Friday, July 13, 2007

Growing Pains

i think my mind might be fried. or maybe it's just that there's too much going on in my life, in addition to the events that have been going on in the world. there isn't enough time in a day...i need more sleep...but there are things i still need to get done, but am too tired/preoccupied to do.

i need a vacation...from life *smile*

over the past couple of weeks ive come into contact with a lot of information in regards to our people, society, race, etc. im still trying to process it all while taking on even more information. ive found myself being 'mentored' by Andrea of UppityNegro and she's been giving me some great stuff to read in addition to the material i already 'assisgned' myself.

i feel like im in college again. my mind is weary, but i feel like im catching up on a lot of things i didnt know. im reaching a new level of understanding and that's wonderful & terrifying at the same time. wonderful because i feel like im getting closer to something...what i dont know for sure. but im learning things that i/we really should have learned long ago. terrifying because i feel like i can see into some ofd the issues that plague us...the possible solution...and the fear that we'd reject the solution (and we have been doing just that)

i talk about how i hate/think it's pointless to talk about/overanalyze the problems. i talk about how we should do something. yet im stuck talking to you all because i havent figured out exactly how to do what i think needs to be done. ha,

contrary to popular belief, one cant solve the problems of the Black community all by their lonesome. no great Black leader will emerge just in the nick of time to save us from ourselves. if we are to do better, we need to work as one. we need to work together and build.

i was privy to an email exchange between Andrea and a young woman she worked with, and in it some of the things i'd been thinking as of late became apparent:

  1. for some of us who already know the 'deal' with race and racism in the country, news of new injustices arent a surprise, are really arent going to move us. if we were/are concerned at all, we dont need the reminders to rekindle what should have already been a fire blazing for social change.
  2. we are a reactionary people; collectively and individually (some of us). why do we enormally wait until something goes from obviously bad to blatently worse before we decide we want to take action (examples: Imus, video 'ho's', the N word)
  3. my generation is in trouble. we have been lead to believe that community service, a college degree, and a nice salary will change the world and better our race. WRONG. its gonna take a lot more than that, we have to think innovatively, work collaboratively, challenge the old ways and assumptions, and really get dirty. basically, we're gonna have to get in the trenches if we want to really win this thing.
  4. we dont like hearing the truth...even though it could set us free. we'd much rather tell ourselves we've made it versus admitting that we're far from reaching the goal. we're not doing nearly enough to make things better, but we refuse to be told otherwise.

not meaning to be such a Debbie Downer, but that's just how i see things right now. i do hop ethat one day things will change, just havent figured out how yet.

there are a couple of pieces id like to share and speak on at length, but given my current state of mind, i dont know what i'd be able to do that. so here are a couple of pieces for you to sink your teeth into:

Losing What We Never Had: White Privilege and Deferred Dreams, Part 1
"The larger white society is getting ready to hold a party, to celebrate the end of racism, and lean back on their white privilege for the rest of their lives. It is an ongoing story of constant revision of history, and writing Black people out it. "It seems that every four years we see our struggle and needs ignored," writes the author, an historian. Presidential years are key to the revisionist project, they define the "new era." What follows is betrayal, as whites made up a feel-good version of history to justify their past actions."

Losing What We Never Had: White Privilege & the Deferred Dreams of Black America, Part 2
"Modern political mythology, also believed by Blacks, maintains that Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal and the post-World War Two college and housing benefits for veterans were unmitigated boons for African Americans. However, in many ways, the opposite is true. The New Deal, largely shaped to appease racist southern lawmakers, actually codified Black inferior status, while elevating poor whites. And returning Black veterans got only a tiny fraction of the benefits of the GI Bill. President Johnson's Sixties War on Poverty effectively lasted only three years – at the end of which, the hopes of the Black poor were smashed."

How to Destroy an African-American City in Thirty-Three Steps – Lessons from Katrina
"How can we destroy a Black city? - let us count the ways. Federal, state and local officials appear to have compiled a comprehensive list of destructive acts of commission and omission - and pursued every possible tactic to permanently de-Blacken New Orleans."

What’s The Greater Obstacle To Black Progress: No Black Agenda, or Too Many Blacks With An Agenda?
"Certainly, the great leaders and change activists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries, and even in the Twenty-first century recognize the inherent relationship between struggle and progress. Yet, more than ever, the Black community, in the collective sense, has become increasingly conflicted about what the struggle is and what progress has been made."

Majoring in Minstrelsy: White Students, Blackface and the Failure of Mainstream Multiculturalism
"White kids apparently believe they have the right to mock and deride Black people, as a sport. When they are caught in the act, they retreat to a position of "non-racism" - after having committed profoundly racist acts. Putting on "Black" wigs and darkening their bodies, these fiends who are going to become the leaders of "their" country act out the historical narrative of conquest and dehumanization. White youth hide behind "multi-culturalism" to solidify their social status, as rulers of the world, while talkin' Black talk, and tryr'na do the Black walk."

Whiteness as a Right of Passage
"Poor people from poor countries populated America, and then became "white." That was their right of passage. It is the saga of the American immigrants, who now turn on the new immigrants, as they did on the Black laborers who worked alongside them. They chose whiteness. Now they turn on Mexicans - who are also not of their race. Racism is the game. White supremacy is the object, and the at root of discourse around "legal vs. illegal immigration." It has always been. White America is out to protect its hard earned whiteness. But for Black America. the stakes are different. Do we need a whiter America?"


    1 comment:

    Maryee said...

    Very interesting observations. Thanks for sharing. And yes, we do need to get down and get dirty if we really want to make a change. Blessings...