.... I feel kids who act like that so blatantly are placing themselves in harm's way - daring someone to have a problem with them. And there are nasty people who will have a problem with them, and will act on it. I just wanted to scream at him and maybe pull his Sesame Street underpants up over his head in the worst wedgie ever. But some people would want to do way worse. And that's why my fear had a little anger in it.
You hit it on the head with that analysis. That attitude, which where I'm from is spoken of enderingly as the "I wish a mofo would" attitude is promoted and has been promoted for generations among and to young men of color.
The attitudes that have been promoted in our community have played their role in us as black men being viewed in the negative ways we oftentimes get looked at in. We are taught that people fear us because our potential is greater than theirs and that that is a major reason why the system works to "keep us down". We are taught not to show weakness and to embrace an oportunity to fight as opposed to fleeing a confrontation. We are told all about the brute and more base levels of manhood and educating us in the more human, emotional, and socially beneficial aspects of our humanity is often ignored. Because of that what is exhibited in us is a higher tendancy to embrace violence, a great disdain for things we don't understand, an enhanced homophobic attitude towards men who love men, and a aire of general disrespect for the establishment.
Society values our physicality, so we promote it, work at it, and even exagerrate it because we have bought into the idea that that is where our value lies. Society doesn't value who and what we are on the inside, so we squash, ignore, and all kill our soft, sensitive more humanly relatible side because that's not something that we see celebrated or desired in and from us.