Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Michael Vick Case in Black and White

Now, anybody who knows me knows that I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE animals!! Have NEVER lived without one, stop to give friendly dogs a pat and cuddle, ooh and coo at cute kitties. . .the whole deal!

So I was appalled when I first read about Michael Vick –- whose skills I totally respect! -– and his alleged connection to animal abuse in the form of dog fighting.

But between the first allegation and his "guilty of financing dog fights" plea, an interesting -- and oh, so predictable -- thing happened. . .

As with most things in amerikkka, the case quickly became "racialized", seemingly providing yet another avenue for many in the "general public" to spew their ire on and tut-tut over privileged sports figures of Afrikan descendant and -- by some comments –- on an entire Afrikan descendant community.

The racial difference in support was so stark that even the news media were commenting on how Vick supporters were more often than not of Afrikan descent and those in active protest calling for his head –- even before a plea or a trial –- were white.

Now, how long is it going to take for all of us to finally catch a clue??!! Because amerikkka's endless racial obsession -- which has flamboyantly and jubilantly "come out" from under the collective white sheet during the last eight years –- takes us down the same road every time:


AFRICAN DESCENDANTS: S/He may or may not be guilty, we don't know yet, but once again you are going after another Brotha / Sista and we will not abandon him / her to a white mob, no matter what s / he has done. We will not condone a public lynching, not anymore, not ever again. . .we know your history and that your "justice" still has a "For Whites Only" sign at the courthouse door.

Sound familiar?

And the outcome for white amerikkka is a reinforced comfort level with their stereotypes of an Afrikan descendant community of lawlessness, which in turn feeds their comfort level about the unjust laws that give a negative "affirmative action" to Black men and women, herding millions of them into one of the fasted growing industries in amerikkka -- the prison industry -- while giving whites a free pass for similar offenses (case in point: the railroading of the Jena Six).

And the outcome for Afrikan descendants?

White amerikkka's insistence on hysterically crying "guilty" before plea or trial guarantees that Afrikan descendants will correctly rally around the newest symbol of white supremacist aggression because. . .face it, we all know that in any given circumstance, any of us –- including Oprah, who was called a nigger during her road trip across amerikkka –- could be the next victim and symbol of that aggression.

It also guarantees that the Afrikan descendant community will not address the issue at hand –- his guilt and/or innocence, and rehabilitation –- because once again, we are fighting for our collective lives in a country that has never had a problem lynching us (physically and symbolically) and for the life of one specific individual caught in the white supremacist machine.

Because we are well acquainted with the "Just Us" brand of "justice" in amerikkka.

And because we know that the outcry from white amerikkka about Michael Vick is not JUST about allegations of animal abuse, as reprehensible as that is. . .

If white amerikkka is serious about "justice" –- real justice –- maybe it would want to expend some of that passion and anger that it is expending on Michael Vick on working for justice for "the Jena Six" –- those Black teenagers who are being railroaded by the state machinery for the audacity of wanting to sit under "the white tree" and for daring to retaliate against white students who were enforcing their own special white supremacist terror campaign against them.

If white amerikkka is serious about "justice" –- real justice –- maybe it would want to expend some of that passion and anger that it is expending on Michael Vick on working for justice and laws that would change the life dynamics and increase opportunities for success for those drowning in the abuse of neglect born of racism-white supremacy.

If white amerikkka –- and PETA supporters in particular –- are serious about "justice" –- real justice -– maybe it would want to expend some of that passion and anger that it is expending on Michael Vick on forcing PETA to apologize for its marketing campaign that compared people of Afrikan descent to animals.

There has not been the level of outrage about any of the above that there is about Michael Vick.

Maybe that is because amerikkka –- who insists on "justice" when those of Afrikan descent are involved even as it gives free passes to the Paris Hiltons (who famously was caught on camera talking about "niggers"), Lindsay Lohans (how many times has she been caught for underage drinking, drugging, and the like?), the "American Taliban" (who was caught in a "terrorist" camp with a gun in hand and still received sympathetic treatment from the press) and the like –- still likes its Negroes better when they are in chains.

Moving Forward,


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Play Me A Love Song: The Legacy of Racism-White Supremacy On Black Relationships. . .

Nowhere is the legacy of white supremacy seen more -- and with more of an impact -- than in romantic relationships among Afrikan descendants.

The battle lines are openly drawn -- sometimes consciously, sometimes not -- in every encounter as we play our historically assigned roles in the death march of the functional Black family.

Both Afrikan descendant men AND women feel unheard, disrespected, and unloved and gentleness with each other seems a thing of the past, long relegated to the reject bins like love songs, love poems, and sweet caresses for their own sake -- the kind that don’t necessarily lead to sex (remember those? No? I’m not surprised. . .).

Instead, we leave our own traditions behind -- the traditions of familial yearning and loyalty that even generations of enslavement and Jim Crow could not fully break -- and we rush to claim as our own the pathology of paternalism, sexism, and disrespect of family and family structure.

We embrace the philosophical manifestations of “anything goes”; "superheads"; “baby daddies” littering the urban landscape with their children while thinking that it is enough to take care of them “when I’m able”, as if children don’t need to eat every day; Black women who let them while claiming that they are “strong Black women who do not need a man”, and the like.

We have watched the seeds of our own claim to this pathology grow with every successive generation unthinkingly, uncritically, dispassionately, while ignoring the destructive outcome of such “thinking” in the dead eyes of our children and its impact on our relationships, families, and communities. . .

Now, I do know that there are relationships out there that do work.

But I also know that many times those relationships are not celebrated as anything other than anachronisms, even in our own communities.

Now our concepts of “loyalty”, “commitment”, and “fidelity” are saved not for our families and relationships, but for our “peeps” who have stepped into those places in our lives once reserved for lovers, life partners, and family.

WHAT HAPPENED???!!! What happened between the ending of Jim Crow and now?

And more importantly: how do we get back to who we were?

Destroy the Black family and you destroy the Black world.

And in whose interest, ultimately, is that?

Moving forward,