I listened in disgust as Jackson whispered his desire to cut Obama’s family jewels, and thought homeboy has taken this thing too far. He needs to check himself, take a nap, and rethink all that hostility. This is a new day, and it’s time out for playa hating on Obama. Those old crabs in the barrow were tugging at the best chance black folks have at the White House, and I fumed at each assertion Jackson made.
For a brief moment, I celebrated Obama for telling the truth. Black people are slack. We don’t take care of our children. We cry the victim game whenever things don’t go our way. Our boys are enamored with the thug culture, and our young girls are mimicking the image of the video vixens on BET. I listened to Obama challenge black people to rise above the lure of the streets. I watched as those gathered at the NAACP annual convention rose to their feet in a resounding Amen.
I wanted to join them. I wanted to participate in this great moment, but something was wrong with the rhetoric of his message. An opportunity was missed. Obama made the same mistake as Bill Cosby. He overstepped in his claim, and, in doing so, participated in the further dissemination of negative information regarding the state of Black America.
There is another side to this story, a piece that we all should cheer. Not all black people are poor, drug addicted and pregnant before the age of 20. Not all black men are absent from the lives of their children, hooked on stupid, treat their women like garden tools or measure their manhood by the bulge in their pants. There is more to black America, much more, and I wanted to hear Obama communicate the good rather than fuel the stereotypes that hinder our ability to see past our assumptions.
By casting that large umbrella over black America, Obama has further victimized black people by reminding us of how the problems of a few can be used to categorize what it means to be a part of the whole. Isn’t it time to rethink what it means to be black in America? Isn’t it time to shed light on the good examples instead of casting a bright light on the few among us used to classify what it means to be black?
My mother and father have been married for over 50 years. My father is my role model. My uncles are like my father-black men who took care of their children. My cousins take care of their children. My father and uncles passed on meaningful lessons that have helped nurture me into the man I am today. This is not an anomaly. It’s what happens with black families across the country.
Instead of feeding the flame of negative sentiments regarding the black man, woman and family, let’s tell the truth. What you see on BET doesn’t define black life. I’m fed up with that assumption, and Barack Obama needs to help others understand the truth.
Yes, there are some knuckleheads out there. Some of them are black. Some are white. Some are Hispanic. Some are bi and tri racial. The bad in America can’t be reduced to the state of black America, and I would love it if our leaders would stop and celebrate the good that is Black America.
Maybe that’s what Jackson meant when he said Obama talks down to black people. I understand the need to challenge us to do better, but it sure would help if he could help America see there is more to black life than all those stereotypes pasted in the minds of most Americans.