The Leap into True Communication
Racism is ugly.
espect and Truth
Yesterday's post drew a couple of comments that deserve a detailed response, so here it is. Basically, my feeling is that whenever a White criticizes anything to do with anything Black, the whole burden of history is laid on his/her back.
Despite our society's penchant for calling Whites racist who criticize Blacks or, again, anything to do with Blacks or Black culture, this should not deter anyone from being honest. This blog is about truth. I don't write the blog to be loved. I don't write it to be politically correct. I write it to tell the truth. If you want me to patronize you, you're at the wrong blog.
I owe you, my Reader, whether you are White, Black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever, only two things: respect, and the truth. I respect you, but I can only treat you as an equal, which is what I want to do, by speaking what for me is the truth. I'm not like the patronizing liberals who tell you everything you want to hear. I tell it like it is. You can handle it. You are adults, and we need to battle these things out, with words. Here are my comments to Anonymous from yesterday's post about Kwanzaa.
Anonymous, thanks for your comments. You said:
My man, I have to take serious exception to your criticisms of Kwanzaa, not due to your opinions of course, but due to your gross misunderstandings of the holiday.
I'm willing to listen, although I got my info directly from Wickepedia, among other sources, hardly a conservative source, and usually accurate.
1. "The emphasis ought to be on being Americans." Would you tell an American Jew that the emphasis of Hanukah celebrations in America "ought to emphasize being American?" or that they should speak in English during their prayers rather than Hebrew?
Actually, I do have issues with any sect totally walling themselves off from others. I've seen orthodox religious of all religions do this. Of course I want to be tolerant and let people behave as they want. On the other hand, I think it would be ideal if people could both practice their individuality and separateness, plus contribute to society as a whole, and to the country they live in.
Racism ought NOT exist and had America as a whole been kinder towards Black people historically, this wouldn't be an issue. Kwanzaa emphasizes the celebration of African heritage, not a separation from America.
In the interest of fairness, I'm open to hearing this. I sense otherwise, though. It appears that the prevailing belief among some Blacks is that Whites are so bad that they need to insulate themselves from them. As I said, which you seem to ignore, Kwanzaa does seem to have many beautiful things about it, and these I applaud.
Eyes on the Prize
2. It wasn't/isn't African Americans who had/have a misunderstanding of e pluribus unam. Remember the 60's now- the fire hoses, the German Shepards, the fire bombings, the KKK, the impossible poll tests, the segregation, the economic oppression, lynchings, etc, etc, etc. At a time when most Black people were actively TRYING to become equal partners in American society and live out the true meaning of "e pluribus unam" it was racist/prejudice White people and American GOVERNMENTS at the federal, state and local levels who fought vehemently to keep us separate and socially/economically disenfranchised.
Hey, you've identified yourself a bit, as African-American, which I like. I understand what you're saying, but I think things have changed dramatically in the U.S., and that Blacks actually had a better way of seeing the world back then. Unfortunately, you're right—this better attitude I remember and see on all the news footage, movies, shows, etc. got "beaten" out of much of the Black race in America. They gave up or changed tactics, more towards Malcolm X and away from Martin Luther King. These tactics worked, but they are no longer useful. I also don't think there is any further use for seeking out racism everywhere anymore either. Things have changed.
The need for certain organizations grows and wanes, depending on the threat. We don't so much need to separate ourselves anymore. That maybe was good for a time. Now, it has the opposite effect—making things worse.
FestivusA Holiday for the Rest of Us
Kwanzaa is not a "movement" nor is it separatist. The holiday came about to instill historical pride and forge a culturally African holiday tradition that had up to that point been missing from Black homes. You and 98% of the White people living in the US can trace your family ancestry to a specific country of origin and relate to it's culture in some way, even visit distant relatives in Europe if you want. You have the CHOICE to celebrate a Polish/Irish/Italian/English/German version of holiday traditions if you wish and take historical pride in it, but for 98% of Black people that's not even an option. Kwanzaa and it's African traditions are the closest Black people will come to a "traditional" holiday celebration.
Black people are welcome to participate in Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, the Fourth of July, and even President's Day. They can even drink green beer on St. Patrick's Day. They are welcome at all our holidays. These holidays are their holidays. If not, then I guess we ought to have "White" holidays too, just for Whites. Kwanzaa, though, as I've said, is welcome. If any group wants a holiday, that is their right. We all need a Festivus I guess, for the rest of us.
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How to Succeed in America Today
Let me tell you the "Secret of Success in America" in the 21st century.
You take any man or woman—any man or woman—put him/her in good looking clothes, put a smile on his/her face, have them talk intelligently and respectfully, have them study and work hard; then—I guarantee you—I bet you my life savings on it—that this man or woman will succeed—REGARDLESS OF COLOR.
Have that same man or woman wear sloppy clothes, earrings in their nose, tattoos, with a frown on his/her face, talking with bad grammar and disrespectfully, with a chip on their shoulder, avoiding study and hard work; then—I guarantee you—I bet you my life savings on it—that this man or woman will fail—REGARDLESS OF COLOR.
The only racism I see where I live these days, is reverse racism. I know this isn't true all over the nation, but it sure is in the media, including radio, TV, print, and most of the Internet; on the streets where I walk; and at the workplaces I frequent.
I hate racism period, reverse or forward. God does not approve of it, and neither do I.
(*Wikipedia is always my source unless indicated.)
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