Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Fundamental Zealotry and other Nonsense

I have come to the realization that the lack of the ability of the majority of citizens of these United States, in particular we African Americans, t think critically is intentional and have taken a turn for the worse. It like clear that the main reason for this is that the power that be know and accept that a lot of money is made when folk do not have the ability to think critically.
Over the past two weeks, two specific events have drawn me to conclude of such, as that distractions seem to garnish more attention than events and occurrences that actual merit our focus the most: the Donald Sterling Saga and the skit on Saturday Night Live written and performed by Leslie Jones.

Seems that the only thing we black folk get up in arms about is our skin color, confederate flags and the n-word.  It as if we only have our antenna out to pick up what bigots say but can't see the forest for the trees.  The issues that are destroying our community go unattended and are pushed back in our collective unconscious, in particular for this generation in which they believe that just because a politician is black and a democrat you can’t say anything wrong about the person policies, not the man I mind you but policies. If we were in tune to other issues, we would likely in the case of Sterling attend to his message about institutional racism in America and abroad, specifically alluded to by what he stated pertaining to the real manner in which Israel treat blacks and Africans.  But no we do not.  If we had our ears to the ground, we would attempt to address and discuss the bigger issue of how and why owners get public support through stadium subsidies & even antitrust exemptions in cities where the urban areas are mainly African American and Latinos, whom tax monies build the large stadium complexes but is not poured in the despondent and deplorable public education systems the vast majority of us send our kids too.  No we don’t dare address such.

On the real, why are we concerned about multi-millionaires that play professional sports when the quality of life for most black men in America is mostly negative? It seems that the only place black men are over represented where they display a modicum of success are in the sport and entertainment industry, and frankly, I am frequently more offended by the lyrics of rappers like Lil Wayne, Jay-Z, 2 Chains, and Future than by what Donald Sterling said or Leslie Jones performed.
The truth is that all that is negative, pessimistic, gloomy and associated with failure is where we as black men are vastly and disproportionately over-represented. Nationwide we account for more than 50% us dropout rate and maintain  the lowest college enrollment than any other group by ethnicity and gender in the nation. In   Mississippi, Michigan, Louisiana, Indiana, Georgia,Florida, District of Columbia, California, Arkansas, Alabama and many other states 10% of less of black males in high school read above an eighth grade level.

Personally I think mass incarceration deserves more attention that a television comedy show or a NBA owner. Those who kill non-Latino whites are over three times more likely to be sentenced to die as those who kill African-Americans. The killer (no pun intended) is that for the same crimes, the odds of receiving a death sentence are nearly four times (3.9) higher if the defendant is black.
Then there is the lucid observation that we as African American men are more likely to be unemployed, under employed, trapped in low wage jobs, have higher rates of job instability, lower wages, and extremely longer bouts with unemployment; which may account for why nearly 49 percent of black men are arrested for non-traffic offenses by the time they turn twenty-three.

I can’t comprehend why a whole bunch of us black folk more concerned and vocal about millionaire slaves and racist owners, or a comedian when, most of us are living from paycheck to paycheck, have suffered huge financial setbacks and are still scared about the future. The cold, hard truth is that we have one microscopic group of folk who have resources, are making loot and continue to enhance their financial position and a president that has increased their wealth. But we do not dare address this, specifically that the economic conditions of African Americans has gotten worse over the last five years more than any time in modern history.

None of this gets us mad, just old outdated bigots that allow us to show our support for political correctness and other cultural Marxist beliefs. Even Ebony magazine chimed in on this by unleashing their racist watch dog extraordinaire Jamila Lemieux on a comedy skit, on the same weekend in Chicago (Ebony’s own backyard) in which 4 people were killed and 24 others are injured in shootings. The same weekend in which Donnell Flora, 25, who uses a wheelchair took a bus to deliver a gun to his niece to shoot a 14 yr. old girl over a Facebook post over a boy. Then there is the fact that in Chicago, 92 percent of African American men are unemployed. But none of this was exciting enough, no racism involved, therefore again pushed deep back in the recesses of the black mind. Maybe they need to talk about the issues that would make folk write books with titles like “Food Stamp Bitches,” or why maternal deaths are on the rise among African American women in the United States, but I doubt it. Even going back to look at Richard Pryor’s slave sketch he did on his show when I was a teen in the 1970s, seems would upset black folk today, which makes me think his comedy would be viewed as inappropriate currently. But these same folk yell free speech when it is BeyoncĂ©, Lil Boosie or some other subject-verb challenged miscreant. 

As a community we rarely write about our deep issues and concerns like we once did, nor are we black writers interested in such, because to do so would mean looking at the mirror and accepting that a lot of our problems are not and cannot be singularly attributed to racism. How many of US would hold our kids to the standard of nothing less than a 95% being acceptable to bring home as a grade as Kwasi Enin parents did? Parents? How many of us will cut the TV off and sit with our kids and do homework and read to them instead of watching the Real Housewives of Atlanta? How many of us take our kids to the library weekly or even own library cards. Small things can and do make a difference.

Sometimes being distracted by thing we cannot change does our community more harm than good, by taking our attention from what we CAN address and deal with in our own backyard. Truth is, it was Abraham Lincoln who said and wrote: “Free them [black slaves] and make them politically and socially our equals?  My own feelings will not admit of this" (Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, Vol. II, p. 256). A man clearly who doesn’t or couldn’t deserve the right to own a NBA team in today's, world of intolerance and impracticality.


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