b-serious via Jack and Jil Politics:
I apologize for the rant, but I must repeat . . .
When Katrina hit, Jesse Jackson lamented that this country has a high tolerance for black pain. Ain't that the truth.
Things like this Wright controversy tell me that my pain does not matter. Why? Because it never has anything to do with what I say . . . no, it has everything to do with how I say it.
Issues like the Wright controversy send the warning that I better keep my place . . . watch my tone. Becaus black anger is never afforded the opportunity at discussion and/or redemption.
As a black man, I don't have the right to get angry or show emotion. And if I should make a mistake and say something untoward, then I'm not allowed the opportunity to simply apologize. For some reason my fate must be far worse than that given to everyone else.
It proves that my struggles and frustrations must be silenced if it makes mainstream ("white") america uncomfortable.
I, and many other black folk, have NEVER been so privileged so as to think that we could dictate policy or control someone else's life based on how comfortable or uncomfortable something made us feel. Sometimes we get lucky and white guilt throws us a bone. But even that usually comes after some tragedy in the black community.
We know the drill. We're uncomfortable almost every day. It's just that we've learned to live with it and move on.
But now . . . despite everything Obama has done to make white folk feel as comfortable as possible. After an entire year of denying a part of himself and distancing himself from anything remotely "black" just to make white america comfortable . . . you've got the media trying to kill his chances at being president.
NOT because of anything that Obama said. NOT because Obama is an "angry black man." But solely because he has a relationship with a black man whom the media can portray in such a stereotype!!
Let me be honest. Barack Obama is about as "safe" a black man as you're going to see. I've watched in amazement as I've seen him deflect attacks from all sides. . . to have his blackness questioned one day and then be accused of being TOO black the next . . . to avoid race like the plague just to give white america the chance to vote for a black person without being made to feel guilty for the transgressions of past generations. Even now, Obama still speaks of unity and understanding.
As I said before, it's not the comment so much as the IMAGE that makes people uncomfortable. The IMAGE of a defiant, strong black preacher dressed in foreign african robes leading a congregation of equally defiant passionate black people. That's scary to a lot of white america.
THAT is a fear of black agression and black power. And it don't matter whether your as fiery as Jeremiah Wright or as accomodating as Barack Obama. You ain't gonna get anywhere unless you master the ability to make white america comfortable. And now people say they can't vote for him because they're UNcomfortable.
You know what, black folk have been uncomfortable for over 400 years. There's not a day that goes by where black folk don't bite their tongue and grit their teeth just to keep the peace.
WHEN are we gonna ask white folk to be a little uncomforable for a change? I don't mean that in a racist way. I'm just asking.
Is that not the definition of a pluralistic society? Let me check out Webster's dictionary . ..
"pluralism" - "a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain an autonomous participation in and development of their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization.
"If we are truly a pluralistic society, then we must allow everyone, INCLUDING black folk, the opportunity and right of self-definition and self-determination (props to ronnie b for pointing that out)
.All I know is this . . . White politicians go to the black community all the time and ask for our trust, tolerance and understanding. We always give it to them.
Blacks vote for a white candidate every four years - regardless of his shortcomings; despite OUR OWN DOUBTS AND QUESTIONS (that never get answered); despite OUR OWN DISCOMFORT, we trust that everything's gonna be alright and we'll make it through somehow.
Well, this black man is asking white america to return the favor for once. I don't want to dismiss your concerns. I know it's different. I know we've never seen this before. I know white america has it's questions.
But Barack has done all he can to ask for white america's trust and understanding. He deserves to be judged as being self-autonomous. He derseves to be judged by his own reputation.
He deserves the same chance black folk have been giving white politicians ever since we got the right to vote.