Freedom to be

July 22, 2021

Over the years I have put various opinions about topics out into the world. Anyone who has been reading this column for the past ten years knows this. Many others remember the show, Being Frank where I voiced my thoughts. The latest voicing of my thoughts has come from a podcast, The Last Black Man Standing. It was while doing this latest version of Being Frank where I had an epiphany. “Frank, maybe you should just let people be who they are.” This thought both shocked and relieved me.

I have always viewed the issues that African Americans face with a Black perspective. Yet, throughout the years I always understood why African Americans were so lost. Recently I was talking to a guy who was complaining about the plight of African American people. I listened and said, “Just to be able to think that something is wrong here is a miracle. Black people have been in a foreign country, stripped of language, culture and heritage. Forced to adopt the oppressor’s ways, inclinations and society. I’d say African Americans who can think are miraculous.” The guy sat back and thought then nodded his head in agreement.

In the USA people are quick to judge one another. Everyone has been guilty of judging other people’s actions. I was a master of this. It is easy to point out what is wrong with others and ignore your life situation. I won’t try to justify my actions by saying I was pointing out things to make African Americans lives better. If there is anyone who doubts this, well good for them. I will say this; over the years I had to understand that people were free to choose. I know about the creation of the maze called society by whites which guides people. What I mean by choose, is the fact people often know what they are getting into when making the choice.

With the previous knowledge, how can anyone judge or say what another person is doing is wrong? If someone is enjoying doing the acts they choose, who are we to say they should be doing something else? I am not talking about breaking laws and menacing others. I am talking about those who want to marry other races, or sell out. The people who only want to portray the images that media and entertainers present. For years I talked about how the entertainment industry had killed African American creativity. I was right in my viewpoint. Would I be considered right by someone who idolizes Megan Thee Stallion? Of course I could rattle off complex facts about the manipulation of the African American female to back my view. Yet, in the end what is the point? I say, “Leave people to be free to be who they choose to be.”

This does not mean that I agree with the limited status of African Americans in the USA. What it does mean is that I am fine with leaving people to their own devices and choices. I will continue to voice my opinion in this column. I enjoy writing the 500-700 words I share with the world in this column. I remember a friend used to call me, “The modern day Noah.” I won’t say it is going to rain because it has. I will say, “Since you chose to be in the downpour, enjoy the walk and sing.”

Frank James IV © 2021

The opinions expressed in this editorial are those of the writer and not of the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper or NCON Communication, its staff or management. “Being Frank” is a bi-weekly column exclusive to the Milwaukee Times Weekly Newspaper.