Home Featured Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

Am I My Brother’s Keeper?

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You knew he was gonna get you shot...

One of the main tenets of the “G Code” is for lack of better terminology, having your people’s backs.  No matter what.  The frustrating part about following this code is not having to remain true to your word, but having to do so when your fellow G royally f*cks up.  (I told you not to call the house from the spot.  Now you callin’ me for bail money.  Come on, Knowledge…)  I can always forgive an honest mistake, but complete acts of irresponsibility is hard to deal with.  Consistent complete acts of irresponsibility are close to cardinal sins.  I use the term irresponsible in a broad sense, because they are range of behaviors your peers exhibit can be deemed irresponsible, but can fall into other categories such as immature or just plain stupid. The politically correct answer that most people will give you is that the do feel obligated to be their brother’s keeper, but the increasingly individualistic nature of our society says that we don’t.

The work that is sometimes necessary to be a “brother’s keeper” can be exhaustive.  Think about that friend or relative that can’t seem to get it right or is a parasite to any and all available resources.  The place a strain on your relationship because they seem to require more attention and help than normal.  Their consistent acts of irresponsibility can cost you valuable time, money or even chinks to your reputation depending on the situation.  Ever recommended someone for an interview just to have them embarrass you both.  (So the only shoes you could find to match your tie were your gold boots?  Thanks.)   Unfortunately, what tends to happen is we don’t end up helping people out of a sense of duty to help, but of out the guilt that will bind us if we don’t help this person.  I have no problem helping you move, but I rather not do it at 3am because your girl went through your phone and now she’s burning all your sh*t.  (I told you she was crazy.  Twice.)

Ideally if we all looked out for another more, it’s needless to say to we would be in a better place as people.  I don’t want to sound like one of those “blame the system for everything” people, but there is no denying that the well laid, systematic pattern of institutional racism that exists in this country continues to drive wedges between our people and do not present favorable conditions to foster “unity” amongst our people.  In more personal situations, constantly putting out other people’s fires can become as pleasant as a hemorrhoid.  I believe we all have a responsibility to look out for one another, but that responsibility can become overbearing when people are unable to look out for themselves.

See Also:  Five Biggest Misconceptions about Black Greek Life

I know…kinda deep for a Friday, but this is something I’m forced to think about often, and I figured I might as well share and see what you think. Who knows, you’ll probably end up going out this weekend and end up taking care of a friend that had too much to drink or slick talking your way out of Department of Corrections manufactured bling.   Or maybe your favorite person to avoid will call you this weekend to borrow money…again.  Whatever the case, at some point, you’re going to find yourself in this situation will more than likely stay true to code, for fear of intense guilt setting in.  Or maybe your the constant schmuck Good Samaritan to get sucked dry lend a helping hand.

Yes, the only thing that matched were the Gold Boots,

Comment(24)

  1. Man… I know exactly what you mean and i'mma give the list that you didn't give.

    1) My biggest, dudes who cheat and then want you to back them up when you are at risk for going down too. "Dog, if my girl asks I fell asleep on your couch and didn't feel like driving home after the club." Now when she finds out you were cheating I am an accomplice.

    2) People who always have flare ups that are URGENT. "Can you write me a recommendation for this internship.. that's due at 5PM?" Negro, you stay waiting until the last minute to ask me to drop everything and do something for you.

    (Pause: I just remembered I owe somebody something from yesterday, i'll finish my comment later…)

    1. 3) Taking from the table, but putting nothing on it. You always need a place to crash when you in town. Showing up with no liquor and not even an air mattress or towel for laundry once you leave. (Us men of the N.P.H.C. League of Extraordinary Men call this, "leaning on the shield.")

      4) I know you said brother, but women too. Women who needs rides at inconvienent times. Do not come to the club with no way to get home because you know i'll drop you off later. I might have somewhere to go after the club.

      5) Oooooh I hate these reggins the most… people who always order more expensive things on the menu and then split it down the middle.

      6) Coworkers who don't ever take the L. (Nuff said, I don't want to start a rant.)

      Yo… you just gave me an idea…

  2. You hit the nail on the head.

    The worst is inserting my name into something before you clear it with me. I dont mind being your alibi but please give me a heads up so i dont look like a complete fool.

    If you eat at my house and never bring something with you, I'm going to hate you. I know you're broke but is $1.50 for a warm C&C pineapple soda really going to kill you?

    1. I mean is that not the cheapest brand of soda out there? They sell those at the dollar store all day long. no excuse. lol

  3. you did hit the nail on the head.. being someone that wouldn't put someone in a position that i wouldn't like to be put in.. i don't do this to people.. actually the opposite, i refrain as much as possible from asking people for anything.. and those close to me know that if i AM in fact asking, then the situation is DIRE!

    HOWEVER.. i have a friend that goes out with the fellas.. and there's this one short one (Napoleonic complex, anyone) that will walk past women.. look them up and down.. grind up on them.. (before finding out if they have a man) etc.. and then expect all the boys to have his back.. my homeboy said "yo.. i know where the exits are.. and that's just about it.." i had to laugh..

    if we go out.. and the incident is because of my big mouth.. then that's fine.. but if it's becuase you got stupid.. then guess where i'm leavin you!! i made it all this time without gettin shot (miami-style) or getting a Heineken bottle crashed over my skull (jamaica-style).. i'm too old to be startin that ish now..

    signed..

    "too bad, so sad.."

  4. Ohh, Lawd! I co-sign this in blood! Sometimes people just wanna take up alot of your time. I have this one friend who is constantly calling to talk about the latest thing her man has done to piss her off today……how she should leave him alone..but won't. How she loves him so much….do you think he loves me? NO! I don't! I am all for venting..we all need to vent..but e'ry day! 3-4 times a day! I have kids, and other things to do than lay on the phone and talk about a negroe and his failings….geez!

  5. I love my team (no pause, grow man ishh). I would give a testicle for one of my boys, no lie. But sometimes they tend to lie to heavy on the down for the team concept.

    I would have no problem lying for them. To a girl, to the cops. And we have grown a little pass fighting. But sometimes they tend to get caught up in a concept and lack the ablility to let it go and move on. This mainly happpens at the end of a night, when we haven't bagged a victim to take back to the crib. These guys do well with the ladies, real well. I don't see a reason why we have to go after our way, and spend extra amounts of time bagging up numbers and trying to pull a one nighter. Its one thing when they sacrifice their time, money and energy on the hopes of maybe taking one down but when they hold up the entire crew waiting on a text. The night is over… let it be over.

  6. Sheeiiiiiiiiit, this has my sister* written all over it. She is the only one who has ever crossed the threshold from slightly irritating me by always asking for something (my threshold is pretty big too) into iCan't territory. This girl literally left her two children with me (while I was in High School) to raise for two years while she followed her worthless baby daddy across the country. After coming back and plucking my nieces away from me (after two years of raising them as if they were my own and bonding with them), she has borrowed thousands of dollars that I'll never see again. 97% of her phone calls are asking for money. I really can't take people using their kids to manipulate you into doing what they want and I know quite a few people like that.

    Eventually, I was just too exhausted to deal with it all. I have literally spoken to her three times in the last two years and she knows not to ask about money now. I had to officially give up being my brother and sisters' keeper a year ago. They're all faaaar to needy and I can barely stand to answer any of their calls anymore. The sad thing is I'm the one who should be asking them for stuff, I'm the baby.

    * This is a completely different sister than the one in some of my previous posts.

    1. "The sad thing is I’m the one who should be asking them for stuff, I’m the baby."

      I gotta give you a co-sign on that one. I too am the adorable baby of the clan but yet I'm always the one getting shaken down for bread…that is of course after they've exhausted all other resources. And I'm definitely at least 15 yrs younger than my closest sibling in age, so it makes me wonder how they get up the nerve to ask me for things.

    2. Sane, hun….sounds like you may need a new fam, or at least new siblings. May I offer mine? I got an older bro that may get on your last nerves but he's employed and can perform your wedding for free (hims a preacher).

      1. Thanks, but I wouldn't know what to do with all that normalcy.

        Besides, I've been trying to trade my fam in for so long that I've admitted defeat and learned to accept (and love) them for the dysfunctional mofos that they are. They weren't ever gonna change, so I just have to change my reactions and the way I deal with them. *shrugs* They damn sure taught me how to set boundaries now, so I guess I could even go so far as to be grateful.

        Disclaimer: I reserve the right to change my mind and take you up on this offer should I ever come close to remarrying.

    3. Reminds me of an episode of Judge Mathis where this girl sued her sister for stealin her child support. She used to live with the sister so the checks were going to her house and she was cashing them. The girl thought the dude just wasn't payin until she found out from the state that her sister was shopping with the money.

    4. I have dated several girls who where the 'backbone' of their family. The one everyone called for their problem. Fell in love with them all. Very caring, nuturing and appreciative.

      In short, Sans.. I am officially simping.

      **sidenote** you have the worst family in the world.

      1. Awww, you just brightened my day a bit.

        They aren't the worst in the world, and they have some lovable quirks. What can I say they're all I got and I love them. Besides, maybe one day I'll write a book about them and make millions of dollars off their ridiculousness.

  7. Hey, for some reason this post didn't come through my e-mail account this morning . . . what's up with that?

    In regard to beggers: my granny always says "quit beggin', makes people hate you." lol!!

  8. I think there is a limit to this code because all men are essentially responsible for their own actions. As time goes on if your ass just cant learn what needs to ne done to excel the degree to which I have ya back will change because I'll be holding myself back by spending so much energy helping you.

  9. Well I must agree with what other people have said. Over the years the hardest part about being my brother's keeper is lookin out for the dude that turns into Mike Tyson everytime he gets a little liquor in him. I'm older now so this is not a problem. But back in the day I pretty much gave every dude one pass. One time where I will back you in a silly fight just cause you my man. But if I see it's a pattern of you gettin thrown out of clubs every Saturday then you will be taking those a$$ whoopins alone. But again this was in my younger days.

    I'm careful wit money so it's not really a problem. I've learned you just gotta put your foot down with some folks or they will just keep hittin you up. Some people, especially family, will try to guilt trip you. But if you put your foot down and just tell em no. I mean really tell em no with out apoligizin and all that stuff. They will stop coming at you for stuff.

  10. Personally, I take after my momma on this one. Sure, I'll help you out. But, by the time I get done "helping" you won't WANT my help anymore, lol. By the time I get through hemmin' and hawin', dragging my feet, lecturing you about what you could have done better and botching whatever ill-conceived job you wanted me to complete you'll know better. Shoot…I can barely remember what I had for lunch yesterday – how'm I gonna remember YOUR lies?

  11. This shyt hit the nail on the head son (c) Stone Cold Steve Austin

    Sometimes your obligation to be a brother/good friend allows you to get #swindled You see this in frats a LOT, lol.

    I just ask for respect on a man to man level, and if I see ppl who Od, they dont get the help regardless..

    The worst is taking the L for family. That shyt hurts more than anything

  12. Oh Wow! Where should I start? My family? Good place….I've had ALL of them under my roof, and none of them paid a bill. Now we all know the added utility and food expense when one has "company" in the house for MONTHS! Well, I'm like Nelson Mandela once he emerged from prison after being locked up for 26 years…..Never, never, never and never again! (Say that with his accent, it adds more drama.)

    I have found that "parasites" have an amazing way to find hosts when they need something. I've totally and completely extracted myself from the "enabling" society. It's a worthless society created to suck the life blood out of people in order to transfer that blood to others who don't deserve it.

    I pride myself with the fact that I can rise to any challenge, but I will no longer rise to the challenge of helping able bodied people. Every able body needs to work!

    These are the things that I do no longer:

    1. Lend money

    2. Waste good advice on a non listener

    3. Open my home to people who need to stay more than three days.

    4. Give away very valuable items out of the goodness of my heart. I'll sell them now….no more freebies….not like those types of items anyway.

    5. Write or edit things for other people

    6. Lie for people

    7. Listen to girlfriends when they talk badly about their men. We need to lift up our significant other. If our significant other is not meeting our needs, then we need to talk to HIM in a respectful manner about it, not share our concerns with our girlfriends.

    8. Put myself on the back burner for my family members who would never, ever do the same for me. Many of my family members are very selfish.

    9. Lend out my lawn equipment to the man who lives next door who sold his. I now believe that he sold his equipment because he had his eyes on mine. Sometimes he even asks for my GAS to use the equipment.

    10. Babysit……And for those who think that people are happy to keep your children, leave La La Land quickly.

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