Disclaimer: I originally intended to post today about a completely different subject but could not ignore the issues of race at the forefront on this Monday morning on a blog that is in fact about race. So for the second week in a row I will post a second time later in the week (which in this case will be what I had intended to post today).
This is actually my second effort on this subject matter. I wrote another entry in which I went after the President for side-stepping and doing the old “rope-a-dope” @ his failure to call out White Supremacy for what it is when he addressed the media regarding the fiasco that went down in Virginia. However, I decided to scrap it because at this point that just seems a bit cliché after the media and countless political pundits have already roasted and skewered him all weekend long for his comments which were no doubt deficient of the requisite substance to sufficiently denounce such a blatant display of hatred as witnessed in Charlottesville. And besides – if you are reading these words and don’t know or will not acknowledge that fact to begin with – not sure anything I could write will awaken the better man within (though I will continue trying).
So I am going another way with this post today and am going to focus on the solution aspect. Unless we experience some type of follow-up scenario(s) that is tied directly to Charlottesville, VA – in three weeks tops that story like many others of its kind in the past will be all but non-existent. Sure it will be brought up from time to time but the collective conscience and attention of America will shift away to something else in short order. Not to mention that much of America will dismiss this event and its participants as an aberration from the norm as is their custom. They will presume that the sentiments expressed by the White Nationalists are like a rare if not mythical unicorn floating around our society and that like a unicorn these people are basically harmless. Short of Robert E. Lee coming back to life and leaping from the statue at the center of this controversy to lead the Confederates in one last charge against “the Yanks”, some Americans just cannot admit racism is an issue in 2017. And it is precisely that exact set of beliefs – that perspective – that is the epicenter of the problem we face with progressing and transcending racial issues in America.
Newsflash: If you are someone who thinks that way YOU are part of the problem. In a sense you might as well have been standing there with the KKK and the neo-Nazis chanting whatever the hell it is they were saying because they depend on people just like you for their continued existence. If White America as a whole – as the majority race in possession the lion’s share of power – stops pretending that we do not have a race problem in America and decides that it WILL NOT accept white supremacy in any form…THE WORLD as we know it will change. And change for the better. Notice I didn’t say the country – I said the world and I did not stutter. And that is not hyperbole either. Why would I make so bold a statement? It’s not because of some special gift White America possesses. No individual race does. I say it rather because together and UNITED as Americans I have no doubt that we can shout the refrain of Marianne Williamson from the highest mountain top: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us”. We have as of yet to see America at its best in the light – truly living out the ideals to which it claims to aspire – in large part because white supremacist beliefs and practices have not yet been deconstructed. America has not been afraid of the dark – it has been afraid of the light.
You know I am an avid fan of hip-hop. A fan who happened to grow up in what is often referred to as the golden era of that genre: which is to say the 90s. So we are talking about Nas – A Tribe Called Quest – Wu-Tang Clan – Biggie Smalls – Snoop – Dre – KRS one – and the Fugees…just to name a few of the BEASTS that came out while I was yet a young pup. At the risk of sounding like an “old head” as they say – the current state of hip-hop is not the same as it was when I was on the come up. Though we have a few dope artists in the new school – I am sad to report that the originality – the content – the freshness of hip-hop has been replaced with messages of shootin’ up the spot and cookin’ in the trap. But you know what? It’s our fault as the listening audience. If the garbage being offered to consumers did not sell – the rappers would be forced to produce a better product.
White Supremacy is a product that much like bad music would not be possible in any form if the listening and viewing audience did not allow for it to be purchased or sold for that matter. And we as a nation must FINALLY unite in this regard. Hate – discrimination – stereotypes – bigotry – all of this and more must no longer be fashionable to listen to in America. It is time for Americans to finally say “enough is enough”. Time to say: “We don’t want to hear that ish’ “no more”! Otherwise – you mark my word: more hate-filled rallies are going to come. More people are going to lose their lives in the streets. More presidents are going to tap dance around calling down to the mattress what is clearly domestic terrorism and racist organizations bent on creating division and chaos. Organizations whose philosophical disposition is hate-filled and represents the worst of this nation. This is not their country..it is ours. They are not the representation of America…we are.
Harry Truman once said in regard to America’s attempts to promote democracy around the world that: “Our case for democracy will be as strong as we can make it. It should rest on practical evidence that we have been able to put our own house in order”. He had a profound point. Much as was the case in his era – America today purports to be a beacon of freedom and an example to the world. But – and despite of his own racist tendencies – Truman knew that America was a fraud racially speaking. After all, this nation was championing freedom to other nations in the 1960s even while black people here at home could not sleep in “White Only” hotels or eat at “White Only” restaurants. And as is the case in the modern era – too many people back then were silent though they knew this was wrong. Let’s not be silent any longer. As Truman suggested let’s get our house in order. Let’s make sure that our actions match the words detailing freedom found within our hallowed constitution.
You are reading these words today for a reason friend – you did not arrive here by accident. Share this post with your brother or sister. Share it with your co-worker and your neighbor. Share it with that person you know has some questionable views on this matter. We must have these conversations and end the silence. We must debunk the old wives tales and myths surrounding race. We must get our own house in order if this long and difficult story is to have a happy end.
Oreos to go: Thoughts and prayers to the family of Heather Heyer who lost her life this weekend in the struggle for justice and equality in America.
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.