16 September 2009

Staring Wide Eyed At The Evening News

9/12 Washington Tea Party
Pictures by NineTwelvePhotos

These white Americans you are seeing on your TV every night hollering and yelling and screaming about our president's Kenyan roots need to be put on the hot seat, to get backed into a corner, to be force fed until they choke on the ugly truth that underlies the relationship between blacks and whites in this country.

It is their special brand of unrestrained, self righteous indignation, as if all the right thinking people are lined up behind their sneering eyes whenever they utter a derogatory racial pronouncement about our African American president that make me want to throw something at my damn TV.

Yesterday, as I watched the news, this circus reminded me of something I wrote a few years ago, something that sadly, is still true:

"White folks, and white men in particular, have always found ways to alter, bend, or just totally ignore the rules they've made up when something doesn't suit them."

The Black Folks Guide To Survival

S. and I shook our heads and rolled our eyes all through the news last night as the newscaster talked innocuously about the nature of the recent protests across the country while pictures of angry white people filled the screen behind him. It was as if the news announcer was playing charades, avoiding any mention of the one word his viewers were looking for to describe those protestors.

We both stared wide-eyed at the TV as Jimmy Carter came on to thoughtfully but reluctantly say what we have known since the beginning of this mess - that there are a lot of white people in this country who aren't willing to accept a black man as their president. Why were we so wide eyed? Because the old joke in the black community was that nothing existed unless white folks said it did. No alternate points of view were relevant unless white people said they were.

All I know is, I am not taking the weight for the racial problems America has brought on itself.

The "go along to get along" days are over.

Living in America will be more complicated as a result.

And in the end, there may not ever be an answer to racism.

To the people who are gearing up for this weekend's hate rally, whatever part of the country you are in, I've got a news flash for you - the otherness of black people is bound only by your limitations.

Think about it for a second.

Why would I delineate for myself a perimeter around my humanity just because my skin has a different hue? Just because my nose has a different shape?

Why wouldn’t I want to be able to take myself less seriously? Why wouldn't I want to experience the gloriousness of complete and total freedom? Why wouldn't I want to experience a weightlessness that consigns all boundaries of my existence to the nether regions of my consciousness?

My own level of perception is at once panoramic and precise, the connections between my ocular and my cerebral functions requiring exactly the same amount of electrical activity as yours, the osmotic properties between my dendrites and my synapses identical to those that course along your nerves.

But this truth telling about race doesn't really confer any benefits to me so long as you insist on rejecting these assertions, so long as you insist on avoiding the facts, so long as you cling to your sanitized versions of our God awful past relationship.

America was going to have the same warts whoever got elected.

The economy was going to be in bad shape. The banking system was going to be broke. Afghanistan was going to be an albatross. Immigration was going to be a hot topic. And ten million people would have become unemployed, regardless of what ANY president was able to do in the last eight months.

You know all this.

If you don't, you have no business holding up placards denouncing things you don't understand.

It would make much more sense for you to be in Connecticut right now, demanding some of the trillions back that you have loaned your Wall Street bankers, the same bankers who are even now repacking the exact same securities that caused this financial collapse in the first place, with a shiny new name and one of those gold stars from the ratings agencies that are about as valuable as the ones a kindergarten teacher gives out, for resale to the people who run your 401(k).

But that black bogeyman is still one of the most powerful agitators in the business of politics.

I'm still waiting for someone, somewhere, to bring O.J. into this.


  1. Just finished reading former President Carter's views on the matter, and I have to say that his is right. Of course much of this is about racism, and honestly, I am growing tired of dancing around this issue with these people.

    But with that said, the African American community can not collapse into the usual rhetoric where every white person is cast as a villain. I am not suggesting that your article does this, but it comes pretty close. The rage that you feel is justified, but there were and are white people who have never ever felt like this.

    These folks are vile, but let's not forget that there are people who would use this nastiness to castigate all white people. Seventy thousand dumbasses do not speak for all of white america, please remember that.

    Rick Beagle

  2. It's that "fair and Balanced" schtick that places cameras in front of fringe groups to get some sort of sensational, tabloid response. Sort of like watching a horror movie when the audience knows the soon-to-be victim is headed for a meat grinder, but can't do nothing except scream or walk out of the theatre...

  3. "Why were we so wide eyed? Because the old joke in the black community was that nothing existed unless white folks said it did. No alternate points of view were relevant unless white people said they were."

    That was profound, and therein, in poart, lies the problem.

  4. seeing is believing...


  5. That group of citizens hasn't been this publicly comfortable with their racism in decades. I wonder what, if any, catalyst will change it.

  6. Well, I'm not black. I'm a white female. President Obama is doing just fine and millions of white voters have his back. Peace~

  7. In the end of the day though, it is all about the perspective.

    About 5% of the signs were racist. But does that mean that the 95% agree, neither does it mean that they disagree.

    For further reading, please visit our site.

  8. I was at this site a few days ago and I saw a political video showing black men dressed in share cropper clothes sing and dancing. The caption read Black Republicans. Why is this piece of video not racist. Because you disagree with their views. I looked on their site, I did not find the same manner of video. Just facts and real data. I am not passing judgment. I offer an opinion that your views can be served better in another way.

  9. I can disagree with the President and not be racist. If he was White, Red, or any other color it has no berrying on the fact that I don't like Abuse of Power. The left could have had it all but they got drunk with power and now you loose pubic option and ACORN. Sure is Sad ACORN won't be counting the Census now. Maybe if your team just fixed health care instead of trying to control it you would have won the day. Now you are stuck with this train wreck oh I forgot its all Bushes fault.

  10. I'm white and I've followed Obama since before most people knew who he was. I intentionally did a search for blogs written by people who were back because I wanted THEIR perspective on the situation. Be careful before you make every white person out to be a bad guy. Be grateful if Americans can learn and grow~


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