Saturday, April 23, 2011
Who Speaks for Me?
First off...listen to the song...
Let me ask you a question...and yes I want a serious answer...
Why is it that whenever there's a problem concerning race and black people in this nation the mainstream media goes to the same damn people?
You already know who I'm talking about...
Rev. Jessie Jackson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Min. Louis Farrakhan, Rev. Dr. Cornel West, and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.
While I have the utmost respect for Min. Farrakhan, am intrigued by many of the ideas of Dr. West, and find myself at times agreeing with sentiments expressed by Dr. Dyson...truth be told, I don't think any of them can be considered a spokesperson for us at this point.
Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton have proven time and again to be completely out of touch and have put their hands in things that have proven to be fruitless causes.
Minister Farrakhan is an excellent speaker, but I often find myself thinking, "Nah...he ain't just say that" when he makes certain points...
Dr. West and Dr. Dyson...well...they sure are some pontificating negroes...but they're very entertaining. (Google "pontificating" if you need to...no really, do it. Consider it a word of the day type thing.)
So, I come back to the question...why does the media go get the same people every time there's a "race issue" in America?
Well, these are the folks that will give you a soundbite I guess...
More after the break...
If you ask 10 black people if any of the above mentioned people that I named speak for them, you'll probably get hit with the gas face.
HOWEVER...I dare you to ask 10 white people who's a "community leader" within the black community and you'll get at least two of those folks. (More than likely Jesse and Al...)
That bothers the HELL out of me...
Are we incapable of picking our own leaders in 2011?
Ok, ok...I get it...the President is black. Yay. Cue the Jeezy and Nas song...
Racism STILL exists in this country though at every level. This whole "Post-Racial America" concept pisses me off, but I digress...
I'm gonna let you in on something here. Racial issues in this country are met with eye rolls and heavy sighs from a large number of "non-minorities" because we're seen as overly sensitive and racially incendiary. I tend to dismantle their arguments when I run into them...but I SWEAR to you that Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton don't help AT ALL. Their participation in the "roundtables" and interviews of the mainstream media lends their squawking a bit of credibility.
So, who do I think should lead us?
I'm glad you asked...
I have my own preferences about who I'd like to see in positions of influence regarding the black community. Then again, most of us do...
I'm sure many of you will disagree...and that's ok...I can understand why too. In fact here's a top 10 list for you. (In no particular order)
1. D.L. Hughley
2. Mos Def
3. David Banner
4. Harold Ford, Jr.
5. Leonard Pitts
6. Mike Bigga (b.k.a. - Killa Mike)
7. Cynthia Tucker
8. Vashti McKenzie
9. Lee Daniels
10. Phonte Coleman
Ok...that's my list.
YES, its rapper heavy.
I'll tell you after the break.
Chuck D once called Hip-Hop the CNN of the ghetto. Hip-Hop exposes the rest of the world to the things that go on in our neighborhoods, houses, and communities on a daily basis.
Those who are brave enough to share the testimonies of what they've seen in rhyme form have often borne the brunt of misguided, often myopic, criticism.
Rappers in 2011 are what preachers WERE in the 60s and 70s. (Well...the good ones anyway.) They're getting their II Timothy 2:15 thing on...
You know...the verse that says, "Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth..."
I know some of you will disagree with me...even call it sacrilegious to say such a thing. Check this out though...
The rappers I named are telling the ugly truth in a beautiful way from various points of view.
I guess I said that to say, they are all telling a truth that black people can relate to in one combination or another.
Who do you have to add to the list?