Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Politics of Race

There's no denying that this is an interesting and challenging time to be black in America. We have elected a black man as President of the United States of America which means the conscious image of the Black male, once reviled, is now the premiere representative image of America's might and power, Her leadership and her global consciousness.

Yes, the black male image was once reviled. A dangerous, shifty, not to be trusted man who could not - no- would not work, or take care of his familial responsibilities. And yet, in an effort to stimulate much-needed change in American Society, we, the people, elected the black man to lead the way. A notable accomplishment for a nation built on a foundation of slavery, segregation, Jim Crow, miscegenation and outright racial terror. We have finally come to the moment, it seems, where Dr. King's dream that we are judged by the content of our character, not by the color of our skin...

Even still, the politics of race has been energized through massive media outlets. The political rhetoric takes on a contentious tone reminding us just what grandma and them used to tell us while encouraging higher consciousness..." You have to be three times as good as them" It seems that every move of President Barack Obama is criticized, ostracized and minimized... There have been cartoons relating the President to a chimp... The watermelon jokes and other stereotypical literature..

The dishonoring of President Barack Obama is unconscionable. That is our President, the leader of the United States of America and he is due ALL the respect that you bestow on the one who holds that office.

That said, I have to ask, do we really expect white folk to suddenly stop having this feeling of supremacy and entitlement? We can change the laws of the land, but we cannot change the hearts of the people. The mistrust of the black male image is the underlining of the style of criticism we are seeing. The image of an African American man, highly educated, steadfastly married, father to his children, role model to millions is the image that most concerns mainstream America.

We cannot expect middle America to suddenly change their negative perception of the black people. We have to use this propitious opportunity to work on it ourselves... control how our images are presented to the world. Yes, they have their perception of us and that will always be present on the global media stage, but we control who we are and what we are.

Even for those among us who choose to forget the history past, certainly the images and rhetoric we see today should awaken that consciousness that says We cannot forget from whence we came in this country... we have to remember where we are and whose we are in this country, and stand strong to represent our progress.

For God has brought us this far along the way... delivering us, educating us, strengthening us, empowering us.. We owe it to Him to lift our image to higher heights.

No comments: