Sunday night I joked that 2009 must be the year of the Black Man. It seems like they are having the best year ever; at least through the lens of mainstream America’s media. With Mr. Obama in the White House, Eric Holder being confirmed as Attorney General, Ray-Ray making his child support payments, and Mike Tomlin (who will be played by Omar Epps in the movie) being one of the youngest head coaches to win the Super Bowl…it looks like for the first time in a loooooong time Black men have the chance to be on top!
But I wonder will this just be a fad? Will I start seeing non Black folks wearing Black is Beautiful T-Shirts? Saying it loud?! Replacing their hand shakes with uplifted or bumping fists?
Despite the changes that I have witnessed since President Obama told us he was about to do the darn thing I really still wonder about the American psyche. At work yesterday an older white co-worker joked that he was eclectic and was going to prove it by downloading some Fidy Cents (yes, he said Fidy and yes he made cent plural) on his iPod. And maybe I’m just being overly sensitive, because as a Black woman we tend to do that when it comes to us and our menz. But couldn’t he have been just as eclectic downloading some Marilyn Manson? Did he want me to think he was hip because he knew who 50 Cent was? Make his count of Black men he knows skyrocket to 4? Should I have told him that if he wanted to really shock and amaze that he should have downloaded some Lil Wayne?
Race in America is such a complicated thing, and it gets more convoluted in the day to day lives of Black folks. It upset me that people assumed that I was an Obama supporter just as much as the assumption that a Black man in a suit is such an abnormality. A Black who speaks well is a phenomena. A Black man working just shows how he is different from the rest of them. Yeah, the rest of them who ain’t no good, can barely speak and only know how to be criminal.
It just hurts.
It’s a pain that I live with-that many Black folks and other minorities live with, not knowing what it’s like to be without it. As the daughter of two Redskins fans (meaning I too am one) I was only cheering for the Steelers because their head coach was a Black man. I didn’t see him as a person. Couldn’t tell you about his career. Don’t even know the content of his character. But I rooted for him because I felt it was my duty as a member of the Black community to support the brother. Because we only get one chance in the eyes of white folks before they end the honeymoon, so Mr. President beware.
In 2009, with mainstream still trying to see us a people…it seems like we still have to prove that we are no different from the rest of them. I think it’s going to be one heck of a year…
See You In Seven
SO LONG, FAREWELL...
The View From Here will conclude on Friday, October 1, our third year anniversary. We would like to spend this month thanking all of our readers, followers, haters, visitors, family, friends, and fans for your continued support, encouragement, and comments over these past few years. Thanks y'all!
-The Five Spot