13 July 2006

Acting white...

A while ago, I was standing at a corner along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC. waiting for the light to change so I could cross the street.

I was standing behind a couple of Brothers in a rather heated discussion over what I assumed to be encryption software or programming. They were dressed in standard Governmentware, one in a shirt and tie and the other in a suit without a tie. They seemed to really know their stuff.

I just stood there halfway listening and halfway wondering what I was having for lunch. Beside me I heard some snickering and turned to see a cluster of three young black males, all were around 16 or 17 and wearing the standard white T-shirts and/or oversized jerseys and I heard one of them whispering something about, "...they're acting all white and shit." And I turned to the Brothers talking in front of me and I damn near lost my mind.

This was the same damn ignorant mentality that caused a major blowup between me and my brother years ago. He tried to subtley accuse me of "acting white" and I came close to beating the hell out of him.

I don't know where exactly it became "white" to speak intelligently and carry yourself with some dignity and self respect.

I'm not sure when reason and self-control became the sole property of white people.

I think what is going on is this - there is a belief in certain corners of our community that to be black... more specifically, to be a black MAN, you have to be rough around the edges, you have to be loud and boisterous, you have to be ready to fight, you have to have the baggy clothes and the rowdy attitude and above all you have to never try to look or sound intelligent. You have to refrain from calling your friends by their Mother given names and instead call them - Dogg, and "G" and Yo and Nigga' and Muw Fucka. You have to think only with your crotch - what the crotch wants is what you're supposed to get... STD's, HIV's and unwanted babies be-damned!

So with this belief running unchecked in parts of the community, you have young black males scoffing at the Brothers that are speaking intelligently. You have the young black males having "no love" for the Brothers that are carrying themselves like reasonable, mature and calm men. These Brothers can only gets chuckles and laughs and ridicule from the young ones. Sad.

When my brother and I had our falling out, I was accused of "trying to act white." To him, I was everything he wasn't and I was everything he seemed to despise. I had a good job, I spoke well, I was well read, I wore a shirt and tie to work, I was enrolled in college, I didn't have any kids, I could talk about more than just sports and I had never been in trouble with the law. I don't think he could say all of that about himself or any one of his friends. So I was the pariah, I was the joke, I was the outcast, I was the one to be ashamed of - I was the one that was not trying to be real... I was acting white.

So, in order for me to be "BLACK" in his eyes, and in the eyes of the assholes on the corner, I had to be louder and I had to be rowdier and I had to speak worse and I had to be less intelligent than I was. So... I was in the wrong.

Well, I've got a message for all those dumb-asses that think us intelligent Brothers that are properly handling our business are "acting white." We are as far from "white" as we can get. We are the true Ambassadors for our people, our Black people. We are the ones that truly appreciate the legacy and the sacrifice of those who came before us and risked and sometimes lost their lives so that we can have the freedom and the rights that we have today. We are the ones paying a lifetime debt of honor to the Dr. Kings', the Medgar Evers', the Emmett Tills', the Andrew Youngs', the Harriet Tubmans', the Coretta Scott Kings', the Shirely Chisholms', the Tuskeegee Airmen, the Bobby Seals', the Dorothy Heights', the Malcolm X's, and the Nikki Giovanni's', and the list goes on and on! By walking with our heads held high, our women and children respected, our minds free of drama, drugs and drink - we are the embodiement of the Black struggle, the Black achievements and the Black future.

So don't you ignorant hoodlums even THINK about saying that we're "acting white!" Instead, try saying, "Those Brothers are "acting BLACK!"



Richard Layman said...

Not that you want to hear from me necessarily, but I think you might appreciate Elijah Anderson's _Code of the Street_. I've written about it a bunch in my blog (do a search on "code of the street"), but the full book is at the MLK Library. It's an issue of street vs. middle class culture.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks for the comment Richard!

I couldn't help but notice that you prefaced your comment with, "Not that you want to hear from me necessarily..."

I'm not sure why you put that, but I appreciate feedback from EVERYONE that takes the time to visit my blog.

I don't want anyone to take my PRO-BLACK opinions as ANTI-WHITE sentiment. It's not.

But thank you, AND everyone else that has ever left a comment with THETHINKINGBLACK.blospot.com.

Richard Layman said...

I didn't mean it that way, but I know plenty of people who are justifably tired of whitey telling them how it should be. I write about race issues, really "contested spaces" issues, all the time in my blog. I'm the same way about learning from everybody and everything. One of my favorite e-magazines is the Black Commentator. Like your blog, it's linked on my blog. BC is listed both individually, and with a link to its five part series: "Wanted: A Plan for Cities to Save Themselves."

But then, I read the _City Journal_ too.

Anonymous said...

Nicely said, my friend. I came up in the 60s and my parents were the first fruits of Civil Rights making me the first black kid here, the first black family there. Growing up my friends were mostly white so it stands to reason I'd talk like them ("you guys" seem to really set-off the black kids around me for some reason). I loved to read and that was encouraged in our home. As a teenager my interests ran to theater, classical music, also encouraged. You can probably imagine the number of times I got the "you acting all white" line.

Fast forward to a young white co-worker saying to me in a staff meeting: "oh, we know you're not really black..." Rather than rip her a new one on the spot, I went back to her later and quietly educated her on how deeply racist the statement was, something to which she was totally unconscious.

Funny - both she and the young brothers you described had the same f'd-up idea that to be well spoken, educated, employed etc. is to be "white." Clearly, we don't need "the Man" to do anything more destructive than stand by and watch.

onefromphilly said...

First time here! Good post but I noticed when I read some of your previous posts that you didn't reply back to the commenter. Replying back allows a dialog and encourages commenters to return and converse. I enjoy and look forward to talking with my blog friends daily. That was a side bar actually *smile*

Anyway this is a very good post. Whenever I am accused of "selling-out" or "playing up to the man" I let people know that I am what I am BY CHOICE, all that I really represent are those that got me here. I don't honor white folk, emulate them, or imitate them. I live to honor the memory of my grandparents and to honor the loving, strong, and supportive foundation that my parents gave and still continue to give me. I will never direspect my ancestors, all that I am is because of the sacrifices that they made. That usually shuts them right up! HA

Anonymous said...

Yes everytime I see a black ignoramous act that way I always find myself reaching out....as in reaching out to grab a baseball bat. I would love the feel of a hard bat cracking the backs of their heads if nothing more than to shut them up forevever. I feel that todays black youth are the most ignorant since blacks were released from slavery, but at least black slaves had an excuse. Todays black youth set the race back 160 years. They are not only dangerous to sciety but are dangerous to the black race as a whole. They should no longer be tolerated as the black race can no longer afford them. They should be given an option to either wise up or be put down like a sick animal for the betterment of the race.

Ann said...

Two pairs of black people are walking through a forest.

Black Pair No.1 see that they are going to need shelter from the elements, so they set about gathering material to construct their abode.

Black pair No.2 are lazy. They stand and watch Black Pair No.1 collect stones, boulders, tree branches, etc. to build their shelter.

Black Pair No.2 starts to laugh and ridicule Black Pair No.1.

"Tee hee hee," laughs Black Pair No.2. "They must think they are white. Why, look at them. They have blueprints, shop drawings, specifications and even an addendum or modification or two to build their shelter.

"They must think they are white.

"Tee hee hee.
"Giggle, giggle, giggle," chortled Black Pair No. 2. "Let's go. They probably don't know what they are doing. What kind of black people go around knowing how to draw up blueprints and put together schematic designs to build a structure in which to live protected from the elements? It probably won't stay together. They must be crazy, thinking they are white and can use their brains to help themselves.

"Yeah, let's go find some video games to rot and decay our already only good for use as a door-stop brains.

"Tee hee hee.

"Giggle, giggle, giggle."

While Black Pair No.1 are constructng their Art-Deco, with just a touch of Le Coubusier/Minimalist/Piet Mondrian edifice, Black Pair No.2 are having so much fun sitting away off playing their brain-rotting video games. Every so often, they will pimp-walk over to take a look see at how the construction is going.

While hitching up their exceedingly baggy trousers, the trousers that are so baggy and loose, it is enough for a woman to go up to them and ask: "Why you yung men are so rail thin. Your clothes barely fit you. What is your secret?

"What kind of diet have you been on to have such baggy fitting trousers?"

Anyway, Black Pair No.2 stand off nickling and braying, guffawing at the work Black Pair No. 1 are putting into their Falling Water-type-Frank Llyod Wright-inspired edifice.

Boulder by boulder, tree brach by tree branch, stone by stone, Black Pair No.1 constructs their shelter to where finally with the Sun going down over the horizon,they are finished.

With some small boulders left over, they crush them against some very huge boulders nearby, to make a very nice gravel bed walkway to add a nice touch to their completed three-story, complete with chimney, all boulder-stone with the baywindow, French door hardwood/terrazzo/quarry-ceramic tile floor/ Verde Giada Italian marble/Art Deco/Le Courbusier/Minimalist/Piet Mondrian/Falling Water/Frank Llyod Wright inspired edifice.

Just as they are about to walk into their new humble abode, the clouds darken, the rain clouds began to swell, and a dreadful twister the likes of which even Dorothy out of the Wizard of Oz would have enough sense to stay out of the path of, loomed on the horizon.

"Boo, hoo, hoo," cried Black Pair No.2, "please, please, please, pretty please, with junk food and a 12-pack of soda thrown in, can we please stay with you?!"

Black Pair No. 1 looked at Black Pair No. 2, and remembered all the jeers and taunts hurled their way from Black Pair No.2. as Black Pair No.1 made a life built on a solid foundation of responsibilty, providing for one's future and preparing for all those rainy days that fall into everyone's life.

Especially when there is a twister out there growing bigger than the size of the Empire State Building; a twister even Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, The Cowardly Lion, the Wizard of Oz himself and even Toto, would not get in the way of, barreling down upon them all with the speed of a locomotive gone crazy on a combination of Haldoperol and Zanax.

Black Pair No.1 looked up at the sky, and gave Black Pair No.1 a look that seemed as if it came straight out of Compton, and answered:

"Tee hee, hee. Giggle, giggle, giggle."

And as Black Pair No.1 closed the door on their beautiful shelter that was built from hard work and self-sacrifice, instead of standing around disparaging someone else's industriousness, they went inside and enjoyed the cozy comfort of a job well-done when you work to better yourself because you know that you are not "acting/or talking white" when you prepare for the future.

So, as Black Pair No. 1 sat down to a sumptious meal that would make a chef with the culinary skills of a Larousse Gastronomique/Professional Chef envious, the Empire State twister with the speed of a locomotive gone crazy on a combination of Haldoperal and Zanax swept Black Pair No. 2 up into its vortex and carried them off to the Land of Put-Everything-Off-and-Make-Fun-of-Everyone-Who-is-Black-and-works-to-Make-a-Better-Life-for-Themselves-so-Now-You-are-on-Your-Way-to-the-Deadend-World, never to be heard from again.

Moral of the Story:

"He who doesn't stand around making fun of someone, especially a black person trying to better himself and not make his ancestors ashamed of him, and always keeps his/her eyes on the prize, laughs best."


The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks everyone for these great comments above! I have been in such a rush to publish them that I haven't taken time to reply to all of them. I was politely reminded by a young lady from Philadelphia, that it would be a nice thing for me to do, so from now on - I will!!!

Thanks 1FP.

Dancewriter said...

Great post...

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks Dancewriter!!!

niasmoothie said...

Why are you worry about what other blacks say when other blacks speak excellent grammar? I am 50 years old. I went through that ignoramous attitudes during high school. That was back in the 70's. This is the 21st century, if you were SO concerned about what the brothers were saying about the other two brothers speaking like they are "white". You should have pulled them both up! You should have stopped them and told them how you feel about brothers that speak incorrect english on a daily basis.

We allowed black men and women get away with bad behavior. Then we get on Blog or in a chatroom to rant and rave about the ignorant comments that some blacks do make about other blacks that are having intelligent conversation and speaking good grammar in public.

There was a young black mother on the bus with several small children and a baby. The woman proceeds to pull the childs arm to lift them up. Now this woman could have pulled the baby's arm out of socket. There were several black older moms and dads on that bus and not one person OPENED their mouths how that black woman improperly lifted that child. But, my mother who happens to be 70 years old, made a comment to that woman that she should not lift that child like that. Then the woman in turn told my mother to mind her own business. My mother turn around and told her that child of hers is her business when she sees an adult improperly handling a child. Interesting enough the woman with the baby, didn't want to make a scene because she knew she was wrong in lifting the baby improperly. She didn't thank my mom. But, when she left that bus, she picked up that child differently.

Reason, I am telling this story of the woman on the bus is because people don't always know the right way or understand like the two young brothers aren't aware in order to get a decent job in this society you need to speak excellent grammar. Just like I am sure the woman on the bus wasn't aware how to lift the baby correctly.

Someone needs to step up correct black men and women. Sure you going to get plethora of negativity from the person you are trying to correct. But, at least you try and just hope and pray they did listen to what you had to say, so that they can to improve their lives.

I am sick and tired of complainers and NO Damned Solutioners of any situation when it comes to our Black folks!

I am curious of the blogger by any chance are you related to Bill Cosby? just kidding.

Anonymous said...


What! My post did not even elicit a laugh from you!

I must be losing my ability to make people laugh!

Native Son said...

I can’t tell you how I get so sick and tired of hearing the younger brothers saying these things. No matter if you’re on the Metro or in the mall. The attitudes of our young is the more ignorant you are, the more "down with you people" you are.

It starts in the home. I am only 30, and I remember when I was high school, my parents would have knocked the mess out of me if I would ever say something like that. The youth do not have a clue on what being black really is, because if they did they would embrace education and the ability to learn because of the many black people who fought in the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education.

They would have more respect for themselves and others around them if they understood that before we were actors, rappers and athletes, we were scholars, philosophers and scientist. We are loosing our young brothers, and if we don’t do something fast, it will be too late.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Niasmoothie -
It's nice to get heat back when I give some heat - that's why I started this blog. And, you're right, I should have pulled these young ones up, but I didn't... I'll put a dollar in the "missed opportunities" jar after class. Actually, I have pulled some of my young misguided brothers up in the past - my biggest issue for the young ones is the "N" word. That's what usually gets me to step up on the soapbox! But you know... now that I've had the time to really and truly put my thoughts into blog form, I now have me speech for these youngsters laid out and ready to go, and you know what - I can probably deliver it in the time it takes to cross the street. So, don't think I'm offended because you jumped on my ass a little, because I'm not - I should've spoken up, and I didn't - that won't happen again. and, please don't think for a second that my blog is a screen for me to hide behind... it's not. I step up.

The Thinking Black Man said...


I think its tragic how little our younger brothers and sisters know about the struggle that gave them the rights to do some of the the stuff they do now!

I'm 37 and I know a fair amount and even that is only barely scratching the surface!

When I hear people talking about "America's Greatest Generation" being the families that sent sons off to fight in Europe in WWII. I can't help but declare my Greatest Generation... as a Black Man, I feel Our Greatest Generation were those people [Not just Blacks, because there were some whites too] that stood hand in hand in places like Selma and Montgomery and faced fire hoses, dogs and baton wielding police so that WE could have OUR civil rights!

Anonymous said...

As a girl in high school i get the same thing everyday at school. I have this way of speaking like i went to school and proper and intelligent. When I talk my friends always tell me " stop using big words". or "you sound so white". It really pisses me off. I got into a argument with one girl. I told her "while I sound"white" i will get all the jobs and at least i sound like i have an education". My parents always supported me and told me not to change for anyone. My sister has this same problem at school.
When I tell people i am from brooklyn, NY in maryland they think i am lying.
One girl asked my sister if there was a rich part of brooklyn that we came from. I was so mad!!

The Thinking Black Man said...

I can really empathize with you on that one. When I was a teenager, my cousins used to get on me all the time for using what they called, "big words." It really made me self conscious at first. These were my cousins. my OLDER cousins and I just wanted to be cool and hang out with them, so I found myself making a significant effort to "talk down" (is what I called it)

Once I got halfway through high school, I had the confidence to just be me around them and if I wanted to use 'epitomize' or 'postulate' or 'magnanimous' in a sentence I just did!

You handle your business, young Sister - I'm very proud of you for representing our race so intelligently! Don't give these 'down-pullers' the time of day, the best revenge on anyone is to live well, and I'm confident that the world is going to be yours very soon!

CDM said...

Can you really blame them for their ignorance? They had to learn it from somewhere. I mean, older people in the black community go to college and move to the suburbs, forgetting about the younger people. Then you see them wearing their clothes half-off and making ignorant comments and you get angry.

Maybe we should spend more time mentoring and tutoring and less time judging?

Ruminations of a Racial Realist said...

It's interesting hearing about this issue - I haven't personally experienced it as I grew up in a pretty much all-white setting - so I got racial abuse instead of being accused of "acting white" lol. That said, when I moved into a more racially mixed area (in the UK) blacks and whites gave me funny looks because I've got a middle-class "white" accent - despite the media image of British whites, most of them have working class accents and I could see that a lot of white people were very resentful that I have a middle class accent! So although I haven't had the exact same experience, I know what it's like when people expect one to talk/ act in a certain way because one is black.

The Thinking Black Man said...

You know, you're right - when you take the educated and wisened base of blacks out of the community and they move out to the suburbs, you do lose a valuable resource for the youngsters.

Mentoring is an excellent way to reduce some of the problems. I think all of us should in one way or another, turn towards our young ones [especially those who need help the most] and show them the right way / best way to do things. I agree completely. Unfortunately we can't stop everything we're doing and start mentoring and advising people in the middle of the street every single time we hear or see something untoward. Sadly, we have to pick our battles.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey Clare!
Even members of my family used to give me a hard time. Not so much about "acting white" but moreso about "talking white." I liked to read and I had what I thought was a fairly good vocabulary. But everytime a word just a little too big came out of my mouth - I'd get a hard time from them. Being 11 or 12 I wasn't sure why using bigger words was a bad thing. After a few years, I just found it in myself to speak the way I felt most comfortable - if people didn't like it or didn't want to understand it... tough cookies. : )

Ann said...


"What! My post did not even elicit a laugh from you!

I must be losing my ability to make people laugh!"

My post was erroneously attributed to Anonymous.

I agree with you, niasmoothie.

I have spoken to young black people about their disrespectful behaviour. I have asked young black men why do they wear ther pants so disgracefully. I can't begin to count the blank stares I have been given.

I have also asked young black men to stop using the words "nigger" "dawg", and "fool". I have asked them to at least show respect towards themselves by calling each other by their given names.

And to really drive my point home, I have printed up what I would call "Contracts to Stop Using the 'N' Word".

Any time I hear a young black using the 'N' word, I give him this contract to read it, sign it and display it as a reminder to stop the insult to all his/her black ancestors who suffered and died to make a way for him. I explain the history of the 'N' word and all its hated history. And that using it as a term of endearment is an insult to himself and all black people.

Those are just a few of the things I do to get young black people to stop this wanton destruction of themselves.

Anything to help get, and keep the young black people back on track.

LaurynX. said...

Hi, this is my first time reading your blog.
Anyways, I do want to say that, even though I've never been ostracized for "acting white" I have been teased a few times for being intelligent. Having gotten out of school recently, I am a member of the young adult crowd. Being this, I must say that my observations are that we as Black people have an aversion to learning and intellectualism because (a)we only learn about "the great White forefathers" of the U.S. in school, and (b)the U.S. mainstream culture is anti-intellectual to begin with. People who are still hungry to learn through all of that are exceptions, period. Black History Month not withstanding (in fact it's been made into a superficial marketing tool for McDonalds), Black youth think it's cool to act ignorant because they don't know their past. White supremist institutions aren't going to teach them. Hell I know what I do know about Black history and culture from independent reading/experience. We can't sit up here and whine. We have to do something about the educational system and about community uplift like people above said, volunteer.

tickledpinkies said...

This is an intresting subject. Ive been posting on another blog about "blackness" (I losin' sleep over this!). Is it an externalised concept. What purpose does it serve the Black community? Ive come up with a few ideas and would welcome different prespectives.

Your example of your cousins takin' the p**s when you used long ass words was good. In that instance I suppose "blackness" served as a way to ease insecurities and doubts. Dont get me wrong I dont know the peers you grew up with but since a lot of black boys get failed by the education system, you using long words put you in a driving seat academically for a moment. By operationalising "Blackness"=good, and "Whitness"=bad then attributing certain physical activities to each group it serves as a way to cut people down and put people who have been failed back in the driving seat socially.

Deep down I think even Black (*or other poor ethinc minorities) who mock education as "white" want to be considered smart or have a chance. A fair chance, which is unlikely in many schools, plus you need to have the self determination to get past obstacles that get in your way.

Anyways I may be talking a load of s**t here as its only ideas buzzin around...:P

onefromphilly said...

To: Niasmothie, you're correct, we should correct bad behavior when confronted with it. But like TTBM said we have to pick our battles. I often flag drivers for not having their children in seat belts. I often get attacked in return and then I let then know that I am a Traffic Engineer and conduct safety programs for a living and I have seen the carnage that can ensue from not having children properly restrained in a vehicle. I temper the way I speak to young people because sometimes they are highly volatile. But you're right, we have to all speak up more often because there are ten or 12 that we may get through to!

The Thinking Black Man said...

Hey Ann,
I thought that anonymous was you!

Yeah My Sister - you got a laugh out of me... and a cut-n-paste to a Word Document so I could print it out! I liked what you wrote a lot! To say you gave that 'some' thought would be a serious understatement! Please keep in touch - I like the way you put your thoughts down.

Peace my Sister-

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks ONEFROMPHILLY - I hate the carseat thing too! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR that drives me crazy when I see people with infants in their arms in the front seats and nobody is wearing a seatbelt. I'm sure they have the same crazy notion like my mom used to, "If I see a car coming, I'll just brace myself..." I want to say, "No, you'll just splatter your kid against the dashboard, right before you go sailing out the window."

But as far as the young ones go, we have to share the guidance and hope its heard by at least a few.

BTW - Thanks for that advice last week! I'm taking it to heart - SEE!

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks for the comment LaurynX, You mention that "we as black people have an aversion to learning and intellectualism..."

I certainly hope that's not truly the case. I completely agree that the vast majority of American education systems are strongly Eurocentric and blacks appear in three places usually - as slaves, during the civil rights struggle and right before and after Dr. King's assassination. But this shouldn't and doesn't create a racial aversion to learning and intellectualism. Anyone who uses the American education system as a justification for not wanting to learn is out of their minds.

I think black people are hungry to learn, ALL of us - the only problem is who is doing the teaching? If Dr. Cornell West is standing before you teaching, then you are in good shape - GREAT shape actually! But if Pookie the neighborhood drug dealer is standing before you and he's teaching the best way to stash your crack rocks on one corner while you sell from the other - then you have learned, albeit the wrong lesson. Either way - I think blacks want to learn and I think we're hungry for knowledge. That makes it ever so important like you, ONEFROMPHILLY, Clare, Ann, NIASMOOTHIE, myself and others all agree - we have to step up and fill that void, that thirst and that hunger with proud black knowledge.

Thanks again for your comment, I'll certainly check your blog out! Take care!

The Thinking Black Man said...

After a very interesting comment (that I'm still thinking about BTW) Tickledpink said, "Anyways I may be talking a load of s**t here as its only ideas buzzin around..."

To that I say, if you read alongside my profile, "It is through the exchange of ideas that we grow!" Thanks P!

See you in the blogosphere!

CDM said...

You're right, we do have to pick our battles. I wish that more black people would turn inward and question what we as an individuals are doing to contribute to such problems.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Yeah, CDM- I've gotten so much feedback on this topic that I've been looking in the mirror all week! I think there are a lot of people that want to make a difference, I just hope that all of us can find successful vehicles to that end.

I think it's largely a case of countless little things that can be done everyday. I know some people may look for that big thing, you know - standing in front of the church and talking to young people, or counseling at the local rec center, or mentoring a young person 2 or 3 times a week, but sometimes it doesn't have to be that big. It can be striking up a conversation with a kid on the subway, or the street or at a crosswalk [like the opportunity I blew!]

But I agree, we need to see what we can do to help. Thanks!

RealChic1999 said...

It is a "pick your battle" situation with these kids. I have been on the receiving end of the "acting white" comments, and many a time I have called a black youth on bad behavior. The problem is, being a petite female doesn't put me in the position to safely call these kids on their behavior. These kids either disrespect me or try to physically invade my space. The only real cure to the behavior of these kids is...you've guessed it...the parents.

The Thinking Black Man said...

Thanks for dropping by REALCHIC,

You're absolutely right about picking your battles. I'm a fairly big dude, so stepping in can sometimes be easier for me. So if you ever find yourself on a DC subway car correcting some kid and a big guy steps up behind you and goes, "Yeah! You better do what the Lady says!" It may just be me! ]: )

I'm a firm believer in parents doing this carzy thing called, PARENTING!!! It's becoming a dying art, you know-

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