Pimping Really Ain't Easy

This Detroit News columnist shares my contempt for black folks celebrating retardation and counter-productivity and self-destruction (pimping, fighting, gangstering, speaking illiteratly, dressing gangsterishly or whoreishly, etc.) and white folks embracing this celebration, cheering it on. But she thinks that "pimps have it easy." I assume that she might also think that selling drugs really is a way to make serious cash and "get out of the hood."

My best friend growing up, Vassar, was a drug dealer and -- breifly -- a pimp. I used to hang out with him while he was pimping and "slinging cane". I lived in his apt (I was a sophomore in college), and absolutely loved joining with him while he was with his pimp buddies. They lived a pathetic life, just like the drug dealers. A bunch of flash, a bunch of money in your pocket that (1) isn't all yours and (2) the portion of it that is yours constitutes all of your wealth (which isn't manifested as jewelry, clothes, and your car).

I agree that the bitches had it worse than the pimps. But the pimps's life wan't easy. It was horrible and led to nowhere. Nadir and my friend Andrew grew up in poverty, which Vassar did not. Andrew worked at school and is today much more wealthy than Vassar (or *ANY* of his drug-slinging or pimping buddies). He deeply regrets wasting his early years learning to sling cane and pimp. Any body who says that "drug dealing is one of the only ways out of the ghetto" is incorrect; actually, drug dealling is one of the surest ways to confine yourself to the ghetto... forever. You're better off selling your food stamps to buy lottery tickets.


Paul Hue said...

By the way: Vassar's dad did grow up in poverty, as did his mom. Neither parent attended college. Vassar's dad got a job at IBM in a manufacturing position. He worked his way into a white-collar job, and saved money to start a pest-control company, which developed a strong pressence in Austin, Tx, which it still maintains.

In college he used to hire me to take sales calls, to put a "white face" on the company.

Vassar's brother, who also chose drug-dealing over college, now earns a handsome professional salary running the pest control company, all procedes from his drug-dealing long-gone.

Nadir said...

I didn't grow up in poverty, and have never told you I did. I grew up in a rural mountain town, but we were not impoverished. I would describe our family as working class. My father was a sergent in the US Army, and my mother was a homemaker.

I did not grow up in "the ghetto". I grew up in a small black enclave of a sleepy mountain town, and for a period we lived in the projects, but this would not constitute a ghetto.

Not all black folks grew up in the ghetto, Paul, and I have never told you that I did.

Nadir said...

I never came into contact with "pimps" or "drug dealers" (aside from the local weed man) until I moved to Nashville after college. There was never any incentive for me to learn to sell drugs or be a pimp.

I abhor the corporate fascination with "pimps" and "drug dealers". It is appalling. I recognize that some young urban men view these vocations as the only way to make a decent living. For many, legal jobs don't pay enough, though most street dealers make little more than minimum wage.

The so-called "black celebration" of this lifestyle comes from people embracing the reality of their surroundings no matter how desperate those surroundings may be. I assume White folks celebrate it because of their fascination with other cultures, and their greater fascination with danger, adventure and violence.

I believe drugs and prostitution should both be legalized, and the drug and pornography wars should be abolished. This wouldn't solve many of these problems initially, but it would soon reverse the trend of an exploding US prison population.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: You and I agree on this issue whole-heartedly, on the desperate need for the US to legalize drugs and prostitution.

Any people in the ghetto who think that drugs or pimping will elivate them financially are demonstrably wrong. I will also go so far as to claim that they are lazy and ignorant. For years my peer group was exclusively the population from which pimps, drug dealers, and other huslters are drawn. These were the ages of about 11 - 14. That direction was attractive to me for a while. I looked to the older kids who had already made their choices; I compared the two and dedided that one group was operating on a very low level of intelligence, and that the other group was behaving more intelligently. I chose the smarter path, though to my regret many hoodlem tendancies stayed with me, and I have struggled to suppress them throughout my life.

People who choose that negative path are taking off on the first and dumbest option that they see, and using excuses for not persueing constructive directions. Though these corner-hanging "jobs" aren't easy, they can in many ways be easier than asserting yourself constructively and overcoming these surroundings. Of the dozens of close friends who chose that path, I cannot accept any excuses made for them; they chose to be what I must call stupid, ignorant, and lazy. In many cases their own siblings made intelligent choices.

I see now that that a clear record emerges, and the conclusions for me are obvious. There is no choice between "working at McDonnalds and selling drugs"; that choice doesn't exist. It is an invented choice that excuses those whose ignorance and sloth attracts them to a negative life. Working at McDonnalds can certainly be a step on the positive path, but for no hard-working person is it the first and last step.

Nadir said...

Paul, I'm glad you admitted your tendency to be a pimp.

Education and a lack of positive male role models is a huge part of the problem. For both the government can bear some of the responsibility. Most of the blame, however, goes to people who fail to see the world outside the three block radius that is their neighborhood.

This is why the junkfood music and television that is fed to our people is so damaging. These media could provide valuable windows to a whole new world. Instead the music is created to provide white kids with a window into what they are taught to believe is a black world of misogyny and crime, and black kids with a funhouse mirror that distorts and degrades their true reality. The images are false and destructive.

Paul Hue said...

Nadir: You and I mostly agree here. However, I beleive that the media conglomerates have no purpose other than to provide people what they want. As a child I spent oftentimes more hours (certainly more awake hours) in these homes than in my own. People with this mentality behave as if they are absolutely starved for the most abjectly atrocious food and entertainment. Given the choice to eat nurishing food, watch quality dramas, to read books, to listen to excellent music (OK, at least that would happen back in the '70s), they will reject it.

I don't know what outsiders can do other than this: require that government schools require all attendees to work on rigorous academic matters for 7 hours each day... and perhaps provide only authentic, natural food. This certainly wasn't happening. The government schools that we attended enabled lackluster children to goof-off all day. I believe that school vouchers has the best chance of resolving this, as all schools would have to chase after the requirements of the engaged parents.