Sunday, July 27, 2008

CNN and Their Effort to…What?

Now that the long awaited premier is over, what did you learn? Was there something shocking? Revealing? Do you feel any better or worst about the Black Condition? Is there something you are going to do differently since CNN decided to air to the world what most people already know? WHAT NOW, DAMN IT?! If you are having trouble answering these legitimate questions turn to CNN, I am certain there is a re-broadcast of the ‘Black Sadness’ scheduled.

I commend María de la Soledad Teresa O'Brien for her efforts. She did a marvelous job of researching, collecting data, and interviewing to produce what so many people were anxious to see. A job well done!! Well, let me be specific: black people were exuding excitement, not white folk. Most can careless about some black man who has created his baby daddy status.

I can’t tell you how many emails I received with: ‘Don’t forget to watch the CNN Special, Black in America.’ H*ll, to be very honest I got frustrated with receiving the reminders. Much like how some of you get irritated with my name in your Outlook Inbox. But, one thing is for sure the bombardment of alerts were worth it because I, prior to the airing of the show, decided to adjust my mind and spirit to receive the depressing information knowing full well what it means to be Black in America, and certainly understanding that our situation in a tunnel vision view is horrendously jacked-up. Yes, if you do not consider all the factors that play a part in where we are, the view can be narrow. Actually, it can be a one-sided observation or even put one in the mind-set of accusing/finger pointing.

A very intelligent black man in one of the fifty conversations that I have had about the series said, “If I were white, and watched Soledad’s special I would conclude that black people are just idiots. They just cannot seem to get it together for their own good. Dang, they are pathetic.” Another Iranian man said to me, “If I were new to the United States, and I was told to watch the special to learn about black people in America I would conclude that black people are the SOLE reason for their pathetic demise.”

Now, those statements are SHOCKING and REVEALING. Soledad O’Brien does not have anything on the realities of both statements. So, I challenge each of you reading to make the above analysis real. Really real. Reality dictates that black people in America are victims of a racist circumstance. No matter what some black self-righteous expert says, we were/are victims of a brutally strategic system to destroy our culture and break our will.

Since Soledad decided to highlight our predicaments in which we already are aware of, why not tell the whole story? Then it would have been Fair and Balanced! Not that I wanted CNN or any black person to dwell on the REASONS, and not excuses, that have caused the REALITY. Nope, I am no longer a person who needs justification for my fellow brothas and sistas dilemmas. I, however, want the WHOLE story to NOT be forgotten or some way pushed to the side like it is not a factor in the make-up of what CNN labels, Black in America.

Some of you are probably asking/saying, ‘What are you talking about, Brian E. Payne? Mrs. O’Brien’s coverage was right. The statistics and stories are right on!’ Nevertheless, I contend that one must understand the root of the problem before we can move forward. Why is it that White America and a few of us black folk want to neglect the base, and then immediately jump to the current realities without examining the cause of the condition? Even if we do fully exam and dissect the root, what will we find? Discover? Is it a legitimate reason for black men to abandon their kids? Is it a reason for us to have a host of self-made medical related issues? Is it sufficient justification for black young men to diss college, and embrace the streets? My answer to all three questions is a resounding YES!! But, I am not taking the heat off myself or any other black man.

No body, not even a non-black well respected investigative reporter or news network is going to tell me that I am to blame for all the phenomenons.

Does the media or some social science group indict the present day Native Americans living on reservations for their apathy? NO they do not. What they immediately say: ‘Well, America really sh*tted on them, therefore we need to give them land and also give them tax breaks.’ Additionally, do these same exploratory committees convict the Jews? No, they do not. What they do is send millions of dollars to Israel in the form of guilt money.

Every other ‘studied’ population have “legitimate” reasons for their current day mess but Negroes! We are lazy, dumb, foolish, and all the other descriptive terms used to describe us. Unbelievable.

Finally, how many of you noticed the skin tone of the achieved black men used as props for success? They were high-yellow brothas. What does that mean to you? What message did that send? Could it be: To be successful in America one must be close to white? Just asking. With that I have said time and time again that Barack Obama would not be accepted by those in Berlin or in these United States if he was a darkie. This is a systemic example of where America is on the race issue. I said America. That includes both black and white people; and the problem ultimately lies in the root of the problem: We are not sharing the whole story. For example, if the complete story was not told about this man we call Jesus those interested would only know that he disrespected Roman authority!

Consequently, black people standing on the block selling crack have a reason for selling the death the government brought into our communities. Not saying that it is right – but there is a reason.

All of that rhetoric to say: ‘CNN, go to the source/root when telling our story. Dig deeper next time so that an accurate depiction can be revealed. Digging deeper is not proving that black folk have slave master blood circulating throughout their veins.’

Written by Muata. Inspired by the woman telling the story, Soledad O’Brien. It appeared to me her mind was made up already. How about you?

*Inserted Picture:
The Black Man has to become a Super Hero in the mind and eyes of the Majority, and after we accomplish that feat we still don't meet their standards. We are always in a constant battle/tug of war with what THEY want from us. Keep pulling the flag, My Brothas!


Booglar Doty said...

Do you really think that blacks blaming whites for their problems is new information? Message received: Don't blame you. Not entirely at least.

Amazingly, your intelligent black male friend got it wrong -- at least for me. I didn't think blacks were idiots. There are scores of whites living in multi-generational abject squalor too. Anybody thinking such conditions are unique to blacks and that blacks en masse are idiots because of it has a rather limited worldview. I did, however, wonder if some blacks would complain about being "blamed" overmuch. But now we're talking about hypersensitivity -- perhaps justifiable -- rather than an inherent flaw. While I certainly don't speak for "most whites", I believe that blacks are perceived by us as hypersensitive rather than flawed.

As a resident of Atlanta, I would have liked to have seen more time spent showing the absolute normalcy of the huge and growing black middle class -- which, at least from the outside, seems to be getting on with things.



Muata said...

i second those emotions. so many people were giving reminders to watch the cnn special. i purposely didn't plan on watching, because i already knew what the deal was gonna be--make black people look pathetic. i happened to watch the one about the woman and family cuz my evening plans were cancelled, and i was upset that i wasted my time with that viewing. one thing i noted was that the problems presented as issues if you are black in america were really problems that you have if you are poor in america--poor health care, inadequate or unaffordable housing, low incomes. what i find is that many blacks who i have encountered were very gung ho about watching the cnn special. i am willing to bet that if al sharpton advertised an upcoming program on being black in america, many black people would dismiss it--wouldn't even plan to be near a tv and wouldn't know when it was scheduled to air. many of us watch cnn and nod our heads in affirmation as if that's our only reality. we accept white people's conclusion and explanation of who we are. cnn presented a program that re-affirmed the notions that many whites have. not only did it do that, but it presented an immeasureably, small fraction of black life to people who might not know anything about us at all. and of course, since it's cnn, many of those people will look at what they saw as the gospel.

we are all infected to some degree, and even if we don't realize it, we're affected also by the posion in this country. cnn--thanks for nothing. but at least i wasn't taken off guard, cuz i know how they roll.

-A Peaceful Journey

Muata said...

Muata Responds to A Peaceful Journey:

I am still trying to figure out their intentions. Why in the heck air a 'repeat' of the obvious? Was this done to further display and/or promote issues that they believe to be unique to us? And, think about it, we possibly have helped CNN and Soledad get an Emmy for this crap by tuning in in record numbers!

You are right in that the issues plagued by so many blacks mirror the issues of the poor in general -but of course CNN has falsely told the world that blacks are the only ones who suffer from what was presented.

Yes, some of the issues are ours, and I embrace them. However, how about presenting them as class problems? They will not do that. If they do, then the world will truly see that America has failed those who are poor. It ain't a major concern when the blacks of this country are affected. We are to blame for all our demises. America!!!!


Muata said...

Reader Response:

I was suspect of the deal with CNN a little myself. I like Soledad O'brian and I hope she does a marvelous job with her part in this series. But if the entire seiries just focuses and points out all of the ills of black society, most of which we the audience are all too familiar with, then what is the goal??? The folks who need to hear this commentary don't have the luxury of cable, and according to some of our leaders don't possess the social responsibilty to tune out BET for CNN if they do have cable.

CNN investigates??? now what mindset does this place you in???


Muata said...

Reader Response:

I am going to wait until after I have viewed the special before I kick CNN and Soledad for reporting on the state of our community...


Muata said...

Reader Response:

It seems that you should always be skeptical when the wolf is near
the henhouse.


Muata said...

Reader Response:

Basically ...

This series is a hot steaming, putrid, fuming, pungent load of bovine fecal matter.

A shamelessly ridiculous caricature of 'the black struggle' intended to elicit "white-guilt" and/or sympathy - not empathy ... and this is key word.

A worthless excuse to assemble a panel of quasi-intellectuals to engage in rhetorical banter, verbal masturbation and rational impotence ...ejaculating diluted insubstantial answers and offering stupid unrealistic solutions and long drawn-out euro-centric-formalisms to a glaringly obvious eurocentric-derived state of BS.

This CNN pawn, Soledad O'Brien....animated and melodramatic....asking dumb questions, when the simple answer is:

The HAVES hold all the aces (control the capital) and don't, have never and will never, give a flying fig about it.

In the infamous and wise words of "The Ugly" to "The Bad" in the Clint Eastwood flick: "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly":

"If you gonna shoot, shoot, don't talk."



Muata said...

Reader Response:

It's like we have always said. May of us enjoy preaching to the choir. Many blacks who have their "shit together" seem to enjoy sitting amongst themselves complaining about what the "other blacks" aren't doing. If we really want to make strides for all of us, instead of being proud to be "one of the people who told you so" then we would begin by giving the right message to the right audience.

Does it make much sense to stand in front of a group of prominent black leaders and talk about black dead-beat dads? Is it really purposeful for us to stand in front of a group of educated, professional blacks and talk about high school drop outs? SO does it make sense to (once again) talk to millions of blacks who are already interested in the state of our people, and simply tell us everything we aren't doing right. Do you think there's a single black, white, or even hispanic person in this country today who doesn't already know we are FUCKED UP?!?!?!

If we really want to make a difference, we can start by actually getting our hands dirty and helping younger kids stay in school, become more cultured, and learn basic life skills. It's OK to worry about your own kids, but remember: Those same kids you try desperately to insulate your children from when they are young, are the same ones who your kids will be compared to when they go off to college and are encountered by police, professors, classmates, and everyone else. Some of our more "high class" members need to realize that a lot of times their perfectly assimilated children are judged by the standard of the lowest common denominator amongst us. It's not enough to use those kids on the block as an example to your kids of what not to do. We must take more of an interest in those children who are seemingly without a future. I think many of would be pleasantly surprised at how willing many of them are to be taught, and how many of them are truly SICK AND TIRED OF BEING SICK AND TIRED...

It won't happen overnight (not even 2008 election night) but we must start somewhere and maybe our children or grandchildren might begin to see some progress in our overall ability to function in this society.


Muata said...

Reader Response:

Way to keep your eyes open, Muata.

I suggest revisting "Roots", and the documentaries listed below for worthwhile commentaries on being Black in America.

PS - C's suggesting about working to improve the lives of young brothers and sisters is also somthing to be taken to heart.

"It's better to light a candle than to curse the darkness."