All this birther stuff is making me angry.
First of all, it makes me angry that any of this is an issue in the first place. The Supreme Court and the State of Hawaii, along with (I’m sure) numerous other committees and judicial bodies have confirmed that the short form of Obama’s birth certificate is valid. Were Obama to be white, or if he perhaps had a less “suspicious” name, I’m certain that nobody would question his citizenship. It’s obviously racial, and completely uncalled for.
But what really makes me angry is how much people are focusing on the issue in general. I know I am focusing on it now, which may seem hypocritical, but it does have a larger point.
How are people failing to see that things like this are the root of the problem with the way America works. Our entire nation is so petty and selfish, so focused on beating others down for personal gain rather than building up for the gain of the nation. I think this has, in many ways, been created and exacerbated by the bipartisan system, and it’s scary to think that perhaps we are in too deep to realize what’s happened. We’ve lost our focus on things that are significant and are willing to nitpick at the opposing side in an effort to make them fall. We have essentially created two Americas, and neither one is very appealing.
Were I to define myself, I would say that I was a democrat. I find the political philosophy of the democratic party far more appealing. But at this point, I really don’t want to define myself. I don’t want to be labeled as a Republican-bashing-homosexual-American-dream-hating-firearm-enforcing-baby-killing liberal just because I prefer democratic politics.
My ultimate point being, it seems that we are far more willing to slap labels on people and focus on how we can best rather than addressing the real issues that will help our nation as a whole. There are some people that do discuss these issues, but it seems that a great deal of people have resorted to inane pandering on internet message boards, calling Obama all kinds of unhelpful names. Or calling Republicans all kinds of unhelpful names. And all it is is a great big heap of unhelpfulness.
This article I’m reading about rap music just totally shit on America.
"Many mainstream blacks and whites persist in categorically negative appraisals of rap, refusing to distinguish between enabling, productive rap messages and the social violence that exists in many inner-city communities and that is often reflected in rap songs. Of course, it is difficult for a culture that is serious about the maintenance of social arrangements, economic conditions, and political choices that create and reproduce poverty, racism, sexism, classism, and violence to display a significant appreciation for musical expressions that contest the existence of such problems in black and Latino communities."
I wish I could hug this man right now. Like could he have hit the nail any harder on the head?
(Source: “The Culture of Hip-Hop” by Michael Eric Dyson”)
"Black dances are created by the folk, but they are appropriated by whites. This creates a terrible crazy paradox that people in America can’t live without black music or dance. They just don’t want to live with black people."
Today in American Studies we talked about blackface minstrelsy, a form of entertainment popular in the mid to late 1800s. Essentially, white men colored themselves black with a burnt cork and sang and danced on a stage like buffoons in a horridly racist depiction of black people, mostly plantation slaves.
Now I had never really known much about blackface other than what it was, so discussing it more in detail was quite interesting.
The most famous blackface performers were all from the North, meaning that their contact with slaves was minimal. In fact, most of their information about the disposition and behavior of blacks came from their white plantation and slave owning friends. Blackface was one of the first true forms of popular culture, and the songs were spread widely throughout the nation. Plantation owners did not let this fact fall to waste. By telling their blackface friends that slaves were perfectly happy and content with plantation life, they were able spread the idea that slavery wasn’t, in fact a bad thing.
So was born this concept of “blackness,” a concept that was ironically invented by the white man. Blackface performers depicted slaves as goofy and classless. It essentially became a medium of defining and perpetuating the stereotypes of the time, stereotypes which have changed and adapted ever since, eventually creating today’s idea of “blackness,” one which the African American culture has drawn from and utilized.
Now, in an era where being a minority is the cool thing to do for young people, you see white people all over the place “acting black” or “trying to be black.” The tables seem to have turned in the racial structure of our country. A social construct which white people invented as a method of satire and racial discrimination is now one which many white people desire to emulate.
Race is an eternally mysterious concept.