The Experience


There are three kinds of people in this world. People who embrace their skin color. People who do not pay attention to their skin color, and people who would give anything to be someone else. For far too long Blacks in America have been looked at as inferior, lazy, ignorant, thieves, violent, just to name a few. As an American, who happens to be Black, I look at life through a lens. I am sensitive to the use of words, code words, that people use in conversation’s with me. Some of these words can be viewed as subtle, but Blacks get the hint. It is very difficult to understand why in the year 2009 this still goes on. This is something that White’s simply do not understand. It is very difficult to live life as a person of color when you see images of other Black’s doing things that are not normal. Over half of the people that are locked up in Prison, over one million, are Black. That is not something that someone should be proud of. The unemployment rate for White’s is 8.4%, while the rate for Black’s is 14.7%. So, why is that? I’m not a shrink.

I remember my Father losing a gasket when Rev. Jesse Jackson was running for President, back in the early 1980’s. My Father lived his life never thinking we would have a Black President, and felt that Jesse Jackson was not a legitimate candidate. He felt that he would do more harm to the race than good. That year, he did not vote. He didn’t like Reagan or Mondale. Although, I think he did vote for Jesse Jackson in the primary. My Father was a very smart person. He did everything that he was suppose to do. He worked hard, went to school and had a very good job. He worked for Exxon Shipping Company, and his ultimate goal was to be an Oil Tanker Captain. He would go out to sea for three months and when he came home he would go to school. He decided to excel at his job, and neglect his kids. Despite all his experience and licenses, he was constantly getting brushed off when it came time for advancement. He was stuck at the Chief-Mate position for a very long time. Then, Exxon decided to promote him after the Exxon Valdez oil spill. The first ship my Father commanded was the Exxon Valdez. He relieved Captain John Hazelwood of his duties. This was bittersweet for my Father. On one hand he had reached his ultimate goal, but on the other hand he had command of a ship that will forever be known with the greatest shipping disaster in history. This was a no brainer for my Father. He had to make it his life’s mission to be better and smarter than anyone else in his profession. I would look up to my Father when I was a kid. He has shaped me into the person I am today.

We now have a Black President, and he is now tasked with the duty of cleaning up the mess that George Bush made. This won’t be easy, and I am afraid he will only serve out one term. I say this, because the voices on the right are very loud. In addition to being very loud, the voices are very powerful. The one thing that the right wing is effective in doing is spreading propaganda. There is no way that the left would ever believe in such things. I find it hard to believe the claims that Obama is a socialist, marxist, fascist and was not born in this Country. But, millions of people who watch Fox news believe it. I also find it hard to believe that these very same people bring up the very high national debt and blame it on Obama. They were quiet the past eight years. I find myself constantly being provoked by the right into non sensible debates. I once was told by a right winger that obtaining a liberal arts education is a joke. I had to remind this person that liberal arts is the foundation of any Bachelor’s degree that one attains. He insisted that liberal arts was Acting classes, Painting classes, and Culinary. I was besides myself. We live in an age of Google. Information is at our finger tips. Why couldn’t he look it up? Of all the things that sadden me, ignorance tops my list.

The media keeps bringing up the proposition that racism is over by electing the first Black as President. There was even a few people in the media that asked what the role of the NAACP will be now that we have a Black President. It is almost like they are naive enough to think the game is over. One of the biggest problems that I have is I firmly believe that everyone who voted for McCain/Palin is a racist. I have a very hard time believing that anyone can be so dumb in voting for a 72 year old cancer survivor and a woman with nothing between her ears. And, now that the election is over I am at a disadvantage. As I walk around and interact with people I find it difficult to know who they voted for. It is obvious for them to know who I voted for, because I am black. I voted for Obama! Usually, in an election people will not proudly admit that they voted for the losing candidate, but this election is a major exemption. People are proud to admit that they voted for McCain. I live in a blue state and I see more people with McCain/Palin bumper stickers than I see people with Obama/Biden stickers. Whenever I ask someone why they didn’t vote for Obama they give me the same response, “There is just something about that guy that I don’t like” Hmm.. is it that he is smart, or is it because he is Black?

So, this is what we have become now. For the first time in America it is great to be Black. We finally have a chance to become something of ourselves, and we truly can be whatever we want. But, then there are the Black kids in Philadelphia. All they wanted to do is to go swimming. Swimming is something that many kids enjoy doing in the summer. Living in the Ocean State I use to go to the beach and swim practically every day, in my youth. So, why is it so offending for several Black kids to swim in a pool with White kids? These same people who brag about God and all his creations, do they not believe that Black people were created by God? The experience that these kids just went through goes to the main point I made earlier. There are three kinds of people in this world. People who embrace their skin color. People who do not pay attention to their skin color, and people who would give anything to be someone else. This is something that I have to grasp with, every day.

Whether you like it or not, the Culture War is on. With the death of Michael Jackson and the heavy media coverage that ensued it forced the Blacks and Whites to split. Not all Whites hated the coverage of Michael Jackson, but it was the Whites that were outspoken in their criticism. MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow walked off the set of her show, because she did not want to cover Michael Jackson’s death. She could not find it in her to cover a pedophile when there was more pressing news to cover. She went away for over a week, and when she came back she did not make one mention of Michael Jackson. Fine, that is her prerogative. But, just don’t be afraid to stand by your convictions. MSNBC was so worried that this news would get out, sparking another Maddow/Olbermann feud rumor that they were quick to release some pictures of Rachel on a fishing trip.

Now, the one event that was able to break the Michael Jackson coverage was the resignation of Sarah Palin. Why is the media so fascinated with her?

The President just came back from a seven day trip. The last stop on his trip was to Ghana, Africa. This is a trip to sure tick off the right wing. Seeing Black people celebrate the visit of our Black President will surely enrage someone into a shooting, somewhere in America. And, getting back to my question about the fascination of Sarah Palin. If Sarah Palin was a Black Women would she get all this coverage?

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