Tuesday, August 22, 2006

The Latest Fad: Dissing Black Leaders

It seems to be so in-fashion, these days (or maybe in the circles I used to run in) to go on and on about what opportunists and hypocrites Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and other Black leaders are - heck, even that descriptor is regularly questioned.

I withheld judgement, at first. I was surprised by the fact that these people were so bothered by people like Jackson and Sharpton, but I was also interested in how they'd substantiate their positions. I wouldn't say they've done a very good job of that (especially since fucking up one's personal life does not make one is incapable of recognizing racial inequality).

I've heard passing references to anti-Semitic comments made by one or more of Black leaders, although, I'm not sure if they were taken out-of-context, as Andrew Young's recent comments seemed to have been. (see the 8.18.6 blog entry)

Other than that, I've mostly heard non-Blacks attacking the very idea that racism continues to exist and that organizations like the NAACP were ever necessary.

At this point, I've more or less come to-terms with these swipes and accusations:

Take issue with whatever things some individual or organization has said or done. If you can substantiate your claims, then I'll consider them. But what I'm seeing far more of are people who don't seem to like the idea that race is ever brought up or that claims of racism continue to ring out across this nation.

It's not that these folks seem to be so interested in squashing racism. It's more like they just don't want to hear us talking about it, anymore.

Well, that's too damned bad. The problem isn't the people who think racism persists (even if they're wrong in certain cases). The problem is with the people who won't even entertain the possibility that this is the reality.

Don't be too surprised when someone thinks you've got a white hood in your coat rack.

Oh yeah. Much love to Mr. Stewart from The Daily Show, for listening to the substance of Al Sharpton's words during the last Democratic National Convention, instead of dismissing him out-of-hand because... Well, for whatever reason some people do that.

His hair may be busted, but the man has a righteous message. He deserved more respect than he got, especially considering the fact that he had the best speech of the entire event.


Koffee said...

You've made some very good points. It amazes me how many people walk around w/blind folds on - as if their refusal to aknowledge racism will somehow make it go away...

What ever happpened to that TV show that Ice Cube had where the families had to trade places? I can't remember what it was called.

West said...

re: "You've made some very good points."

Thanks, koffee and welcome!

re: "It amazes me how many people walk around w/blind folds on - as if their refusal to aknowledge racism will somehow make it go away..."

I think there are a number of folks out there who see other people's claims of racism as threats to themselves. In other words, it's like they think that we're trying to play some kind of a guilt trip on anyone who's not Black. To be honest, some folks do just that and that sucks... but that doesn't change the fact that there are a lot of us who don't take proclamations of love OR hate lightly.

It's getting to the point where I don't care to even LOOK FOR the distinction between those in the white robes and those who claim the robes don't exist.

re: "What ever happpened to that TV show that Ice Cube had where the families had to trade places? I can't remember what it was called."

I don't think I heard about that one.

Koffee said...

It was called Black.White. they even had a panel on Oprah about the show. It was pretty good but it had me fired up. I think they only had 1 run.

West said...

Hmmm... I remember watching a show by that name where white families wore make-up to appear Black and Black families wore make-up to appear white.

I don't recall Ice Cube being a part of it, but it was much more interesting than I expected it to be. As usual, my girlfriend was right about that kind of thing.

I'm not sure how many lessons were learned, but at the very least, I'd say some seeds were planted.

Son of Blog-El said...

Ice Cube produced it. It did seem to plant seeds in both families. Which is the point.

I have noticed the same thing with a lot of the white people I have dealt with since the mid-eighties. One guy i went to college with told me that there were no racists anymore, just @$$holes. I asked why can't there be both? I have meant plenty of @$$holes but not all of them were racists.

Of course, they also didn't read comic books, either so that might be a point of further investigation...

West said...

Oh yeah. I spoke to my g.f. about this and she, like SoB-E, confirmed 'Cube's involvement.

Also, I remember a high school classmate saying that racism with over. She was white and we were all young. I was surprised that she could say, with such confidence, that something DIDN'T exist... while I was trying to figure out how much it did.

At that age, I hadn't experienced *and recognized* the kind of things that I'd encounter later in life.

Hopefully, she's grown, as well.