Crabs are Colorblind
Unfortunately, every African-American has his or her own crabs in a bucket story.
My story involves a former co-worker trying to stab me in the back as I began to pitch my television show to industry executives at the 2013 NATPE convention in Miami.
That story also includes members of an organization trying to get me expelled from that organization, which could have opened me up to criminal charges, for something that happened when I was 300 miles away and after I had distanced myself from the organization a year earlier.
Honestly, I have had people stab me in the back many times and never once did it occur at the hands of someone outside of my own race.
It always happened at the hands of other African-Americans.
However, African-Americans are wrong when we think that the crabs in the bucket mentality only applies to us and that other races are not victims of the crabs in the bucket mentality at the hands of people from their own race too.
Honestly, the crab in the bucket mentality is just symbolic of people regardless of race.
Sometimes, jealousy, hatred and envy will cause people to try to hurt other people for no reason.
The keys are knowing that no weapon formed against you will prosper, realizing that it is not race-specific and once a person shows their true colors to excommunicate them from your inner circle as quickly as possible.
According to many African-Americans, the crab in the bucket mentality has been synonymous with the African-American community since slavery.
The analogy is simple but profound.
If you have ever gone crabbing, you know that you do not have to place a lid on the bucket in which you keep your captured crabs.
This is so because once a crab makes it to the top of the bucket and is on the verge of escaping captivity, another crab that is beneath him will snatch him back to reality and keep him in the same predicament as the rest of the crabs.
And although my experience with crabs stung pretty badly, my situation is not unique.
Many African-Americans face it when they begin pursuing higher education, when they receive a well paying job, when they can afford a nice home in an affluent community or if they just speak correct English.
But after bringing up my story on “The Pursuit of Happiness” radio show (KPRC 950 AM in Houston) on March 5, my colleague Charles “Big Angry” Adams, who happens to be White, corrected me and said that he has been victimized by White crabs in the bucket as well.
A daughter of a colleague accused him of some sort of sexual harassment even though he has never met the daughter.
The young lady simply wanted to ruin his reputation and prevent him from capitalizing on the fame he has developed in Houston as a result of his standout work on television and radio.
Adams’ story made me rethink some of the criticism African-Americans have when it comes to the African-American community.
African-Americans often say that we do not support each other like other races.
African-Americans often say we are not unified like other races.
And African-Americans often say that we cannot succeed because we have too many crabs floating around the big bucket, which is the entire African-American community.
The truth of the matter is African-Americans are no better or worse than any other race.
Things that we struggle with are also prevalent in other communities. We are simply not a part of other communities so we think the backstabbing is only prevalent amongst us.
There will always be crabs in the bucket.
The problem that the African-American community needs to correct is in thinking that only other African-Americans can help you achieve your goals.
So what if someone from your community tries to bring you down because just as many people from your community or other communities will be there to help you back up and help you go higher than you ever dreamed possible.
While some African-Americans tried to ruin my career, I had other African-Americans and non-African-Americans give me the break that I needed.
From putting me on television and radio to helping me fund my television show, “Regal Roundtable,” I have had enough people, Black and White, to believe in my vision that I now know that the bucket is way too small to contain me anyway.
I’ve been blessed because I’ve become so big that a crab is not big enough to cause me any harm.