Wednesday, March 28, 2012

...I Forget What Day It Is...

Can you believe next week is already April? Of 2012?

Can you believe it’s 2012?

I thought by now we’d have flying cars and be able to communicate using only our minds, but alas it would seem that we are far behind where we should be.

Take this survey for example.

The responses were even further behind.

It’s funny how everything must be a political issue. Everything is the fault of the liberals or the conservatives. Or someone that's not us.

Sometimes things (or people) are just right or wrong, occasionally they are debatable.

How odd we would pretend that race is not an issue at the same time incidents like Trayvon Martin are still in the news. People seem to overlook that the real issue with that case is that someone had a deadly over-reaction to feeling their space was threatened by someone they didn’t feel belonged there.

That’s all these conversations about immigrants and black people and “boot strapping” are about: people feeling threatened by someone they feel doesn’t belong near them.

When will people understand that people demanding equal rights, equal treatment and equal protection under the law doesn’t mean that someone else has to give up their rights? White people (or whoever) aren’t going to lose anything because someone else gains something. There’s enough to go around. The so-called “displaced majority” is just being greedy and, it would seem, very desperate.

There’s a difference between fighting for equality and fighting to maintain your perceived status on top of the heap, the threat is imaginary. And it is born out of your knowledge of past wrongdoing. The only people at the front of the line fearing retribution are those people that used unethical tactics to get there.

As far as “hand outs” go, we are served as a whole when we help those that need help no matter who they are.

For example, I think everyone deserves a good education and good health. Mostly because I don’t want an idiot with a cold or the flu handling my food or my money, but also because we are better served by doing what we can to be sure people can contribute and be productive.

We have to get it out of our heads that we are helping people that won’t help themselves. If we can assist major corporations, we can assist the little guy who lost his job or his home, and possibly along with those things, also his will.

You know where I work by now. Twice a year (I think it’s down to once a year now, budget cuts) our site would host the free food distribution.

Even though this neighborhood is predominantly black, at least 95% of the people who show up for this food (enough to feed a family of 4 for a week) are white. I always wish I could take a picture to post but of course I can’t due to confidentiality reasons.

This political race baiting is meant to entertain bigots.

If you already believe that you are somehow missing out on something ‘cause that negro got into office and is secretly slipping checks to the other coloreds (and hey, if so, where’s mine?!) then of course you are going to answer survey questions to suggest you are working hard while these other folks are skating by. If you didn’t participate in the survey, then you would certainly agree with the findings.

So if this survey spoke to you at your heart and you’re first thought was something like, “yeah, those people need to ask for jobs, not handouts” then well, frankly, at your heart, you are likely a bigot.

Some weeks back there was a story in the news about Amanda Clayton, a white woman who continued to accept public assistance after winning a million dollars in the lotto. The response to that story was suspiciously quiet. As was the response about a year earlier when a man in Bloomfield Hills did the same. Bloomfield is a mostly white, mostly wealthy suburb so how someone in that area even got on assistance is beyond me, but again, not a lot of fuss about that story. I wondered where were all the people who like to call black folks lazy.

I guess as much as people try to accuse black people of using the race card, it seems this card can be played by anyone whenever it is convenient to proving a point.

It’s 2012 and Race is still a factor in ways it shouldn’t be.

I’ve had this argument with other minority groups who say their struggle is the same as our struggle.

It most certainly is not.

This doesn't mean I'm not in the fight with you, it just means each cause is its own and should be respected as such. There’s a lot of things I can choose to hide about my love life, or my mental health but I can’t hide the fact that I’m black. And I’m not suggesting that people should have to hide anything, I’m just saying, in a line up, you couldn’t guess my orientation or if I’ve been diagnosed with anything, but unless you are visually impaired, you definitely know that I’m black.

Despite this, you will still find black people who insist on telling you they are not black or else they feel you have to know that they’re mixed with this and that because some folks will try just about anything to not be associated with the nasty, negative stereotype perpetuated about black people in America.

I recall a college friend from Jamaica who was told when she first got here to not associate with the black students. I heard the same from a few other friends who were African. They felt it was important to distinguish themselves from us so they wouldn’t be viewed as “lazy.” That was their word choice, not mine.

I’m in Michigan where almost every black person loves to tell you they’re part Cherokee. (Although sometimes I think they do this just to appear "different.") Well the Detroit Public School system fails us again because these poor fools still don’t know that the Cherokee were typically found much further south than this state, and not even in the states they claim their family is from.

I just tell them I’m Mos Def: Black on both sides. (Nothing more "different" than that these days.) This ironically starts an argument about me being in denial about my roots, assuming that they are in slavery.

But again, this is all related to race-based negative thinking and stereotyping. If I had a nickel for every white person that smugly asked me if my last name was Dutch, I’d be a (non-food stamp collecting) millionaire. And for the record, no, my last name isn’t Dutch, it’s Swedish.

They always looks so disappointed to hear me say that. Not quite as disappointed as they look when they take my name while I use my “white voice” on the phone only to have my brown face show up in person, but disappointed nonetheless.

As the story of Trayvon Martin becomes more widespread all these new “details” are coming out. Most of them trying very hard to promote the standard "young black man equals violent, savage beast" defense. Again, the fact that they are falling back on this defense is racist behavior. Assuming anything we’ve heard is true, it shouldn’t be relevant.

We know that someone killed someone else.

Racially motivated or otherwise, it should be treated as the crime that it is. We can’t afford to let bias, misinformation, and fear born out of lies stand in the way of justice.

As far as the survey goes, be reminded that Black people aren’t in the habit of wanting or expecting a handout from the government and for the most part don’t even trust the government.

Especially considering what the government did to the members of the Black Panther Party. Remember them?

They were that well-organized group of young black men and women who did good work in the community and educated the people about the importance of self-reliance only to be shut down, locked up, or murdered under mysterious circumstances.

Not sure why every version of this online is unreasonably low in volume, but turn this up good and loud so you can hear the awesomeness.
Ras Kass Understandable Smooth (…Stuff)

And now don’t forget to re-adjust your volume back down.

Chambers Brothers – Time … Superlong extended live performance version, but worth the time.

In case you're interested, here's an interesting article about race and rage in the Hunger Games (which I totally predicted would hit the $150 mil mark in it’s opening weekend)

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