Recently in the news, the “N” word has gained the spotlight again. Someone painted the “N” word on the fence of LeBron James home and Bill Maher chose to use the word during his weekly show on HBO. I know I am writing this some time after all the hype around these situations but I wanted to wait to see if the impact of these two high profile celebrities being involved with the use of this word would change anything.
The word being painted on LeBron James’ home is horrible but the thing that I found more reprehensive was the comments from black people about the situation. In particular Jason Whitlock, Mr. Whitlock stated because LeBron is rich and famous LeBron does not experience racism like other people of color. For me the fact that anyone experiences it is the problem, and for LeBron James to experience it sends a strong message. The message is no matter how rich, famous or how many fans you have there are people who will view you as less than them. How do you tell a child that no matter what he or she accomplish in life they will be looked down on by a group of people. I have read somewhere that Yvette Carnell has agreed with Jason Whitlock in part, I admit I have not seen her video yet regarding this topic. The reason I have not watch the video is because I have respect for Yvette but from what I heard I disagree with her on this issue. I heard Yvette believes LeBron should have addressed other issue regarding the plight of black people earlier. I offer this instead of condemning a man for not being awoke before congratulate him for waking up now. No one has the right to measure the pain that LeBron has felt from having this word written on his property.
The Bill Maher situation was difficult for me because I am a faithful viewer of his show, I am not agree with his position on all topics but I generally like his show. Bill Maher tried to make a joke and as a comedian he should be allowed a certain amount of latitude, that’s what I hear from some people but on the use of the “N” word I disagree. Someone mentioned there are terms associated with other groups that people will dare not say in a public forum, so why so comfortable saying the “N” word? I watch the show after he said the word on HBO, there are two things I took away from the show regarding his use of the word. One, I agreed with Ice Cube so what if black people use the word other races cannot under any circumstances use the word. Two, the atmosphere seemed like we are supposed to be grateful that Bill Maher apologized. He apologized because people were upset that he used the word, he did not apologize because he used the word. If just a few people complained about his use of the word would he have apologized?
I stated previously I wanted to see if these situations would improve race relation or have a positive impact, just as I thought nothing positive came from these situations. In a way, the person who painted the word on LeBron James fence has won because the conversion about the issue has created a further divide between us. People are discussing that the fact he is rich racism does not impact him the same way instead of rallying on his side.
Has the Black Community contributed to racism? I ask this question because this question came up during a radio show I was watching the Zo What Morning Show. At first, I thought this was a strange concept but after really thinking about it and hearing some of the points that illustrate that Black community may be active participants.
Throughout America’s history, we have witnessed structural racism such as slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining just name a few. These were put in place by the government or by large institutions that have influence. These systems were put in place to subjugate the black community and keep us from evolving or surpassing our white counter parts, this ensures the other race would have an unfair advantage over black people. Throughout history, people fought and won to get rid of these laws and practices that hindered black people. These laws are now gone so why are black people still at a disadvantage? People will point to the miseducation, the influence of drugs in our communities, and the prison pipeline, but all of these things we as a community can control. We can decide to educate our children by creating our own school curriculum, we can force drugs out of our communities and police our citizens. White people cannot stop us from doing these things, so who is stopping us from elevating us and help to put an end to racism. The answer maybe we are in our own way.
Black people contribute to racism and help keep black people subjugated by thinking or acting as what the other races provide are better than what a black person provides. Antonio Moore of Tone Talks constantly talks about how the black dollar does not stay in the black community. The black dollars stays in the black community for six hours compared to the Asian community where the dollar stays in the Asian community for 28 days. Is the reason the black dollar leaves the community so fast because black people think other race’s products are better. You always hear black business over charge, the service is not as good or the product is as not as good. Most of the times you will have to pay more at a black owned store because we do not have access to the products at a lower price. If we pay a little more this will give the owner more negotiating power to have his cost reduced because the supplier will see that the owner can purchase more product for resale. This will affect the quality of service and product.
Another area where I have personally experienced racism by one of my own is the work place. There are black people that will hold other black people back from advancing in the work place. These people believe that black people should not make more money or should not become managers, they believe they are the exception. I had a black manager who once she was being fired said she was told to get rid of all the black employees and she did so was is she being fired. I was not fired because I saw what was going on and never gave them a reason to fire me. I also watch a black manager promote people with less knowledge and a poor work ethic over black employees who deserved the promotion.
So after thinking about it, I realized racism is on auto-pilot, white people do not have to put laws in place there are black people who will practice racism on their behalf. This leads to my next question how do we get black people to stop discriminating against their own? And if cannot stop them what do we do with them?
Bill Cosby name has resurfaced in the news again because his trial will start in the immediate future. In the case of Bill Cosby, it appears that most of the public has presumed the Mr. Cosby is guilty of these accusations. There have been over 50 women who have claimed that Mr. Cosby has sexually assaulted them or he has done something inappropriate. The number of women alone makes people believe that he is guilty, people make statements such as all the women cannot be lying. I am not saying that Bill Cosby is innocent but let’s not presume he is guilty either.
Mr. Cosby recently inferred that this witch hunt is racially motivated, I would have to agree I do not believe that if he were white, people would pursue him so vigorously. The media also plays a large part in the presumption of Mr. Cosby’s guilt. The media constantly reports there have been over 50 women who have made accusations against Mr. Cosby but what the media fails to disclose the over a third of the accusers have been shown to have provided false information regarding Mr. Cosby. Some of the women have an ax to grind because they are former lovers who he no longer wants to be in a relationship with. One of the women has made similar claims against another celebrity and was represented by the same lawyer in both cases. In the first case, it was proven the woman lied.
One other thing that bothers me with the entire Bill Cosby situation is Hannibal Burress. Hannibal Burress is the comedian who talked about the rape allegations during his comedy routine. My concern is that we have all heard about the rape allegations before Hannibal include it in his routine, so why when this in mention by an obscure comic the allegations become a trending topic and all these women come out of the woodwork. It is not like Hannibal had a huge following that people had to take notice, most people probably never heard of Hannibal Burress before the Cosby situation. And Hannibal careers has taken off since his routine became known. My question is did someone decide to utilize another black comedian to bring down an icon black comedian.
I know many of the black community are not too fond of Mr. Cosby for the negative remarks he has made about the black community in the past. Things such as the pound cake speech and claiming that too many black men beat their wives. I agree there are several instances where Mr. Cosby has miss-stepped but I would like to believe he thought he was trying to uplift the community. But maybe I wrong.
My point is let’s not presume someone is guilty because the media only presents evidence pointing towards guilt. The problem is we are so quick to abandon a member of our community without investigating on your own and then make a decision on the position you choose to hold. Other races or groups do not do this, we see this every day a cop kills a black person and the first thing the department says we will not take further action until the investigation is complete. I am not saying Bill Cosby is innocent all I am saying is take no further action until your investigation is complete. The presumption of guilt is a hard mountain to come down from.
Is the Willie Lynch Syndrome on auto pilot? Willie Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies, who gave a speech in 1712 outlining how to control one’s, slaves. Lynch’s method of controlling slave was to pit the slaves against each other such as old versus young, male versus female, light skinned versus dark skinned. Lynch believed if his method was implemented properly a slave master would be able to control his slaves for 300 years.
Now, I know we all are aware that this problem still exists today but my concern is that I have noticed that the problem exists amongst the conscious community. I thought I would not witness this behavior amongst people that I considered conscious or self-aware, but I may be wrong.
There were a couple of recent incidents the occurred that made me ask myself is the Willie Lynch Syndrome on auto pilot? One incident that occurred was the black feminist protest against the movie Birth of a Nation. In my opinion, the movie was a pivotal movie for several reasons, the story of Nat Turner is about a slave who rises up against slavery and kills a large number of our oppressors. The other reason this was a pivotal movie, had the movie had overwhelming box office success other movies would be made about other black heroes during this era or other eras in American history. The Black feminist may have single handily destroyed the success of the movie because the movies creator Nate Parker had been acquitted of rape several years ago. I do not understand why protest the movie because a man was found not guilty of a crime and you never protested any of the other movies he was a part of. Even if you do not like the man you do not have to destroy a movie that told an important story. Just imagine had this movie been successful all the other movies Hollywood would have been willing to make. This would have allowed our children to see people like them performing heroic feats that did not involve sports. The children would learn how to stand up to our enemies.
The second incident involves the Big Baller Brand, Big Baller Brand is an athletic clothing line owned and operated by LaVar Ball. If you have not heard of the LaVar Ball he is the father of three sons who are excellent basketball players. The oldest son will be a top-five pick in the upcoming NBA draft and his two other sons will be attending UCLA in the future on basketball scholarships. Big Baller Brand recently released a basketball shoe for the price of $495. Everyone has offered their opinion about the shoe and the cost of the shoe, to my surprise, was the negative comments coming from people who I assume are conscious individuals. Ball considers himself a black business owner, people were commenting that he is taking advantage of the black community by charging so much for the shoe and that he has a white wife. First, no one inquired about how much it cost him to make the shoe and maybe that has an effect on the price. Secondly, I do not know about the city or town you reside in but my city I see black people with $1500 Moncler Jackets, $2000 Balmain jeans and it seems like everyone has something Gucci or Louis Vuitton. I do not hear masses of black people speaking out about the prices of these items and why they are being marketed to black people. Thirdly, LaVar having a white wife does not discount him from being a black business owner. I am not defending the price of the shoe I just saying why speak out loudly against one of us and talk softly about them.
I am not as worldly as some other people but I do not hear or see other “minority” ethnic groups speak out publicly against their own people. I do not see Asians on social media degrading other Asians or on television trying to steer people away from another Asian’s movie. If a black person is doing something to harm the black community or put the black community in a negative light, by all means, call them out. But if the person is trying to advance him or herself without causing harm to the black community do not take your grievances to social media. If it is something that you feel needs to be addressed do it quietly, amongst ourselves the rest of the world does not need to see Willie Lynch Syndrome on auto pilot.
In Case You Forgot
In Case you forgot is an article written by Michael Harriot for The Root.com (link below). This article discusses the more recent police shooting, according to the article there has been 237 people shot and killed by the police since the beginning of 2017. The article goes on to outline some questionable shootings involving Black victims and have we forgot about this continuous slaughter of Black people.
My question is have we forgotten or are we desensitized about the subject. Have we become familiar with killings or have we accepted the killings as part of our lives in America. If either are true then Black Americans are doomed. I am not sure either premise is true, I offer another premise. Do we only care when it is popular to express our outrage? I ask this because when there is a video, a hashtag, or the incident is trending online there seems to be more outrage. Are we waiting for someone or the majority of society to decide this is something to voice our opinion about or march in the streets for. In some odd way I believe the victim’s families would like the outcry for justice that some of the other victims received, they may want their stories told across the nation, depicting how they are loved and how people who were dear to person are heartbroken as a result of a killer cop. Colin Kaepernick kneeling did not open the eyes to those who do not see the injustice, maybe if we scream loud enough after each killing people will start to understand that these incident were not isolated. Instead of the media trying to turn the victims into criminals they would have to listen because our screams would be deafening. It is my opinion that the reason why people hate Colin Kaepernick so much is that he has help expose America’s misdeeds to the world. If we screamed loud after each murder the rest of the world will have no choice but to listen and America does not want to appear to be evil to the rest of the world. I believe by remaining silent we are contributing to the deaths that will occur in the near future. If there is no payment for misdeeds the misdeeds will multiply.
Have we forgotten?
Definition of Hero by Merriam-Webster: a person admired for achievements and noble qualities; one who shows great courage; the central figure in an event, period, or movement.
America has an infatuation with heroes, a large part of movies and television shows are based on or about a hero. Entertainment vehicles such as The Avengers, Logan, Dare Devil, Luke Cage, and Flash are successful partly because of the hero concept. Therefore, part of the American citizens may welcome a heroic figure. I am not saying Colin is a hero, I am just asking the question is he a hero based on the definition and his recent action.
I know many people consider him more of a villain than a hero, people believe he is disrespecting the flag and the country, but one has to remember with any iconic or great individual there has always been a fraction of society that does not agree with iconic figure’s position or actions. Martin Luther King, Jr; Malcolm X; and Muhammed Ali have been vilified during the height of their life mission. Now many consider them heroes, legends, or historical figures. Everyone knows at this point that Kaepernick decided to protest against the way black individual have been treated in America, especially by the judicial system and /or law enforcement. His individual protest had gained national attention, most of the attention may be negative attention. As a result Colin career is jeopardy, now some say he is no longer a good quarterback and that is why he is currently unemployed. But there are lesser skilled QBs and QBs will less accomplishments still employed in the NFL. One thing will never know is if Colin did not protest would he still be unemployed at this point of free agency. Colin has put his career and financial stability online to speak for those will lesser of a voice and bring worldwide attention to the issues that are affecting the black community. I know there were individuals who told Colin to give up his protest because it would have a negative effect on his football career, but Colin decided that his message is more important than the potential loss of income. With death threats and the threat of losing employment in an area he has dedicated entire life to participate in, if not heroic it is honorable. So often the black community look for celebrities and athletes to take a stand against injustice, now that one celebrity has taken a stand, will we stand with him. I asked the question is Colin Kaepernick a modern day hero because if he is a hero we should celebrate his heroism now, instead of after he has pasted or years after his protest. Not only did he protest Colin put in his time and money to help improve the injustice and inequality that affects the world.
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