Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Welcome to Election Night at Grant Park"

Some of my relatives decided to rent a room at a South Loop hotel in order to participate in the election rally. [Instead of having to get through the masses and traffic to drive home afterward.] Since I'm off from work this week, I decided to jump on their bandwagon and go to the rally. So, here are some random observations of election night at Grant Park:

It's an unusually warm, Indian-summer day in Chicago. The afternoon temperature is in the 70s and sunny. The banners over the underground parking lot near Grant Park read "Obama Presidential Parking."[I was mildly amused that the City of Chicago let them phrase it that way, instead of "election rally parking."] There was already a huge crowd gathered on Michigan Avenue by 2:30 p.m. The emotional atmosphere is very much like it was during Mayor Harold Washington's election as Chicago's first Black mayor. The difference 20+ years later is that the hopeful, energized crowds here in Grant Park are mostly White---I would guess about 55% White. [If you know anything about Chicago's racially polarized politics, you know that this is a "!!!" moment.]

Unlike Mayor Washington's election, I'm emotionally detached from this one. I'm not at all excited about President-elect Obama. I've lived and voted through far too many "let's make history" elections that were hollow victories. Sometimes, the "let's make history by electing the first Black [fill in the blank]" politician is used to do things that Black people would never tolerate from White office holders. I remember how the "let's make history, first Black" mayor of Philadelphia, Wilson Goode, presided over the police firebombing of a Black neighborhood. This firebombing caused fatalities (including the deaths of several Black children), and burned down dozens of Black families' homes. We certainly made history with Wilson Goode.

The only "let's make history" vote I cast that I'm pleased with years later is for Mayor Harold Washington.

With this election, the only meaningful benefit I see is how Michelle Obama being held up as a model of grace and beauty will help lift Black girls' spirits. I am extremely pleased by this because Mrs. Obama is a typical, brown-skinned Black woman. She's not one of the "White women's children" or "looks like a White woman's child" individuals that are held up to the rest of us as the pinnacle of Black beauty. This is a significant deviation from the "paper bag test" and "manila folder test" that has been established to measure Black beauty. This is extremely important.

There were a couple of people in the crowd hoping to be able to get tickets into the main rally. One young Black woman was wearing a placard that said, "I came all the way from Seattle without a ticket. Please help." A young White man held up his skateboard which read on the underside, "Will skate for a ticket."

The crowd was extremely diverse. I see a few hijabis in the crowd while overhearing an animated conversation in Chinese next to us. There are lots of people that came from all over the country and all over the world to be here for this. I talk to a young African-American woman who came from Houston with her relatives. We discuss the Biblical precedent of people living to fulfill a certain purpose and then being killed. Jesus, Dr. King. We're both hopeful that President-elect Obama gets to live a long, full life. I have a conversation with a White man who's about my age, we both express the hope that the victory margin is too large for the Republicans to seriously try to steal the election (as before).

A recording plays, "Welcome to Election Night at Grant Park. Signs, banners, strollers, and food are not allowed into Grant Park." That's why the television audience didn't see any banners being waved during crowd shots. I saw about 5 Chicago police officers on horseback riding through the crowd on Michigan Avenue. One horse seemed startled for a moment by the spontaneous chanting that would break out in sections of the crowd. There's the constant background sound of police helicopters hovering over the park.

The crowd is surprisingly attentive and respectful during Sen. McCain's concession speech. The only boos come at the mention of Gov. Palin's name. The crowd is mesmerized by President-elect Obama's speech. I notice the warnings ("the government can't do everything"), and somber notes in his speech. One of my relatives compares the situation to Detroit. "They" let Blacks take (nominal) control of things just as they're on a steep decline.

Time will tell.

55 comments:

PioneerValleyWoman said...

Greetings, Khadija!

It is good to know you were right there! I saw the news coverage last night, and it was amazing to watch. I loved his speech, and yes, his praise of M. Obama was wonderful in that it was so uplifting.

Definitely a powerful image of a "real" black woman! Beautiful, accomplished and graceful! I loved when he described her as his best friend of 16 years, the rock of his family and the love of his life.

May her image become even more powerful and in opposition to the image others would like to use in diminishing our value and dignity!

DeStouet said...

Thanks for taking the time to cover this, Khadija.

Ray, my elder, who took me underneath his wing as a young lady told me that America would probably never elect a black president. If they did so, we would never live to see such a day. Pretty soon after reading & studying history, I began to believe this to be the truth.

About two years ago, when I was attending college in Georgia, both my history & sociology professor discussed this in class, and the majority of us (a very diverse group) agreed that we would never live to see an black president.

Last night that changed and I lived to witnessed it.

Now on to the naysayers.

I listened to people's complaints throughout this entire process. I listened to them when they said:

(1) America would not elect a black president.

(2) Obama would not be able to beat Hilary.

(3) America showed their true colors when they gave Palin little to no slack when once they found out her daughter was a teen mother.

(4) Our nation would never elect a black man to get them out of our financial crisis (which is on almost everybody's mind).

I listened to the naysayers but not anymore, and I'll share with you why. Last night proved to me that anything is possible.

Don't get me wrong, I keep a reservoir of faith in my trunk for rainy days but what happened last night...what took place caused me to feel something I have never felt before.

I heard a woman on another site I visit, ask "What will Obama do for the black people now?"

To that, I'll just say this. If she is expecting every crackhead to go into rehab, she's crazy. If she is expecting some of the folks from the underclass to begin to "live well" she might as well keep on hoping.

Obama winning this election will inspire those who are open to it. It will motivate those individuals who are already moving forward.

He's not a magician.

That's why I refuse to listen to the naysayers anymore.

PS. When he spoke about his wife, I was floored. I was in love. I believed. May our future black little girls see something in her face that they can relate to and live with.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Pioneer Valley Woman!

Yep. I'm happy I went. These are my "Forrest Gump/Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman" moments! So I can say "I saw. I was there." LOL!

We watched the tv coverage in the hotel room after the rally. I hadn't watched ANY election coverage before last night.

But I must say that I was deeply amused to watch the "haters" on FOX "News." As one of my cousins said, "I just want to see their faces crack!" It was hilarious. Brit Hume was hunched over the desk, with his mouth drooping. Everybody on FAUX News was somber & subdued. Bwah, bwah, bwah!

Regarding M. Obama you said, "May her image become even more powerful and in opposition to the image others would like to use in diminishing our value and dignity!" AMEEN! ["Amen."]

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Welcome, DeStouet!

Like I said, I've voted & lived through too many "let's make history and elect the 1st Black ____________" elections to get pumped up about this. I've also disliked President-elect Obama from the very beginning of his political career here in Chicago. This does not take away from the fact that he is better & smarter than the other "mainstream" alternative.

However...like I discussed in detail in my first post on this blog, there's a price tag attached to Obama's election that Black people have NOT thought through. At all. As is our tradition, we're too busy being delerious over "the 1st Black ________."

Sometimes the "1st Black __________" is used to do things & enact policies that Black folks would never tolerate from a White politician. I'm thinking of how Philadelphia's "let's make history," 1st Black mayor, Wilson Goode presided over the police-sponsored firebombing of a Black neighborhood that caused fatalities & burned down dozens of Black families' homes.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Chi-Chi said...

As usual, Khadija, you say all that I'm thinking but far more eloquently. I would love to send your post to dozens of folks but I know it will be met with anger or disapproval. People are already questioning how I could not be so excited.

But, indeed, only time will tell.

Oh yes, and it did give me a lot of pleasure hearing those "haters" seethe and sulk (I was listening to the radio). I couldn't help but think "Take that!"

Khadija said...

Welcome, Chi-Chi!

Guurl, isn't it hilarious?! I really, really enjoy it when I have the chance to repeat back to reactionary racists all the mess they like to tell us:

{Imagine me croaking the following in a hoarse, toad-like voice}

"We have to respect the process." "The voters have spoken." It's almost too bad I'm off from work. There are a couple of individuals that I'd like to say this to. Maybe I'll have the opportunity when I get back. LOL!

The last time I got to use the "toad-voice" (combined with a Chesire-cat grin) was years ago when discussing OJ's acquittal with a White DA. I pointed out to him that he didn't have a problem with:

"Claus von Bulow's 'reversal of fortune...William 'Date Rapist' Kennedy-Smith...John 'Narcotics Trafficker' DeLorean...OJ simply purchased 'reasonable doubt for a reasonable fee like the rest of these wealthy men...You didn't say anything about them...I wonder why...Anyway, WE MUST RESPECT THE PROCESS...the jurors have spoken."

Bwah, bwah, bwah!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Hello again, Chi-Chi!

Another thought for every Black person who feels as we do: Don't let the deluded, the delirious, and the delusional slow your roll.

The grave economic problems that existed on Nov. 3rd still exist. Black folks' mass lack of preparation continues. Most of us are too busy celebrating the symbolism of the false messiah.

Those of us who know better need to calmly continue our work & preparations. Our foolish, childish people are going to need us to help pick up the pieces when the economy completely crashes.

Remain steadfast & don't get distracted or discouraged by their delusions. Let the deluded ones enjoy their fantasy in peace. Reality will come crashing in soon enough.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

TLW said...

In other news, affirmative action has been banned in Nebraska. Expect to see more of this.

PioneerValleyWoman said...

That is why I have been having my eye peeled to the more conservative commentator's websites like National Review and the Wall Street Journal. We need to know what they will be cooking up now that he is president-elect.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Hey there Khadija!

I wondered WHERE you were last night!! (smiles)

You said:
Unlike Mayor Washington's election, I'm emotionally detached from this one. I'm not at all excited about President-elect Obama. I've lived and voted through far too many "let's make history" elections that were hollow victories.

I do agree with you.

It pains me to hear black people say things like "NOW we know that a black person can be president!" Does this mean that their MIND can only aspire through what is STANDING before them? Black slaves IMAGINED freedom before ever seeing it in this country. They didn't HAVE TO see a free slave in America to believe in freedom in America.

Have we regressed?

Do we NOW require a black person in a position BEFORE we grasp the possibilities for our race?

Sad.

I believe that Obama will make a better president than McCain but that's not really saying much is it? Will Obama make a better president than Hillary would have? Time will tell.

He's won this election.

The world is watching him.

It is amazing to me that white friends were calling to congratulate me on the win of Obama (and I am a Republican)....oh...could it be that it's because Obama is BLACK?! But wait...his mother is white, did he forget? Oh I see...they FORGOT about that and in their eyes Obama is a BLACK president...which tells me that they really haven't evolved in this campaign.

For one night...we saw Americans crying together, hugging and pretending that racism and classism did not exist here. For one night...

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

@ Chi-Chi

The blog host of another blog turned hostile and snippy when I stepped into the conversation and pointed out that the blacks who did not support Obama have valid reasons for not fully believing in his commitment to champion the underdog and to protect black interests. After all, he:

- stood back while the white media lynched his pastor
- never seeing that the noose in their hands will one day be intended for him if they will pull it out on his own brother
- stood silent while white media factions viciously attacked his wife (couldn't risk the votes by standing up and protecting her)
- rejected the endorsement and support of the black men in the Nation of Islam (while BEAMING when Confederate-flag carrying "rednecks" jumped on the Obama bandwagon)

Need I go on?

From the reaction I received, you would have thought I had fire bombed the place just by pointing out these FACTS...with a touch of sarcasm of course.

{shaking my head}

Khadija said...

Welcome, TLW!

Yep. There will be plenty more where that Nebraska initiative came from.

In many ways, I would compare our situation to that of the gays: They and we have mistaken cosmetic acceptance for lasting, permanent, institutionalized change. Now, they've woken up to discover that their fellow citizens in California have decided to ban their previous right to marry.

What I find fascinating from reading the conversation over at Pam Spaulding's blog (she's a Black lesbian blogger), is that it seems that many White gays & lesbians are blaming Black folks for the passing of Proposition 8, ignoring that the Mormon Church put up the bulk of the money to fund this initiative. Hmmm...
_________________________

Hello there, Pioneer Valley Woman!

Yes, I agree that we need to keep an eye on these folks. I also feel that we need to move forward with our own plans. I'm tired of simply reacting to what other people decide to put into motion.
___________________________

Welcome, Lisa!

Cosmetic changes and "Kumbaya, my Lord" moments DO NOT equal lasting change. These things basically equal a FAD. A political fad that can (and will) be easily swept out of fashion if we're not careful.

On a related note: You were nervy enough to question the value of the false messiah on a Black blog?!! Guurl, don't you know that idol-worshippers are inherently fanatical? LOL! Especially when it comes to their "1st Black ______" idols? It's amazing that your head is still attached to your shoulders.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

focusedpurpose said...

Khadija-

hi there. i, too, am detached from this whole spectacle. i have taken joy in the fact that provided that those that make the rules don't do as they have done for centuries and change them; there will be a black woman and black girls in the white house. this brings me joy.

you said:

"Sometimes, the "let's make history by electing the first Black [fill in the blank]" politician is used to do things that Black people would never tolerate from White office holders."

i say:

YES MA'AM! research has been conducted that isolated our tolerance of the intolerable as long as it is in black skin...and male.

i will in respect for the right of others to exercise their free will, quietly watch the happy Negroes celebrate and dance. i seek not to convert those that don't want to be converted.

i will say, i found it interesting in his speech when he spoke of the 100+ woman that lived through being denied the right to vote due to her womanhood and skin color. uh, what color was that?

for those that are paying attention, the message has been sent loud and clear. i co-sign Lisa. those that will be shocked,
have CHOSEN to ignore all the red flags along the way...

i am cautiously optimistic that my alarms are sounding for no reason. as you so wisely said, TIME WILL TELL.

blessings all,
focusedpurpose

focusedpurpose said...

pardon any double post or typos. i am on the fly:-)

blessings,
focusedpurpose

daphne said...

Hi Khadija! I'm so glad you have a blog to share your thoughts - I recall your commentary on Shecodes' blog, and wondering why the heck you didn't have one yourself. First-time poster here, so I hope you don't mind my jumping into the fray:

From Lisa:
It pains me to hear black people say things like "NOW we know that a black person can be president!" Does this mean that their MIND can only aspire through what is STANDING before them? Black slaves IMAGINED freedom before ever seeing it in this country. They didn't HAVE TO see a free slave in America to believe in freedom in America.

Have we regressed?

Do we NOW require a black person in a position BEFORE we grasp the possibilities for our race?


Thank you for this - it encompasses the mild sense of despair of what I felt last night. Growing up in small town Georgia, I had certain beliefs about what blacks could and could not do instilled in me. Strangely enough, I was still a dreamer, and my sense of possibility has grown even more since my college days, not to mention having the opportunity to read the insightful POVs within the black woman blogosphere.

While I was happy for Obama as President-elect, I watched some of the sound bytes of blacks, and I thought, "What a shame that, generally speaking, we didn't think we'd ever see a black president." Including myself in that "we". I will make every effort to eliminate that type of thinking ever again. May the power of imagination (along with the ability to execute effectively) reign supreme.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Focused Purpose!

Yes, I'm also watching the delirious Negroes frolic & gambol. God respects free will, and so do I. Onward & forward with my work & preparations.
_______________________

Welcome, Daphne!

{excited waving}

Thank you so much for your kind words. I truly appreciate it. Please feel free to join any conversation at anytime. I learn a lot from the guests!

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

I am simply excited that I lived to see a black person be voted the nest president of the united states... I never thought that I would live to see such a day.

Does it surprise any of you ladies that blacks are up & arms over what took place last night? I thought most of you dedicated your blogs & efforts to truth and in the process, openly admitted several times that blacks had a long way to go. Now you all do not have to agree with the reactions of black folks but you can NOT tell me you all are surprised.

Lisa said:

"It pains me to hear black people say things like "NOW we know that a black person can be president!" Does this mean that their MIND can only aspire through what is STANDING before them? Black slaves IMAGINED freedom before ever seeing it in this country. They didn't HAVE TO see a free slave in America to believe in freedom in America.

Have we regressed?

Do we NOW require a black person in a position BEFORE we grasp the possibilities for our race?"

Yes! Yes! Yes!

I was under the impression that Blowing the Trumpet was geared towards helping women/people see the light.

The fact that black children will never have to hear that a black man will never be president is reason enough for me to celebrate. And I like to add, none of you probably ever thought that you would live to see a black president.

Lisa, did you think that you would live to see a black president? Even with your upbringing? I ask the same of all of you.

That is what this moment in history is about for me & my husband.

DeStouet said...

In the class rooms of private school, magnet schools and public schools there are photos of all 43 presidents hanging over the alphabet. All of the men in these photos are white. Now the next face will be that of a black man.

That's a wonderful image!

DeStouet said...

Some of these same people worship and idolize preachers & pastors. The cross. Very few of them worship God.

Some of these same women idolize men. They worship money & wealth.

Surely, you all are not surprised about their reactions.

DeStouet said...

One last thing and I will shut up and let other voice their concerns.

If Obama would have stepped out on a limb and stood up for Wright, we would have been saying that he should have been smarter. We would have criticized him for that because that that is not how to win an election (for a black man).
The same goes for if he would have backed Michelle.

Apparently, Michelle & Wright were strong enough to hold themselves down while he continued to attract a larger audience.

I admit, I know very little about politics (but my husband does) and from the little that I know, it's always about the bigger picture.

Khadija said...

Hello there, DeStouet!

Actually, I am surprised by this reaction from Black people who are old enough to know better.

By that, I mean Black folks who are old enough to have seen for themselves what "1st Black ________s" & "prominent" Blacks like Wilson Goode, David Dinkins, Colin Powell, Condoleeza (shopping for shoes while Black bodies floated down the streets of New Orleans) Rice, Clarence Thomas, etc. have done.

Anyone who was an adult or teenager during these sordid episodes should know better than to assume that the "1st Black _________" equals progress for the Black collective. So far, this has mostly been a trick & a deception that has left the Black collective worse off than before.

We have more Negro office holders than before, and yet our collective quality of life is much, much worse than it was 40 years ago before we had all of these "1st Blacks."

Could it be that having these "1st Blacks" is NOT necessarily cause for celebration? Especially when the "1st Black" is avidly working against our collective interests?

I remember those dead Black children who were incinerated in their own homes because of "1st Black mayor" Wilson Goode's cowardice & weakness. I didn't forget what that particular "let's make history, 1st Black _______" did. I'm sure these dead children's families remember them too. They would have been adults by now. Maybe one of them would have found the cure for cancer. Who knows?

What I do know is that many of us are willing to overlook incidents like these Black children's deaths (and other atrocities, like Condi's shopping spree while Black people drowned like rats) in order to continue blindly celebrating "the 1st Blacks." This is despicable.

We're so caught up in the make-believe progress of having "the 1st Blacks" that we're unwilling to scrutinize the content of these 1st Blacks' characters. Doesn't this consistent refusal to judge "1st Blacks" by the content of their character (or lack of such) violate the commandment laid down by another one of our idols, Dr. King?

So, no...I'm not surprised by the reactions of those who are too young to know how our people have been deceived, used, and killed because of some of these "1st Blacks." That's the very definition of innocence---simply not knowing.

I'm surprised (and offended) by the childish idolatry of Black people who lived through these earlier deceptions, and therefore should know better. "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." Also, there comes a point when grown-ups are required to put away "childish things."

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Ensayn1 said...

Khadija, I was feeling really alone amongst all the jubilation that continued all day. My heart jumped with joy when I read your post and explaining your detachment. I am not alone...LOL!!!

Khadija said...

Hello, DeStouet!

{excited waving}

Here's the critical difference between idol worship of the "1st Blacks" and idol worship of money, men, preachers, etc.

At least the money, men, preachers, etc. hold out the [often false] promise of doing something to benefit their worshippers!
People worship these other people & things with the expectation of receiving some benefit.

Notice that with the recent batch of "1st Blacks," Black people are going into this explicitly agreeing to NOT get anything in return for our support! We're already saying that Pres.-elect Obama can't and SHOULDN'T do anything in particular for us, because he's president for all the people.

We are openly encouraging each other to be politically "pimped" FOR FREE! Nobody else does this. Ever.
Didn't Sen. Obama have to appear before AIPAC to tell the Jewish leadership what he was going to do for them?

So...Black folks don't even feel worthy to demand anything of the "1st Black" idol other than the pleasure of worshipping it. This is shocking to me.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

Welcome, Ensayn!

No, you're not alone! LOL! Welcome to the underground resistance!

{Just kidding---No matter what differences of opinion may exist, I consider myself on the same "side" with anybody & everybody who wants the best for our people.}

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

daphne said...

Notice that with the recent batch of "1st Blacks," Black people are going into this explicitly agreeing to NOT get anything in return for our support! We're already saying that Pres.-elect Obama can't and SHOULDN'T do anything in particular for us, because he's president for all the people.

Maybe it's a matter of expectation due to another unspoken contract, similar to what's been referenced on Lisa's, Evia's, and other blogs? From what I've heard, there seems to be an expectation that things will suddenly get better for blacks as a whole just because of a black President, even though there are no such guarantees. I suppose covert and blatant racism, white privilege, etc will suddenly disappear? I don't understand the sentiment, but that's what I've heard. It'll be interesting to see if the same people who supported Obama with such zeal will continue to support him if said expectations aren't met. As historically significant as this presidency will be, at the end of the day, Obama is human. He alone cannot eradicate hundreds of years of racial strife; certainly not anymore than any other 1st black political official.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Daphne!

You're right. Part of this is about another one of these unspoken contracts. I also believe that there are other components to the blind celebration of the "1st Blacks."

But back to the contract: Again, I can see people falling for this the 1st few times this scam is run on them. But falling for the same trick dozens of times in a row? Repeatedly falling for the same trick for decades? Then, falling for even more overt versions of the trick? Tricks where nobody promises you anything? Tricks where tricksters tell you upfront that you've got nothing coming from them? After you've been burned by other tricksters for decades? Come on, now.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Khadija,

What black community?

Because lots of AA seem to think that the only thing binding black folks together is slavery. So, since they have more in common with white people, they should not have anything to say because as far as I know he addressed white america's cares & concern. And in doing so should have addressed theirs, right?

I admit, I took it real personal when Obama chose not to attend Tavis's State of the Union BUT at the same time, revolutionary people can't stand Tavis and considers him a "Uncle Tom." If Obama had went on there and spoke to Tavis, people on a site I frequent, would have said Obama's comments were not radical enough.

So, sit down with who? We are so divided, and openly admit to this.

And who needs would Obama addressed, if he had sat down to talk with the black community? Because many of us (until you wrote a blog about the black underclass) was all for stroking & caressing the black underclass. We were under the impression that THEY were the face for black America. Now we see that they are NOT.

Look, I'm trying to understand somethings.

Khadija said...

Hello, DeStouet!

I'm happy that you're pursuing this conversation. It's good for us to reason together.

I didn't say anything about a "Black community." I'm talking about things that disproportionately impact the Black collective. You've heard the old saying, "When White America has a cold, Blacks have pneumonia."

Because of our non-existent family ties, combined with the confused thinking of our (mis)leadership class, AAs are uniquely positioned to suffer the most from anything negative that ails this country. We saw a very good example of this disproportionate suffering with Katrina.

How is it that we don't require our Black elected officials to talk about the displaced Black evacuees of New Orleans every single day unless & until they are made whole?

We don't have to be a functioning community in order to still have collective interests. We are still bound to each other in many ways. Whether we like it or not. Since our Negro political class has stopped talking about the Black people of New Orleans and the gulf coast, this means that they will also ignore ME if something similar goes down in the Midwestern US. It means that they will also ignore anything that affects your family.

The Katrina travesty affects non-underclass Blacks in New Orleans. Without the presence of the Black poor & working class residents, where do Black doctors, dentists, lawyers, restaurant owners, etc. get their clients from? I'm sure people have lost their businesses & practices behind this.


In terms of the Tavis Smiley affair, this gets back to a core problem I have with crossover Black politicians. I will never accept being treated as if I and other Black people have political "cooties." Meanwhile, the crossover Negro is bending over backwards to talk to, be seen with, and accomodate other races & ethnic groups.

By agreeing to being marginalized like this, we are agreeing that we are political lepers and that it's appropriate for ALL politicians to avoid us & ignore our concerns. Like they continue to ignore the surviving former Black residents of New Orleans. Like they previously ignored some Black New Orleans residents to death.

Being politically shunned & marginalized can lead to death. Katrina is good example of this lesson.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

@ Destouet

You asked:
Lisa, did you think that you would live to see a black president? Even with your upbringing? I ask the same of all of you.

I wrote at my blog that when I was a little girl, my father would watch the news and point to the screen and say, "when you're president, you will fix this mess!" and I would look up from my dolls and say, "okay Daddy".

There was NEVER a mentality fostered in our home that a black people could not be president in America or that it was such a wild or lofty vision for a black person to lead this country...that was NEVER ingrained in my psyche! Therefore, there was NO shock or awe for me when I watched it unfold.

I encountered several blacks in my own childhood who were VERY well qualified to run this country and they did not run...but it was not because they didn't feel they COULD BE president of this land.

Obama won this race but let's not get it twisted...even with all of his wonderful credentials...he is not the most exceptional black man that exists in this country.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

@ Victor

As Khadija has said:
"Welcome to the underground resistance!"

(smiles)

Indeed.

focusedpurpose said...

Khadija-

i forgot about condi. so much for the "male" comment i made earlier. that woman is a disgraceful mess! why are she and her "husband" not in jail again?

thanks for reminding me sis!

blessings,
focusedpurpose

DeStouet said...

"Obama won this race but let's not get it twisted...even with all of his wonderful credentials...he is not the most exceptional black man that exists in this country."

You're absolutely correct. My husband is.

daphne said...

But back to the contract: Again, I can see people falling for this the 1st few times this scam is run on them. But falling for the same trick dozens of times in a row? Repeatedly falling for the same trick for decades? Then, falling for even more overt versions of the trick? Tricks where nobody promises you anything? Tricks where tricksters tell you upfront that you've got nothing coming from them? After you've been burned by other tricksters for decades? Come on, now.

True. What's the definition of insanity?

In terms of the Tavis Smiley affair, this gets back to a core problem I have with crossover Black politicians. I will never accept being treated as if I and other Black people have political "cooties." Meanwhile, the crossover Negro is bending over backwards to talk to, be seen with, and accomodate other races & ethnic groups.

I admit that I'm ambivalent on crossovers. On the one hand, I wonder if it's possible to have the collective black interest at heart without having to engage the usual suspects? On the other hand, your point about political cooties resonates with me as well, especially when that person breaks their neck to engage other groups.

Khadija said...

Focused Purpose,

It wasn't just Condi's callous disregard for other Black people's lives that I found appalling. It was her OPEN & NOTORIOUS disregard for our lives. This...heifer...didn't even feel the need to lie low even though she knew she wasn't going to respond to Katrina.

Oh no, this...being...was out openly shopping for expensive shoes and going to see "Spamalot." If I remember correctly, another shopper (a White woman, I believe) had the human decency to go off on Condi in the expensive shoe store.

The irate shopper wanted to know how it could be that such a high-ranking official was shopping for shoes while New Orleans drowned. At which point, the Secret Service intervened.

I find it amazing that this rich, White shopper had the decency to be offended by this, while many of us continue to celebrate Condi. Why is Condi even received by any sane, decent Black person? She deserves to be shunned by every decent Black person. Certainly not held up as anybody deserving of respect.

This shows how deep the idolatry goes when it comes to "1st Blacks" and "prominent" Blacks.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

focusedpurpose said...

Khadija-

you are SO right! that "being" needs to be imprisoned for aiding and abeiting in such atrocities and crimes against humanity. i said before, because of her and those like her, we WON'T be allowed to leave any future hijacked airplanes now.

this is a little off topic but not. has anyone else experienced weirdness the day after? i have asked the random white folks that have approached me why they are congratulating ME? based on WHAT is the assumption that i voted for O? i have asked why they feel that martial law will be declared before the Obamas are allowed to physically occupy the white house? (can you believe the audacity of a stranger feeling compelled to share THAT notion?) i have chosen not to even dignify those with a response brazen enough to say, outright, that Obama was allowed to win, in order to keep blacks from rioting. ???!!! i just may fall down if i have to explain to another soul WHO Cynthia McKinney is!

seeing Michelle and her beautiful little girls white house bound has made me smile all day, though. i have been bold in speaking to that fact. Khadija, these three in the white house, i must confess makes me a wee tad giddy. it is truly...priceless; for a host of reasons.

great post and exchange in the comments. thanks for allowing me to share.

blessings,
focusedpurpose

TLW said...

"Sometimes the "1st Black __________" is used to do things & enact policies that Black folks would never tolerate from a White politician."

I somewhat disagree with this. In my opinion some Black people would speak up against the policies but they would knock themselves out trying to pin it on anybody but that Black politician cause surely they couldn't have had anything to do with this, they had to of been coerced.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

Khadija,

Shoe shopping during a mass tragedy....

There is one thing that I have noticed among a few of the "privileged" negroes...

There is a mentality that dehumanized the black poor.

New Orleans was drowning but "those" people did not represent LIVES worth saving to one segment of this country. "Those" poor people represented the scum of the society. This is the real reason why no one cared about rescuing them. They were left to die like dogs, to rot like trash...

If the black lives mean NOTHING then it is a waste of federal money to save their lives. Yes, it is evil....

Notice how the white media reports on a missing white woman - reporters go on about how PROMISING her life is!! They are attempting to establish WORTH to the life of a missing white woman.

Do they EVER establish worth for the life of the poor black???

No.

The life of the poor black is treated like objects on a table at a yard sale...if no one claims them then they belong in the trash anyway.

Yes, this is a very devious and evil mindset.

Once you are dehumanized, your life has NO WORTH at all in society.

I mentioned this in post a few months ago...dehumanization will produce annihilation. We have to fight dehumanization in ALL FORMS in order to preserve black lives!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Sister Seeking said...

P&B

What I see from my emotional, spiritual, and intellectual space:


1. Mixed emotions. Joy, excitement, pride, hope, and shock. Yet, I also feel: concerned, cautious, and baffled to a certian degree. I'm concerned becuase I struggle with that old demonic cliche" image is everything!" Is it? I am proud of the entire Obama family, and I personally believe that Michelle is responsible for a great deal of his success--especially after learning that for a period of time( reported on MSN) she was the main breadwinner of their family. I also feel a certian degree of hope and joy that my fellow Americans were willing to look beyond color-ism in order to preserve what ever we have left of our: constitution; civil liberties, economy, and international relationships. I'm hopeful becuase I'm tired of being ruled by hatemongers, warmongers, fundamentalists, and cultist. I've experienced enough of that in the Muslim community--been there and done that for 11 years. I'm hopeful that we can end both wars, and not start anymore with other nations. I'm hopeful that the middle class can be saved, I'm hopeful that our health care system can be reformed, and I'm hopeful that fascists practices like the "Patriot Act" can be completely revoked. Republicans pride themselves on "small government" but that Patriot act was not an accurate practice of "small government."

2. I am concerned that we may have gotten over our excessive preoccupation with color-ism BUT-not with tribalism or ethnicity. Many whites were quick to point out he was biracial and I personally had white women come up to me after voting to tell me they voted for his "white side" and were encouraging other skeptical whites to vote for his white side. We all talked about this briefly on Khadija's Black underclass post but we should have nailed the issue to the cross: becuase of our history we cant trace our lineage we only know of our ancestry. Its clear to me that ones lineage is the issue not the color. If this is the case, this opens up that evil can of warms of how to scientifically determine ones lineage: what exactly is he? becomes the question. Is he black or is he white? Can he "legally" be both? can he "scientifically" be both? How are middle age whites ( young people are a different story here) viewing his lineage? I'm shocked that AA's aren't seeing what is happening here? If his mother ( thats another issue there too) weren't white would he be president today?
Of course this isn't Obama's fault but thats just some food for thought. Americans have accepted his color and some Americans have accepted his lineage but only becuase their tribe is included in it?

3. If this is what it takes to reform black families, and inspire black children to be great, to excel, I personally don't care.

PB

Sister Seeking said...

I forgot to mention something else which is MORE important than electing the first_________ fill in the blank anything.

I'm proud of my fellow Americans, especially, black folks for particpating in our own democracy.

As I have learned from the current "radical, rogue, regime" that if you don't participate people will take advantage of you, and run you the hell over all while telling you it isn't happening.

This republican administration nearly completely eroded the trust, respect, and patriotism of the majority of America. And the WORLD.

The next time I hear a republican tell me they believe in "small" government, and less regulation, I'm going to remind them of the Bush administration.

I'm not a democrat, nor a republican. I didn't vote for the Libertarian nominee becuase I'm a parent that does not want to see my children end up in another unnecessary war.

I'm fed up with the war mongering leaders in this nation and in the world.

The economy was not my first priority the preservation of human life was and what ever political party was willing to preserve human life was the party/person who was getting my vote.

I watched how the republican party treated Nancy Sheehan, I watched that.

When ever I think of them, all I remember is the McCain rallies that resembled Klan meetings. They have forever sealed their fate with my family.

I personally seek a return to the economy of the Clinton administration as well has his foreign policy methods.

PB

P.S. Anyone who sincerely believes that Obama can solve every problem and make it better overnight or even in one term is insane and needs a serious reality check about the shambles our country is in.

Khadija said...

@ Daphne:

You asked, "On the one hand, I wonder if it's possible to have the collective black interest at heart without having to engage the usual suspects?"

Engaging the "usual suspects"/Black talking heads is NOT a substitute for addressing & furthering our collective core interests. This sort of client-patron (big "leader") view of politics is part of what's wrong with us.

Let me give an example. Jewish-Americans have decided that the continued existence of Israel is a core interest of theirs. What are our core interests? I would suggest that anything that enhances our access to higher education (like affirmative action) is a core interest. I know from my family's personal experience that higher education changes the course of a family's future for generations.

Becaue we're focused on personalities, "1st Blacks," and prominent Blacks, we DON'T pursue our core interest of affirmative action. Instead, we uphold...beings...like Condi & Colin, etc. who support a party that is opposed to one of our core interests!
____________________________

@DeStouet:

I forgot to answer your original question: I was raised to believe that I could do anything that I really wanted to do. I never had any interest in being president.

As a small child, I wanted to be an astronaut. My parents & relatives then set out to buy space coloring books & children's science books in support of my 7-year-old aspirations. They all knew that if I studied hard, I would grow up to be on the moon. Because they knew, I knew it too. This was in 1971.

As a young adult, I saw that all jobs & offices are possible for Blacks, if you are willing to sell your soul to the devil. This price tag made certain aspirations no longer attractive ones in my eyes.
___________________________

@Focused Purpose:

It's a weird, "double consciousness" sort of thing about Obama. On the one hand, Whites & other non-Blacks love him because they don't perceive him to be "really" one of us (AA). On the other hand, they assume that AAs identify fully with him, and are therefore totally invested in his career aspirations. [Which, due to our confused thinking, is mostly true.]
__________________________

@TLW:

But what you described (the excuse-making) is exactly how the 1st Blacks get away with betraying the rest of us and/or atrocities: Black folks will argue that the 1st Black "had to" do certain things to get elected, keep his job, etc.

This is the argument used for why it's supposed to be a-okay for Obama to be a snivelling coward who wouldn't defend his own wife from attacks, much less the pastor who baptized his children.

My response to these arguments: Who ever said that the 1st Black "HAD TO" be elected, keep his job, or the rest of that? If this person isn't promoting my core interests, then I have NO reason to support their career aspirations. DEMAND RECIPROCITY NOW!
_____________________________

@Lisa:

You said, "Once you are dehumanized, your life has NO WORTH at all in society...dehumanization will produce annihilation. We have to fight dehumanization in ALL FORMS in order to preserve Black lives!"

EXACTLY! This is what's so wrong, and so deadly about Black folks agreeing that it's okay for politicians (including & especially crossover Negroes) to shun us. We are agreeing that we are politically diseased & have political cooties when we do this. We are ultimately agreeing that it's okay to ignore us to death, like in New Orleans.
_________________________

@Sister Seeking/Miriam:

Whites & other non-Blacks only like Obama because they don't perceive him to be fully one of us (AA). If he was all-Black, he would NOT have gotten this far, no matter how many times he bent over for White folks.

Also, do you notice how the "we can't expect Obama to solve every problem" argument converts into "we shouldn't expect Obama to address or solve ANY of our problems"? So, we are already excusing Obama from furthering ANY of our core interests, much less solving ANY of our problems.

In other words, it's okay with us if we are in the same bad condition at the end of his term(s). We're satisfied with looking at a Black face in that job.

Even if we're disproportionately:

1-starving.
2-losing more of our homes to foreclosure.
3-out on the streets.
4-have diminished access to higher education because affirmative action has been cut off.
5-can't afford medical care or medicine.

All of this okay with us. We've already got Obama's excuses lined up:

He "couldn't" do anything for us because White folks won't "let" him. He shouldn't do anything for us because he's President for everybody, not just us. He "has to" ignore us to keep his job (just like he "had to" ignore us to get this job). He "has to" ignore us to enact more important policies (i.e., whatever White folks want). And so on ad infinitum.

This is insanely self-hating. NOBODY ELSE agrees that it's okay for anybody to ignore them & their interests! EVER.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Evia said...

Khadija, I was skimming through your comments here and ran across your comments re "core interests."

And your comment:

I didn't say anything about a "Black community." I'm talking about things that disproportionately impact the Black collective. You've heard the old saying, "When White America has a cold, Blacks have pneumonia."

Because of our non-existent family ties, combined with the confused thinking of our (mis)leadership class, AAs are uniquely positioned to suffer the most from anything negative that ails this country.


Now this is where it's at. Of all the groups in this country, AAs are in the 'unique position' of not having a way to advance our 'core interests.'

What does that actually mean? To me, it means that AA are a very DISORGANIZED people who have no vehicles to carry our interests to the table and keep them on the table. Being disorganized also means that we are TOO scattered to take advantage of any policy changes that might address our 'core interests' or most pressing issues.

Let me repeat: ORGANIZATIONS. Other groups move up largely through their organizations of various types--not as individuals. Since AAs are not **effectively** organized, we are uniquely positioned to fail while we watch others glide by. We also **think** that those others are not organized, but they are--in a way that many AAs can't see because AAs don't tend to mingle much with other groups.

So let's just say that IF Obama were to put in effect some policy changes today to address OUR issues, OTHER **organized** groups would rush in to take advantage of those policies UNLESS it's a crime with a stiff penalty for anybody else to benefit.

For ex., if we look at "black scholarships" and slots in Ivy League colleges and universities for blacks, the children of black immigrants are scooping those up BECAUSE many of them are figuratively at the door waiting for the door to open. They don't have to get organized or get ready; they already are.

I know children born in America of many Africans who have gotten these monies and university slots because these students have good grade point averages, are motivated, have healthy standardized test scores, have pushy & supportive parents who constantly preach the value of education and who also instill discipline into their children. Additionally, they teach these children that they BELONG to a family, a network, a group, (ORGANIZATION) that is behind them and has great expectations of them.


I was in the position a few years ago to recruit black students for 2 of the most prestigious prep schools in the Northeast. Many of the children of major white politicians, CEO's & high-level execs. of large companies attended these schools. I was asked to recruit black students for them and told that money was no object. So I was in the position to offer the students 100%scholarships. The students had to be academically worthy, have good behavior, be motivated, and have parents who would be very supportive of the whole experience.

At those prep schools, the parents have to be very involved. One of my sons attended one of the schools and this is how I got involved. There were numerous activities that I had to participate in and be supportive of for him. I did it and my son received a top grade educational experience that has opened up all sorts of opportunities for him for the rest of his life.

Sadly, I couldn't find ANY other AA parents who were willing to make that commitment to their child to do it--even though I was offering their child a free ride!! I ended up giving the scholarships to Caribbean students because those parents were willing to do what they needed to do to support those students through the whole experience. Lawdy! Those were some happy parents! They wanted to carry me on their shoulders. LOL! They understood that I was offering their children a pipeline to an upper crust life, and those children have done well! The schools were happy because black students are black to them; they didn't care where they came from.

The thing is that the Caribbean parents were very supportive of each other and their children benefitted from all of that support. The parents took turns with transportation, attending the functions, childcare, etc. The AA parents just weren't interested enough to do that. When I suggested to some of the AA parents they could help each other out in those ways, they didn't feel they would get along with each other.

So I don't believe the **masses** of AAs will benefit from the Obama presidency because of our own INTERNAL stuff. WE are not organized and seem to be AFRAID of each other. Let's admit that many AAs don't trust each other for various reasons.

And I hope no one brings up that "Willie Lynch" letters stuff. LOL!

I've been saying for the last 2 years that AAs badly need a CULTURE--a new way of thinking, behaving OR a new way of life. Without that, MOST AAs will be in the same boat 100 years from now or worse, no matter who's president. But 99.99999% of the AAs I meet, don't want to do the hard work of building and erecting that culture. Most AAs want a messiah to part the waters for them, so of course, they're handing that job over to Obama. LOL!

There are a lot of savvy black political bloggers. To my knowledge, NONE of them has ever suggested moving their vehicle offline to join with each other to build or erect anything solid--except for one bw. She talks of building an ORGANIZATION, a vehicle to put those core interests on the table and keep them there.

You mentioned those 'mis(leaders).' Why don't we have good leadership by now? I believe it's because they don't get support. There's a saying that says, "when the people are ready, a leader will arise." I don't believe Obama is going to be that leader for many AAs, especially if he gets around to telling them all the ways THEY are going to have to change their ways. There are going to be some HOT black folks out there if he does that. LOL! I don't know whether he's willing to fight with folks when he's trying to save them. Look at what Cosby went through.

Personally, I can identify with and embrace ANYBODY who gives me any inkling that they will support my interests. My interests are **everything** to me. Complexion is nothing. To use that famous quote that is attributed to Mayor Harold Washington, "I don't have permanent friends or permanent enemies; I have permanent interests."

So without a vehicle, no one is going anywhere.

Aphrodite said...

I love this blog. There are some brilliant women here.



I am comforted that I am not the only one who felt apprehensive after the Obama win.



I didn't grow up in a time when people were told that a black could never be president. I had no idea that was ever said.


I will say that I am shocked at the near hysterical reactions, but I suppose it is a good thing considering the context.


Even the international footage that was shown of people around the world - you would think Obama is the messiah for real.



I do find it difficult to talk to both whites and black about this. Not that I initiate conversations, but I get sucked into them and when I am not as ebullient as they are I am accused of being a McCain supporter or worse etc.



I am disturbed that people feel like this is it. There is no more work to be done. The end.



There was a BM minister on MSNBC, I can't recall his name, but I do remember that he said something to the effect now BP can't cry racism ever again. Or the BW on BET asking if BM will see them differently now that Michelle is the first lady.



It all sounds so much like that 'magical thinking' that Evia warns about.



In light of all the wonderful points that you all bring up.

I am kinda thinking/feeling what's next? And is there a shoe somewhere about to drop?

LISA VAZQUEZ said...

@ Evia

You have made some excellent points.

I believe that this blog that Khadjia has started will help push the dialogue about HOW to "create" a new culture.

I need to stop by your blog at least once a week. I am sorry that I haven't even read more than ten essays you have written so far, and you have hundreds of them!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa
_______________________________

@ Khadija

Greetings, Comrade!

I believe that most activists are still in the "alarm-sounding" stage. After the alarm is sounded and a need to take action is understood, then the dismantling of the slave mind has to take place. This is a long, long process.

You are engaged in this process at your blog.

There are women who believe that all we need is to raise a "unity" flag and all black people will embrace that vision....the dismantling has not occurred! bell hooks said we can NOT have a functional movement with people who embrace dysfunctional thinking and behaviors.

I don't think that forming new organizations IS the answer... there are PLENTY of black organizations in existence. Why is it that we continue to reinvent the wheel???

There is a black organization that focuses on developing a national agenda for black women. It's called the National Agenda for Black Women. It's been in existence for YEARS. Some of these visionaries have put the building blocks in place but do we help them take it to the next level or do we decide to start OUR OWN so that we can be in contol? We have to understand why we continue to see more and more black organizations that are being introduced that are announcing initiatives that other organizations already committed to being part of.

People were stunned when I presented at my blog a list of organizations headed by black women. I asked them "now many of you have read the annual report on any of these? how many of you have send a check to any of these?"
*crickets chirping*

I heard some comments like, "well the website wasn't informative"! Soooo. Is THAT the reason why we aren't supporting black women's organizations? Because their webmaster is mediocre? It seems ANY excuse will do when we want to explain WHY we aren't investigating the black organizations that are already in existence. {shaking my head}

I hear people saying "the NAACP and Urban League aren't doing anything..." and ask those negroes if they have read an annual report! No they haven't. Ask them if they have read the strategic plan of those organizations. No they haven't. But they KNOW that these organizations aren't heading anywhere?

Leadership in these organizations has changed and do we KNOW what changes are occurring or do we just ASSUME THAT nothing is occurring?

We must stop sitting back with these trite and tired excuses and start doing some serious fact-gathering!

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Khadija said...

Welcome, Evia!

You've made several extremely important points here.

You said, "Of all the groups in this country, AAs are in the 'unique position' of not having a way to advance our 'core interests.'" As you noted, this stems from AAs being disorganized & scattered.

You also said, "So let's just say IF Obama were to put in effect some policy changes today to address OUR issues, OTHER **organized** groups would rush in to take advantage of these policies UNLESS it's a crime with a stiff penalty for anybody else to benefit."

My response: Well, this is EXACTLY what has happened with most affirmative action programs. Other people [White women, Latinos, foreign Blacks, gays, whoever else] have jumped ahead of us while we were asleep in the "goodies line." Therefore, these other people scooped up almost all the goodies. Even the ones that were supposed to be for us (AAs).

As I said during the Charity Begins at Home series, I expect others to look out for their interests. That's what people are supposed to do. I just wish AAs would start doing it too. But we've got several INTERNAL impediments to this, as you've pointed out.

To me, the primary impediment is our confused thinking about our interests. Instead of advancing CORE interests, AAs have gotten distracted with advancing SYMBOLIC interests. I believe that this is just one side effect of the "magical thinking" that you've discussed at your blog.

That's how there are AAs telling the rest of us that Crossover Negro Politicians Nos. 1-infinity had to ignore us to be elected. And we have to suppport the election of the "1st Black." Even if this 1st Black will NEVER do anything for us.

Even our (mis)leadership class is mostly confused about core vs. symbolic interests.

Another thing is our general lack of understanding that, as my Dad emphasized to me growing up, success is a team sport. Other people instinctively organize themselves into various overlapping teams: family teams, relgious teams, tribal teams, ethnic teams, national teams, etc.

AAs don't understand this team dynamic. In part because most of us have never observed other people "up close & personal" to see what they're actually doing. We usually only see the end result of winning "team" efforts, NOT everything that went into producing the "win." Too many AAs actually believe that "lone wolves" frequently "win." NOT!

I will also add that I believe many non-AAs deliberately give AAs bad advice. Advice that they don't even follow themselves. Whenever AAs make any moves toward building AA teams to look out for OUR own interests, others scream & pout (about solidarity, and not "discriminating", etc.) and do whatever they can to discourage us from focusing on OUR OWN interests.

They do this to maintain their current slice of the resources, by encouraging AAs to remain NON-COMPETITIVE. I'll give an example from the 1960s. Our White, Jewish allies encouraged AAs to march, protest, etc. But protest marches are NOT how American Jews solved their problems with anti-Semitism in this country. Instead, they built their OWN businesses. And worked to have a disproportionate presence in the professions.

The same with our White, Catholic allies. When the public schools were doing negative things with their children when they 1st immigratated here, they DIDN'T have protest marches, etc. They simply built their OWN network of Catholic schools to meet their children's needs.

Now, it's AAs' own fault for being gullible & confused enough to follow bad advice. It's our own fault for following what people say, and not watching what they DID to solve their problems. But I do believe that this bears mentioning.

I think part of the answer is to:

1-Dispel the false notion that symbolic advances have value.

2-Educate other AAs about the difference between core & (false) symbolic interests.

3-Form whatever "teams" we can. On whatever (small or large) level we can. Those AAs who are interested AND willing to form teams, will have to do so from the ground up. This is one of the reasons why I've been talking about fellowship, and what it will take to have true fellowship. These are the building blocks of functional teams.

Since there doesn't seem to be a mass desire among AAs to have functioning AA teams, I pick my personal team members from among whoever will actually support my interests. However, I DO give preference to other BW in terms of reaching out. AAs DO have collective interests that tend to be poorly addressed (and often not even properly understood) by non-AAs.
__________________________

Welcome, Aphrodite!

The BW you described who was making statements on BET is involved in magical thinking.

I believe the BM minister's statement that you described is correct: In general, Whites are NOT going to entertain any further cries of racism from us. Latinos, Asians, and others never cared about our cries of racism because they don't feel like they're part of that particular historical narrative. They have their own immigration-related sob stories to tell.

This is one of the price tags attached to an Obama presidency that AAs have NOT contemplated in our delerium. I talked about this in my very first blog post.

Considering that we haven't developed any strategies other than complaining to Whites (and others) about racism, this is a problem.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Khadija said...

@Lisa:

Hello there, Comrade!

As you've noted, the "slave mind" CANNOT cooperate with any initiative whatsoever.

The slave mind is why we have an aversion to cooperating with existing organizations. The slave mind is why our existing organizations are dysfunctional. The slave mind is why most of us don't have functioning friendships or families.

Ultimately, the slave mind is why we are monolithically at the bottom of almost every social index.

People who don't want, and can't maintain, even the most basic connections to other human beings CANNOT wage a successful struggle for anything. Period. I see now that we need to step back for a moment and renew our minds. The renewing of our minds is the way forward to lasting, permanent, positive change.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

DeStouet said...

Khadija,

Do you believe that every AA who voted for Obama is deluded?

If so, I can deal with that. However, know that we both want what is best for African Americans especially children. I was not where you were at mentally on November 4, and that's alright. If I could do it all over I would vote for Obama again. Even with the way you and about 5 other blog owners I frequent broke things down, I would still vote for the first black president of the United States of America.

But it nothing to do with me hating myself or being deluded.

Khadija said...

Hello there, DeStouet!

I voted (early) for President-elect Obama. I did so without enthusiasm, and without pleasure. I mentioned this on an earlier comment I made on the Singular Voice blog.

I voted for him for pragmatic reasons, not to get "the 1st Black president." Sen. Obama is marginally preferable to the other "mainstream" candidate. I would have preferred to have more & BETTER choices of candidates.

Why are you interpreting my misgivings about the hysteria surrounding the Obama-ssiah as feeling that those who VOTED FOR HIM (which would include me) are deluded? I never said that those who voted for him are deluded.

I also find it somewhat disconcerting that people assume that they can guess who I voted for, or my political affiliations, from me not being enthused about him. Is being enthusiastic about Pres.-elect Obama a new litmus test?

I never said that those who voted for him are deluded. I'm saying that the idol-worhipping of him is delusional. I'm saying that the belief that his presence ALONE in that job is going to lift our condition is delusional. I'm saying that the cult of personality that is forming around him is delusional AND dangerous.

I feel that worshipping the "1st Black _________" golden calf & the "prominent Black" golden calf is delusional AND dangerous. This has already cost Black lives. I feel that Blacks who are engaged in the above-described practices are delusional. They are also a hindrance to our liberation as long as they persist in these practices.

Worshipping these idols is a diversion from doing things that would actually benefit us in the long run.
I've given the example of how anything that enhances our access to higher education should be considered a core interest for AAs (such as affirmative action).

I've given the example of how, instead of pursuing this core interest, AAs support prominent & 1st Blacks who support the party that is opposed to affirmative action! Worshipping Colin Powell & Condi Rice has diverted us from opposing their Republican Party's efforts at destroying affirmative action.

I believe the racists (within the Republican Party & elsewhere) know this about us. They know that we will shut up & be pacified with ANYTHING as long as it comes from the lips of a sock-puppet 1st Black/prominent Black.

I've given several examples of what some of these celebrated 1st & prominent Blacks have done to us:

Wilson Goode and the Black children who were incinerated because of him. Burned to death in their own homes. Hundreds of Black people in Philly made homeless because of him.

Condi Rice shopping for shoes and watching "Spamalot" while Black bodies floated down the streets of New Orleans.

How is it that we've collectively glossed right over what some of these 1st & prominent Blacks have done to us? How is it that you have glossed over these examples in your comments? Please understand that I'm NOT attacking you; I just don't understand why there's very little said about these atrocities I've named. I don't understand why the focus is on defending the undue hysteria & idol-worship surrounding these 1st Blacks. What's that about?

There are all sorts of policies that Sen. Obama has already supported that I believe have harmed AAs' interests. And yet we're weeping as if the Rapture is coming with his election.

With the way many of us are behaving, I can see that we will persist in this Obama-worship even while the economy crashes around our heads, while HE CONTINUES TO IGNORE US, and while we suffer disproportionately. I object to, and dissent from, this scenario.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

@ Destouet

This presidential race offered two options...a nearly senile white man who launched a racially-divisive strategy OR a newcomer with a positive vision of unifying the country.

It was a no-brainer for most Americans...they were ready to embrace lofty goals for this country and chose the person who presented optimism.

I don't think THAT is outlandish.

What I think is outlandish...as I said at this blog already and at my blog...are the people who think Obama is a messiah figure...who think he is the "epitome"...who think that when whites accept one "special" black into the big house that the door is open for all...who think that Obama is not going to act like a House Negro in the Oval Office when we saw flashes of that throughout the campaigh...now THAT is outlandish thinking.

Choosing Obama is not outlandish.

There is a difference between people who are optimistic and people who are delusional.

Delusional people do NOT create assumptions and expectations on anything concrete or factual.

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

blackwomenblowthetrumpet.blogspot.com said...

@ Khadija

White people tend to build up a "special negro" and they grin as blacks create an emotional investment in that person....THEN...whenever they feel like it, they whip out the noose on that "special negro" and let him swing in the wind and they watch the faces of those blacks who put their IDENTITY and DESTINY in the successes of that one "special negro"....and they grin that they have again, and again, and again pulled this same trick on us.

We never talk about this vile trick....and fall for it every time...

I can think of COUNTLESS "special negros" that whites were supportive of and later on, pulled out the noose on...when Martin Luther King was killed, black people acted like the entire world was coming to an end. One man had died...one visionary...they put ALL OF THEIR HOPE in one person...{shaking my head}

Once again, the blacks who had this mentality passed it on to the next generation since we are AGAIN...seeing this same mentality...{shaking my head}

Peace, blessings and DUNAMIS!
Lisa

Khadija said...

Lisa,

What you've described is a very old, very effective slave-breaking technique. Take the most-admired slave and build him up by granting him "special" favors for a while. Then make an example out of him by destroying him in front of the other slaves.

This leaves the surviving slaves TOTALLY demoralized, beaten, and broken. All because they invested themselves into a person and NOT a plan for escape!

Thank you for breaking this down. This could very well be the most important point to be made about the dangers of the Obama-ssiah phenomenon.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

Sister Seeking said...

Peace & Blessings



“What I think is outlandish...as I said at this blog already and at my blog...are the people who think Obama is a messiah figure...who think he is the "epitome"...who think that when whites accept one "special" black into the big house that the door is open for all...who think that Obama is not going to act like a House Negro in the Oval Office when we saw flashes of that throughout the campaign...now THAT is outlandish thinking.—“


SS: I agree with you here 100% Lisa! You’re right on it. I’ve already laid out my justifications on www.tariqnelson.com on his “winners and looser of the election” thread.

All I can add is that I’ve learned the hard way to not elevate leaders in such a manner that they are absolved of accountability, justice, and morality. I’ve learned the hard way that when you do so you WILL end up being oppressed.

My primary concerns are:

*The sanctity of life: end the wars and STOP starting them

*Protect our constitutional rights especially protect our civil liberties and our civil rights

For some reason, when leaders are not held accountable the first thing to result to is tyranny and the leave a path of destruction—which this administration has left a path of destruction in almost all facets of human life possible.

I’m sorry but being the first black anything is not a guarantee of being protected from further tyranny.

This is why I voted for Obama—but I am proud that colorism didn’t deter him and I’m excited that he inspires and commands people to achieve and be excellent. I’m excited that many people of all colors and ethnicities came together in attempt to do something: anything to stop us from eroding to the point of no return. That means allot to me personally.

I don’t think Obama can pull off a “magic trick” overnight or even over the next four years of his term: it took time to reduce our nation’s resources to such meager stations and it will take time to build them up.

I expect to hold our new commander in chief, his cabinet, etc to same the standards I would any other elected official. I’m not giving him or any bother AA brownie points and a passport to inattention or recklessness.

My concern is the preservation and advancement of democracy.

DeStouet said...

"How is it that you have glossed over these examples in your comments?"

I didn't gloss over anything, I just decided not to say anything at that time because everything you said was the truth. Each point that you drove home about Obama was dead on. I know that.

I was six years old when Mayor Wilson Goode dropped the bomb on that house on Osage Ave. I lived about 15 blocks (Warrington Ave) from that street. I can't remember everything in great detail but I remember certain things about THAT day very well.

I've seen Sis. Ramona Africa on the subway more times than I care to count.

I thought it was a crime that they allowed that white man from WACO (We Aint Coming Out) Texas to have a 51 day standoff with the FBI when thy could have just dropped a bomb on them.

I was living in Georgia when Katina hit, a licensed Esthetician, but employed as a private masseur for a lawyer when I saw the images of bodies floating in the water, and people on top of their roofs in New Orleans. Afterwards, my family did what they could for the families who were forced to relocate to Georgia because of the Hurricane.
I have fumed about New Orleans until smoke came out of my ears.

I never said anything about your comments because they were the truth.

Khadija said...

Hello there, Sister Seeking/Miriam!

Unfortunately, there's no indication from his prior statements & actions that Pres.-elect Obama is going to address the 2 primary concerns you listed. I expect him to talk about addressing them, but I don't expect his actions to match his rhetoric. I hope my very low expectations (regarding him) are proven wrong as time goes on.

__________________________

Hello there, DeStouet!

Just so you know one of my quirks---it concerns me when there's silence in response to mention of an atrocity. I have no way of knowing what that silence means. The other thing, is that the silence often makes it easier for others to forget that these atrocities took place.

It shocks me that there are a LOT of Black folks who have already forgotten about Condi's shoe shopping spree. It shocks me that there are a LOT of Black folks who never knew about Wilson Goode's crimes against humanity.

These 2 bad precedents (and others) are extremely relevant to any evaluation of any additional 1st/prominent Blacks. These bad precedents really should serve as cautionary tales of one reason why we need to STOP emotionally investing in these cosmetic, symbolic breakthroughs.

There is also the grave danger that these extreme emotional investments lead to masses of Black folks having their spirits broken when the 1st Black/prominent Black is destroyed by Whites.

Like I noted above, this pattern is a very old, very effective slave-breaking technique. Since whatever we're doing is based on the presence of the 1st/prominent Black, our entire program (such as it is) falls apart when that 1st/prominent Black is neutralized.

I believe that these are the sort of matters that more of us need to be contemplating, as opposed to frolicking in our mass delerium while our collective circumstances remain the same or get worse.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.

tasha212 said...

Khadijah,

I have been lurking for the last couple of days. But I felt compelled to finally comment. First of all, thanks for being bold enough to ask some relevent questions and raise some relevent points about this Obama phenomenon. I am skeptical too. I have been saying this since the beginning of the election Usually when I raise critical issues about Obama I get the typical question "You voted for McCain?" I even get that reaction from people who know me personally and know that I am not and will never be a Republican. I must confess that a part of me felt bad during the campaign about being emotionally detached. I am happy that I was not alone. We are such a childish and foolish people whose aversion to critical thinking and strategy is scary. It is this failure to think critically and act in our best interst that is at the root of our failure to experience true and lasting collective progress. That's why I think it is important to study history and look for patterns. Black people continue to make the same mistakes that they have made throughout hisory. And I have a feeling that we will do the same thing this time around.

Peace and Solidarity,
Tasha

Khadija said...

Welcome, Tasha!

Thank you for your kind words. You've hit on the exact problem here: A person shouldn't have to be "bold" to ask logical questions about a candidate. Any candidate. This is craziness. I REFUSE to be shoved into some sort of political "closet" because I don't worship Obama.

I find it extremely disturbing that so many Black folks with questions have been intimidated into silence by the Obama-worshippers. There are more of us in "the resistance" than we realize.

You also nailed it when you stated, "We are such a childish and foolish people whose aversion to critical thinking and strategy is scary." This mass aversion to critical thinking is why we lose. It's why we fail.

If we don't break this habit, it's why we will be a permanent underclass in this country. I believe that we're already 80% of the way into becoming a permanent underclass. Time is running out.

I also believe that the prevalence of empty symbols like Pres.-elect Obama is part of this "becoming a permanent underclass" process. If we ever wake up and start to demand REAL, TANGIBLE progress, our opponents will say, "What else could you Negroes possibly want? We gave you a Black president. That 'proves' that there's no more racism in this country. Shut up."

The pity is that most of us are so deliriously happy with the symbol, that it'll never occur to us that we still don't have anything of substance. Until it's too late.

Peace, blessings and solidarity.