Tuesday, March 1, 2011

It's Time For Blacks To Quit Acting White!! (Shreveport Times)

So seems the theme of an op-ed in the Shreveport Times this morning by Baruti Ajanaku an author, recording artist and community activist who lives in Shreveport.

The Shreveport Times has been of late pretty good in putting these Citizen Op-eds in the paper that are designed no doubt to get some people's blood pressure up on various issues.

Now on the whole I oppose Mr Ajanaku's theme here. Yes race is still a factor in the USA but it appears to me that we are heading for a more deeply post racial America even within families. Throw in the emerging Hispanic /Latino population and I am not sure this white/black dynamic that all things must be viewed through has a lot of shelf life left.

However does he not have somewhat a point in some regards.

.......We have been pimped and played from without and within. You are the generation to stop the "from within" so true black progress will begin! When a pimp gets a woman, he changes her mind, dress, name and religion and becomes her god.
Is that not what happened to us? I am using the pimp and prostitute example because they are related. A pimp promises a prostitute the world, never giving her or him anything.
Slavery for blacks ain't gone; they have got a modern way of getting it on. By getting us hooked on illegal drugs, lusts, alcohol and now prescription drugs. The blacks of the first revolution were played by the Willie Lynch slave brainwashing method. That was beginning of us being socially engineered into being white folks

Of course one can have a big debate on the "they" part. I am pretty confident that this was not part of some grand conspiracy by white folks.

The day we were so-called "set free," we had a godly obligation to get back to whom God created us to be. We fell in love with our kidnappers; now they have become our gods. The chains were taken off our wrist and put on our brain.

More on this in a second .

When we were black and feared God, our elders could sit on the front porch and get a breath of fresh air — without fear — and our babies could play throughout the community. We owned the businesses in our communities. We could trust our babies with most of our teachers, ministers, leaders, etc.
Young people, no people can survive spending 98 percent of their income with someone else. We must turn this around.
It's up to your generation to replace the bull, religiously and politically. God does sit high and looks low. Scripture lets us know God will free us from this modern Pharaoh.
Young people, the "black history scriptures" are speaking to your generation. Have a learning black history year

Of course like all communities the good ole days were never quite as good as we might think. It is true that "black" business and the black community social structures have suffered. However many of these forces affected whites too. How much of this is race and how much of this is the effects of globalization, of a general population that is much more mobile, etc etc?

So I am not sure as to the black community the genie can be put back in the bottle as it were.

However that being said does he not have a point. When we are thinking of Pharaoh who is that exactly.

From Mirrors of Justice:

Has a billboard ever been taken down this quickly in NYC?
The billboard I blogged about last week was taken down after a single day. Al Sharpton was set to hold a press conference decrying the billboard. According to Planned Parenthood, the billboard was "offensive and disturbing," and its creators used "divisive messaging around race to restrict access to medical care." I agree with some of the commenters who pointed out the problematic statements about genocide on the website listed on the billboard, but I still believe that the message on the billboard itself is an important conversation-starter.

That is pretty breathtaking. A man this is a huge spokesman for Civil Rights is decrying a billboard that is based on the message that the the abortion rate for African Americans in NYC is 59.8%. Whom is selling out whom here? Wait we can't discuss it because perhaps "they" might be offended?

I have been struck by the lack of coverage of what the black church community thinks about President's Obama moves on DOMA and gay marriage lately. On the social issues of abortion and gay marriage on the whole the black community seems to be "conservative". What is their reaction? Will black community leaders on this issue have to go along because "they" might get upset if they don't. Much like abortion.

Now of course I am not saying that all blacks have to be "pro-life" or anti gay marriage. I generally find the whole attitude that a person skins color must dictate a person's politics distasteful.

I know many black progressives that are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage (two issues I am pulling out because they are in the news lately) and not doing so to act "white" .

However I can't help but notice on many of these issues there seems to be a disconnect between the black political leadership and the local community. At the very least the positions of black leadership (both formal and informal in various spheres) seems not to be an outlet for a much needed discussion that is happening at the grassroots. I mean if that many black children are being aborted should it not be discussed? I know the whole "we don't air our dirty laundry" in public talking point. However in this media age it might be unavoidable.

There are other issues of course. That being said I reject the theme of this op-ed. The world and the challenges we face go beyond the black versus white theme. It should be noted that the crisis that is correctly noted above in the black community also has made inroads into the "white" community.

From a Christian perspective there needs to be a much more coming together of black and white Christians as to these matters and many others . I generally find the American Catholic Church's dialogue with the largely black Protestant community to be lacking. We shall see if that gets better or worsens as the the American Catholic Church takes on a more Latino character.

I think American "black" and "white" culture is a lot more interdependent on each other and linked than people like the above Op-ed writer likes to admit. I fear we shall all sink or swim together. While each racial community brings it viewpoints and gifts an unrealistic apartheid is not the way to go.

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