Okay so here are my initial thoughts.
I don’t know about your hood, but unlike during the Super Bowl or NBA Finals, when you can here a pin drop outside on the streets and crime is at an all time low because even the gangstas, killas, and dope dealers are watching the game, in my part of Los Angeles, it was business as usual. I guess watching the Democratic National Convention doesn’t compare to the American Idol or So You Think You Can Dance finale’s.
But moving on…
Sen. Ted Kennedy spoke and you would have thought Jesus Christ himself or the Pope had just addressed the crowd. I’m just saying. He may be a Senator, he may be a Kennedy, but he ain’t no God and has contributed just as much to the current state of crisis in this country as his counterparts. There are people all over this country who are dying from cancer, some with insurance, others without—and certainly not the access to the country’s best physicians. What makes this man so different?
Most people watching Michelle Obama tonight address the Democratic National Convention saw America’s future First Lady. A well speaking, articulate, and nicely dressed Black woman. And while there’s nothing wrong with that, I am not most people.
What I saw was a woman—no matter how independent, fierce, and fabulous she is—get up tonight and do her best to convince white America that she isn’t that angry Black woman and that she’s as American as apple pie and soccer moms. I saw a woman that down to the flip in her do, was told how to stand, what to say—including giving props to Sen. Hillary Clinton–, what to wear, and how to act while on stage tonight in order to come off as “American.”
Most people will argue there’s nothing wrong with that. That she’s doing what she has to do to get her man elected as the next president. I would agree in theory. However, how honest are we really being with ourselves about the situation? If the only way Obama can get elected is to distance himself from being Black, then I say we’ve still got a long ways to go.
Now we can kid ourselves all we want and say that this is part of the plan to get him into office and then overnight he’s going to become the “Black President,” and see to it that we get our forty acres and a mule, but the chances of that happening are about the same as Hillary Clinton declining a roll call vote at the convention and crawling under a rock somewhere and disappearing for the rest of the week (taking her husband and daughter with her.)
All I’m saying is that if being American means that I have to give up my locs and Kente cloth for cardigan sweaters and a relaxer in order to avoid being seen as just another angry Black woman because someone else feels that’s how I need to be seen in order to be taken seriously, please take note, I’m no Toby—my name is Kunta Kinte.
That may be a little too deep for some of you to understand.
But perhaps James Baldwin explained it best when he said, “to be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.”
He also said, “the only thing that white people have that black people need, or should want, is power-and no one holds power forever.”
And “the power of the white world is threatened whenever a black man refuses to accept the white world’s definitions.”
There’s a pretty good chance that I will be flying from Los Angeles to Denver to the DNC on Tuesday for work, believe it or not, I’m not that excited about it. I would much rather scream and shout curse words at my television in the comfort of my own home, lol. I’ll keep you posted…