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When Mere Words are Misinterpreted
4/15/2015 10:12:08 PM

By Hakim Abdul-Ali

Have you ever been hit with something that "comes" at you, or me, from out of nowhere with such absurdity you wonder where it came from, or simply, how could she, he or they misinterpret anything that you, or I, said? That's where I'm at now as I talk about "When Mere Words are Misinterpreted."

For the best of me, I continually am always brought to the strangeness of today's world of modernity and where some ethnic folks take their minds off from mere communication to something else, without rhyme or reason. As a brother of color, I constantly challenged myself with that reality knowing that the majority of ethnic folk are different complex "hue-mans," thinking sometimes with prejudiced biases, and not (sometimes) with objective mind-sets.

Communicating effectively is such an important factor until it could ease many of the world's ills if we seriously work at applying the majesty of its charm. Think about that as you think about how often that you've been misinterpreted and misunderstood. ( How long do I have to wait for answer?)

When any ethnic soul is ambushed by unfounded innuendos galore, the "hue-man" mind-set seems to become bewildered by probably muttering to itself,"Where did you get that from?" Through misinterpretation, any soul enters into a state of surprise, shock and amazement leaving that soul with a feeling of betrayal as sudden depression lurks around the corners of one's unsuspecting mind.

I, and others, know that the feelings of anger, depression and sabotage can become vexing terrors to any honest mind-set where negativity is a floor mat when any thinking "hue-man" feels stepped upon or falsely accused. For most clear, thinking souls, who strive in advancing the best in his or of her culture for the positive, life can be a constant gnawing test.

So, beware and know that, even you're no different, and life's nibbling, blindsided tests will, may and can come your way at the least anonymous moments of your life. All this can happen "When Mere Words are Misinterpreted."

I know to hear this from this longtime columnist and literary spokesman may make you think, but I have to say things uniquely in my own way of saying things. Black expressions have always been a little different for many others in other cultural norms of expressions to understand and comprehend. It can lead to problematic misinterpretations by some folk.

Listen, I remember something that stands out in my reflective thoughts, it came from my mother who was a cultured and educated Black woman. She said that you may have to take and learn other folks' courses, adopt their speech and think within their views, but they never will understand yours or where you're "coming" from with yours. "Son never forget that!"

The more I live, unfortunately, I see the reality of mom's wisdom handed down to me in our home more than six decades ago. I guess you could call that good old truthful, "colored" home schooling in the most sensitive, positive and realistic manner of education I've learned thus far in the living process, but it can be bitter.

My mother, being a professional and admired schoolteacher and a lifelong spiritual counselor, always warned me never to fall asleep around (some folks) in society, because they will always be looking for something to stick you with as she used to tell me. She related, "My son, you're an ebony child of color, so be very, very aware of your presence in America, because a Black man or woman in this should never feel that secure or comfortable. It could be dangerous because an aware Black mind is a terrible thing to lose."

With thoughts of Ferguson, Missouri, and now, North, Charleston, South Carolina, ringing in my head, the need to communicate effectively and not create dangerous misinterpretations through misunderstandings needs to be implemented. Brother Mr. Walter Scott, you didn't die in vain. As you read, I hope you haven't forgotten already who he is and how he died?

Sadly, if you're of color in this country, the pressures upon Afro-folk and others from Chicago to Staten Island is likened to living in and under some sort of colonially suppressive mental time bomb that's somewhere out there waiting to explode within your own psyche. I hope that you don't read anything misleading into my referencing using the word time bomb because its only a dialectic euphemism because there's no overtly suggestively meaning behind or intended by it. Don't misinterpret!

That's just an example of the way that a lot of people of color speak, and it's just like when some of these "colored" folk talk with their hands, oftentimes in expressing themselves. It's all apart of Black expressions as they talk with their own distinct feelings, via words, mottos, facial expressions, hands, body motions and other ways of trying to express themselves without fears of being misjudged in order to get along or to be able to get a point across. Don't misinterpret them without asking them directly what they meant, if you really concerned in the first place.

Most folk, who know me, know that I always tell them to be themselves whenever they talk to or want to tell me something. I work hard in listening to them without being overtly judgmental, and that's a key that many others of all genders and ethnicities need to practice today in this world of multi-cultural and multiethnic dimensions. Don't misinterpret!

Maybe, if that were understood clearly, we wouldn't want everyone to sound or look like everyone else. The world's various ethnicities are different by being created that way by God Alone, and because of that unequivocal fact we should and must learn to respect those differences in each one. Don't be judgmental!

All "hue-mans" are to be respected representing the world's diversely marvelous cultures. But my experiences are in my blood, existence, and life experiences as an descendant of the tragic and blessed Africana experience, which is rooted in the confines of the "his-storic" United States of America antiquity.

I live, respect and love my ethnicity and religion in peace, just as I respect and love that America's other ethnic divisions live theirs, hopefully, in peace also. Don't discriminate!
Hopefully, with those essential concepts fully understood, maybe, just maybe, when we do have to communicate among each other, we won't go off in left field when someone says something that only a distorted and corruptive mind would allow himself/herself to twist. Stop reading things into things that are not there.

Don't misinterpret! Life is too, too short and for today let's work on healing our suffering nation and stop creating chaos where there's none. For today and always, that's, "As I See It."


Visitor Comments

Submitted By: Naseer Dhaamin Submitted: 6/12/2015
Nice article Bro Hakim!

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