Read the linked article and share your thoughts.
Tag Archives: racism
I saw this hashtag on Twitter and thought why would this be trending? I knew that “America’s Mayor” Giuilani had made the statement that the president did not love this country. When the president ran for office in 2008 he was called a terrorist, a secret Muslim and his citizenship was even questioned. The right has this assault of branding the president as “other”. No other president has been painted with brush. Sure all presidents are criticized, but their love of country is not questioned. We assume that if you yearn to lead this country than it is a safe bet that you love the country. How should the president show his love. Should he use the term “Muslim extremists”, will that show his All American credentials? Maybe if he stopped saying things like “if I had a son he would look like Trayvon”. Maybe if he stopped trying to engage young people by taking a selfie in the Oval Office he might not be viewed as “ghetto.” Yes all of these things added up might make him suspect…He might be the leader of the country who does love this country and it sad to see that we need a hashtag to prove it.
Here is the full quote “YOU CAN TAKE THE BOY OUT OF THE GHETTO…Watch this vulgar man show his stuff, while America cowers in embarrassment.” He called the President a boy and called him ghetto. Racist or just ratchet? Share your thoughts.
Watch the clip and share your thoughts.
Share your thoughts.
I have been reading Mike Huckabee’s latest book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy. Huckabee immediately sets up the us against them dynamics. The people who live in Bubbleville (the elites) and the people who live in Bubbaville (him and his people). This provides a very simplistic view of the cultural divide. The problem with this view is there is no room in the middle. Some people like myself could be described as a liberal with conservative leanings on social issues, but there is simply no room for people like me in this world that splits so neatly in half. Huckabee has been criticized for his comments on Beyoncé and Jay Z, and I must admit I was interested in reading what he had to say in the context of the book, and I must admit he makes a valid point. Beyoncé’s performances are very sexually suggestive and her husband is acutely involved in her career. His characterization of Jay Z as her pimp is off base, but when you watch her perform and really listen to her lyrics it is not unrealistic for parents to think twice regarding the appropriateness of this for children under 18, but that is not how he posits it. Huckabee uses words that resonate with the residents of Bubbaville, and that is where he does himself and “his people” a disservice. I started reading the book to learn something about the man and his views and I did. I learned he is a man with strong conservative views that seemingly prohibit him from fully recognizing and respecting the views from the other side of the political perspective. You can respect the views of others without embracing them. If you can do that then perhaps you can have a conversation with people who don’t reside on your side of the cultural divide.
Over the past few days I have watched the national conversation concerning the Jackie Robinson Little league baseball team. The team has been stripped of their championship because they broke the rules. They are accused of having boys on the team who did not live within the residential boundaries of the team. The coaches knew what they were doing when they put the boys on the team, but the entire team is punished for the acts of a few. This is sad, but it is not some conspiracy created by “the man”. Sadly, some are characterizing this as a race thing. What are we doing to the children? When we tell them something is racist and it isn’t aren’t we creating a victim mentality? What are we doing when we justify cheating by saying “they do it too”. What happened to us? Share your thoughts.
Thanks to frequent reader SI for bringing this story to my attention. Please read the linked story and share your thoughts.
Occasionally I feature guest writers, and this is one of those days. Please read it and feel free to share your thoughts.
As taught in mainstream culture, American history propagates this nation as the womb of freedom, justice, and liberty. There are American creation myths as exemplified by the “Founding Fathers.” There are founding documents as revered as biblical texts for their promise of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” That is why the argument that ‘black history is American history’ is naïve to the point of insipidity. For most of this nation’s history, blacks were not ‘Americans.’ First, we were owned, and then we were barred from exercising the rights of citizenship. That’s why our history puts the lie to American history’s mainstream myths. Almost half of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention, some of whom wrote so eloquently of freedom, owned other men as slaves. For most of its history, this country profited immensely from forcibly denying us freedom and liberty, by keeping us in chains, and from our labor as sub-citizens. Our history puts the lie to America’s history as popularly told. Do we want to continue to teach our children black history through a white racial frame? That is the practical effect of stating, “black history is American history.” It states that the majority veil should be placed on the history that we teach our children. It states that we should forego the right that every other culture assumes—the right to teach our history from our own point-of-view, and to be the heroes of our own stories—and instead, subsume our history within the majority’s. It states that we do not have the right to express our rage at the barbarities we endured, for those are histories that the majority has little willingness to accept and examine, and for good reason: they put the lie to treasured American myths. To pronounce that “black history is American history” says that every black child should learn that after Vernon Dahmer’s home was firebombed in Mississippi and Dahmer died from his wounds, the outraged white community worked to rebuild the Dahmer home. It says that black children needn’t learn that in Brookhaven, Mississippi in 1955, Lamar Smith was shot dead on the courthouse lawn in broad daylight by a white man for the crime of organizing blacks to vote, and that the known killer was never indicted because, per the Southern Poverty Law Center, “no one would admit they saw a white man shoot a black man.” To say “black history is American history” approves the endless repetition of a Martin Luther King quote like: I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.” It says black children needn’t bother with another strand of King’s thinking: “It is an unhappy truth that racism is a way of life for the vast majority of white Americans, spoken and unspoken, acknowledged and denied, subtle and sometimes not so subtle—the disease of racism permeates and poisons a whole body politic. To insist that black history is American history says that the majority should be allowed to use our history to paint themselves in the warmest light, but that we should not be allowed to do the same. The two are often mutually exclusive. To understand the challenges and triumphs of the American descendants of African slaves, it is imperative to understand that almost every aspect of the might of this nation was used to cripple us. To understand how far we’ve come, the battles we fought, the blood we shed and the triumphs and defeats we suffered, you must understand the weight of the spiked boot that was placed on our necks. To do that, you must indict America for crimes she would rather forget. American history is not black history, and our history is not America’s to dictate. Until we understand that, and begin teaching our history to ourselves in ways that serve our own cultural needs instead of the majority’s, we will continue to internalize this nation’s prejudices against us, instead of arming ourselves to appropriately demonize and deflect them.
Leonce Gaiter is a prolific African American writer and proud Harvard Alum. His writing has appeared in the NYTimes, NYT Magazine, LA Times, Washington Times, and Washington Post, and he has written two novels. His newly released novel, In the Company of Educated Men, (http://bit.ly/ZyqSuN) is a literary thriller with socio-economic, class, and racial themes.
In the company of Educated Men