brotherpeacemaker

It's about our community and our spirituality!

James Says Just Don’t Support Racism

“Hello, We as people need to stop trying blaming everybody for why our kids our so messed up. You never hear other races blaming Jerry Seinfeld or the cast of 30 Rock if a Caucasian kid gets killed or murders someone else. The problem starts at home. My parents taught me that what happens on television stays on television. It’s fantasy. We shouldn’t look up to them as role models. I was talking to a co-worker of mine today and I told him that every kid now days wants to be either a rapper or a basket ball player. They don’t want to be anything else and it’s sad how America has programed these kids.But we can’t blame America. It starts with bad parenting . I enjoy hip hop music but I know it’s not a reality to me . It’s music , entertainment. Just like music . We need to stop looking at these entertainers like they are more than that and keep on with our lives. And everybody hates Chris is not a racist show . Chis Rock is a comedian that’s his job. Is he supposed to teach math and make us laugh that wouldn’t be funny at all. Like I said let these people entertain. Do like I do if you don’t like them don’t support them. Being angry about them doesn’t make it any better and usually it puts mote money in there pockets when you talk about them whether it’s negative or positive.
But nice article brotherpeacemaker.”
– Comment from james to the article Racism Is Not Fun

Thanks for the feedback james,

But I’m pretty sure people said the same thing about the blackface minstrel shows back in the day. It’s just good entertainment. Never realizing how such good entertainment was embedding a mindset in people’s subconscious that black people are not worth the respect of a person. These people then serve on our juries, hire us for employment, care for us when we are sick, protect us from crime, and all the while thinking that racism isn’t so bad because Chris Rock said it was fun.

And you can’t tell me that crap called rap isn’t having an influence on some of our most impressionable people. It is a marketing of a culture aimed primarily into the black community. We live at a time when people go ape-shit over somebody saying something out of line. Let somebody say something like, extending unemployment benefits in this economic crisis is like using a nuclear bomb on an ant. To the people out here trying to get by on those meager payments because they can’t find a job, it might be a nuclear bomb but to be dependant on such funds is by no means an ant. Let somebody say something like that once and people are all over him because of the ramifications of such an idea or thought.

But some of us will let the message from that rap music percolate into our brains in a series of repetitive, never ending, ear-drum popping decibel levels of sound that would have been considered cruel and unusual punishment or Geneva Convention war crimes if we were tied to a chair and forced to listen. Again, it is a culture that is being marketed squarely at the black community. But somebody wants to tell me that there’s no connection between rap music and the condition of the black community. It’s just entertainment.

One of my favorite movies is Gladiator with Russell Crowe as the Spaniard. I liked the movie for its much more detailed and believable depiction of life for a gladiator during Rome’s heyday. It was entertainment to see people who were beneath the dominant society get slaughtered by each other or by a well equipped champion who is the celebrity of the people or by ferocious animals allowed to maim or kill. Yes we might try to dismiss it all as wholesome entertainment for the masses. That doesn’t disguise the overwhelming fact that somebody was losing their life. But because nobody saw the enslaved people of Rome as humans worth equal consideration it wasn’t anything to worry about.

It’s a good thing that you have the intellect and the self control to separate the programming that comes through music and through other forms of entertainment. Unfortunately, I don’t think everyone is so strong in his or her belief of who they are and what can influence his or her life. In fact, just a few days ago I had to snap myself out of an influence brought on by a commercial for deodorant. I was in the gym when I noticed that the underarms of my white shirt were yellowed. For a brief moment, I didn’t want to wear the shirt and was ready to go get a replacement.

But I quickly snapped back to my senses and wore the shirt without worry. I was able to catch myself. There are people who might have never fallen under the spell of commercial marketing. I don’t worry about them too much. But not all of us are so lucky. And it is for the betterment of the community that I worry about the people around me who might not be so capable of recognizing these artificial influences on our thought processes.

You might think the best way to counter the bad influence on our community is to just not support them. Thanks ranks right up there with Nancy Reagan telling our children to simply say no to drugs. That might work for a few. But the total impact of the drug dealer is much more than just the personal purchase of drugs. The impact of drugs has repercussions throughout the community. While one person might simply be saying no and refusing to give their support, other people are indulging. In order to help satisfy a habit, some people might resort to crime. Other people might resort to violence. The entire community can continue to be impacted. You might have said no to drugs. But the impact of drugs on your life can go a lot deeper than your personal choice not to use them. Drugs should not be tolerated in our community, and neither should racism.

And just like some people have the ability to recognize the changes in their personal character and just say no, some people have the ability to recognize the changes in our community’s character and want to say no. Unfortunately, in order to resist the artificial influences in the community, it takes a community effort. Just telling people to keep it personal and watch out only for your self and just don’t support those negative influences isn’t an effective way to make change in the community. A community is only as strong as its weakest link.

Peace

Friday, July 2, 2010 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black People, Life, Racism, Thoughts

9 Comments »

  1. Peace to YOU James and Brotherpeacemaker.

    Both of You Men are correct in your passionate caring about the circumstances and condition(I am assuming here that you are truly caring James and not just a jaded white person not wanting to here about a grim reality of our society) that RASISM presents to our daily lives.
    However I am concerned that you both might be so intrenched in your postures that you fail to stand squarely in the balance of bring about the change that must take place in our personal lives, families and communities. While at the same time BEING the CAUSE and AFFECT that is needed to effectively put and end to the misery that rasism purposely causes. While I agree that RASISM is the cause, we must also disipline oursevles for being so compliant and so ilwilled (if such a word)that we fail to confront it with the necessary resistance and sacrafices at all cost. Understanding that it comes at a cost. Initially this Challege needs to begin within ourselves,families and community. Don’t You think Brotherpeacemaker?

    Comment by Akinwole | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Akinwole,

      But one thing that I’ve always believed is that there isn’t one strategy to the black community’s salvation. The thought that all we have to do is just say “no” is only one strategy in a series that’s needed. Anybody who says all we have to do is just say no to drugs, teach our children family values, get our young black people to commit to marriage, go to school and get good grades, and etcetera, refuses to understand and appreciate the depth of all the problems that continue to plague the entire black community. Just say no and the black community will be saved? I seriously doubt it. Such a simplistic answer absolves the dominant community of its responsibility for its institutionalized racism that directly led to today’s poor condition of the black community and puts the onus for the black community’s revival squarely on the backs of black people who are in serious need of help and obviously cannot make the necessary changes on our own.

      Do black people need to stop supporting racist institutions? Absolutely! But isn’t that simply stating the obvious? How many black people supported Jim Crow laws or supported America’s policy of separate and unequal educational opportunities for our children? We could say no, but what would the alternative be for black people needing to obtain an education? It wasn’t until the black community, along with help from people from other communities, faced such racist institutions head on and said enough is enough, it is time for change. Just saying no doesn’t change much of anything. Real change takes real work.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Reply

  2. James is confused. See when white kids kill or get killed they don’t blame Jerry Seinfeld or the cast of 30 Rock, they are more likely to blame the Lil’ Wayne’s, Ice Cube’s and any other rapper you can think of for corrupting their young white minds.

    Give me a break, the problem as I see it is white people usually blame their woes on minorities. They can’t get jobs because of affirmative action giving jobs to blacks like candy. They can’t find a decent place to live in the city because the blacks and Hispanics are ruining the place. They can’t live in Arizona happily because the Illegal immigrants are there picking veggies and killing anything that moves.

    James is a fool if he thinks that somehow looking at the FACT that the media and everything associated with it, is run by Caucasians and that in turn influences the young of any and every culture. Even when the messages that are given about these minorities cultures are being skewed to a point where it is damaging to everyone involved.

    Just say no to stupid rhetoric which does nothing to correct or even look at the problem.

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback theblacksentinel,

      And welcome back! I thought you abandoned us…

      James is correct when he says no one in the white community blames Jerry Seinfeld for crimes. Why? Because when a white person commits a crime, people do a thorough investigation to determine the cause. Does the person have financial troubles or troubles at home? Does the person have a mental disorder? A lot of time and effort is put toward finding the root cause and helping that person develop if at all possible. We can’t waste that kind of time on black people and just sum it up to a poor choices in music.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Reply

  3. Alafiah Blacksentinel, Brotherpeacemaker;
    I agree that simplistic approaches cause things to remain the same. However, these days I am thinking that my people are under the illusion of having overcome or that we think that we now believe that fighting rasism is futle and that we are surrendering a welfare mentality. Wanting the white ruling citizens of the world to Please sew a shirt on our buttons.
    There is not a week that goes by that I don’t do something to help uplift my people but right now I am in need of some advice, inspiration and mentoring that will help me cope with failing to cause my people to take more assertive actions that will arrest what I see as problems that are sinking the boat that we are all on.
    Any help you can give will do a lot for my mental health.

    Comment by Akinwole | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Reply

    • Akinwole,

      I think what you’re referring to is a totally different issue. My take is that james was trying to say that the best way people in the black community can counter racism is to not support it. I think what you are referring to is the fact that black people don’t even recognize, or are content with, the condition of the black community. How do we get black people to recognize their plight so that they can just say no? If you ever find out let me know so I can affect change here in my local black community.

      One problem is that the black community is usually being depicted as some kind of lawless, criminalized zone that operates outside civil norms. Our children and young adults are often portrayed as uncaring and rather anti-social. The only thing the black community respects are aspects of hip-hop culture. Turn on the television and you would think that shows like The Wire are an accurate depiction of our urban communities everywhere. We don’t run the gamut. One size fits all.

      The fact of the matter is that the black community is very much alive. We simply need to do everything we can to cut through the messages that we are being spoon fed and start thinking for ourselves. We need to stop letting corporate America define us and remake the definition of who we want to be. I know I don’t want to live in the black community depicted on television. And I refuse to do so. And I refuse to turn a blind eye to what is happening all around me and simply say that I won’t support this particularly devious brand of racial discrimination. I will speak up when I see it and try to do my best to bring other’s attention to it. I will resist people who make the suggestion that all I have to do is say no. This is a fight. And like any good fight, there should be multiple strategies employed to counter this seemingly omnipotent opponent.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Reply

  4. Ashe!!!
    Thanks for taking so much of your time to respond.

    Comment by Akinwole | Sunday, July 4, 2010 | Reply

  5. Brotherpeacemaker,

    I really enjoy reading your blog. I find your perspectives and topics enlightening and relevant. You provide a good service inciting us all to ponder the state of our society. Thanks for your time.

    I do believe there is value in widening the scope of those who you feel are oppressed and in need of (and deserve) some help to more than just blacks. I feel many of our problems can be traced to the manner in which our controlling leadership is oppressing those in poverty, with complete disregard for how their hopelessness and lack of opportunity contributes to a cancerous drain on society. I just finished reading ‘The Scapegoat Generation: America’s War on Adolescents’ by Mike A. Males. While it is getting a bit dated (written in 1995), I feel it is still extremely relevant. It is a shocking collection of data that illustrates how the ruling forces (which are largely older whites) are unjustly persecuting the unrepresented younger and impoverished masses to the demise of our society’s future. While these masses are comprised largely of blacks, there are hispanics, asians, and even whites who suffer in this regard. By widening your views of those who need a fair shake beyond only blacks, you increase the strength of your position and improve your chances of spurring significant numbers to take action. If you can spare the time, read the book. I think it will help add definition to the problems you so diligently strive to highlight and correct, and may serve to invigorate your efforts.

    Now to the point that was my initial purpose of starting this post; you wrote:

    “A community is only as strong as its weakest link.”

    I was dismayed to see this cliche as your final thought. I encourage you to take a more optimistic view. Refute the practice of our media focusing on the bad news. Don’t let the worst behaviors define our communities. I want to believe what you really meant by this statement was “We cannot neglect those in our community who need guidance and hope the most, for they will always be a part of the fabric which defines our society”. Rereading the last paragraph in your blog posting, I’m confident this was your message. Right on.

    Keep the faith.

    Comment by dmrthanyou | Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback dmrthanyou,

      “A community is only as strong as its weakest link…I was dismayed to see this cliche as your final thought.

      My bad, I guess I should’ve said that chains can become stronger than their weakest link. That would be original. It’s the focus on bad news coming out of the black community that is the real problem and not the fact that the black community is treated quite differently from the rest of our American communities. It’s not the higher unemployment rates, poorer conditions at our schools, and other obvious manifestations of race based disparities.

      I have to agree with you that we cannot neglect the people in need of guidance the most. But that’s exactly what America wants to do, neglect our community. And the black community doesn’t appear to have the resources to compensate for the neglect of the rest of America. The more we talk about these conditions the better chance we have of having others hear us and helping. At least that’s my take.

      Peace

      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, July 8, 2010 | Reply


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