Monday, January 29, 2007

A Moment of Reflection: Honoring the Black Man

Getting excited usually causes goose bumps to develop for many of us. I typically get a rush of coldness that consumes my skin. It feels like the blood streaming through my veins is 10 degrees. I love this feeling because it reminds me that I am experiencing some level of pleasure. With all the stresses of the day pleasure is something we all need in our lives.

During the latest State of the Union address I got that feeling right before President Bush walked down the isle of the capitol building chamber. The feeling intensified as he approached the podium. When he finally made it to his position to address his colleagues and the world I began to dream. In my dream I pictured President Bush as a black man. Yes, a black man. Then I continued with my fantasy imagining him with dark skin, a bald head, and a well groomed beard. He was black! I was successful at creating a president in my own image.

Lately, I have been feeling proud to be a black man. I am thankful God decided to make me black of course. However, at times watching the news can make me somewhat frustrated with my people which makes me want to pull a sheet over my head. But, not this week.

First, to see another black man who is the epitome of humility be acknowledged by the most powerful man in the universe during the State of the Union was another bone chilling experience. Dikembe Matombo is considered one of the top defensive basketball centers of all time, but this is not the way he will be remembered by us who try to look beyond someone’s athleticism. He will remain in my memory as the towering figure who was invited to stand up at the request of the President of the United States to be recognized as a humanitarian GIANT. A man who did not forget about the suffering people in the Democratic Republic of Congo while he made millions of dollars as a basketball player. He is more than the man who blocked countless jump shots while contributing his financial fortune to a foundation dedicated to the building of a hospital for the poorest of the poor: Africans. He is a man many of us need to emulate.

Second, the pride I feel about Lovie’s and Tony’s success. These two men have made history. The Super Bowl XLI teams will be lead by two black men. They represent a species that was once called useless Negroes and Black Niggers. The species that at one moment in history was not associated with intelligence. The humans who were told that they were nothing more than athletic entertainers. Now, we have proven to the world that we have the know-how to manage players with big egos and manage a game that presents complications if you are not well versed on calculated strategy. Simply put, it takes a whole lot of coaching smarts to get to the Super Bowl.

Finally, there is that regular guy on his way to work, Wesley Autrey. This black man decided to save another life by putting his life in jeopardy. How many of us would jump in the path of a New York City subway train? I must be honest; it would have to be a non-stranger for me to risk my precious life in that capacity. No, not Mr. Autrey. He did what Jesus would have done. Wow! We have so many BLACK Jesus’ walking around today. I commend Wesley Autrey. He is that man who mumbled to President Bush during the State of the Union address, “You are the man.” What a thing! Even when he was being honored he shared the praise with a man who many believe can careless about black people.

After the State of the Union, the stimulating chills were gone. I was back in the United States. I was in “my country”. A country that's knee deep in a civil war. A country that’s not ready for a black president. A place where even black people would prefer light skin over dark skin which is the reason some black folk would rather Tony Dungy’s team wins the Super Bowl. A place that’s beginning to recognize the black man’s intellectual talents and philanthropic contributions. It is also a country that needs to understand that the black man is capable of giving the ultimate sacrifice like Matombo and Autrey.

Written by Muata. Inspired by those little bumps that preceded my dream.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Killing of Hussein and Williams: America's Lost

I did everything I could to limit my media intake over the past two weeks. I wanted this past holiday season to go unspoiled by bad news. Unfortunately, on January 2, 2007 I was reminded that the news is a hideous reflection of the world we live in. Murder, robbery, child molestation, corporate scandal, the dirtiness of politics, and the killing of Saddam Hussein became pieces of trash in my psyche as I sat and watched the top news stories and the nation pay respect to Gerald R. Ford.

The drive-by shooting of Denver Broncos cornerback, Darrent Williams did not make me cry. I imagine not many Americans nationwide are shedding tears over a black man getting gunned down. Typically the death of a black man does not faze us. We have always been somewhat uncaring with this type of incident; especially white people. Why would we be in mourning anyway? He was just another black man slaughtered by another brotha! Even with my lack of emotion regarding this murder I am puzzled. In a daze, wondering why didn’t I cry? What further surprised me was my response to the White House sanctioned execution of Mr. Hussein. It was the execution of Saddam that choked me up. Yes, you read that correctly. Watching Saddam be escorted to his death was my moment of weakness. I finally succumbed to my emotions. Why?

After thinking about “why” I have concluded that my tears were not for Saddam, the dictator. They were for a human being. With all our flaws, indiscretions, and those things Christians call sins mankind is still worthy of being mourned. We breathe in oxygen to live. We experience happiness and sadness. We laugh. We celebrate. And, we try to enjoy life as we did during this past holiday season. We are human! Humans who have/had a mother, father, brother, sister, uncle, auntie, grandfather and grandmother. We are Gods’ creations.

Saddam’s death solidified once again what I think about America. The land of pseudo democracy! The land of circumvented justice. The land of illusionary freedom! The land of HYPOCRISY!! For years America committed the same crime that Saddam was hanged for: Crimes against Humanity. Our government annihilated the Native Americans. Our government lynched and decapitated the black slaves. Nonetheless, not one pilgrim or slave owner was charged in the deaths of those innocent human beings. The United States presidents during the time of these Crimes against Humanity were not charged and convicted. They were allowed to continue their presidency while the killings continued on a more than regularly basis. It was a daily occurrence carried out by hateful men and women who happened to be white.

A few of you maybe wondering, ‘Not again, Muata. We already know America is littered with hypocrisy.’ I know too. However, it amazes me how we continue with accepting this behavior and mentality from our government. We have accepted it which actually regulates us to robots. You can get a robot to do anything. Robots can even be programmed to be mutes, foolish materialistic consumers, lazy reality television watchers, overeating fat boys and girls, and clueless objects. OBJECTS. Is this what we have become?

Saddam Hussein and Darrent Williams were not objects. They were men: Gods’ creations. Saddam was said to be a ruthless tyrant and a murderer, but I can think of several white men who supposedly lead this nation who are guilty of allowing America’s first inhabitants to be killed and who destroyed the black family unit. They are the same type of men who allow our young men and women to be killed over in Iraq as they fight a senseless war.

My questions for the United States Government: Who are the real criminals? What did removing and executing Saddam solve?

My concluding statement to the United States Government: Time will tell. I can’t wait for your hypocrisy to become a noose. I am ready to take that Dead Man Walking stroll with you. I will be carrying the noose.

Written by Muata. Inspired by my disdain for the United States Government. Inspired by those fools who shot and killed Mr. Williams. Inspired by those numerous people downloading the You Tube video hanging of a HUMAN BEING. Pathetic!