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-The Five Spot

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

chronicles of the generational divide, vol.i

There was a 50/50 chance that I would write this post. But after reading an op-ed from one of my favorite and respected journalists, Deborah Mathis – I felt compelled to clear the air so to speak. She rationalizes that there is logic to the words Reverend Jesse Jackson Senior whispered. The generational divide is deep and wide and I know MLK Jr. is restless in his grave.

For starters, who the hell says that they want to castrate somebody? Men do you all talk like this? The whole statement sounds awkward to me. It is irrelevant on which program it was said – for those of you that are more irritated that the comment was said on Fox News you are clearly missing the point. And the fact that Jesse Jackson, Jr. had to give Dad a public lashing… Hope is alive and well after all.

There is a generational divide that is undermining the resiliency of our communities. Mathis asserts that the Reverend is justified in his rebuke of Barack Obama’s speech on personal responsibility be’cuz the mainstream is cupable in the lack of opportunities for black men . Deborahhhhh… We will not absolve personal responsibility of an adult and perpetuate the acceptance of that behavior running amok. Folks, when we will say enough is enough. Do you know how many friends I have that were reared fatherless? They are bitter, confused, indifferent by virtue of that experience. This goes for men and women. And for many all they desired was their presence, interaction, communication—basic tenets of fatherhood. What the hell does white folks have to do with that?

I have much respect for the ole’ guard, but the ole’ guard must admit they are complicit in the problem. You can’t point the finger when you witnessed your birthright dismiss their responsibilities. Now we can’t rewind the clock – time wait’s for no one, but we can decide to move forward and learn from our past. And in moving forward we must share the history: the good, the bad, and the ugly. What I tend to hear in the ole’ guard’s dialogue to us is that we come from nothing, Jim Crow, sharecropper evolved to boycotts, sit-ins, marches, water hoses, integration … and now the future is ours. That recount is true but share the mistakes and lessons learned along the way. And Barack is correct when he states, "So yes, we have to demand more responsibility from Washington... And yes, we have to demand more responsibility from Wall Street. But we also have to demand more from ourselves."




Zackory Kirk said...

I understand where she and a lot of older African American thinkers are coming from. What Jesse said was wrong, but in some ways, understandable. Obama is doing a lot of tough talk and that talk is exactly what white moderate voters want to hear. Is it true, yes. Do most people guilty of being deadbeats want to hear it now, in this recession, no.

Bellini said...

@zack: maybe i'm missing something, but there's no better time than the present; and what isn't more appropos than Father's Day-- who cares if white folks are receptive to the message-- it doesn't undermine the truth in the message and it shouldn't; if you adopt the attitude of not saying nothing it feeds into the normalcy/acquiesence of the status quo-- the status quo ain't working

Rum Punch said...

I just came in here to say Jesse jackson jr. denied his daddy like Peter denied Jesus. He was like I don't know that [insert your favorite word here]! Anyway. I'm not trying to get in Jesse's head (because that would be scary), but like Zackory, I understand. What Obama said was not new or original. It's been said by everybody's favorite crazy uncle Cosby, Black conservatives, intellectuals, journalists, pastors, and at the Jenkins' family cookout. Obama didn't say these things at the beginning of his campaign. So the question is, why is he starting now? And who is this message really for? I don't think it's for us. Not the us who need to hear it anyway. So what exactly are we giving Obama kudos for? For stating the obvious? For having the audacity to call Black folk out on the bullshit during the campaign season? For telling it like it t-i-s? To me he took the easy route. It was something us talented tenth folks could nod our heads to and be like, "preach..." and white folks could be like, "see even he thinks black people need to get their act together."

Bellini said...

touché touché; i really don't hear that message that much except for church or Dr. Dyson (and i love Dyson); but the Jesses' and Sharptons' not so much (i.e. i think Sharpton's niche tends to be racial profiling and i'm not knockin it)-- let's not forget his Father's Day speech was at a black church and his other speech was for the NAACP. And if you're talking about only the "well-to-do" shit -- some of them ain't been fathers to their kids either; i think alot of you have mixed feelings about the O and his "agenda" and that's fine but its clouding your judgment -- that's for you Rum Punch!

@Rum: one reason i tend to disagree with some people's outlook of "O" is that it's kind of hard to be dismissive or just knock 'em when he wrote a book about all this shit (i.e his upbringing, family, outlook) -- it's not like he's outside lookin' in a fishbowl dammnit it he was the bowl! can a brotha get a lil' credit