Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Birth of Jim Crow

I swear I thought that these days had ended and we were living in post-racial America.  Yup, blacks would stop singing We Shall Overcome and toast to peace and equality with our white brothers and sisters. All stereotypes would be discarded and replaced with positive uplifting of one another.  We'd start working together on making America a better place for ALL people to live in peace with one another. least that was the fantasy everyone was, simultaneously, having when President Barack Obama got elected.

However, that is not exactly how things worked out.  Nope! Instead old man racism has come out in full force to start some mess and to birth Jim Crow.  The birthing of Jim Crows starts with stereotyping negative images of blacks like this one.  Of course, they need a few "Sellouts" to attack blacks to make their argument legit.  To add weight to their argument they create denigrating, so-called scientific theories regarding physical features and diseases.  Moreover, the intelligence of blacks is dismissed as nonexistent.  Not to mention, sneaky racist whites who grin in your face and behind your back are trying to sabotage you or playing undercover spy.

With the economy being fragile as it is right and opportunities scarce right about now that results in the next ingredients for Jim Crow, white folks begin complaining, especially when think that there is a chance that they might have to start competing with blacks for jobs.  Violence against blacks while hiding behind a badge is another birthing pang.  However, blacks  barred from public places because of stereotypes was when  the Jim Crow baby was born.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Why Do Some In Mainsteam Media Like To Reinforce Stereotypes?

Why do some in the media like to help fortify racial stereotypes of black women? I happened to stop by at Huffingtonpost and this picture caught my eye more than the title itself. Nonetheless, it wasn’t so much the title that I had a problem with. It was the images they chose to represent the title.

This is how ALL blacks were transformed into welfare recipients, a whole group of people looking for handouts, although that was a myth. Nope, I take that back it was an outright lie! Images of black women was the old “welfare queen” trick used by Ronald Reagan to drum up negative opinions and attack black women, attaching a negative stigma to them in the process. But more so Reagan used it to stir up negative sentiments towards poor people, which resulted in selfishness and cold heartedness in the charity department. Yup, they want to eliminate help for the poor. It works every time.

However, what disturbs me the most is that the photo taken transmits a negative stereotype message on purpose. The best way to end help for the poor is to post a picture with black women holding babies. Nothing scares white folks more than a bunch of black babies being born. For example, Benjamin Franklin stated, “…Why should we…darken its people? Why increase the Sons of Africa?” Translation: Those black men might start mixing with our pure lilywhite women. You know how those insatiable black men can’t keep their pants zipped up. Those black men love to…

In the first place, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson stipulated from the beginning that they did not want people of color to share in the new republic’s prosperity; both played a part in reinforcing racist views and birthing those views into white society. For example, Benjamin Franklin stated, “…Why should we…darken its people? Why increase the Sons of Africa, by planting them in America, where we have so fair an opportunity.” Heaven forbid letting those lazy black folks have a penny. Nothing boils white folks blood more than a black person with a penny.

From Jefferson and Franklin’s hypocritical viewpoint, people of color were alright to sleep with, but sharing in the wealth or equality that was a horse of a different color. I wonder what Sally Hemmings thought about Jefferson’s deadbeat dad ways and if Franklin acknowledged his mulatto offspring. Jefferson and Franklin both remind me of D.J. Quick and those so-called God-fearing rightwing folks.

Ultimately, the picture is to drum up stereotypical judgment not just against those women in the picture, but ALL black women and to rally up enough favor with dominant white society to eliminate help for the poor. The sad thing is that poverty does not discriminate and if people would take time to do the math, there are more poor whites in America than people of color. People of color make up a small margin of America’s population; therefore, they make up as sliver of the poor.

I bet not very many people who saw this picture stopped to think that; maybe, those women’s husbands are in Iraq or Afghanistan or anything positive.

Sunday Night At the Movies

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Invisible President’s been a while since the last time I posted. Everyone is talking about Osama Ben Laden’s death and as usual the Republicans are trying to discredit the President. Nothing new there, that is a habitual obsession with them. I named this post the “Invisible President” for a reason. Years ago, Ralph Ellison wrote a book called “Invisible Man” and the narrator in the story expressed with symbols a problem that Republicans seem to have with President Obama.

In the story, the “Invisible Man” the narrator telling the story is invisible. His name is never mentioned throughout the book, nor is the town he lives in, or the college he attends, which symbolizes his invisibility to other characters in the book. It is similar to how some folks on the right and in the media refer to President Obama as “Mr. Obama” instead of President Obama or “the subtle claim of the Birther’s conspiracy that somehow implies that he is “alien” because he is invisible to them as the President of the United States of America.

All throughout the book, Invisible Man, the narrator is defined by people who do not see him—that is his real identity because they cannot. Blind people cannot see! The Republicans are blinded by an ideology and racism. Instead, they see him through negative values, racist connotations, and expectations that they are trying to imposed on him. Yet, none of those values, racist connotations, and expectations they are trying to impose on him or the identity they are trying to ascribe to him fit because it is not who he is as a person. The identity they are trying to assign to him is a projection of them.

In the story of the Invisible Man, the narrator finds that, in each case, the prescribed role limits his complexity as an individual and forces him to play an inauthentic part as he passes through different communities in search of his identity. Racism is an obstruction to a person’s identity. The racial prejudice of others causes them to see the President only as they want to see him because theirs is a limitation of vision. However, he is forcing others to acknowledge him, to acknowledge the existence of beliefs and behaviors outside of their prejudiced expectations. The President has forced those folks on the right to show their true beliefs and colors, but they are too blind to see that.

Finally, in the story, Invisible Man,  the narrator realizes that the complexity of his inner self is limited not only by people’s racism but also by their more general ideologies. He finds that the ideologies advanced by institutions prove too simplistic and one-dimensional to serve something as complex and multidimensional as human identity. Racism blinds people and obstructs people from seeing a person’s real identity, but in the same sense it shines the light on those with racist views own insecurities and fears. However, those with racist views cannot see that because of their blindness they are projecting self.