Tuesday, October 05, 2004


Im starting to question the whole idea of "blackness". You know, the whole idea of brothers being united and bringing about positive change and having pride in who THEY are. I came up in a time when the whole concept of blackness was revived. Remember the late 80's? Reagan, Public Enemy and other pro-Black rappers, crack on the streets, Malcolm X, and black medallions were part of this whole revival.. I went to an HBCU from a predominately white Connecticut town. There, I was around blacks for the very first time, and exposed to the teachings of Louis Farrakahn. So, I came up in a time when the idea of blackness was revived. It had to be; times were tough, drugs plagued the streets, poverty was rampant, and "It's a black thing, you wouldn't understand" was more or less the logo that defined that time. Sure, things were not perfect, but coming from a mostly white background, having lived with mostly whites and acquiring a taste for blonde white bimbos, I guess my parents felt my life had to change.

So, my ideas of blackness were majorly influenced by this new group of people around me, the music I listened to (and I listened to alot of stuff most people never heard of), books I read like Assatta and the Autobiography of Malcolm X. But, along the way, I have been shaking off all those old ideas more or less.

One factor that made me dissillusioned was black women. Why? Well, on the campus I went to, women were making choices in men that didn't work in my favor. You hang around some black women, try to tell them how you feel,but you're a "friend" (yeah right), and they end up with the Mr Wannabe Black Gangsta. Dating was mad hard! And I only dated sistas! I didn't meet my "queen" at the HBCU. I had until I graduated to really meet someone.

Another thing were the black professors at the HBCU. African professors are total a-holes, and the American ones are no better. If they don't like you wont give you a good grade even if by whatever criteria you deserve it. The ones that do like you can be persuaded to change that C to a B, but I wouldn't count on it. I had one black professor who favored females, and one who felt he was above everybody. On the other hand, I had a white professor who helped me in any way he could. None of the other professors really did that without alot of drama.

Another reason I am dissullionsed by blacks has been in my career. I went out of my way to work in a black business, but they didn't give me any chance to grow. For the most part, most black bosses are horrible to work for. The Black bank that I worked for was all ghetto; it was like people didn't know how to conduct themselves or present themselves in a mature, professional manner.

I am also mad about blacks in politics. I made my transition from those extreme black power politics to just analyzing the political mainstream. When I see blacks in politics, I either see fiery minister types (ie Al Sharpton or Jesse) who I did admire and to an extent still do. However, on the other side, you have the irrational Alan Keyes and other blacks who just seem to mindlessly parrot off partisan politics. Some of the black conservatives I see are just such tools. I could be a conservative easy because their ideas and rhetoric are so simplistic. Its not hard being a black Republican. But, I think of the hood, and how the left exploits the black poor, and the right is so busy kissing up to their white peers and being cheerleaders for Bush. Meanwhile, in the hood people are struggling, and through my time of observation I just don't really put my faith in partisan politics, or black people.

For a time, I would look at blacks and think, those are my people, or thats my brother, and if I saw black people, I would speak because it was about "you're my people". However, now, I look at blacks and just about anybody else, and I think of them just like anybody else, as people.

And what of the hood? Well, unlike the mindless black conservatives or grandstanding self righteous idealogues, I will continue doing community service, helping in any way I can. I don't think that Malcolm X's, Huey Newton's, Marcus Garvey's or even Willie Hutch (buy "The Mack" soundtrack) or Chuck D (Public Enemy) idea of brothers getting together and "working it out " will ever happen. Events like the Million Man March gave me hope, but that has been dashed after 8 years and no progress connected to that event. I think that brothers being united is a really great dream. Impossible, but great.

No comments:

Post a Comment