Archive for the ‘The Post Race Agenda’ Category

This series explores the ways in which the predominating forces in this country are trying to force the country into a “post-race” era despite the country’s lack of achievements in racial equality. The end result will be a disarming of the disenfranchised and an increase in loopholes for which prejudice and racism will begin to prevail.

The Story

In a recent interview with Laura Ingraham, the host of a conservative radio show, Alabama Representative, Mo Brooks stated that:

This is a part of the war on whites that’s being launched by the Democratic Party, and the way in which they’re launching this war is by claiming that whites hate everybody else.
– Rep. Mo Brooks

I’ll wait for the laughter to cease. What the fuck is this idiot talking about?! First let me say that this statement was in response to a question about immigration reform. Brooks stated that Democrats are waging a war on White people by making certain issues about race and perpetuating that White people hate everybody. Okay so yo avoid any emotional traps that lead to logic less rebuttals let me say that immigration IS a race issue. We can play the politics and say it’s about the American economy and the fact that immigrants come into the country and do not pay taxes etc. Or we can make it be a national security issue and say that if these refugees can get into the country then perhaps we aren’t as well secured as we should be. But at the end of the conversation, it is about race.

The Problem

The issue is that – in typical conservative fashion – this clown is trying to take several real issues for which Democrats often advocate and reverse and pervert them in a way to suggest that White people could be suffering the same thing. It’s like the topic of reverse racism. At the end of the day any socially conscious person can deduce that this is not an issue that White people face. Not every White person is living the American dream and growing up, living, and raising families in the safety of middle and upper class social statuses; however, that’s not the issue. This issue is the overwhelming number of people of color who are not and can not do this despite having access to some of the same resources as the White people that do.

Furthermore, Rep. Brooks’ statement has an oddly familiar tone to it. It is a common ideology and phrase used by the Klu Klux Klan and other White Supremacist groups. Their passionate advocacy for White people stems from the belief that every other race his it out for them. The more enraged the GOP becomes the more blatantly they are exposing themselves as racist extremists with a plot for U.S. domination (not all, of course, but the ones who doing all the talking).

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The Point

Someone would have to be unfamiliar with America and/or an imbecile to think that it is even plausible for their to be a “war on White people.” What their is: a war on White Supremacy (to which not every White person ascribes). So when Brooks makes his statement it is clear that he is making a fool’s attempt at devaluing the true nature of the issue.

What usually happens is that these phrases become part of a rhetoric that keeps showing up in the conservative controlled media until public opinion actually validates its relevance. Look at what happened with the term “reverse racism.” The entire logic of the phrase is ridiculous. Wouldn’t the reverse of racism be equality? And why is it that this term is only used by White people in response to some racial situation with Black people (as if only white people can be racist and only Black people can be the victims of it). But I digress. What I wish to demonstrate is the way that even the most foolish of phrases can become weapons to neutralize the opposition to injustice. That is clearly what this guy is seeking to do with this “war on Whites” comment.

What must happen is active defense against the legitimacy of this claim. For those Republicans who claim to not be of the ilk as their older, prominent spokes people, I would love to some of them stand up and speak against this garbage right now and not wait until this clown buries his career or when election time rolls around and they want minority votes. At any rate each and every time that the GOP makes this statement it must be refuted. In truth, it’s not a “war on whites” that’s happening; it’s a war on White Supremacy and progress in that war is long overdue.

 

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

 

An Angry Black Man

 

 

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A series, inspired by the CNN special, dedicated to race related identity issues concerning Black people in America.

The Story

I have thought long and hard about what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it regarding Lupita Nyong’o’s wave of celebrity and viral admirations for her beauty. At first I smiled when she won her Oscar and appeared gorgeous and graceful on the red carpet. I felt touched and honored to hear her address what it means to be a dark skinned woman Black woman facing American standards of beauty. Then the social media channels began pouring Lupita mania. I saw aggressive declarations about her beauty and emotional postings about her being named One of People magazine’s most beautiful people. But something inside me didn’t cheer, it didn’t smile, it didn’t celebrate these things. Instead I felt suspicious and partly disgusted. It took a while for me to find the words to articulate why I felt this way…but I’ve found the words to express what I was feeling.

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Lupita Nyong’o is a Mexican born, Kenyan descendant who studied drama at the prestigious Yale University. Nyong’o lived in obscurity until 3 weeks before her Master’s degree commencement when she was cast in 12 Years a Slave.

Nyong’o’s performance won her an Academy Award for her performance. And there begins the spectacle of Lupita. Luptia was acknowledged at teh Academy Awards, the Essence Awards, and through countless nominations. The media clung to Lupita and she was flawless. For me, it reminded me of what I felt when Barack Obama was on the campaign trail for the presidency and, subsequently, won. He did not have to look like me (because he doesn’t) and he didn’t have the same story as me (because he doesn’t) but it was the euphoric feeling of pride that he had accomplished all that he had accomplished without denying or refusing to acknowledge his Blackness. That is what I think Black women must feel watching Lupita and hearing her Essence speech about beauty, but there is so much more happening.

Lupita’s speech was brave and admirable simply in the fact that she chose to say it and how eloquently she articulated it; however, America is not to be revolutionized to easily. Immediately following the clip of Lupita’s speech in the clip the news caster goes into a section of speaking about how Lupita’s speech was not jsut about race but about beauty in general. Actually, while I cannot speak for Lupita, I would say that Lupita’s speech was ONLY about race. The moments in which it is not about race is where White people want to partake of that moment and want to justify allowing her to say it.

The Problemwmb-600

The mainstream which caters to the perspectives of the dominant group (White preferably rich and male) to make them accepting of things, decided to pollute Lupita’s revolutionary and courageous statement by saying that it was about “beauty in us all.” It clearly was not. The statement she made was specifically about dark skin in American standards of beauty. That kind of translation of Lupita’s message serves to neutralize the radical nature of her speech. It is the propaganda that the media perpetuates.

The problem is that while the media encourages us to praise Lupita’s beauty, we have not stopped to address the reason that her beauty is so special — as the son of a beautiful chocolate woman, I have seen beautiful dark skinned women all my life. Lupita is not the first. So what’s so wonderful and special here about this woman’s looks? Why is it wonderful that America is gasping at her breathtaking looks? The answer lies leaning our head just slightly to the left to get the other perspective.

It isn’t wonderful that Lupita, a dark skinned Black woman was allowed to grace the cover of People Magazine and was listed as one of People Magazine’s Most Beautiful People. That’s not the conversation worthy part. The part we should be talking about is why is she the 3rd Black woman to be on the cover of the magazine in the 25 years that the magazine has been doing their “Most Beautiful” issue?? It isn’t special that Lupita, a dark skinned Black woman is now a brand ambassador for Lancome. It’s that the company is 79 years old and Lupita is the first Black brand ambassador. WTF??y

The media would like to place Lupita on a pedastal and focus only on her dark skin and its “beauty” and the Black community eats up the coverage and becomes enamored with themselves so that all they see is that they are finally seeing something they had never seen before. The media is subliminally telling us that America has no problem with our race or dark skin and the Black community is believing that we are making progress. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The anchor Deborah Roberts manages to inject the truth in her recap of Lupita’s coverage when she states that this is “an open secret among Black women.” THAT is the problem. That it is an “open secret.” A secret that is well known by Black people, Black women specifically, that there is not love for dark skin in America (which is reflective of the fact that there is no love for Black people in America). Certainly there is an intrigue and fascination maybe even a fetish or lust for dark skin, but none of those things is the same as love and acceptance.

The Point

It was disturbing the way the media clung to Nyong’o featuring her on the covers of magazines and giving her a place in People Magazines most beautiful people list. What disturbed was the dishonesty of it. She was being used as propaganda to assert that America has come a long way in their representations of beauty and their acceptance of dark skin. But have they? Only with some passable exception have dark skinned Black people ever allowed to be considered beautiful. There has never been a mass mainstream acceptance of dark skin; it was about exoticism, fetish, and consumption. And here we are in 2014 and the notoriety of Lupita’s beauty is evidence that dark skin has still not been accepted in America.

So, it is not significant that Lupita is finding access into theses areas of mainstream favor that have previously been unavailable to Black women, especially dark skinned ones. It is significant that here we are in 2014 in what some posit to be a post-racial America and Black people are still celebrating mainstream firsts. Is that post racial or racially dismissive? There is a difference.

 

I’m not sayin: I’m just sayin,

An Angry Black Man

 

 

This series explores the ways in which the predominating forces in this country are trying to force the country into a “post-race” era despite the country’s lack of achievements in racial equality. The end result will be a disarming of the disenfranchised and an increase in loopholes for which prejudice and racism will begin to prevail.

The Story

 As much as the mainstream would to believe that America is moving into an era post racism, everything about our society illustrates that we are far from that reality.

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Chart created from 2010 census data by Matt Bruenig

So, then I wonder how anyone can imagine that America is ready for a post-race thing. It’s certainly an enchanting fantasy or maybe even an ideal to reach for, but we must never think that it is reality. The above chart generates a question that the answer to which does not lend itself to the concept of post-race ideology. The first question the chart creates is how and why is it possible (if all races are on an equal platform for opportunity) for White people who make up 64% of the United States population control 88% of the country’s wealth? If the answer to that question is some reference to the cultural deficiency of any particular group, then that suggestion in itself reeks of racism in its truest form. If the answer is that White people have historically been the dominant class and therefore that wealth has survived and/or increased through the generations, then again we draw the conclusion that there’s a problem there and it depends upon race.

However, I have thought about what society would be like if we as a country decide that we have conquered our race issues. I recently ran across an article published in Vibe magazine and I thought, that’s what will happen if we begin to believe that we live in a post-race society.

Vibe magazine published an article offering advice on “How To Apologize For A Racist Moment.”  They called it channelling Olivia Pope in crisis management. The advice was given by Melissa Agnes, crisis management expert. She takes several real life examples of racist remarks that garnered an individual negative publicity. As I read through the article my stomach turned.

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The Problem

The first issue I took with the article was the the fact that it made the discussion of public racism a conversatinoal topic such as one might have in the breakroom with a co-worker. The article calls these incidents “racial faux pas.” Seriously, faux pas?? And the advice that is offered by the crisis management expert is standard Public Relations damage control strategy. So we are now going to say that racist slips are more PR than Freudian? The entire article trivializes the struggle against racism and devalues the reality of racist oppression.

The other issue is the fact that this article was published in a Black publication. It’s as if the Black community is saying it’s okay if you slip up and verbally call me a nigger the way you have been doing mentally all you have to do is clean up the image of the context. In one advisement Agnes addresses the mishap of Miguel who ranted on twitter that “Black people are the most judgmental people in the world.” Agnes’ advice was that Miguel didn’t have to apologize if he swiftly explaining why he said what he said. She states: “he didn’t have to apologize. He opened the door for an intellectual conversation.” Let me mention here that I have never been sure that I would classify Miguel’s statement as racist given that he is bi-racial. However, Agnes’ advice for this mishap is supposed to be able to apply to other contexts and what it suggests is that sometimes it is okay to not apologize for racist comments. So is this to imply that angry responses to racism are an emotional issue??

 The Point

There is something very disturbing about a Black publication encouraging the notion that racist statements are minor oopsies for which a little damage control and public relations savvy can remedy. Of all angles to take on this subject they chose some corny gimmick (the play off Scandal) that actually promotes the neutralizing – not eradicating – of racial discrimination.

We are on a slippery slope in the struggle battle against racism and the struggle against post-racial ideology. This could not have been a worse time to present such notions to the world. Certainly to some this may seem like not a big deal but it will be a big deal because it is indicative of what can be expected if those supporters of a post race society are successful. If the idea that America, right now, is a post racial society becomes an accepted notion, then we will have reduced the conversation about racism to minor faux pas that can be cleaned up with savvy PR tactics.

I’m not sayin; I’m just sayin,

An Angry Black Man

 

 

Recently there have been a number of subtle attacks on the legislative protections that been placed to protect minorities from discrimination. These attacks are being initiated under the guise that legal protections are no longer needed because race is no longer an issue in this country. It would be a great accomplishment if America could say this was true and it would eb a welcomed change to the last 5 decades of struggle; however, it just isn’t true.

This series explores the ways in which the predominating forces in this country are trying to force the country into a “post-race” era despite the country’s lack of achievements in racial equality. The end result will be a disarming of the disenfranchised and an increase in loopholes for which prejudice and racism will begin to prevail.

I do not suggest that any and everyone who supports the various changes that are occurring are racist or have ill intentions. What I am saying is that “the road to Hell is paved with good intentions” and Hell is where we are headed if we continue to allow these our country to ignore one of its greatest flaws and its biggest challenge: racial inequality. Let’s talk about it.

Im not sayin’; I’m just sayin’,

An Angry Black Man

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Recently there have been a number of subtle attacks on the legislative protections that been placed to protect minorities from discrimination.

The most recent are the attacks that have come against Affirmative Action and The Voting Rights Act of 1965. Cases have been repetitively placed before the courts in an unrelenting effort to strip the laws of its protections against discrimination.

The Voting Rights Act of 1965

The Voting Rights Act of 1965 came into being because, although the 15th Amendment gave Black people the right to vote, it did not stop voter discrimination. What happened in response to the passing of the 15th Amendment racists controlling the polls created literacy tests, poll taxes, and other things to restrict voting to White people only.

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The Voting Rights Act signed by President Lyndon Johnson, protected against these practices because according to the 15th Amendment it was not illegal for states to create these extra voting requirements at their own discretion. The act recognized that discrimination was greater in some states more so than others. Sections 4 of the act specifically names certain states (mostly southern) that are required to obtain a “pre-clearance before than can make changes to the voting process in their state duevtonthe higher occurrences of discrimination that happened there.

The Gutting of The Voting Rights Act

Section 4 of the act was declared “unconstitutional.” The primary justification for this ruling is that America is not the same place (including the south) that it was in 1965. The last election’s Black voter turn out stats were used to “prove” that Black voters don’t need protection anymore because The Voting Rights has “accomplished its mission” and to continue to have such a law punishes states now for the way they used to be. Never was it mentioned that the last election was for the second term of the only Black President this country has ever seen and, of course, Black people turned out in droves to see that he was re-elected.

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The Problem

The problem should be evident. If the courts are allowed to get away with this they will not only be stripping The Civil Rights movement of one if its greatest accomplishments, it will also set the tone and precedent of considering America a post-race culture where racism no longer exists and citizens do not need protection against discrimination.

The Point

I am not one for conspiracy theories, but I’m also not an ignorantly blind idiot. There is a post-race agenda taking place on the American political front. The purpose is to convince Americans that race is not an issue. In the wake of the Trayvon Martin case, the continued disproportional incarceration of Black men, the economic disparity of wages and income between the races, and the stop-and-frisk fiasco America continues to pretend that racism does not exist. What’s worse is they even convince some Black people that this is true. We are watching this country regress. It is only logical to fear that if they are able to take away legal protections and re-interpret civil liberties, how long will it be before they begin to suppose that slavery wasn’t all that bad either. The Black community must pay attention and find whatever ways they are capable to combat this threat because that sound we’re hearing in the distance is not the liberty bell, it’s the keys to our shackles.

I’m not sayin’; I’m just sayin’,

An Angry Black Man