Real Bad Boys Move in Silence
(Guest View by Kaino Phillips, Sept. 15, 2015)
Over the last few weeks, I have seen some things that have really had me shaking my head and quite frankly, it has me a little frightened. I am mainly concerned because of the actions that I am seeing coming from the children of today. They are the direct reflections of what they are receiving from the adults in their lives.
That being said, I want to share something with you. This was a lesson that I learned right out of college which has stuck with me to this very day.
My very first interview coming out of college was with Ameritech which became AT&T. Not only was it with a Fortune 100 company at the time but I was fortunate enough to have my interview with the CEO of the company. I got this interview because of an older gentleman who didn’t know me from a hole in the wall saw something in me and pulled me aside and told me that he was going to set it up AND HE DID!!!
This gentleman went on to tell me the CEO of Ameritech background story. He also told me that the man that I was interviewing with was a MILLIONAIRE!!!
The thing that really knocked me to the floor was the fact that he was AFRICAN AMERICAN!!!
You see, at the time that I came out of college, it was VERY RARE to hear of any person of ethnicity to have the TOP SPOT at any company never the less a FORTUNE 100 corporation. Me coming from the background that I came from, everything that I had ever seen in the streets of Pontiac and even when I went down to Grambling, it was always about trying to be as FLASHY as I could be.
I didn’t see any reason for it to be different when I went in for my interview.
So what did I do? I got dressed up in my suit and I was clean as clean could get(IN MY EYES).
But, it didn’t stop there. I had to really set this off so what did I do? I grabbed every piece of jewelry that I could find and THREW IT ON ME!!! I grabbed TWO NECKLACES/CHAINS and threw it around my neck and I threw on THREE RINGS!!!
Now let me explain to you about my necklaces and rings. First off out of every piece of jewelry that I had on only one piece was real. All three rings and one of the necklaces was what we used to call (ELECTROPLATED)!!! That means that this was the stuff that would make your neck break out and turn green. That had to make me look even more ridiculous.
In my mind, all I could think of is that I was going to impress this man with not only my words but with my FLASHY ENSEMBLE!!!
I ran out the door just knowing that I was ready.
I got to the office and his secretary promptly told me to, “Come on in Mr. Phillips, he is expecting you. As I started walking through the door, I just knew in my heart of hearts that I was going to see this man in a FLASHY EXPENSIVE SUIT with a considerable amount of jewelry on. When I walked through that threshold, all I saw was a tall gentleman who was clean cut with just a polo shirt on and a basic pair of slacks. The only jewelry that he had on was a wedding band and a watch.
Throughout the interview which lasted 2 hours, he never once asked me about my attire. When the interview was all said and done, he asked me if I had any questions outside of my quest to get this job. Me being brash at that time opened up my mouth and said, “Sir, I did my background on you and I was expecting something a little bit different when I met you.”
He asked me what it was that I expected. I told the man that I expected for him to be dressed up suited to the max and I expected him to have on quite a few jewelry items. I told him that I expected to see a Russell Simmons in a suit.
He Bust Out Laughing!!! You see, back then, the only millionaires or people that I THOUGHT were millionaires, that were African American were either entertainers and professional athletes. I was HEAVY into Hip Hop and we know how that went. You remember: Slick Rick, LL Cool J, Big Daddy Kane and Run DMC!!! All that they ever had on was BIG JEWELRY!!!
It was at that very moment that he made a statement to me that literally changed my whole disposition in life. He looked me dead in my eyes and told me, “Yes, over the years I have built a degree of comfort financially but young man, let me say this to you.” “REAL BAD BOYS MOVE IN SILENCE.”
“If you have something, you don’t need to tell a soul.” “The only people that need to know what you have is you and your loved ones.”
“Besides, when you over do it, it usually is a direct indicator that you really don’t have it like that.”
From that point forward, I saw the pursuit differently. I am saying this to say, people have got to get away from this pursuit of obtaining all of these materialistic items and they can barely keep the light bill paid. I can’t tell you how many women that I know that have: Jimmy Cho and Louboutin shoes and Gucci purses all through their closet but can’t afford to help your child with their college education.
Men, we are just as bad with our clothing fetishes as well as our toys (VEHICLES). We have got to be conscious of building our foundations for the future.
The reason why I am posting this up today is on Wednesday, I sat up in a room full of kids who flat out talked about obtaining these different type of clothing items but damn money for school.
One little girl looked me dead in my face with no hesitation and told me that, “I may not be in school but I will be out in these streets fleek to death.”
I just got schooled on the word FLEEK which means (Looking Clean and Crisp)!!! ADULTS, please pay attention to the message that we are giving to our children in the household. These messages are setting our next generation up for failure and leading them towards a life that is doomed for them to be attached to the system, (GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE). Here is the reality, in 5 more years from now, the type of assistance that can be gained today WILL NOT be the same by then.
Let’s Prepare Our Children For Something Greater!!!
Kaino Phillips is the President of the Clarence E. Phillips Foundation in Pontiac, a mentor for youth and a champion of the City of Pontiac’s continued revitalization.
Real Bad Boys Move in Silence