But for me the best example of Black people’s ability to “forgive” is that scene in the Five Heartbeats when they’re performing at the Apollo like theatre and the piano man is playin ‘A Heart Is a House for Love’ all slow. And the people are booing. And throwing things at the stage. And then Duck aka Robert Townsend knocks the piano man off the stool, and Eddie ‘Kaing’ Jr. (don’t know his gubment name) jumps down from the stage and holds that long ass note. And the crowd goes wild. As if Holyfield just won the fight(c) Outkast. That to me is the epitome of Black folk. Of how quickly our loyalty can shift. But then when you got our ass. You got us. I mean people still buy R. Kelly records, right? Riight.
So I simultaneously chuckled and wept when I saw this article in the Washington Post about how the CBC doesn’t want to complain too much to Obama about what he’s “not doing”. Because? Because he’s our first Black President, but he’s not a BLACK President, he’s just President who just happens to be a Black man and we can’t tell him to fix Black issues because… Because he is not just our President. M’mkay. An excerpt:
Several CBC members and aides talk derisively of an oft-quoted Obama phrase: that a "rising tide" for America will "lift all boats." They see it as rhetoric intended to justify why the administration has not focused on their communities at a time when unemployment among African Americans has climbed to 16.5 percent. "I can't pass laws that say I'm just helping black folks," Obama told the American Urban Radio Networks. "I'm the president of the United States. What I can do is make sure I'm passing laws that help people, particularly those who are most vulnerable."
Many in the 42-member, all-Democratic CBC passionately disagree.
African Americans and Latinos "bear the brunt of this economic recession," said Maxine Waters (Calif.). "We must not shy away from targeted public policy that seeks to address the specific and unique issues facing minority communities."
If Obama hears Waters's point, it is from a distance. Friends of hers say she has had no phone calls from the president and no consistent contact with other administration officials despite her position as a subcommittee chairman and a key player on the House Financial Services Committee.
WTF? And I went to hear Rev. Jeremiah Wright (heh how apropos) at a Revival last week and he told us that now means - What’s this foolishness? So, What's This Foolishness? Unemployment among African Americans is at 16.5%?!? Yo son! That’s bananas. That’s at some ignorant levels. I mean I get where Obama is coming from with his lift all boats. But we’ve got to face facts and admit that some of us are in yachts, some of us are in speed boats, some in canoes, and some are floating in the sea on a life raft tryna get to that small ass boat that rescues people. But it’s full. So word up Congresswoman Waters – targeted public policy indeed.
And when one continues reading the article, it’s revealed that approval ratings for Obama amongst African Americans is at 91% (I mean take that poll with a grain of salt – but I’m sure it’s still pretty high). Cause from my view from here, I've heard Black people be on some: He can’t do it all in his first year; he acquired these problems; give him more time; we can’t bad mouth him. Cause white people are looking at you! © Wanda Sykes. And so on.
And yet. In April 2009 Obama eased Cuba travel restrictions. And I'm sure a certain group’s eyes are on Obama and his real position on Israel and please believe if he doesn’t act accordingly, he will pay for throughout his term and into the 2012 elections. And that's just two specific groups in America who are getting their needs targeted and met. I just stopped looking for more. But we all know they exist. Right? Riiight.
I wonder why Black people are so willing to forgive. To give free passes. To let things ride. To fight for somebody who abandoned us a long time ago, for fear that if you leave 'em out in the cold where they ass belongs, then the white man will tear them apart. I’m sure there are some deep historical/psychological/social reasons for this behavior that I could research and such. But in the right now I wonder, do we just not want to to fight? Is it easier to accept what's handed to us cause they singing so sweet when they bring it to us? Is it because we don’t feel like we have anything to fight with? No “real” power, influence, deep pockets?
This makes me think that Martin n’em musta had a helluva time back in the day when they were like, “y’all we fina stop taking the bus until we can sit in the front.” Sayy whaaaat?!!? I bet nigs was mad as hell, “like yo! You trippin! How am I supposed to get to work?" Pause. Wait for it, wait for it... "You want me to what? Walk?
That’s my time y’all! Happy Rum Punch Friday!
Black people don't be swayed by Eddie Kaing Jr.'s sweet voice! Cause if you try to take his spot, you ain't gon' get it. Cause you ain't got.