In the words of musical genius Rodriguez, "I Wonder". I wonder what our world will be like in the next twenty years, or even ten. We seem to live in a world where every one is losing their minds. Everyone has something stupid to say, malicious to do, and those who seek to bring postivity or enlightenment like artist Saul Williams are overlooked on a regular basis. We have folks like Donald Trump running for president whose main platform revolves around racist and pseudo racist tendencies. We have black folks like Raven-Symone' name profiling and racial profiling her own race and a nation that seems more concerned with fighting battles overseas and commiting millions to humanitarian efforts every where else but here in America where it's needed just as bad.
Come on Mr. President, haven't you ever heard the phrase that you can't worry about someone else's yard until yours is taken care of first? There are folks that are looking at Trump like he's a joke and not taking him serious, but they should. Because upon looking at the latest polls, he's the leading Republican candidate. Keep laughing at the man, but if his rise remains unchecked and we don't hit the polls like we should, he'll be laughing while he attempts to change every law that greatly affects you and me!
Although Raven-Symone sounded very ignorant with her comments on the View and was checked by Ann Coulter of all people, what she said alludes to a larger issue among African Americans with money and those without. I alluded to it in an article I wrote concerning comments by Richard Sherman a while back. The issue being that those with money seem to forget about the struggle of those without money since they are now removed from the financial struggle. They forget that although they are no longer in the financial struggle, they still aren't safe from the struggle that revolves around equity when it comes to race relations in this country.
You see Raven's silence after Coulter, who is vocal with her discriminatory stances and racist tendencies checked her on air, was a silence that spoke volumes. Her was a silence that said, "Oh wow, I thought my fame and my wealth would allow me to be accepted by White America, but it seems that despite that, my skin will never allow me to be accepted by all, even when I intentionally try to distance myself from my culture." Raven was lulled to sleep, she was confused in thinking that her attempts to distance herself from the same fan base that helped her career through discriminatory barbs and her gain in wealth, would change the game for her.
And it did, but only to a point. But she learned that day, she learned that complete acceptance just isn't possible, at least not yet. For all of those who haven't figured it out yet, we do not live in a post racial America. If we lived in a post racial America there would be no need to continue the fight for econonic and social equality for minorities, which sadly we do still need. There would be no need for a Black Lives Matters movement, which we do need.
Men like Donald Trump would not gain momentum during presidential runs spouting racist nonsense such as indicating that mexican immigrants are rapists and killers. America may be just as divided now as it was during the civil rights movement in some ways. And if you travel through some small towns you'll probably feel like you're in a time warp because the racial atmosphere in those towns is no different than it was pre-civil rights era. When I was on the phone with my father a little while back he commented to me that he felt like time was moving backwards. I asked him what he meant by that, his reponse was that all the progress regarding race he believed was made since the time he was young until now is was regressing.
He cited how black men being unjustifiably killed by police and getting away with it was a big sign. He talked about how that used to happen and go unchecked in the small country towns he lived in as a child and that he never thought he would see the day where that would be considered ok again. And let me say, not presecuting and convicting police officers (and yes I do know that not all police officers are bad, nor would I ever say so) who kill unarmed black men in an unjustified manner is a form of publicly allowing such attrocities. The absence or admonishment for a horrible deed is the same as approval in my opinion.
So as I've alluded to earlier, as African Americans not only are we fighting against main stream America for equal opportunity and rights, we now have to fight against our own such as Raven Symone' and other well to do African Americans that think just like her. This is the thing, It's my belief that as an African American, when you make it to the top, you don't necessarily owe anyone anything. It's up to your moral framework to determine if and how you will give back. It can be through example, financially or with your time. I'm not even saying that you have to continue to live in the same neighborhood that you grew up in when you were working your way to success.
Would all of these things be good to do? Yes they would, and I commend anyone who would do these things as I believe that it does help the community and it's great for our communities to see and live with tangible successful figures. But as an individual you can do whatever you want as that's your god given right.
However what I will say that you do owe the rest of the African American community is to not be an obstacle to them reaching their success. How dare you forget who you are and where you come from and begin to act like the very same social or power structure that attempted to keep you getting where you wanted to go. You may not owe the community anything else, but you do owe them the respect that they deserve, the respect that most of them showed you to help you get where you are and the respect that they should be willing to show one another. If we can't do anything else for each other in the form of support and guidance, the least we can do is not be an obstacle. I heard a gentleman once talk negatively about immigrants saying that, "Foreigners come over here, set up shop in our neighborhoods and make money off of us."
Well do you know what else they do? They support one another as well. When you go into a store owned by Asian immigrants, African immigrants, Indian, so on and so forth, who do you see shopping in those stores? People who look just like them! And I happen to think that's great. I don't believe we do that nearly enough as we should in black communities with black owned businesses. Our shops should have something to appeal to all races, but if we want to really make an economic push or make a foothold in our community, the least we can do is attract each other and support each other as well. We can do better, we should do better, and I wonder, I hope, and I'll declare that we will do better.
I realize I've probably been all over the place with this post, but it is what it is. I said what I felt needed to be said. So yeah, I wonder. I wonder where we will be in the next ten years. I wonder if more of us will step up to better ourselves and to help better each other. I wonder if we will stop being a hinderance to one another and I wonder if we as human beings can stop being knuckleheads and come together for once, to do more things productive in the world than we are right now. All we are doing now is causing one another strife, making each other agitated and setting a poor example for the upcoming generation and a terrible framework for ourselves. So let's figure it out, it may be multi-faceted puzzle like a rubix cube, but it's something that we can fix.