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If That’s Not Your Name, Then Don’t Answer To It!

Well, I want to let everyone know that there may be offensive words in this post. If you are offended by blunt truth, words that you possibly already use regularly and the reality of what is said, this post will certainly offend you. But, I have to talk about this subject and there is really only one way to do it.

Initially, I wanted to name this article “You get called a hoe cause you answer to it.” Then I thought better of it and used a different title. However, the truth of the matter is, people will call you whatever they feel like, but if you answer to it, then clearly that is what you are at that moment.

Here is where I am going with this article. We have to do a better job of modeling the behavior that we want others to show us.  There is NO way on Earth we can expect to be taken seriously if we are talking to one another crazy, calling each other out of our names, being loud, disrespectful and negative.

Yes, I am aware that some folks are negative by design and will try their very best to bring out the worst in everyone they interact with. I get that. However, if we allow them to get to us, then we are no better than they are. I also know that someone will say, that there is only so much a person can take and that it is easier said than done. Agreed. I never said it would be easy, but it is definitely a choice.

It seems that folks have replaced the word “respect” with the word “real” as though being respectful is not keeping it real. I could go on for days about keeping it real, but if I give it to you for free, you would never read the book (I promise it is still in the works and it is gonna be FIRE!). The truth is this, being real never gave anyone the right to be rude.

Another truth is that we have to demand more of ourselves if we want others to do it. Ladies, if a man calls you a hoe, bitch, jump off, sidepiece, etc. and you answer to it, then do not be surprised if that is how you are treated. You cannot come back later and try and change it once the protocol has been established. Fellas, if your lady calls you weak, soft, lame, busta, etc. and you answer to it, then not only should you evaluate yourself, but you should also expect to be mistreated. You never stood up for yourself and demanded better. As a people, if we call one another nigga, gangsta, bitch, trick, etc., then we really cannot get mad when we are treated that way by those who heard it. Likewise, it really does not make much sense for us to get all that mad when others call us that. I mean, we call ourselves that and I am pretty sure that the first person to call a Black person nigga(er) was probably NOT Black. So we really do not own the word.

So let me sum this all up for you guys:

  •  Model the respect that you want to receive.
  • Recognize that you are descendants of kings and queens and should be treated as such.
  • Demand the respect that comes from being more than what others call you.
  • Do not answer to negative titles that others will try and give you.
  • Establish your expectations from day one and do not waiver.

Trust me, if you stop answering to it and establish that it will not be tolerated, only a couple of things can happen.   Either people change how they address you OR people stop dealing with you. Either way, it is a win win situation for you.



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Richard 'BigRich' Evans

Richard 'BigRich' Evans

With nearly 20 years of experience in juvenile justice, public speaking, youth and young adult coaching and intervention, Richard 'BigRich' Evans' brand of straight talk has touched thousands.