brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

Sour Grapes

Sour Grapes

People who read this blog on a regular basis know that I don’t particularly care for a lot of high profile black people in our midst.  More often than not the high profile black celebrities that have found economic success are too absorbed with finding even more economic success than with finding a connection to the lesser fortunate black community.  It is my observation that black people who have developed a name worth recognizing or who have accumulated a little wealth under their belt become more obsessed with the protection of the wealth rather than the protection of the traditional black community.  Maybe this sounds like sour grapes and can be summarized, or minimized, as little more than jealousy.  But there is a social component that gets lost with such a dismissive attitude.

At the moment, despite the economy, I have an excellent job.  I have healthcare.  I’m able to save a major portion of my paycheck.  In the past year or so we’ve managed to save enough money saved to buy the family a used minivan with cash and a multifamily house, albeit a fixer upper.  We have exercised personal responsibility and have managed to earn a small slice of the American pie.  So why should I care about other people in the black community who don’t have it as well as I do?

I like to think that my concern for the black community comes from having a social conscience despite being in an America where we are constantly being programmed to protect our version of capitalism at any and all costs.  In order to minimize any responsibility for the condition of the black community we constantly berate black people for not having the wherewithal to lift themselves out of whatever supposedly led to our lack of individual opportunity in a social system rooted in institutionalized racial discrimination on a scale that impacts a major portion of the black community.  It is popular rhetoric that black people need to get an education, but even well educated black people have difficulty finding jobs compared to our white counterparts.  It is a modern cliché to say that black people need to work ourselves out of our situation.  But on the flipside of that coin black people have more difficulty finding employment than our white counterparts.

It is easy to dismiss the call to bring attention to these facts as nothing but sour grapes.  It is easy to ignore the plight of the black community just as it is easy to ignore the plight of anyone who is in need of help.  When we divorce ourselves of any responsibility for the next guy it is easy to say “get a job” to the unemployed, “get off the street” to the homeless, “suck it up” to the depressed, “pick yourself up by your bootstrap” to anyone who may need help, or “show some personal responsibility” to anyone when we don’t have a lick of empathy.

We have been taught that some of the greatest heroes in world history are people who went out of their way to show compassion for their fellowman.  Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglas,  Mahatma Gandhi, Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, the man known as Jesus the Christ, Mohammed, Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela, Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, Oskar Schindler, and many, many, more.  And consequently some of the greatest evils of the world have been people who have absolutely no compassion for others.  Adolph Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Baby Doc, Poulpot, Jim Jones, Saddam Hussein, Jeffrey Dahmer, Timothy McVeigh, J. Edgar Hoover, Benedict Arnold, and their like.  And yet, with respect to the black community, the dominant community could not display any less compassion and still consider themselves human.

Often times it’s questionable whether we show more compassion for a single speckle breasted hooked toed owl or the entire black community.  When it was speculated that dog food manufacturers in China were responsible for the deaths of so many Fidos and Spots, people here in America wanted to go to war.  When Michael Vick was accused of killing dogs in the dog pound in back of his house people wanted to give him the death penalty.  However, when boot camp guards kill black children for not running we find the entire affair understandable and the guards are without fault.  Say what you will but it should be obvious that a lot of people don’t want to give black people the kind of compassion we have for a loser dog.

This all might sound like nothing but sour grapes.  But unfortunately, it also sounds like life for the black community.  If more people had more compassion for black people they might be able to tell the difference between the two.

Sunday, June 28, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Life, Racism, The Race Card, Thoughts

1 Comment »

  1. You know Brotherpeacemaker, I just got into it last night with a white poster who didn’t have much of a clue as to why I’m upset with white people. It’s funny how they never have a clue when you bring it to them.
    Below is the response I posted because s/he couldn’t understand why I was so upset.
    Here goes:

    Shabazz said…

    No _______, I just don’t kowtow to people that hate my existense due to the color of my skin.
    Would you like it if certain people felt like you don’t have the right to be on this earth?
    I am thoroughly sick and tired of being sick and tired.
    Not just for myself, but my family, friends, my kids, we all have experienced racism at the hands of white people. In fact, ask any random Black person if they’ve ever been discriminated against and see what type of answers you get.
    And what’s really sad is you people actually think it’s “god’s will” for you to treat us the way you do.Do you really think you (in general) would get into heaven the way you treat people based on the color of their skin? In this country (and probably other places), a dog gets treated with more humanity than a Black person. I cannot and I will not discount my race for anyone anytime period.
    Live a week in my skin, and tell me if I’m wrong for feeling the way I do.

    Comment by Shabazz | Monday, June 29, 2009 | Reply


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