I cannot tell you how good it feels to be part of the working again. I’m still pinching myself. Even though I was hired for my MS Access skills they are giving me some good exposure to technologies that I never thought I’d ever get a real opportunity to work with. This is truly a career building opportunity. My immediate supervisor and the other people on the team that I work with have been very helpful. They’ve been nothing but supportive and patient with me. I really do feel like I am very fortunate. For the time being I enjoy waking up in the morning and going to work in the fields. So this is what it’s like to have a job that you truly appreciate!
My day usually starts about three in the morning. Most times I wake up before three. I’ll lie in the bed and do a little meditation and day dreaming. My mind will reflect on my dreams, on my day before, on my day to come, on something I saw on television, or read in the paper, or whatever. But I’m out of the bed at three and I’m at the computer. I’ll start the television and watch the news or something I recorded so I could watch at a time like this when everyone else is asleep and I have the house to myself. My attention is split between the television and the computer. I might be surfing the net looking to do a little research for an article I’m writing. I’m responding to personal emails. I’m responding to comments to the blog. I’m writing my blog. This will go on until about four thirty when I start getting ready for the gym.
About four forty five I’m out the house so I can be at the gym by five. I’ll start with about forty five minutes of cardio and then I hit the weights for another fifty minutes. I’m back home by six fifty, I’ll have a bath (no shower in the apartment), and dress for work. I’m out of the house again by seven thirty so I can be at work and at my desk at eight.
As I work I’m trying to keep track of every random thought that might be helpful to my writing. I’ll hear a snippet of conversation that might inspire me. I have to write these thoughts down immediately less they become unregistered parts of history. My mind is like a train and my thoughts are constantly leaving the station.
A lot of the people are friendly. A lot of people are frosty. I’ll see somebody in the hallway and offer a good morning or whatever and they’ll act like I didn’t say shit. I’ll wait until we make contact, speak to people, and they’ll look down at their feet or some other direction, anything rather be coerced into acknowledging my existence. That really is too bad. There’s the woman who saw me as I came around the corner. She looked up at me then goes back to her work. But then she suddenly does a double take as if she couldn’t believe what she saw. She then turns her entire body away to assure that she doesn’t make the mistake of looking up again. There’s the white guy who pretends to be deaf. Only problem is someone else walks by and the wax in his ears suddenly clears up. Some white people are truly a credit to their ancestry.
But there are a surprising number of black professionals in this working environment. White people are still the vast majority of the office population. But I estimate that the black community makes up fifteen percent of the group. The Asian population is well represented and there is a small but noticeable contingent of people from India as well. This is one of the most diverse working environments I’ve ever experienced.
I usually leave work about four thirty or five. Last night I had a nagging PL/SQL problem and didn’t leave until well after six. I usually work through my lunch and breaks. I’m usually home about five thirty in time to catch the nightly news and have dinner with the family. I’m playing with baby boy and I’m interacting with the rest of the family. I’m talking to my Mom and making sure she’s okay. After dinner and the family time I’m back to the computer. It’s about seven thirty in the evening. But by then my eyes are heavy and I’m beginning to wind down. I have to get my clothes and lunch ready for work the next day. I’m out like a blown bulb by eight.
Throughout the day I’m doing my best to juggle my commitment to family (immediate and extended), to my job, to my health, to my spirituality, and to my community. I do my best to keep abreast of current events and to help others understand what is happening in the community, the country, and the world. I think I have a unique interpretation of what is happening to us and by us.
I am thrilled to have this blog. It helps me to keep things in perspective and to remember that there is a lot more to this thing we call community than just our personal wants and desires. And community is more than just the people. Community includes the environment, history, spirituality, the future, the possibilities, and everything in between. Now that I actually have the ability to provide for my family I can actually clear my mind of daily worries. It really is good to be part of the working again.
A few months ago, in a speech given at Columbia University in New York, the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was asked about the status of homosexuality in his country. Mr. Ahmadinejad answered the question saying, “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals like in your country.” A woman from the audience said that she knew for a fact there were homosexuals in the country because she had homosexual friends in Iraq. The President asked her for her friend’s address so he could check it out for himself. In Iran, if people are discovered to be gay, Islamic law requires that they would be dealt with rather harshly. So they have a don’t ask don’t tell kind of policy. Of course homosexuals exist in Iran. However, they had better keep their lifestyle under wraps. It isn’t right. But it is the law of this Islamic state. Nevertheless, people in this country attack Mr. Ahmadinejad, twisting his words to make it seem that the Iranian President exist in a world of denial. The Iranian President deserves a lot more credit than people are willing to give.
Interestingly though, a lot of people here in this country are willing to walk around with social blinders on and make ridiculous statements that racism is a thing of the past in America. America has laws that outlaw most blatant acts of racial discrimination. So no one in America would dare be a blatant racist and think that they could get away with their acts of subjugation. And yet, somehow, people in the black community are still being passed over for employment opportunities, educational opportunities, suffer inferior medical care, suffer with inferior housing, and are considerably more likely to suffer the heavy hand of the law and justice than their white counterparts. While there may be some exceptions to these conditions this is the general status of the relationship between the black and the white community.
There are a lot of white people who make the claim that the white community is the victim of some affirmative action program and therefore, a victim of reverse discrimination. A white person is very sensitive to the situation where they lose an opportunity to a black person. A white person naturally assumes that they are the best candidate for an opportunity merely because the selected candidate was black. But white people don’t appear to have a problem being the superior candidate but losing out on an opportunity against an inferior white person. Where are the cries of parallel racism or some other fabricated condition when a white person suffers discrimination at the hands of an inferior white person? It’s only when the white person has lost their chance to a black person do white person stand up and take legal action against the unfairness. This in itself is another manifestation of racism.
A white man takes his shotgun and kills two men robbing his neighbor’s house. The white man had called the police but since they did could not arrive in a time satisfactory to the caller he felt justified taking matters in his own hands. He tells the emergency operator that he is going to kill the black burglars. He takes his cocked shotgun outside and keeps his word. The burglars never attacked Joe Horn. They never made a move towards him. In fact, when they turned to run, Mr. Horn shot them in the back. An investigation ensues to determine if Mr. Horn needs to be indicted for murder. But in the meantime, the mainstream corporate culture is hailing this man as a hero.
A black man takes his gun outside to protect his family from a drunken white mob of teenagers who are coming specifically to his home. The white mob is defending the honor of a white girl that has been supposedly threatened by the black man’s son. The white mob told the black man’s son to leave a party. When the son leaves the white mob decides to follow him home to his house. The white drunks make threats to kill Aaron White and rape his mother. They are making the same types of threats that piqued their anger and then some. When the white mob arrives at the White House they continue to make racial slurs and threats. Instead of leaving the leader of the white mob reaches for John White’s gun and is shot in the face. John White is arrested for second degree murder. He is convicted. The mainstream culture is condemning this man as a cold blooded murderer. But racism is said to be dead.
In fact, a lot of people who are members of the dominant corporate culture will say that it is okay for people to be racist in the privacy of their home or as part of their job because nobody is getting hurt. This culture actually believes nobody gets hurt when a white man tells his son to dump his nigger girlfriend if he wants to work in the family business. Nobody gets hurt when the white politician stands before his supporters and makes a racial slur against a lone minority in the crowd in a sea of white conservatives. Nobody is hurt when employers decide that they’ve met their minority quota so decides not to hire anymore minorities for fear that the office environment becomes too ethnically flavored. Nobody was hurt when the nooses were found hanging in the area. It’s just a prank. It’s just clean white wholesome fun. Nobody is being hurt in any of these cases.
What people are actually saying is nobody that we care about is being hurt by these blatant acts of racial discrimination and racial intolerance. The black community is just a group of nobodies that doesn’t require the American collective’s attention. It’s not that the being black is necessarily bad. It’s just that being white is simply better. The dominant culture doesn’t mean to subjugate the black community. It’s just that the dominant corporate culture made mostly of white people and the black people that love them simply likes to support the white community.
However it is justified, whether it’s just a preference to keep things white or whether it is a conscious decision to dominate blacks, the black community suffers. Racism is dead in America. It’s not a twist of words or an interpretation of a phrase. It is a straight out assertion that all is well here and everybody is treated exactly like they should be treated. If I was a racist and didn’t care about black people, if I was a tom and didn’t care about the other people in the black community, I’d be likely to say the same thing. It’s not just a denial, it’s just the way it is.
I was surfing the internet looking for photos I could use for an up and coming article regarding movies for the black community and how they have changed over the past twenty years. One of my favorite old school black movies featured Bill Cosby and Sidney Poitier and so I wanted a suitable photograph of the two. I go to Google and type in the appropriate parameters and start my search. Low and behold I found this photograph of Bill Cosby yukking it up with George Bush in some ceremony where the President is presenting Mr. Cosby with some medal for his service to the country. The date associated with this photo is sometime in 2002, a few years before Mr. Cosby embarked on his “Black People Ain’t Doing Shit” tour of America. I looked at the picture and all the disappointment with Mr. Cosby came roiling back to the surface of my mind.
Back in the day, knee high to my dad, I used to watch Bill Cosby with the rest of my family when he was a young comedian doing his stand up routines. It must have been part of the Flip Wilson show or the Ed Sullivan Show. He would talk about the fat kid in his neighborhood named Fat Albert. I vaguely remember when routine when he talked about how they would open a fire hydrant to cool off in the summer and how Fat Albert could sit on top of the hydrant and direct the water with his body. Fat Albert had such control he could use the water to knock a cigarette out the mouth of the driver of a car passing by without getting the vehicle wet. I didn’t fully understand all the jokes. But I understood enough to make a connection with Mr. Cosby. I grew up thinking this man understood me.
I watched the cartoon Fat Albert when it was a television special that only came on television once or twice a year. I celebrated our good fortune when we were able to watch the Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids cartoon every Saturday morning. I watched Bill Cosby as he pushed Jell-O down our throats and made us thirsty for Coke Cola. I watched Bill Cosby when he did I Spy with Phillip Culp. I watched the original Cosby series when he played a bachelor high school coach. I started watching the Cosby Show with the Huxtables from the very moment the show appeared on the NBC television network. I watched a lot of Bill Cosby.
But one day I was watching the Huxtables go through their motions of playing a black family in America and I realized I had no connection with these people. Somewhere along the way we took two different directions. The Cosby Show went Middle American and I stayed black American. The Cosby Show never showed anybody who could have remotely considered themselves from a Fat Albert type neighborhood. The problems of the people in the Cosby show were never the problems for people in the black community but the problems from a Middle America perspective. The Huxtables might as well have been the Brady Bunch. Even when the show was adjusted to bring in their wayward cousin the show never showed problems from a uniquely black perspective. That and the fact that the show stopped being funny were enough for me to stop watching. Yet I continued to support Mr. Cosby and give him the benefit of doubt.
But then Mr. Cosby had to get high and mighty and share his contempt of black people by standing in front of his rich white mindset peers and declare the black community as a failure. Mr. Cosby made very broad and general strokes of criticism about the black poor and the black underclass that gives credence to some of the worse African American stereotypes. Mr. Cosby stands in front of the upper crust of society, people who have the disposable income to pay a couple hundred dollars to have dinner and hear Mr. Cosby speak, and then rakes the people in Fat Albert’s community across the coals. Maybe he though he was being clever and funny. But in actuality he was being judgmental, narrow minded, and racially dishonest. Mr. Cosby’s betrayal of the black community runs deep. His blatant bigotry hides under the cover of some claim of concern for the black community. Then again maybe his point was to demonstrate and reinforce the other stereotype that black people have no loyalty to other black people when money is involved.
Mr. Cosby doesn’t hesitate to say that the black poor and the black underclass use incorrect grammar. But he hasn’t said jack about the President and his inability to correctly pronounce the word “nuclear”. Mr. Cosby won’t say a thing about a man who is more than willing to spend a half trillion dollars of the national treasure and four thousand American lives on the quagmire in Iraq but won’t spend a hundred dollars for his own copy of Hooked on Phonics.
Mr. Cosby and his collaborator Dr. Alvin Poussaint blame black parents for the conditions of the black community because black parents don’t guide black children. But the truth of the matter is that if any black people are to blame for the condition of the black community it is black people like Mr. Cosby who do a masterful job of distancing themselves from the black community. Mr. Cosby, and many other black who do financially well, will take their fortune and runaway from the traditional black community into the waiting arms of neighborhoods that are far less dark racially speaking. Black property values plummet while home values in other neighborhoods are enhanced. And the black middle class do less fortunate black people a disservice to focus only on personal accountability and responsibility of black people but are mum to the fact that the lower class black community is often saddled with inferior medical care, inferior legal representation, lack of government services and representation, racial profiling by police, inferior educational services and opportunities, and discriminatory employment practices.
And when black people like Mr. Cosby turn their back on the black community they get medals of Honor from Presidents that are apt to ignore an entire city of black people drowning and suffering in the aftermath of a hurricane. So yuk it up Mr. Cosby, you’ve done very well. The white mindset community will hold you up as the role model for all black people. Following your example all black people have to do is convince other black people that they have no one to blame for the subjugation for themselves and they too can be rewarded for keeping the status quo. But Mr. Cosby, it saddens me to say that I hope you choke on that medal around your neck. I used to look up to you. We had a connection. Now your connection is with people who wouldn’t even care to know Fat Albert or any other of the Cosby Kids characters you created. People who just so happen to be just like you.
A construction worker who just so happens to be down on his luck discovers a pair of special sunglasses that allows him to see the world as it really is. People are being constantly bombarded by various media with subliminal messages such as conform, stay asleep, no imagination, submit to authority, marry and reproduce, consume, watch television, and obey. Even scarier is the fact that the glasses give him the ability to see the true nature of some regularly normal looking people are in fact some very frightening aliens that are managing a massive propaganda campaign to keep humans subdued. The glasses reveal a black and white world full of messages of mind control.
Of course the aliens could not have done their subjugation without the help of some humans who are assumed to have played a key role in the alien’s domination. Some humans have consciously made the choice to betray the rest of the human race. Others humans are unwittingly working with the subjugators by allowing themselves to be manipulated for their own personal gratification while the rest of their community suffers.
The movie is a social commentary about the too often corrupt, deceptive, and indifferent character of our economic, social and political culture. The controlling alien race has managed to exploit the human race with maximum effect. The thought control that the aliens have managed to develop allows people to allow themselves to be subjected to substandard living conditions such as homelessness, unemployment, hunger, and poor finances while the aliens live large and lavishly. We sleep while they live. We obey while they write the rules. We consume everything they market to us. We pay while they profit. We have no idea how long the aliens have been here. All we know is that they are here.
This movie serves as a perfect analogy for the disparity between the black community and the white community. We allow ourselves to make due with substandard housing, the gentrification of our traditional black neighborhoods, rampant unemployment in the black communities, woefully substandard medical care and substandard education while the white community enjoys the best of everything. Some black people are doing well but the black people who do well are black people who are full supporters of white dominance. These well to do black people are fully aware of the disparity between the black and white communities but are either too selfish to think about the welfare of the black community or are consciously participating as full collaborators.
The subliminal messages that are constantly being directed at the black community run along the lines of consume, sleep, reproduce, stay asleep, and everything else that appears in the black and white world from the movie. Even though black people are far less likely to have the financial resources or make the salary of their white counterparts, members of the black community are pushed to consume the products put forth by corporate America. The few television programs targeted to the black community run along the lines of buffoonery and tomfoolery. The vast majority of black characters illustrated on so many television shows and movies are depicted with the most negative and the most nonsensical behavior of black stereotypes. And too many of us want to emulate this behavior and convince other black people that being subjugated is a good thing.
There are people now talking about the benefits of black people lifting themselves out of their predicament by taking on their personal responsibility. People promote the idea that universal healthcare is bad and it is much better for the country to have a very large and ever growing segment of our population living without adequate healthcare or under insured with respect to medical coverage. People will say that it is better to have a low minimum wage where more people can work themselves into their graves rather than employ people at a living wage.
But the true nature of these arguments is a defense of the status quo which can easily be translated into a system of white privilege and black subjugation. A large segment of our population has plugged into this message and has conformed. At the same time another large segment of the population has plugged into the other message and has gone consciously asleep and remains unaware. Another segment watches television and remains oblivious while another segment simply obeys what it is told by the media.
Submit to the establishment and you too will do well and enjoy a small portion of society’s good fortune. Toe the line and you will be rewarded. And it is interesting how the often marketed role models of the black community are the very blacks who are most adept at distancing themselves from the black community and at the same time promoting behavior that will help other black people assimilate to mainstream America.
For example the mantra of go to college and get good jobs is deeply rooted in a philosophy of learn to conform. Colleges are most proficient at teaching young adults to conform to the status quo. Not many people who go to college and graduate are harbingers of rebellion or deep philosophical change to our social makeup. But most black people with success stories will fund scholarships and grants for black people to go to school and get higher educations instead of helping to develop black businesses primarily focused on the black community. The promotion of assimilation is thick in the African American community. And it is this very promotion that is helping to subjugate the black community.
To continue the same old patterns of behavior and expect change is insanity. Therefore, we are truly living in an insane world. We don’t like the growing disparity between the black and white races but we continuously promote the very behaviors that will widen the gap between the races to even higher proportions. The dominant culture will continue to thrive and flourish and accumulate wealth and be the very definition of success. The black community will continue to promote all the values that will assure our subjugation. Until we find our sunglasses they will live and they will live well. We will live only as much as they allow us to in our perpetual state of subjugation.
A visitor to my blog started his or her comment with the all encompassing declaration “Black people are fools!” Not too long ago I would have felt obligated to post this racist comment about black people and engage its asinine source in a nasty debate allowing myself to descend to his or her level. Instead, I discarded the comment and posted a comment to the writer that if they wanted to participate on my blog they needed to stay respectful. To my disappointment, instead of the commentator taking my suggestion to heart, he or she made another comment saying something to the effect that I was being hypocritical considering my comments against Jason Whitlock.
It should be no surprise to anybody who visits my blog that I am no fan of Jason Whitlock. The sports writer for the Kansas City Star as well as part time commentator on ESPN just so happens to be one of the top choices for some network news organizations as an expert on what black people should do to put emphasis back on the word community in the phrase black community. Mr. Whitlock is quick to dump all of the black community’s problems on hip hop and black people.
I first encountered Mr. Whitlock on a special show of Oprah called the Town Hall Meeting. It was supposed to be an expose on the steps the black community could take after Don Imus’ infamous racial and misogynistic slurs against the predominantly black Rutgers University women basketball team. Mr. Whitlock felt that members of the black community were out of line for attacking Mr. Imus when there are so many black rappers employing the same language in their rap songs. Mr. Whitlock’s message was that the black community needs to clean up its act before it points the finger at someone else.
After that I did a little research on Mr. Whitlock. I discovered that never did this man have anything negative to say about people in the white community in his race relations commentary. When Tim Donaghy was busted gambling on as well as for manipulating the outcome on games he officiated Mr. Whitlock was busy focusing on Michael Vick. In Mr. Whitlock’s eye, the old but continuing news on Michael Vick was much more important than the late breaking news of potential corruption that would shake the foundation of the NBA with an intensity measurable on the Richter scale.
Mr. Whitlock is firm in his rhetoric that black people who support hip hop are the major source of problems in the black community. But Mr. Whitlock has never uttered an unkind word about all the white people who support the gangsta rap industry. While the black rappers and their high profile entourages are an easy target for people to point at. But who is pulling the black rapper’s string? Would that not be the music industry that controls what and who gets developed, distributed, and marketed? And wouldn’t this be the same music industry that is controlled by the dominating corporate culture controlled mainly by white people? And isn’t it true that according to Mediamark Research Inc. that more than seventy percent of the revenue generated by the sale of gangsta rap comes from white listeners? So why does Mr. Whitlock continue to push an agenda that refuses to identify the white community as an accomplice in the black community’s subjugation?
Other people will disagree with me about the ultimate goal of Mr. Whitlock’s worthless opinion. Some will say he’s only keeping it real. Hmmph!! If by real people mean he’s keeping the black community in a real sense of confusion and division then I would be inclined to agree. So when I say Mr. Whitlock is a self serving tom that is trying to pass himself off as someone who is sincere about their concern for the black community take note that I have reason for my supposition. I will support my view with facts unlike the obvious racists who visit my blog and make blatantly racist comments like, black people are fools that need to shut up and get an education and try honest work for a change. Such a comment is nothing but bigotry and xenophobia at its worst. It has no place on this blog or on any other for that matter. The hypocrisy of a racist saying black people need to be educated while he or she demonstrates their ignorance of black people would be entertaining if the consequences of such racial intolerance wasn’t so damaging to the black community. And I do find it interesting how the networks give his opinion on race relations more weight than gravity gives his considerable girth.
And for the record I don’t go to Jason Whitlock’s website, blog, place of employment, or anywhere else that could be considered his home turf and make my less than flattering charges of his character or do anything else to make a nuisance of myself. I would expect nothing less than my comments to be discarded without any acknowledgment that they were ever made. I regard the man enough not to go into his house and start raising Cain. I would expect to be thrown out for my disrespect. People who disrespect me should expect the same when they come to my turf.
My mother taught me a long time ago that you always respect your host. Whether you like your host or not, whether you agree or not, it doesn’t matter. You are a guest in their domain. Unfortunately, there are just way too many people who use the anonymity of the internet to disrespectfully disagree. Thankfully, I don’t have to let them in my domain.
The other day I read where there were a couple of black people who were debating whether or not Barack Obama was good for the black community. I’ve asked myself and other people the same question time and time again. For all of his public appeal Mr. Obama didn’t seem to be connected with the black community. I felt that his talk of healing and uniting people on both sides of the racial divide during the build up to the Jena, Louisiana protest last September was pretty weak. I was disappointed in his response to Rush “The Lush” Limbaugh referring to him as the Magic Negro. I was embarrassed to see him dancing for votes on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. I wasn’t impressed with his plans for battling the healthcare crisis. Personally speaking I’m just not feeling the love.
In all fairness though I have to admit that his willingness to talk to the heads of state of countries that people in this country have been taught to fear did give me some hope of change and a new direction for leadership.
But the other day I read somewhere that someone black said the Barack Obama wasn’t fully black because his mother was a white woman. Therefore, the black community couldn’t depend on him. This man was saying he’d vote for Hillary Clinton. My brow started to furrow, my face frowned up, my lip started to curl and I had to ask no one in particular, what? Mr. Obama isn’t fully black? Who the hell is? I mean when I look at myself in the mirror I can see somewhere along the Peacemaker family tree that somehow some European cream got into my African ancestors coffee. My skin isn’t very dark at all. If I stood next to Mr. Obama I’m pretty sure I’d lose the “Who’s The Darkest” contest. And both of my parents are black. And regardless how the hell does that translate to whether or not that makes him presidential material?
Because only one of Mr. Obama’s parents was black he is unfit to represent this particular voter. I wondered how this man would feel if he heard a white person say that Mr. Obama had only one white parent so that would make him untrustworthy. Hell! More than likely Clarence Thomas had two black parents and I know for a fact that if you are black and on trial that you don’t want this man to walk out of the judge’s chambers to preside over your trial. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I’d rather see my fate in the hands of Ruth Bader Ginsburgh than tom. Having two black parents is no guarantee of anything. And his mother was white means he’s not fully black? In the immortal words of Colin Powell, “In America…when you look like me, you’re black.”
And what’s the alternative? Having someone in the White House without either parent being black is somehow more attractive? This will be the type of person that would swear up and down that race would have nothing to do with their logical deduction or lack thereof. They just want to make sure that the black candidate knows what it’s like for black people. So would the white person with white parents make a better candidate because their race has absolutely nothing to do with anything?
Even with my doubts as to whether or not Barack Obama is the best candidate for the presidential job, as a black man I have to confess that I would be ecstatic to see a black man winning the confidence of America and getting an opportunity to setup shop in the oval office. But, as a black man, I have to admit that I am severely disappointed to see an obviously black man sitting on the Supreme Court and using his position to undermine the black community at each and every opportunity. Having a black man on the Supreme Court is supposed to be an uplifting phenomenon for the black community but instead, for many black people across this land, it is turning into one of our worst nightmares.
It is no longer safe to say that the black community would like a black man in the job. The black community needs to make sure that we have the right black man in the job, the right person in the job. Whether or not Barack Obama is the right black man is an individual choice. But I honestly have to say that whether or not both of any candidate’s parents are black is truly out of place as an indication of his or her qualifications or a measure of his or her connection to the black community.
The other day there was another black man on the news that was recently released from prison after more than two decades behind bars for a crime he didn’t commit. He wasn’t out of his teens when he was apprehended for the rape and murder of a woman. His sentence was life. His attorney was finally able to have a test performed on the man’s DNA to see if it matched the genetic material stored as evidence. There was no match. The man was freed.
The man thanked god and Jesus for his freedom. He was so glad to have his life returned to him. The man carried no anger in his heart. He just wanted to spend time with his family. The man planned to use his experience to help other young men put some perspective back into their lives so they wouldn’t fall into the same traps that enveloped him. The article was inspirational and spiritual in most superfluous ways. There was the scene with the brother singing gospels with his church associates. There was the man getting hugs from all the black people with smiling faces that were just so happy to have the brother back in their lives now. His mother never lost faith that he would be exonerated. And no one harbored any ill will against the representative of the justice machine that worked so hard to keep the man behind bars.
The message in the article was forgive and forget. It was very applicable to the holiday season. This is the high time of the year that we are supposed to take heed from our spiritual teachings and ask for forgiveness from our trespasses as we forgive those that trespass against us.
Interesting though is the fact that our society hardly ever forgives black people for their trespasses. It seems that our law enforcers and justice system hardly passes on an opportunity to prosecute black people to the maximum extent of the law for violations that hardly get noticed on our attention span radar if the perpetrator were of obvious European heritage.
A black man standing in front of police officers with a hairbrush is as good as dead. Public grooming seems to be a crime punishable by death the way cops are so gung ho to stop, drop, and roll to come up with guns drawn and bullets blazing. Police barely have time to stop the squad car and put the transmission in park. But let a white man hold up a store front with a homemade bomb of duct tape and road flares and the city will put up with his attention getting shenanigans for hours on end until a peaceful resolution can be negotiated.
If black people survive our run in with the local Sheriff Buford T. Justice, Deputy Barney Fife, Sheriff Roscoe P. Coltrane, Police Chief Wiggums and the like our convictions are virtually guaranteed as long as there is at least one person who is willing to say that they saw the black person do it. Never mind the fact that the witness was a blind man with a Seeing Eye dog. The jury has nothing but faith in his testimony. Besides, if the black man didn’t do it he shouldn’t have any trouble producing the proof necessary to thwart a conviction.
And just where were you when the crime took place?
I was in the hospital having my appendix removed after it exploded.
Yeah right! Can you prove that someone was watching you the whole time you were in the recovery room?
I thought not. The prosecution rest your honor.
But you’re my attorney! You’re supposed to be defending me!
Objection your honor! I would like my client’s last comment to be stricken from the record! I would never defend someone who is so obviously a criminal!
And through all of this black people are supposed to have enough character to be free of any resentment. These people are lauded by the television news networks and are held up as a pillar of pure virtue. But each and every time a black person turns the other cheek and forgives this society built on some perverted version of truth and justice rooted in logic that wouldn’t cut it even in the Bizarro world we make it that much easier for the next black person to be railroaded into the slammer in the future. Innocent black people whose lives have been destroyed by the system need to point the finger at the system and demand changes.
DNA testing should be one of the first steps necessary to get a conviction whenever applicable. It has gotten to a point where the eyewitness testimony has about as much accuracy as a coin toss in gaining conviction. The lie detector has more accuracy but is ruled inadmissible because a lot of people feel that it is too unreliable. But we will buy the testimony of a deaf person who would swear up and down that he heard the black man confess to a crime he never committed.
And if turning the other cheek is supposed to be such a virtue why doesn’t society turn the other cheek more often when it is a person being accused of committing a crime? Doesn’t this virtue cut both ways? Is it just me or is the idiocy of all this hypocrisy getting just way too thick for other people to stomach as well?
I was talking to another contractor in the office today. Both of us are information services contractors working temporarily. He’ll only be here for another month and then he’s moving on to another contract in another city. His philosophy is that as long as you have the flexibility to move around and go where the market is you’ll always have a job. I used to have that philosophy too until I started wearing a little more of my ethnicity on my sleeve. Now that my hair is locked and I have been able to avoid getting it cut jobs are running a little scarce. My associate is white. Companies wait in line to hire him. I have more hands on development experience. But he has project management experience that I don’t have. He says that he never had an employer check his references. I told him that I’ve never had an employer hire me without checking every single one of my references. It goes without saying that we have different experiences in the job market.
But we’re talking about the economy. This morning the market dropped four hundred points before it even opened. He had to do an emergency call to his broker to move some money around so that he can avoid anymore losses associated with the latest Dow Jones freefall. He’s already lost a pretty good chunk of change and he is trying to keep further losses at bay. But he is upbeat. There are some stocks that have just about hit rock bottom prices and he’s ready to capitalize.
I have to tell my associate that my cash flow just isn’t at a point where I can make stock investments just yet. But even if I could I wouldn’t play the market. Me give my money to somebody else so that they can lose it for me? I can lose my money all by myself, thank you. Right now my focus is to become as resilient as I can to this upcoming economic recession or, even worse, depression. My family and I have managed to minimize our expenditures. If everything continues to go well, we will be pretty much debt free in another month or so. Anything we purchase these days will be done with cash. That includes the minivan we will need shortly for our extended family as well as the house we plan to buy. It goes without saying that the house will be a fixer upper.
My associate and I were talking about vehicles and I told him I was in the market. His suggestion was to check out the new Toyota Highlander now with three rows of seats. He went to buy a brand new car just a few months ago and managed to snag a new 2008 Toyota cheaper than what a brand new 2007 vehicle was going for. It sounded nice. But I’m not looking for a loan and my wallet wouldn’t be able to take a thirty thousand dollars or so cash hit for at least a few years yet, and not until I have the deed to my completely renovated house. And more than likely I would be loath to take that kind of a hit for a car even then. I’m looking at spending a maximum of six thousand dollars on a vehicle maybe four or five years old. It goes without saying that my associate and I don’t shop in the same circles.
But anyway we are talking about the recession. We agreed that the sub prime mortgage market is primarily responsible for the woeful economic conditions of the global economy. We agreed that the tax rebates suggested by the federal government is only a Scooby Doo band aid to make people feel better about the economic ouchie that so many people are going through right now. However my associate admitted that he’s not happy about the steps the government is taking and suggesting to help so many consumers who are caught in the sub prime mess. When he was having trouble meeting his bills a few years ago nobody came and bailed his ass out. He and his family had to scratch and claw their way out of their mess. Now, these people are going to be bailed out of virtually the same thing. And you know who is going to pay for it, you and me and everybody else who pays taxes and pays their mortgages. I merely reminded my associate that unless we all work together no one is going to get out of this unscathed unless we all work together. He agreed. But he agreed just a little too quickly. The conversation was changed to something else. I think it was the weather.
I wanted to continue talking about the economy and how if he doesn’t help his neighbor when the value of his neighbors’ house slips then the value of his house will slip. If the economy continues to fall and no one else is able to come into the stock market his new rock bottom bargain stocks will fall through the floor and continue to plummet to a new rock bottom status. Everybody has something to gain by helping each other and everybody has something to lose if we sit back and wait for a fix that is fair for everyone. To take the attitude that nobody helped me so we shouldn’t help anyone without making sure everyone gets something out of it is pretty selfish and asinine. It is akin to saying that when there is an epidemic that can be contained by giving all the sick people medicine, we have to make sure that we develop a medicine that we can give to everyone to make sure the people who don’t need it can get a benefit out of it because nobody helped them when they were sick. This is American selfishness at its worst.
People want to make sure the rich and the well to do get an economic incentive as well as the people at the bottom of the economic pile that are doing their best just to get by. They pay taxes so why can’t they get the same benefit? But do they really need it? Will giving a millionaire an eight hundred dollar check get them to help stimulate the economy? I doubt it. Chances are the millionaire isn’t really hurting and trying to make ends meet.
The subject is a moot one to be honest. Even if everybody in America got a check from the government it is nothing more than a feel good measure to make people feel better about this economy that has the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. The public will get their checks and the economy will absorb the cash infusion and turnaround to look for more. People will get a one month reprieve. But nothing is really changing. We will still have a sub prime mess. We will still have escalating unemployment. We will still have inflated fuel and oil prices. We will still have an entire sector of our population that will be economically subjugated. We will still have wages falling in comparison to household expenses. The cash infusion is nothing but a Scooby Doo band aid trying to stop the bleeding from a major artery that has been severed.
There is a scene in the original Godfather movie when the Don Vito Corleone is making a truce with the leaders of the five other families. The Don is just returning home from a failed attempt on his life by Virgil “The Turk” Sollozzo. While he was in hospital recovering from his wounds his son Santino “Sonny” Corleone starts a mob war in retaliation for the near fatal attack on his father. Sonny is killed in a hit. Michael Corleone is in a self imposed exile in Italy after offing the Turk. The Don has called a meeting to try and negotiate an end to the mob war and the safe return of Michael.
Mr. Corleone and the heads of the other families meet in a conference room in an expensive and very exclusive hotel. The families want concessions from Don Corleone. The other families are particularly interested in the trade of illegal drugs. The Don isn’t interested in these drugs. In fact, the Turk attacked the Don because Vito Corleone refused to provide the funding and assistance necessary to assure that his heroine trafficking would be successful. Mr. Corleone feels that the destructiveness of illegal drugs is just too dangerous to be tampered with. But the other families are convinced that this is where the money is. For each dollar invested a drug trafficker can make as much as a fifteen hundred percent profit. Another fine example of American capitalism. Don Vito Corleone wants his boy home and so he concedes.
One of the other heads, Don Zaluchi, had something to say. “I also don’t believe in drugs. For years I paid my people extra so they wouldn’t do that kind of business. Somebody comes to them and says, ‘I have powders. If you put up three, four thousand dollar investment, we can make fifty thousand distributing.’ So they can’t resist. I want to control it as a business, to keep it respectable.” He slams his hand on the table and raises his voice. “But I don’t want it near schools! I don’t want it sold to children! That’s an infamia. In my city, we would keep the traffic in the dark people, the coloreds. They’re animals anyway, so let them lose their souls.”
Now the Godfather is an excellent work of fiction. Excellently written by Mario Puzo as a novel and a screenplay and excellently executed as a movie by Francis Ford Coppola. But the fiction is very realistic. And Don Zaluchi is a very realistic example of someone using his position of power and influence to subjugate black people and, as a consequence, reinforce white privilege. The white gangsters in this movie will do their narcotics. But they will only distribute their shit in the black neighborhoods. A perfect fictitious example of white people having the privilege of benefiting from the racist stereotypes of black people.
Interestingly, the reality is that illegal drugs distribution is rampant in the black community. It is entrenched. It has also become entrenched in the white neighborhoods as well. But since everybody knows that the white economy is better equipped to finance the distribution and purchase of their illegal narcotics most people are willing to overlook the white crime associated with illegal drugs. On the other hand, the perception of rampant crime in the black neighborhood and the overwhelming belief in the stereotype that black people are, to paraphrase Don Zaluchi, unethical and soulless animals gives justification for the lopsided focus on black criminal activity.
A lot of people want to combat the drug problem in the black neighborhoods by arresting anybody even remotely associated with illegal usage. A heavy handed approach to drugs in the black community is necessary to reign in the problem. Fifty grams of crack is the equivalent of five kilograms of cocaine. In other words, a black man with just a pebble of a crack rock on his person is the same as a white person walking around with enough cocaine to fill two five pound bags of sugar. I have yet to hear of a black man being arrested for the importation of drugs or for the manufacture of drugs other than the conversion of cocaine to crack. But take a look at the crime statistics and somehow the reality is that black people are the most likely user and distributor of drugs. This is a perfect real life example of the white community benefiting from the privilege of not being black.
So people will focus on the drug user or distributor on the corner. He or she is arrested. But as soon as the drug dealer is removed off of their corner the drug dealer on the corner across the street or down the block simply picks up more business. Until the drugs are stopped at the source the daily arrest of distributors and users in the local community is an exercise in futility. People in the community really like it when the local Nino Brown, the drug kingpin from New Jack City played by Wesley Snipes, is arrested. But as soon as he or she is gone someone will simply move into their place and become Frank Lucas, the organized crime boss in American Gangster played by Denzel Washington. Knock off Frank and then Tony Montana from Scarface will pop up. But that’s okay, with each arrest newspapers will laud the effectiveness of crime work by the Drug Enforcement Agency.
All the while these people who are truly at the bottom of the drug manufacturing and distribution network are being arrested and thrown under the wheels of the system the really bigwigs who control the distribution and sit around an expensive table in an exclusive hotel and make deals targeting the people in the black community for their personal financial gain. The entire white community may not be privileged enough to reap the financial benefits from the distribution of these drugs. In fact, many white people may find themselves the victim of drug distribution as well. One could consider these people little more than collateral damage in the grand pursuit of profit from soulless animals.
But one example of the type of privilege that white people do enjoy is from not having to constantly battle the stigma of being associated with this heinous crime of living in a neighborhood where white crime lords make concerted efforts to profit off the destruction of black people. Even before the inevitable association with illegal drugs black people suffered from the indignity of not being white. All white people may not partake in all forms of white privilege. But at least they don’t suffer the indignity of having to be black in a culture overwhelmingly controlled by other white people who use and abuse black people. And that is a privilege in and of itself.
“Think of it as a [Monopoly] game. The rules are the same for everyone, but the hard fact is that you weren’t allowed to play for a while. Now you can play, but because you’re bitter about being excluded you [want] the rules slanted in your favor.” – H.R. in a response to theblacksentinel
The quotation above was lifted from a response by a commenter to theblacksentinel’s article titled, Ron Paul – Racist Babble or Forward Thinking. This correlation is so appropriate that I wish I had thought of it. Regardless, let’s take a look at the board game of Monopoly and how adept it is as an analogy for the economic conditions between the black and white races here in America.
A Monopoly game starts and all the players that are allowed to play are white. Each gets fifteen hundred dollars and each will start from the same place on the board at the very same time. When the game is started each of the white players race around the board to buy up all the property. They buy up all the utilities and the railroads. Each of the white players buy up everything they can. And each time these players pass GO they are anointed with another two hundred dollars. The players exchange properties with each other. They are building up monopolies and they start to build houses and hotels. One of the players collects both utilities. Another player collects all the railroads. All the properties have been bought up and developed so landing on them can be pretty expensive. But it’s okay because all the players own some kind of property and so money goes back and forth across the board. The players know that what they pay to someone now will come back to them later.
Now that the board is developed we will allow the black player to come on board. The black player is given fifteen hundred dollars and starts at GO just like everyone else did. However, the black player has no chance to buy any property. The very first place he/she stops at will charge rent to the tune of two hundred dollars. The next time the black player moves cost another three hundred dollars. The next time the black player moves the rent is four hundred dollars. The player will be lucky to make it around the board once without going broke. If the player could just land on the Community Chest and the Chance spots they might be able to get by.
The Community Chest and the Chance represent the black player’s best chance of trying to get anything out of the white players. Hopefully the black player will get one of those cards that says the bank will make an error in the black player’s favor and he/she will get twenty dollars. Whoopty goddamn do! Or maybe the black player will get that card that forces the other players to give fifty dollars each. Without any real property for the other players to land on this will be the best chance the black player could ever have of getting any reciprocity from the other players. The white players call this type of income welfare or a handout and want to get rid of any positive Chance and Community Chest cards that might benefit the black player.
The black player could hole up in the free parking spot for a hot minute. But the white players are just salivating over the black player going broke by landing on their properties. The relief of landing on the free parking is only for a moment. Even Baltic Avenue can send the black player into an economic tailspin that will trigger their financial demise.
And wouldn’t you just know it. Somehow the black player is the one who always seems to land on the Go To Jail spot and has to spend three turns in jail. White players land there as well but somehow they are able to afford the legal bill to pay their way out or to get a pardon or a commuted sentence. All the white players will have a Get Out of Jail Free card waiting to be used. But for many black players the jail represents a reprieve from having to compete in a game that is so stacked against him/her. The white players continue to go around the board buying and selling with each other while the black player eeks out an existence of just getting by.
But inevitably, the black player will land on a spot that will be financially devastating. With no money and no property to barter the player has no choice but to bow out of the game and hang around with no existence while the white players continue to play. Without the other players agreeing to do something to give the black player an equal footing for the lost time the white players were able to amass wealth and property the black player in the Monopoly game will have little chance at surviving let alone winning the game.
The only problem is that in the reality of here and now, the black community doesn’t really have the choice of just bowing out of the game and existing while the white people continue to play. We still have to obtain food, a place to stay, obtain some kind of medical care, clothing, transportation, and all of the other things that help make life tolerable. The white community that for centuries kept black people from participating now wants the black community to take part as an equal in this game when they have been the benefactors of a colossally huge head start. No one would ever want to play Monopoly under these conditions. But somehow this is supposed to be fair to the real life black player known as the general black community.
It is so true that the abysmal conditions that the black community is going through is just like a Monopoly game. Now that white people have this huge head start they want to let the black community come on in and are surprised when we say this is unfair and we need an adjustment to get our footing as a collective. Yes relatively speaking a handful of black people can make it. But the only blacks that do make it are the ones that find some white person that will give them the chance to show their talent to shoot a hoop or score a touch down or sing a song or swing a club. And when these naturally talented black people succeed they no longer are part of the black community but of the generic dominant society helping to subjugate the remaining black community. The average black person has no real opportunity to gain any equal footing on his/her own. The deck of cards in this game has been stacked too heavily against us.