July 22, 2009

Its impossible to whitewash history...some want a return to theGood Ole Days..

It's impossible to whitewash history...some want a return to the"Good Ole Days.."

I am not about to be re-educated.  Some whites want us to return to acting like Robert Townsend.

I sympathize with other oppressed groups, but being black is something that you can’t hide, no matter how much you want to.  Look at what they forced MJ to do to himself.  He wanted to look nothing like his father, and everything like a white dude.  He would have traded places with Clay Aiken in a minute.

Now, you might ask me what caused the rant today?  I am in Reno, enjoying the weather, poker tournaments (finished third after busting out in 5 minutes in the first tourney) and “adult beverages”?  Because no matter what you accomplish in life, you are still black.  You are not able to escape the “baggage” that is attached to being black.  They finally got O.J. on some trumped up charges. (Jury nullification in the criminal trial, and score one for a black man.  It’s a shame that someone had to die for that, but really?  Don’t keep score, since its like 250 billion to 14 or 15)  My man Cornel West couldn’t catch a cab in NY.

Now, Professor Henry Louis Gates, a professor at Harvard of African American Studies, was arrested at his home, on what sounds like some old racist shit.

Look at this uppity negro!  Arrest his ass!

Look at this uppity negro! Arrest his ass!

Henry Louis Gates Jr., a prominent Harvard scholar of African-American history, was arrested at his home in Cambridge, Mass., last week by an officer investigating a report of a robbery in progress. Although charges for disorderly conduct were dropped, the incident has caused a stir over the issue of racial profiling.

If he was white, this would not have been an issue.  Professor Gates presented ID that showed that he lived at the residence.  How is this not over at that point?  Professor Ralph Banks shares this opinion.

Did Professor Gates exhausted after his long flight from China and perhaps irritable after being unable to gain entry to his own home, become outraged when he was questioned by Officer Crowley and ordered to step outside? Maybe. Did the police officer overreact to the professor’s outburst? Certainly. Did race shape their responses? Most likely.

The officer, rather than treat Professor Gates as a respected member of the Harvard faculty, probably expected more deference from him because he was black. Professor Gates, in turn, probably offered more defiance because the officer was white. Just as the officer may have presumed that Professor Gates did not belong in the upscale neighborhood, Professor Gates may have presumed that Crowley was a racist, intent on harassing him.

There is no question that the officer overreacted. Professor Gates should never have been handcuffed and taken to jail. But if we are to understand not only this disturbing incident but more tragic interactions as well, we need to look beyond the question of racial profiling. We need to appreciate the myriad historical and contemporary factors that too often poison relations between African Americans and law enforcement agencies.

Professor Paul Butler, a former federal prosecutor, provides one solution to the problem.  We can just “shuffle along”, play the “yes surh, no surh” game, and keep our head down.  That aint going to work for me.

It is 2009 and yes, an African-American is president of the United States. Few police officers are racists, and the Cambridge police were right to investigate the reported crime.

Professor Gates might not have been arrested if he’d been more submissive — let the cop win the masculinity contest. Every brotha has played that game as well: you don’t look the popo in the eye, you do say “sir” a lot, and maybe you won’t get locked up. Then you go home and stew in the stuff that gives African-American men low life expectancy in America.

I am too old for that, I don’t shuffle around for anyone and shouldn’t have to.

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