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Old 07-10-2008, 09:42 PM   #1
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Default Re: Are we ready?

.. http://www.theroot.com/id/47225?GT1=38002

July 10, 2008--On one level, it is easy to dismiss the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr.'s crudely worded metaphorical threat to castrate Barack Obama for supposedly talking down to black people as the raving of an increasingly irrelevant, former big shot suffused with resentment at the rising star who pushed him off stage.

That, after all, is the sort of talk we'd expect from a lynch mob, not a civil rights leader who does not seem to realize that the times have passed him by. Even his son and namesake, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., agrees that his dad is doing more harm these days than good. Pronouncing himself outraged and disappointed by his father's ugly words about Obama, Jackson Jr. issued a statement that, in effect, ordered dear old dad to "keep hope alive" and shut up.

That's good advice, and one can only hope that Jackson Sr. accepts it. But in a deeper sense, his stunningly inappropriate comments symbolize the social, political and psychological vertigo that all of us, and especially black Americans, are experiencing because of Obama's success. We are all, including Obama, in a place we never really thought we would be, and it has knocked us off our feet. We don't know how to act. We don't have a plan. We're searching for our equilibrium. And until we regain our footing, we can expect all sorts of bizarre behavior from people who ought to know better. Hold on to your hat.

We haven't really been in a place this confusing since 1954, when the NAACP's crusade against segregation culminated in the Brown vs. Board decision and the walls came tumbling down. It's fair to say that we were so focused on winning that fight that we weren't prepared for the victory or its aftermath. We've spent nearly 60 years since then trying to figure out what kind of relationship we want to have with America and with each other. For the most part, we, like Jackson Sr., have seen ourselves as outsiders battling for justice and a seat at the table. Our default has been to protest. And while that mindset has served us well, it has, in a flash, been made damn near obsolete by the prospect, even the likelihood, that one of us may soon become the most powerful man in the world. If that happens, how can we seriously argue that we're being held back by anything but the limits we place on ourselves?

That, it seems to me, accounts in part for the frustration some of us are feeling by what we interpret as Obama's move to the center. We are simply not accustomed to one of our own playing real, power politics. Some of us see his call for an expansion of George Bush's half-hearted commitment to faith-based social programs as mere politics, what Jackson Sr. castigated as "talking down to black people." We explain Obama's support for the compromise Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the Supreme Court's upholding of a citizen's right to bear arms as attempts to inoculate himself against Republican attacks.

And, of course, they are.

But they, like Obama's Father's Day speech urging black men to take more responsibility for their children, are more than political posturing. They represent the first stirrings of a new consensus that places more emphasis on a public discussion of personal responsibility than on protest, on publicly delving into our own shortcomings and dysfunctional behavior.

There's nothing new about this kind of self-examination, but in the past we've conducted it mainly in private, in barbershops and beauty parlors, and churches. We've bristled when whites in power like Daniel Patrick Moynihan, joined in the critique of, for example, our soaring rate of out-of-wedlock births. We've moaned about the negative consequences of washing dirty laundry in public. But such a self-protective mindset no longer makes sense because Obama is one of us, who has taken part in our private handwringing about the self-inflicted wounds that bedevil segments of the black community. He hasn't said anything most of us haven't heard or said at the dinner table. But now, because Obama is who he is, the whole world is listening in to the conversation.

The attention makes us uncomfortable and disoriented. So does the prospect that one of us might soon be in charge of trying to fix this mess instead of simply complaining about it.

We're not really ready for the day when The Man becomes a black man.

It's a dizzying idea that is going to take some getting used to. And until we do, we'll stumble about, like Jesse Jackson Sr., saying all kinds of crazy things as we slip and slide on the new paradigm.

-Jack White



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Old 07-10-2008, 10:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: Are we ready?

Snake's 2 cents:

White hit something on the nail here that I noticed but always neglected: how black people carry themselves.

today's young generation just doesnt give a flip. over 50 years ago, the word homie had that strong stigma of defining how the whites viewed blacks: ignorant and black. and now today, we just use that word as part of normal vocabulary by reducing the stigma it has placed in our pysche: homie to homie. its still the same word shortened down.

another issue that pisses me off so much: style and appearance. just the other day, i had a friend who spent alot on clothes but had nothing left over to replace the gas in his mom's car; his ass got in trouble over stupid clothes thats still gonna be there while the gas is getting harder and harder to get. what kind of world are we living in in which we're willing to let poop fall apart just to look nice for no reason? "I cant pay my bills, but i still look fresh" "my car wont start, but check out the new paint job and sound system"

yeah, nice place to put yourself: out in the street with $1,000 worth of clothes on alone, and ya still stink from no shower. or paying for a car that cant even be on the road. oh, and that isnt bad enough? what about how we overreact on mere bullpoop, like a small bumper to bumper tap while parking, and now you ready to come out your car and shoot the man/woman because they barely scratched the body.

look all around you and compare now to 50 years ago. what we fought against so hard to negate we now not only become, but embrace. we've become so ignorant to the point where we keep ourselves in the financial hole and continue to allow ourselves to fall into the police's traps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]About 10.4% of the entire African-American male population in the United States aged 25 to 29 was incarcerated, by far the largest racial or ethnic groupóby comparison, 2.4% of Hispanic men and 1.2% of white men in that same age group were incarcerated. According to a report by the Justice Policy Institute in 2002, the number of black men in prison has grown to five times the rate it was twenty years ago. Today, more African-American men are in jail than in college. In 2000 there were 791,600 black men in prison and 603,032 enrolled in college. In 1980, there were 143,000 black men in prison and 463,700 enrolled in college.
http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0931045.html

what the hell is wrong with us? we make up just about more than half of the prison population cause we cant wise the flip up. we're all under privilaged, we all got hurdles and roadblocks to cross over, so should we constantly turn to drugs as the answer? its what the damn government wants in this mordern day slavery cartel they have going on so the police always got something to do and the judges keep getting paid.

so why get involved with the same flipery that can get you into serious trouble, or already have in the past, and do nothing better to get yourself out of the rut?

oh, and our lovely activists. instead of intensifying a situation and blaming the system, which is corrupt anyway, why not become active in helping better the communities you're suppose to represent? instead of dogging down a man who's gonna make a attempt to bring change and tells it like it is, why not assist and support his ideas and plans? what, you're gonna throw a big fuss because he told black people the truth in their face? are you even aware of how many kids grow up fatherless?

its time for every black man and woman to wise the flip up and get their priorities straight. alot of people still say it, tupac even sang it in "changes" those couple of years back:

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]And although it seems heaven sent,
we ain't ready to see a black President, uhh.
It ain't a secret don't conceal the fact...
the penitentiary's packed, and it's filled with blacks.
why do we continue to let this happen? why? are we not ready to evolve and emancipate ourselves from mental slavery? because none other than our very own selves can set our minds free. before we vote obama because he's black, we need to take a good, long look at ourselves and ask: are we ready?
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Old 07-11-2008, 03:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: Are we ready?

I'm really disgusted with this whole you're this race or you're that race. People are so freaking ignorant it's laughable. If Darwin was right about evolution, I'm sad to say the human race hasn't come too far up the scale.

What does it matter if Mccain is white or Obama is black? Shouldn't we be more concerned with how they will handle the many issues America is currently facing? Sure, it'll be nice to finally have a minority as president, but people shouldn't let that over cloud their judgment in picking the best possible candidate.

I think we're all lucky that Obama is, in my opinion, the best possible candidate of the two, because if he wasn't and still won only because he was a minority that would be a sad day for America.

But really, people I've talked to are so freaking ignorant I would just rather talk to myself. I think a conversation with myself is actually more enlightening than talking to some of these ignorant people these days. I'm just really disappointed with the human race lately. Not just on race, but on many things that would take pages to mention.

I just hope, before our biological clocks make their final tick, before the atoms, in which give us life, are recycled, to do some other task, that we finally realize how stupid we really are and make one last giant leap for knowledge.
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Old 07-14-2008, 08:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Are we ready?

This guy above me is actually the one that hit it on the nail. I agree with him 110%.
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