“Everybody’s got that one molester uncle. Your mama’s like, ‘Where them kids at?’
‘They’re with Johnny.’
‘Get them kids! Hurry up, get them kids! Don’t leave them with your Uncle Johnny!’
Later on, you get molested, your mama get mad at you.
‘That’s what you get. Hanging around fucking Johnny. I told you about that shit! Now walk it off!’
That’s your family.” – Chris Rock, Bigger and Blacker (1999)
Chris Rock wasn’t lying. We all had at least one family member that we were told not to hand around. In my family it’s me most of the time. Despite what some jerk might think it wasn’t because there was a danger that I would molest anybody. The problem was that coming from a Christian family I made the mistake of deciding I needed something different for my spiritual growth. When we get together and the family conversation turns to a religious subject, people could rely on me to say something controversial like, there’s more than one way to nurture your spirit. You don’t have to be a Christian. And then the argument was on! And inevitably, a sister or brother would be pulling one or more of my nieces or nephews to the side and telling them in a low voice not to hang around me because I’m a bad influence.
Be that as it may, if somebody in the family might be a problem we usually don’t have any reservations about warning other family members to stay away. It goes with the territory.
Yesterday I saw a comment from MK82 saying responding to the post talking about President Barack Obama’s blatant contempt for the black community. MK82 says he has family members who say that black people shouldn’t talk about Mr. Obama because he’s like family. If black people feel the need to say something, we should keep it private to keep the matter in the family. I guess keeping it private would be the best way to handle something. But sometimes, when family has already aired family business, the response will have to be just as public.
Everything Mr. Obama does is very public. Dude gets a dog and that mutt’s mug will be on every entertainment magazine cover as well as TIME, the Wall Street Journal, and Popular Science. So when Mr. Obama used his address to the Congressional Black Caucus to tell his most loyal of constituents to quit complaining and suck it up and get in line, he was airing out the family business. He wants everyone to know he’s got work to do and he doesn’t need to be distracted with our nonsense. He expects us to fall in line and get with his program. Black people don’t need a campaign promise because he knows and we know and everybody else knows that nothing is coming our way. The only way the black community succeeds is if we lift everybody else’s finances first. Once everybody has their fill, trickledown economics say that we’ll then get the leftovers if there are any. So suck it up!
And did anybody forget that this man has a white mother? So now, white people are part of this family. Besides, Mr. Obama telling the black sheep to shut up sounds a lot like something that might come from family alright. How often have my brothers and sisters told me to just shut up? If only I had a dime for every time.
Mr. Obama is that family member that comes to the family picnic and cheeses for everybody, but then finds that one relative that everybody thinks of as being the black sheep in the family and doubles down on the bullshit. Shut the hell up and let everybody else eat first. Be everybody else’s whipping boy. Quit the belly aching about how nothing’s being done for you. I got work to do so shut up and fall into place. Work harder and longer and put on your marching shoes so everyone else can get a piece of whatever pie is coming down the pipe. Other people got expectations and they don’t expect your feedback. If I didn’t know better I’d say that this man learned his management style from that evil stepmother in Cinderella.
And just like the warnings from the mother in Chris Rock’s comedy skit, we were warned about this particular family member. We were warned and instead of heeding the warnings and reading the signs that something might be wrong, as a collective we still want to tempt fate. Mr. Obama’s our boy after all. We still want to hang around him and believe in him and give him the benefit of the doubt. And the next thing you know we get shafted up the rear just when we’re not looking. We were warned about cousin Obama. And when that happens, all we can do is walk it off until his term comes to an end.
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