What's up, World?!
So many of you know that I got my Realtor's license when I moved back to Phoenix, but I’m still a writer at heart and felt called to share something I’ve been pondering for the last 48 hours...
DO I HAVE TO SELL MY SOUL TO BE SUCCESSFUL?
Despite not being all in your face with it, I am an unapologetically black man. I love my people and our culture. Whether you see it or not, I celebrate our existence daily. I start every prayer with some form of, “Lord I thank you for this day and for allowing me to be here in this body.” and truly mean it.
Following the conviction of Derek Chauvin, I wanted to wear this “I can’t breathe shirt” to stand in solidarity with George Floyd's family and all those we've lost due to extreme force by the police. But instead, I decided to throw on a real estate tee at the last minute because I didn’t want to ruffle any feathers in the office.
As I'm walking out the door, I come across a new single from my childhood friend, Bawo Ijirigho AKA Young Onassis
. Onassis is a Nigerian-born hip-hop artist and engineer extraordinaire. One line in particular from his song BMW (Black Man WInning)
resonated with me intensely. As a writer and entrepreneur during this season, I've been forced to balance finding the facts regarding these devastating stories with finding my mental sanity. It has not always been easy.
"Another brother gunned down I'm getting numb to the death/ When they treat you like a threat / the post-traumatic effect /I ain't got nothing left..."
- Young Onassis, BMW (Black Man Winning)
Watch the BMW (Black Man Winning) Music Video
THE IRONY OF F.E.A.R.: FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL
This wardrobe conundrum took place on a Friday afternoon.
Of course, when I arrived at the office the building was empty. As I sat there staring at my screen, struggling to write the script for the next episode of The Expert's Lounge
, all I could do was wonder if I sold my soul.
For years, I've been advocating for change and peace with my team, The LxVE Collective.
Yet, when faced with a real
opportunity to make it clear where I stood on a controversial topic, I opted for the safer route.
"I let fear dictate my decision when in reality there was a 0% chance of a negative interaction because I was by myself the whole day."
- Jonathan Tease, LxVE Co-Founder & Real Estate Influencer
So to my white friends and colleagues, if the concept of white privilege still baffles you, this is what it feels like. Privilege has nothing to do with money or social status. Rather, it’s about having the “privilege“ of not having to mask decisions like this. It’s about having the privilege of being the standard that the rest of the world strives for.
IF YOU DON'T STAND FOR SOMETHING YOU'LL FALL FOR ANYTHING
To my folks with ethnic backgrounds, please don’t forget the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. If you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. So as I prepare to record the next episode of my show here’s to standing in our truth and sharing our experience living in this world.
Finally, to quote the great Negro philosopher Sean “Jay Z” Carter, how can you heal what you never reveal? I hope this article encourages more people to continue sharing their truth and also encourages our counterparts from other races to simply listen and seek to understand what black and brown people been going through for hundreds of years.