Friday, September 28, 2007

No They Di'nt

Do you have trouble getting started in the morning? Michael Medved's latest article about the U.S. and slavery is guaranteed to bring you to a slow boil as you read it. He slings dates, names and quotes in an effort to justify the United States involvement in slavery. He glosses over the real problem, which is that though blacks are no longer physically owned, bought or sold in America anymore, the perception and treatment of blacks as little more than animals, persists. He feels comfortable enough with the idea to use historical references which refer to slaves as wild animals that must be tamed or that some people are designed by nature to be slaves and then brings up the tired old canard that everybody else did it but we only did it for a short time. 300 years and only 89 of those were after the republic was founded. Oh yeah, and that it has been 142 years since then so why is everybody still feeling persecuted? I'm proud that America helped to lead the way in abolishing a heinous practice, but it would be really nice if the thoughts and attitudes had changed positively along with it.

Can we say token? Debra Dickerson is on my last nerve. I have agreed with her before, but not this time. Her attitude towards the Jena 6 is more reflective of a privileged white person than a woman who empathizes with people suffering from a severe injustice. In her earnest attempt to prove that she is an educated Negro, she decides that the rallies in Jena were for the wrong reason and goes on to write a paragraph that I would expect from Rush Limbaugh or the head of the Ku Klux Klan.
They came together as one as they like to do once a decade or so, then got back on their long haul buses and went home. No doubt, the kente cloth and waist-lengths 'locks were glorious to behold as they rode home in triumph. To dangerous neighborhoods, underperforming schools, and obese kinfolk praised for preferring prayer to prescription meds. Or, perhaps, to continue being an "only;" only black in the neighborhood, only black in management, only black in the Philosophy Department. The only black who's sick of one-shot wonder marches, rallies and protests? Sick of preformatted analyses which gloss over black quiescence or perfidy (OJ, anyone?) and unerringly conflate the forest with the trees?
That sounds like she blew it out her ass. The point she misses is as obvious as the discrimination against the black people in Jena. I'm certainly not going to get upset at what happens to OJ (what a freaking dunce), but this isn't really about Mychal Bell (he's out on bail) anymore, it is about how prevalent racism still is in our supposedly enlightened society. Especially when it is practiced by one of our own. Given her point of view on this matter, it makes me wonder if she thinks that a rape victim's sexual history should be used to excuse a rapists behavior at trial.

Oh yeah, the issue for most of us has been the obvious double standards that were applied all the way through this case and she is a prime example. I liked her better when she was whining about Owen Wilson.

1 comment:

  1. Deb,
    I'm white, though not as privledged as you might expect and the Jena case has me thinking about the whole race issue. There's a post down there somewhere, but I just haven't found it yet.

    Thanks for giving me some grist for the mill. Maybe I'll find it.