This is a finger in your face, America! It has been said that this may be the worse race-baiting presidential election campaign in recent history, that dog-whistling — a not-so-subtle tactic — will continue to distract us from the real issues and bring race fear-based reaction to President Barack Obama’s campaign for reelection.
I say- bring it on.
What this country needs is an enema, to paraphrase the Joker in Batman # 1.
Years ago, I wrote a definition of blacks: “Africans, ingested by their white masters, and who is it that can behold his bowels running on, and on and on………”
Even if it ends in a bloody, bloody Sunday or Monday, and it just may do that, I, for one, am itching for the fight to begin.
I know many of my friends and associates are wondering about their hard-earned gains in society, their positions of power and prestige that will come under threat from an elevated dialogue about racial matters — calling more attention to all of us, and not just the “problems.” But the time has long come.
I recall an enlightened conversation that was part of a televised broadcast on Cable TAP called Scandalize My Name. The program was produced by The Coalition of 100 Black Women, where I served as an officer, during which we explored myths and stereotypes that were commonly held about black folk.
One myth — that blacks were lazy and steal — was directly addressed by then Florida International University Sociology Professor Marvin Dunn, who suggested that, as a result of the slave legacy, blacks were not motivated to work hard (for no/low pay) and that most of the early documented thefts were of food and clothing.
That show was produced in the early 1990s and the same theme clearly runs as a strong undercurrent in much of the so called welfare-dependent subclass.
That is surely not the case anymore for those who receive “fair” compensation for work performed and/
or those who are valued
in society; i.e., those
who serve in elevated offices, receive appointments, recognitions, etc.
Or is it?
We all continue to struggle with issues of race as if they were part of a larger socio-economic problem, on some kind of continuum of the debate about making America great(er), instead of problems about race being the problem in America.
I’m far from being the first to declare this actual, factual condition that is a subtext of the early signs of an American Spring. But it is healing to me to be repeating it.
I just learned that I will have a seventh grandchild this year and my legacy to them is what motivates me to not rest on this matter and others that I write about. This is my small contribution to the dialogue: to write, to question, to provoke, to think more, to invite you to think with me.
The year 2012 is going to be a very important one. Please continue to do your part in the long-standing struggle for your freedom in America. The gauntlet has been thrown down — and it was not just in the recent Republican presidential debates. It was thrown down a long time ago when it was written into the contract for establishing these United States.
Go read it, understand where you live and pledge to participate in change: run for office, support the candidates who support you, etc.
Don’t just sit there and argue at the television. You know what to do.
And make no small plans.
Antonia Williams-Gary is a consultant with Miami-based Savings and Grace Enterprise. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org