our children, it's a problem. When we teach our kids that it's alright to act up in class and be the class clown instead of hitting their books, it's a problem. And when we are so busy yelling and trying to be seen that we miss shit that we could be learning from, it's a problem.
So see folks, it's not just about me, Field, being pissed off because I have to implement the 12% rule around my own people at the movies. It's about us doing better overall as a race as well. It's about getting our priorities together, not trying to impress others, and learning that's it's not important about whether we are seen or heard by other people. Rather, we should try to focus on loving ourselves for who we are without trying so hard to let everyone know that one of the 12% is in the room.