Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Acting White: Angry Blogger, Sider Bar #7


The nightmare continues. Two teens (black) in Minneapolis kill a mother and her son (black), stabbing her over 100 times and bashing her boy’s head with a television. This woman clearly had no idea what she was doing when she let these boys, acquainted with her older son, into her home. Who could comprehend this outcome? Sadly, the fear of blacks youths will only grow from such a horrendous act, and who can deny this logic.

In the last few days I have been criticized for using the word ‘animal’ and ‘savage’ to describe people in this country, and other parts of the world, who kill and injure with pathologies that reach far back into time before the moral leaps of the last century. Black people need to take these words off the ‘banned’ list, because this denial is making the problem worse.

A concerted response is demanded. Everything we are doing, to raise kids who do these things, is wrong. Everything. How they are parented, schooled, disciplined, loved – everything. We need an intervention and the first thing we must do is stop lying to ourselves that the fault lies with others. The Black community must take responsibility for this behavior.

I suggest one long time out. No more BET, parties, singing, dancing, or drinking. No drugs, no fast food, and no sex. No football, basketball, track, or hangin. No dressing up at church. No SUV’s, no 21” rims, no gansta’ anything. And no cell phones. And then use the time figure ourselves out. This is most serious.

James C. Collier

READ MORE ACTING WHITE...

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

10 comments:

Brown Girl said...

I completely agree (not about the use of the words 'animal' and 'savage' - there are just too loaded) but about everything else.

We are sooooooo in denial about the state of our communities and so addicted to the racism crutch. We just don't get it.

We have loss all reason and anytime anyone tries to shift the debate to self-responsibility all hell breaks loose. I wonder if Obama's speech on father's day has had any negative repercussions in the AA community yet.

Cam said...

wow

"No more BET, parties, singing, dancing, or drinking. No drugs, no fast food, and no sex. No football, basketball, track, or hangin. No dressing up at church. No SUV’s, no 21” rims, no gansta’ anything. And no cell phones."

as if all of these things are directly responsible for the actions of our people. it's called "parenting"...instilling morals and values.

and if we seek to make changes in the black community, we can't approach them out of self-righteousness or name calling (i.e. labeling them savages and thinking we're "better than"). Last time I checked, we all do wrong...the degrees of wrong don't matter. There are so many variables that come into play with living in this world. There's certainly no quick and easy fix...

I read the comments from the last post, and I have to say that what the first commenter noted went through my head as I read this post. Just because you and I were blessed to have people help you see the world in a different light doesn't mean that everyone else does...

ogunsiron said...

Hi everyone, this is my first post here and I'm glad I've found this interesting looking blog.
__

Cam says :
...
and if we seek to make changes in the black community, we can't approach them out of self-righteousness or name calling (i.e. labeling them savages and thinking we're "better than"). Last time I checked, we all do wrong...the degrees of wrong don't matter.
__
ogunsiron :

I guess i just thouroughly disagree with that.
One thing that I've come to understand is that judgement is , jesus' words notwithstanding, necessary and justified.

Frankly i find your idea that "degrees of wrong don't matter" very strange.
Of course degree matters ! We tolerate behaviour in some people that is merely annoying , for instance, but we have quite a problem with people whose behaviour causes great pain to others, don't we ?
I suppose that it might not be the best tactic to actually tell people that they're savages, if one's trying to influence them. Fair enough. On the other hand, i think it's perfectly ok to at least *think* that some behaviour is savage , grossly inferior, substandard and unacceptable. It's reasonable to judge. it's reasonable to rank, it's reasonable to hierarchize.

I realize that i may even fall victim at some point to someone's low opinion of my behaviour. I guess that I'm so unwilling to let go of this prerogative ( the prerogative of discrimination between what's good and what's not good) that I'm willing to let others enjoy it too.

i think people need to embrace the ability and willingness to distinguish and to separate the wheat from the chaff. We do it in various degrees, but in our culture it's not acceptable to publicly admit to it. That's gotta change at some point.

Cam said...

judgment and discernment are two totally different things...judgment is reserved for God and His son...they are the only ones righteous enough to pass judgment on others. discernment allows us to recognize the wrongs, but doesn't put us in the position of thinking we're better than anyone else ("...let he who is without sin cast the first stone...")...at least that's the way it's supposed to work anyway...

i've seen so many people who have turned away from trying to do "right" because of their encounters with people who have so much pride in their positions of "judgment"...we need to be careful about that...

like i said before, there are numerous variables within a person's life that encourages or discourages certain behavior. a lot of times, people just aren't getting the help that they need in order to overcome the situations they're in. i truly believe that if those teenagers had *someone* to help steer them down a different path (without judgment or a complete denial of their culture) then we wouldn't be reading about them in the news

Anonymous said...

This article is not for discussion[cogitating or contemplating]. It is for encouraging and TAKING ACTION! THANK YOU to the author for giving SPECIFICS! If "we" want to have a CHANGE in our communities and circumstance - "we" will TAKE ACTION as SPECIFIED! If "we" want things to be status quo, keep doing status quo!

passin through said...

I just stumbled upon this site, and I usually don't comment on folks' articles or blogs, but after seeing the dialog, I feel compelled to. It's a shame that folk have to get snappy in order to make their points, but this is the internet and people have the tendency to get bold when they're not face to face. From what I can tell, all Cam's saying is that anyone could've been in the position of those teenagers, so folk need to keep that in mind before shootin off judgment.

And "anonymous", what action is being specified? Aren't helping people "overcome the situations they're in" and "steer[ing] them down a different path[s] (without judgment or a complete denial of their culture)" specific actions as well? And if the article weren't up for discussion "[cogitating or contemplating]", then why is it posted on a public blog?

But whateva...Cam, you're not alone. Me...I'm through with the close-mindedness and assumptions folk frequently display across the web. Keep making a difference where you are because every little step helps.

peace

Phillyperk said...

Glad and depressed to see the dialogue. Glad because we need to keep forcing the discussion back to responsibility and action. Depressed because the "stalemate" on this issue in the black community actually represents backwards movement ---as we fiddle away, the world passes us by....and, leaves too many of our children in the dust.

I agree with several previous posts: at this point it really doesn't matter what excuse we make for the condition. It is a crisis, whether we choose to call it that or not. We have to be about action not about analysis of the condition.

Nothing new needs to be written about these issues. Changing our collective condition is not easy, but its also not nearly as complicated as the "excuse community" makes it out to be. We have history as our guide. We arrived some place better through struggle, discipline, family, faith and sacrifice. How can what we face today compare to what was overcome by those who survived the middle passage, or those who kept families together through Jim Crow?

No, we don't have it easy, but one honest question we have to ask ourselves is, as we compare our condition to our ancestors, how do we measure up with regard to our willingness and capacity to sacrifice and struggle for a better tomorrow for our children and grandchildren?

Al From Bay Shore said...

Here is what I don't understand: The existence of a cadre of black folks who can work themselves into a rage when fixating on "what the white man has done" to black folks BUT seem oblivious to black on black brutality that occurs.

I still cling onto my black nationalism and have no issue with hurling the "Uncle Tom" and "handkerchief head" type of epithets. As I am getting older, I am seeing that the new "Uncle Toms" and "handkerchief heads" are those black folks who do us harm through various forms of criminal activity.

Its funny how we can be led to rally around thugs who have been offended by the legal system (Jena) YET we turn a blind eye to hard working black folks who are brutalized by other black people.

Perhaps the self appointed leaders and Civil Rights entities need to move back into the black community and have meaningful contact with black folks so they me see what is really happening at the grass roots level.

Ochyming said...

@al from bay shore

Indeed!

plez... said...

you wrote: "I suggest one long time out. No more BET, parties, singing, dancing, or drinking. No drugs, no fast food, and no sex. No football, basketball, track, or hangin. No dressing up at church. No SUV’s, no 21” rims, no gansta’ anything. And no cell phones. And then use the time figure ourselves out."

plez sez: i agree 100%! the only way to improve the lot of Black folk is by the people who got us into this mess in the first place: US! we need a wholesale overhaul of the way we do business, the way we educate and raise our children, and the examples we set for ourselves and our children.