Exactly what is he holding down?
What a thug really represents is deep remnants of slavery, when expectations of men of color were so lowered that if he did any small thing, he was glorified for little and next to nothing. Because all the glory was the fact that he was standing there....and could fuck. The most basic of human body-ness. What they represent is the failure of the educational system and the prison pipeline where not only can't Leroy read, no one wants to try and help him, he's then labelled a "thug gonnabe" by the 3rd grade and he gets to slide into the Achievement Gap and the separate Special Ed. classroom (gray walls, tight desks, non-caring teachers) so that by the time he's a teenager and acting out we have his cell, which the industry makes $50,000 a year off of, ready, willing and able to accommodate him in.
Now that thug who's done a "lil' something illegal" he's subsidizing over $1 million dollars in revenue from the salaries of all the people who need him to be nothing but a thug so they can arrest him (cops), prosecute him, hold him (bailiffs), process him (clerks, adjudicate him (judges), hold him some more (bailiffs and correction officers), jail house him (construction team that built and maintains the prison) and eventually the Warden. Each thug is worth 1 million on the open USA market so that's why there's such an investment in Black and Latino men identifying as thugs---you get say 5 million of them to believe that they are anything but a neo-slave, that's billions of dollars in instant, replenish-able revenue---making money faster than cotton fields. Oh, yeah then while we got a good thug in prison we make him work for some of the largest companies in the country, earning 12 cents an hour. ( TWELVE CENTS AND HOUR. No, you really have to think about that in a 40 hour week, building circuit boards, making customer service calls, acting as a catalog phone rep where in the real world at a not so great job it's at least $10 an hour.)
Yeah, thug life got that future going---well on his way to CEO of a Fortune 500 company with his deep understanding of market rates, corporate culture, sales force managing, shareholder stock price distribution and dividends----oh, wait he dropped out of high school to maintain thugness---he's got Tupac's lyrics memorized but the multiplication table is still a mystery.....well, then everyone knows that when we open up Forbes and Entrepreneur magazine it's lined page to page with thugs.
Let us also not forget that thug perception has caused a lot of grief when people can't see past that perception---Trayvon, Sean Bell, yeah, keeping it real has no ramifications for the rest of us just walking along, eating some Skittles, out at a party.......
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