See, White Folks? We Can Be Normal Too.

Posted: November 6, 2008 in Commentary

Shay posted the the following article on her blog this morning. I’ll just clip part of it.


Brilliance, articulation, class and poise is in! Ignorance, self-hatred and buffoonery is out!

Barack Obama’s education, intelligence and class put him on the path to the White House and now he’s President of the United States.


Flavor Of Love, I Love New York and the Real Housewives Of Atlanta are disgraceful and depict blacks in stereotypical buffoon type roles. Yet, these shows score the highest ratings in black households . Will their ever be a reality show depicting intelligent and educated blacks? Please stop supporting this type of ignorance because it’s a new day.

We need to stop idolizing and embracing this type of coonery. Instead of calling successful blacks sell-outs and white orientated, we need to ask them, what is the secret to success? And then we need to emulate them. Members of the super elite Boule include: Bill Cosby, Bryant Gumbel, Earl Graves, Vernon Jordan, the late Arthur Ashe and John H. Johnson yet this successful organization has been called Uncle Tomish, why? Because every black member is a millionaire? Why are we the only race that slams success but embrace underachievement.

Instead of idolizing male and female rappers and professional athletes, we should be idolizing Barack and Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Magic Johnson,Vernon Jordan, Cathy Hughes, Sylvia Rhone and Hill Harper. All of these people are intelligent millionaires and billionaires who walk the walk and talk the talk. (source)

I can’t begin to tell you just how tired I get hearing folks whine about the so-called lack of “positive” Black representation on television. It is as if their television is stuck on one channel that constantly plays gangsta videos back to back. I did a post about this not too long ago that showed how Blacks have been thriving in roles that did not fit these negative stereotypes. Here is an excerpt from a comment I made on that post.

MTV puts out 2 movies called Jackass (I and II) and folks dismiss it as stupid comedy. BET throws out there a few raunchy music videos and all of a sudden folks are shaking in their boots that Whitey might get the wrong impression about all Black folks.

Yep. That’s called “Mental Slavery”.

I was telling my wife the other day that I believe folks who constantly whine and moan over the so-called lack of “positive” Black representation on television are simply consumed about what White folks think about Blacks in general. When you listen to their rhetoric, what is the one example they ALWAYS use to make their case? Music videos. While music videos are very popular with our youth, they hardly make up a lion share of the offerings out there in the entertainment industry. These folks will NEVER mention or give props to independent Black filmmakers who have been putting out all types of great movies that go beyond the typical stereotypes that are out there. Same goes for independent music artists who continue the tradition of good ol’ skool music that does not portray women as hoes. BET Networks has been highlighting such creative talents for a while now. Other venues out there have been doing it as well. You just have to decide to seek them out, support and help promote them instead of waiting for White executives in the entertainment industry to do it for you.

As far as the author’s claim that now all of a sudden “Ignorance is out”, keep dreaming. I get the excitement over Obama being our first Black President, but Puhleeze, that is not going to change the viewing or listening habits of those who like what they like.

It is okay to be inspired, but for goodness sakes–be yourself!

“Brilliance, articulation, class and poise is in!”

Those qualities have NEVER been ‘out’ in the first place. YOU–not White television executives, movie producers, Hollywood big wigs, government, etc. have to convince you fellow brethern that these qualities are worth striving for. That’s the hard part. Expecting people of great influence to do it while ever raising the bar of expectancy for them is too easy.

As a Black man, seeing the picture of a Black first family can be very moving. However, I can say the same thing for the brotha who lives around the corner from me who is fathering a couple of teenagers that are not his, yet he treats them as his own.

  1. Suzan says:

    VERY well spoke/ written. I agree 100%

  2. Robert says:

    If you will remember, one of the first positive TV shows (showing the importance of education in the black community) were “The Cosby Show” and “Its A Different World.”

    While I wholeheartedly agree that black folk should place more emphasis on education and “doing the right thing” in general, the question is how do we get many young black people to see education as a viable option? I think the answer lies in mentoring. As you mentioned, there are quite a few role models who have made it to the top–problem is they seem far removed from the day-to-day struggles of many of us. What’s needed are positive role models in the local black community. Here’s what I suggest as a start:

    Fathers must taker responsibility for and mentor their children, whether they are with the mother or not.

    Fraternal and Masonic organizations must place a greater emphasis on academics, community service, and outreach projects.

    Black professionals must “reach back” to the community and participate in local career days at high schools, mentorship programs, coaching, and after school programs.

    Parents must take the advice of Barack Obama and “turn the television off.” Eat together as a family, pray together, and read to your children.

    Robert, African-American Pragmatist:

  3. Robert says:

    Great topic. Will place on my blog.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s