Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Singing and Dancing Continues

Black Boy, there are three colors in the United States that you will have to contend with for the remainder of your life. Black, white, and green. –Frankie Lulu Payne

When my grandmother told me that at the age of 13 I stopped in my tracks. I did not question her. We could not do that, of course, anyway – but I did secretly wonder if she was right and/or would be right one day.

After living this life as a BLACK man for almost 40 years I have aggressively, some say militantly, bounced back and forth with my thought processes regarding race in America. No matter where I have traveled for work all around the world (except Africa) I was reminded that America’s problems to some degree go back to its horrendously corrupt and brutal foundation. I was also reminded that being a Black American is a huge responsibility (Notice ‘black’ before American? I am black before anything else in the United States.) One day you are saying to yourself, ‘No, it is not about race.’ The next day you are thinking to yourself, ‘Now, dang it – it is about race.’ The ‘its’ could be any occurrence that reminds us (black people) that we are of darker skin and the fact that living in North America has and will continue to be a racial struggle for black people no matter who becomes president of this Union.

Many times I did what countless black people (non-ruffling of white feathers black folk) suggested I do: “Don’t always think that it is about race. Move on. Transcend race.” White people have conveniently told me this in some capacity too; and I listened.

Why?

Because I wanted to be viewed as someone who is/was not hung-up on race. Not identified as a Race Baiter with a Race Card (http://jasonjeffrey.files.wordpress.com/2007/09/racecard.jpg). I can say now, that taking this thought to be helpful advice was somewhat of a mistake. Not intellectually harmful – but an emotional mistake. My mind each and every time should have calmly reverted back to my grandmother’s message:

Black, White, and Green.

It is unfortunate that many of us black people ‘sing and dance’ to the tune of what some white people think and believe. Some white people believe that we are imbeciles. Others believe that we are God’s creation…too. Their thought patterns that later become ‘valued’ opinions have been sanctioned by black people. Taken to be The Word.

So, when Jimmy Carter (a man raised by black woman) says that racism plays a major role in the opposition and antagonism President Obama is receiving, black people have once again bounced back to the following:

It is about race.

Carter: Racism plays major role in opposition to Obama - CNN.com

Over the past two weeks, I have made it my mission to sit and chat with random white folk just to conduct an assessment on this race issue: Our President is Black. What I discovered was interesting. Many white folk communicated to me the following.

‘I wish some of us white people would get over it. Our president is black. We need to just accept it and respect the man.’

Once again, this was my cue to definitely bounce back.

I, with embarrassment, thank these white people for giving me and other black folk the okay to acknowledge that

It is about race.

We still Singing and Dancing!

Written by Brian E. Payne.

15 comments:

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

Ya'll just keep making me remember things. Something my husband said a long time ago rings throughout this commentary: White people pretend they're not racist; we pretend to believe them. ;-)

-NAY

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to NAY:

so true. so damn true! we have pretended our authentic self away! just to be like a group of people (not all) who mean us not good.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

i heard about Carter and was going to send you an email about it!!

-TK

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to TK:

He always speaks up for those who need support. I love him. Men like him are demonized. That is sad because the reason they (the haters) do it is because he/other men like him are true Americans: A Fighters for Justice. I have President Barack Obama in this category believe it or not. These men like Hanity are not Americans. They are what we need to eliminate from the Union: Hypocrites who claim to be not racist. I respected Jesse Helms because at least he told people he did not like blacks.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

Yes.. .it's about race. When I relocated here 11 years ago from Michigan I remember watching the news and there was something on there about blacks not being welcomed in Forsyth county. This blew me away. My sister advised me to be careful..it's different here in the south and every now and again my white co-workers remind me of this fact.

The unfortunate beating of the black lady in Morrow, GA @ Cracker Barrel was about race and the fact that we have a black President has a lot of folks upset.

-PL

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to PL:

Yes, it has always been about race. In all our (blacks) efforts to be decent Americans we have unfortunately forgotten who and what we are dealing with: Some say that they are devils. Not all of them, of course. But, too many are participating in devilish acts just because Obama is of dark pigmentation. Sad case.

The travesty also in that beat down in Marrow, GA http://www.wsbtv.com/news/20926383/detail.html was how people did nothing. We (people) afraid to intervene when a woman with her child near gets beat-up by a racist? I probably would have lost my life there because I would have either got killed or went to prison for killing him.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

TK responds to Muata:

Not sure respect is the correct word regarding Helms but at least he spoke his mind.

I like Carter as well...always have.

-TK

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to TK:

I respect a man (don't like him) who can speak his mind without fear of the fall out. At least he is not like Joe Wilson ("You Lie") who serves in the US senate but an undercover racist.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

you are on point once again!! I will share this information in my psychology students.

-SP

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

My off the wall suggestion: Go undercover as a white person - make-up and all - and ask those same white folk that question. Then you will be able to take the solid stance that your grandmother understood to take a long time ago. She spoke based on wisdom & experience - especially if she was reared prior to the sixties.

It is what it is and the bouncing back& forth you/I/we believe black folk do is done out of "wishful" thinking that maybe "it" ain't true. Smile. Well, I rest solidly with your grandmother's wisdom - "three colors - black, white & green". Very clear and very simple. Bless her soul.

-JA

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to JA:

Yep. She was so right. I believe black people to be some of the most kindest people on earth. We have bent over backwards to appease these people. We did it partially with God's Message: Forgiveness. We wanted them to just do right by us. They can't as a collective group.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

This was good and so, so true. We as black people need to get over the fact that we don't think that white people are still prejudice and like us!!! Man please!!! Look at that man that beat up that lady in Cracker Barrels. He should be put under the ground for being so prejudice in this age and time. Or should I say so out with it. I wouldn't ever eat there just because I think that they were trying to be funny with the name "CRACKER"! Meaning for whites only!

And another thing that I don't like is when black people say that they'd rather these CRACKERS/up north HONKEYS let them know that they don't like them verses the ones up north that hide it. Well Bryan I know that most of them don't like us. And tthat's their business and they need to keep it to them selves. Just like that man beating up that black woman like it wasn't shit! All in front of people and not nobody tried to come to the poor lady's rescue! First of all it wouldn't have happened up north. And if it did, his ass would've been shot and beat down to no return!!!!!

-C

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

I too have tried to say, "It's not about race. Let me get my education, work hard, do my best, and I will get ahead. Race cannot be a factor in my development. Race cannot play a role in me not doing well. I am not going to use that as an excuse." And, of course, I do not. I continue working hard, doing my best, and trying to show the world that I can succeed. But every now and then, it is shown to me, crystal clear, that I am a black man - and that there are double standards. Like the fact that the white woman at my job can slack off, come in late, and leave early. But as soon as I do that (not even regularly - but one time) - it is called out! Of course, I can't do anything but accept the double-standard, and work for the day when I am either doing my own thing, or in a position to make it better for those below me. I don't use the race card, but I definitely understand where I stand - and make adjustments accordingly. It gets frustrating at times - but I just keep moving forward.

-MJ

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Muata responds to MJ:

What we have had to endure is sickening. They actually don't like us because we have darker skin. How shallow is that? Pathetic. To be truthful, this makes me so sad. Tearful. Black people have done NOTHING to deserve the initial disdain that they have for us. A black man made it to the highest seat in the world...still Ni**ers to them. Wow! I am so tired of wearing the mask. Grandma was right. I wish she was here so I can hug her. I found comfort in her TRUTH arms.

-Muata

Muata, The Shadow, The Black Rebel said...

Reader Response:

It's a classic case of climbing into bed with our abusive lover for another go-round, hoping the sex is so mind-blowing he won't whip our a** again, but knowing full well he will. Kind of reminds me of the reservist sista who recently let the debased life form kick her into unconsciousness at the Krakker Barrel, in front of her daughter. Would she have allowed a brother to do that without fighting back? I made mention of that in one of my last blogs, too: http://evolvedbynandi.com.

-NAY