Monday, May 19, 2008

You Must Not Know 'Bout Me!

Michael Eric Dyson was the guest speaker at my church yesterday.

This is a deep brother. I don't know if he has a theological background or if he went to seminary school, but he has the gift.

He said some things that got me to thinking.
He said that since Black People were forced over here to the good 'ole US of A, White People have constantly forced us to stay behind them, which is true. He said that since we have always been in the so called "back seat" here in America, we have been forced to learn about how White People are.
Again True.
We study White People. We know their habits, their dislikes, their choice of foods, their favorite pastimes, we even know how White People worship their God.

We have to know them in order to survive here. We had to learn their language, their customs, their holidays, we have voted for them in every election this country has ever had. We were forced to take their names, we have married into their families. Some of us have lost our own identities and sense of worth because of the way we have been forced to assimilitate into their culture.

But on the flip side White People have not learned about us. I guess they have felt over the years that they did not need to. They don't know about our traditions, they don't know our foods, they don't know how we worship, they don't know our music, they don't know about what goes on in our neighborhoods. Sometimes they don't even know our language.

They just don't know.

They think they know about us from watching CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, BET, ESPN and reading their local newspapers. But they just don't know.

They don't understand when someone like Jermiah Wright says something about the country that has treated us worse than Harry Potter's aunt and uncle treated him. (I am a huge fan of those books. Don't knock em until you read em!)

They don't understand when someone like Michelle Obama says something like "This is the first time in my adult life that I am proud of my country." They don't know us, therefore they don't understand.

They don't understand why the Black community got so outraged about the JENA 6. They don't know us, therefore they don't understand.

They don't understand Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson. They did not understand Malcom X. They think they understand Martin Luther King, but they don't.

They think that we should be grateful to them for everything that we have accomplished in this country. Granted, there are a few White People that fought side by side with their fellow Black Americans, and there are some that will fight with us today if they have too, but as a whole they don't know about us.

That is the problem with America.

That is the problem with our "LEADERS".

Anything that you don't understand, you don't like. If you don't like it, you don't try to get to know it. If you don't try to get to know it, you listen to other people's views instead of trying to learn for your self.

Everything that White People think they know about us has come from second and third hand sources.

This does not apply to all White Americans however, like I said some have been out in the fields with us.

But as a whole, White Folks just do not know about us.

And that is a damn shame.


ZACK said...

But like I wrote before, it's more about US than them . We must remember our roots and treat each other right. We must work tirelessly to dissolve street gangs, and start business coalitions in our neighborhoods.

If white folks NEVER understand us, that's fine. But if we NEVER understand how to love ourselves, that's the greater tragedy.

OUTSTANDING POST! You Da Man, DirtyRed! But I can't stand Michael Eric Dyson.

brightstarr said...

Wow, this is SO sincere! I really felt that. But um...gotta call you out for the nerd reference. Harry Potter? Come on now. LOL. But deep homey, deep.

They don't understand middle eastern folks either (religion vs. terrorism), or why hispanics speak spanish, homosexuality (hot topic). I don't have problems with ignorance, as this simply is defined as "lack of knowledge about a particular topic." Cool, I mean who knows everything, really?

BUT, when you attempt to disguise that ignorance with pure prejudice, intolerance, and hatred, BEFORE attempting to understand and educate yourself on the matter, then the shit becomes a problem.

That arrogance, is exactly what I dislike about this country. And that ignorance is the only reason I fear Obama may have a helluva job ahead of him, when he wins this nomination. But I'm thinking positive. (well, trying)

Anonymous said...

Dirty Red,
Great observations. I agree with you, Zack & Brightstarr.

I would add another issue that black people need to focuse on & correct: the reason that white people don't know us is that we don't DEMAND that they know us. We're so desperate to be accepted into the white fold that we completely assimilate without requiring them to get to know us in any way. I have several white people in my family and for the most part they "get it" as far as the foundation of racial supremacy & the way it operates in this country. But I can't tell you how many times one of my family members has walked a white person into our midst who doesn't "get it" at all. They're just awed to demonstrate that "see I can get a white man/woman."

As Zack says we have to come to see & unapologetically embrace our own awesomeness. Because, DAMN, we are AWESOME! To come where we are right now in this country after only a few decades (when you look at it from an "actual" view)compared to the centuries that our white counterparts have had in this land as free people. We've been so busy bowing & scraping & we won't take the time to see that we've overcome crap that no white person has had to in this land. We keep jumping the hurdles & moving forward. That says something POWERFUL about us.


jjbrock said...

Dirty Red great article and I love me some Michael Eric Dyson. It's hard loving something or somebody that has been painted for years as unlovable and that someone is The Black Community.

Once we start to focus on us we can learn to love us.

Kieya said...

They don't know about us...and some of us don't even know about ourselves. MJ said it - "they don't really care about us" ... and you know it makes sense because look at who holds the power & wealth in this country. They feel like they don't have to learn. This is a two fold issue that starts with self. Like the folks above said, once we recognize, love, & praise ourselves -- we're unstoppable.

Beetlegeiss said...

Sincere and true...and I'm a white male.

You are correct, I do not know anything about black people. Culture, food, music, and so on. I also don't have any black friends.

At the same time, I don't have any friends that are of other races or nationalities, except my friend from Iran.

Never assimilate. You are who you are. People have feelings, the same feelings, regardless of their race.

Too bad white people are too arrogant to look beyond skin color.

Dirty Red said...

Zack, BrightStar, JJ Brock, Kieya

As always your viewpoints are spot on.

Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment.

Thanks for stopping by. I really appreciate your honesty and your views. Please continue to stop by and share your thoughts. It is always good to have a different point of view. That is how we learn from each other.

daddo911 said...

I know that it's been a while since I was here, by why do I get the impression that you guys have forgotten that you have lived in this country all your lives and not just off the boat with massa's whip as your motivation. I too believe that we should know history. Afro-history, Japano-history, martian-history, I think and believe we are bound to repeat any history that we don't learn from. Now having said that, what do we do about it. Do we sit and listen to people who may or may not be clergy preach on it or do we do something about it? Most of the people requesting "white people's" respect don't respect themselves or do what's necessary to push for that respect. How many people do you think speak up when they hear some stupid kid yelling the "n" many of you use it? How many people do you think talk to their school boards to get them to introduce the need for education that broadens the scope and focuses on afrocentric studies more than eurocentric. Anyway, we need more than a pissed off demeanor and someone to spout rage to get us to know us. We can be anyone in this nation and I for one refuse to go back to those days where I need an afro, a daughter named Keeyana Mogookoo(no offense)and a daichiki to fit in. I'm not copying anyone white......I'm just being myself a black guy in the greatest country in the world.