African Americans Get the Last Laugh: No Joke

It looks like there’ll be pie in your face either way.
Who will they roll and roast?
Will it be you who’s silly enough to boast
About the all of the inane things that you do
Running around, you and your crew.

These get rich quick schemes
And your ridiculous notions
About breaking wide on the scene
While failing to make any forward motion.

We complain about who gets in our way
And what keeps us from progressing day to day.
We talk about how ‘they’ hold us back
But we make the choice not to read or crack
Open a book or pick up a pen
And let the learning begin.
The joke is on us.

This is a capitalistic society
And you have to bring some to get some
And do it without the appearance of impropriety.
The propensity to laugh
While mothers cry on your behalf
Is a sad commentary
It makes no sense
And it’s arbitrary.

There are a few things we need to do
To put the joke on someone other than me and you.

No. 1 Stop making excuses for not doing your best.
Whether you believe it or not, you’re blessed.
It’s not mandated that you be a superstar
So lift your head and stop living with the scar
That you should be something other than what you are.
That means living with integrity
And putting an end to dependency
Or laughing because you’re drunk
Or fooling because you’re high
And looking like some broken down fall guy.

Smile because your self-esteem remains intact
And your wanting better is not an act.
Richard Pryor came to a revelation in his day
About the N-word and what it conveyed.
That’s where Dr. Laura went astray.
But like Paul Mooney says of that moment of lunacy
They created the word in the beginning, you see.
So be careful about your image, number one
And think of your life as the total sum
Of your actions, your behavior and what you’ve done.

No. 2 Bring a valuable message to the table
And make sure that your willing, able and stable
Enough to bring to fruition those things you should do.
When you talk about the consequences that result
From acting childishly rather than as an adult

Or the pain we inflict
On our children and loved ones
When we fail to properly handle conflict
And take it out on our daughters and sons.
Or we can joke about how so and so got HIV
And then we ignore the dangers anyway.
And then there are those who’ll continue to tell lies
Until they meet an untimely demise.
These are the people you’ll come to despise.
Listen instead to those who will say something profound
In order to help you turn your life around.
These are the people to look to and say
“My people and myself, I will not betray.”
Let the joke be that you push back and defy misery
And that you won’t make a mockery of your noble history.
Be irreverent if you must
But also be fair and just
And you’ll have the last laugh
When you become chief of staff.
Let the curse of disrespect go.

No. 3 Don’t treat each other in a negative manner
Don’t give into the hype and the empty banter
About how it’s OK to let ourselves go
For the sake of getting along and not upsetting the flow.
Get excited about education and being in the know.
Avoid the pitfalls of dope
And your life going up in smoke
Being alone and broke
Really, really ain’t no joke.
Make your dreams a reality
Be a beacon for your family.
Understand that we are a great people
But too many are fading away.
President Obama requests our support
To fend off the disingenuous who purport
And convincingly engage others to distort
The fact that there are other parties that lurk
To disgrace and discredit his valuable work.

We have to be vigilant and proud
It’s no joke that our children are running with crowds
That cloak and keep the legacy shrouded.
And if you assist those people that hold us back
The joke’s on you.
And the fact that you’re black
Will be merely an afterthought
While you sit still and distraught.

So cheers to Paul Mooney
Who addresses these issues in a particular way.
It’s guys like him and like Richard Pryor
That made us laugh while striving higher.
Even Jamie Foxx who took a different way
And said to ‘Blame it on the alcohol’
And it will go away.

Don’t let the joke be on you
And don’t be sad
But if you don’t watch out
Even you can be had.

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