LBJ For President?

LBJ

To begin with it is a shame that within the context of the most powerful and wealthy nation on earth (supposedly built upon the principles of freedom) – more than FIVE HUNDRED YEARS after her inception

that a race of people there within find themselves needing to be “led” due to oppressive circumstances. That in and of itself is a sad commentary on race in America. Black America to this day is in a precarious situation which has perpetuated itself for centuries without ever having been resolved because of various forms of opposition to progress that have been omnipresent at every turn of the mighty struggle that is the fight for justice and equality in America.

White America on the other hand has never had to wrestle with this profound dilemma. I don’t say that to elicit guilt (necessarily) or to simply moan and complain – this is just a fact! Every political structure – economic apparatus – social normative has been in its distinct favor in every conceivable form during the entirety of this so-called American experiment. There has therefore been no need whatsoever for white Americans to even conceive of having to designate a leader outside of those who are a part of conventional power structures because they have always known that those actors will never violate their best interests as a race. Black and brown Americans on the other hand have always known that those very same conventional power structures do not have their best interests in mind – either by design or default.

It is for all of these reasons and more that various members of the modern day black community make attempts to step to the forefront and try to galvanize black Americans as they push forward an agenda that they believe will promote progress in this country. The question today though is: who exactly is it that is the leader of this freedom movement and what should their agenda be? This is especially crucial in present day America where we are lacking overall leadership – generally speaking – in this country as well. The current administration in the White House is chaotic at best. And the head of that Administration has chosen to utilize his bully pulpit to promote division and berate just about anyone who does not share his skin tone. In the middle of all of THAT black people are still searching for their ever elusive civil rights and forced to find leadership in a “leaderless world”.

Today it seems that we have SO many different organizations or entities – many who have great intentions no doubt – (but) who are all sort of doing their own thing. Not only that but we also have individuals that though they certainly should be welcomed (even encouraged) to lend their voices and platforms to “the cause” – they are not necessarily civic leaders equipped to speak for and guide Black America in the direction we need to go. Imagine if you will: Tom Brady or Adam Sandler or Justin Bieber or Blake Shelton being responsible for leading the initiatives of White America. It sounds ridiculous, but this is essentially what happens when Lebron James or Steve Harvey or John Legend or Charles Barkley try to lead the way or speak for black people. And outside of those individuals we have the Black Lives Matters and the Jesse Jacksons and the NAACPs of the world raising their own battle cries. And so as a black man in America I have to be honest… I have not a clue as to who is supposed to be the captain of this ship?!

To be honest I do not believe any of the above ought to be ultimately responsible for spearheading a much needed movement – a movement that would entail a specific and clear agenda. Lebron James is a fantastic athlete who is certainly intelligent and socially conscious, but he cannot be the one on whom Black America relies (though I must say he was awesome in his press conference a couple Mondays ago!) Instead of relying on the best athletes or singers to lead the way – we must create a scenario where we have our best and brightest – including athletes too incidentally (and not just black people by the way) – under “one roof” and led by one leader who is calling the shots. We need a leader with vision who is able to bring people together and who is seeking solely to serve and speak for those who are suffering from the social ills of inequality. This it seems to me is a critical piece that is missing in the complex equation that we need to solve @ racism in America.

Before I let you go can I just say this: we will know that black America has reached the point of equality when we enjoy what is currently – though many try to deny it… “White Privilege”. We will know we have reached the point of equality when we – like White America – do not need a “designated leader” to speak out against oppression. When it will sound just as ridiculous to suggest that an entertainer could be the leader of Black America as it does to suggest that Lady GaGa is the leader of White America. We will know we have arrived when like White America we can be confidant that public policy and politicians have our best interests as a race in mind. When it doesn’t even begin to cross our mind that the American institutions and infrastructure could possibly be against us based on the color of our skin. Don’t look now, but that sounds like a true democracy. Go figure.


Side Note: The NFL athletes who are being pressured to conform to the very same system that oppresses people who look like them are a prime example of why all of the above is so important. While many of them are intelligent – informed – they are still very young and are athletes by occupation. These various players are certainly courageous to kneel despite the backlash that is a result of White Supremacy in America – and should continue their fight – but they should not be ALONE in this struggle for equality. We need a centralized civil-rights coalition to take shape and lead the way. NOW is the time.


 

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 Oreos to go: The aforementioned press conference featuring Lebron:


More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos. 

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Lebron

bron

“It’s a delicate situation. Racism, we know, exists. You try not to put yourself in a position, for me as a father, I try to give my kids the blueprint on how life is going to be. But at the end of the day, I can only tell them so much and then they have to go out and live it themselves”.
– Lebron James

 

Click below to watch video and then I have some thoughts on the matter below that.

 

 

Posting this on the heels of my submission earlier this week entitled: “Race vs. Class”. The video above vividly illustrates in many ways the point I wanted to make in that blog post, which is that the issues surrounding our racial divide in America supersede class. If class were truly the nexus of this aged issue – LBJ would surely qualify as someone who would escape the type of scenario that transpired at his home in Los Angeles over the course of the last 24 to 48 hours.

Here is a young man who has by all accounts been as stellar off the floor as he has been on it (which is a mouthful). Here is an individual who was simply minding his own business and taking care of his responsibilities as not only a world-class basketball player headed to the NBA finals – but more importantly as a husband and a father. And, yet, here we go again with another malicious act performed against a black person in America (“the home of the free and the land of the brave”) for no good reason, whatsoever.

Now, despite this blatantly disrespectful and wildly uncalled for derogatory act in which someone spray painted the word “N@&$er” on the front entrance of his home – we all know the inevitable reaction that will come from the apologists among us. “This was just a bad apple”. “Probably some idiot on drugs”. “This was just someone who wanted to get attention or who wants to stir up racial tensions”. And that load of crap right there is exactly how America has managed to avoid the truth about race since its inception. It’s how America avoids engaging in legitimate discourse regarding the truth that racism is in fact alive and well in this country. One has to ask their-self how many so called “isolated incidents” have to occur before someone finally stands the hell up and says “we got ourselves a problem”??

While this incident was disturbing – and it to put it plainly: it just really sucks – Lebron James will be ok at the end of the day. He is wealthier than most and undoubtedly wields untold power by way of his influence and prestigious position upon the national and international stage. But, there are countless other black folks whose names and stories are not going to trend on social media when they encounter far worse scenarios than the unfortunate event Lebron experienced. And when they face their nightmarish dilemma – and at this rate they certainly will – it will be for one reason and one reason only. They are an African-American.

Money or no money – educated or uneducated – black people in this country cannot curtail the depravity of the racist heart that beats in the chests of far too many Americans in every state and in every city across this nation. However, if America will finally, as a whole, come to terms with its  long-standing issue of racism. If we will – each of us – be willing to participate in an open and honest discussion (as LBJ admirably did in the video above – was not concerned about his “brand”)  – we CAN change the narrative together. We can deconstruct the stereotypes…we can recognize the vicious legacy of white supremacy and meet it head on…we can decide to set the record straight regarding the predicament we face and how it came into existence.

I look forward to celebrating that day despite the odds stacked against us and will not give up the fight. But, make no mistake, in order to get there we must first diagnose the problem for what it is. Without an accurate diagnosis it will be impossible to recommend an effective treatment plan. Which means that a complete and thorough examination of our corporate body will be necessary. America needs to allow for an MRI to be performed and in doing so I think she will find  what many of us suspected all along. Unfortunately a cancerous mass of racism has formed in her soul over time. Not only that but it has gone undetected for so long that it has spread throughout her body and treatment must begin immediately. Then and only then can we go into remission and the healing truly begin. And if and when we are able to come to grips with the truth about the gravity of our current circumstances – THAT is when equality in America can finally become a reality.

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Oreos to go: Incidents surrounding race in America are not the exception – they are the rule.

*Adding full video of Lebron’s comments to Double Stuff Oreos in main menu*


More than a blog. It’s a movement.

 

Though there is much more that could be said, I will have to stop for now. But hopefully you will continue the conversation in your living rooms, at your places of worship, and even with that person of another race you just met as you were walking down the street in your neighborhood.

And also I do have what I think is another interesting plate of cookies on a platter for next Monday (you can share via social media buttons below), when I hope you will join me again to talk some more oreos.