by today's Urban Chameleon contributor
It’s very late at night but I need to ramble –
The universe does indeed work with symbols (we just have to look and listen)
The Big Picture symbols- Michael Jackson (MJ) & Obama
what’s tugging on my last nerve - journalists (TV - okay -
teleprompter readers and those that look ever-so-good, confident and
knowing-sort of) refer to the U.S. as now being in a "post racial" era
(ha!). Okay - maybe this works on paper but not in the minds and
hearts of people.
It's a bit like saying that apartheid (I refuse to capitalize the "A")
is over. Obviously, it still resides in the hearts and minds of
people ...and financial institutions. Slavery (and I mean this within
a U.S. and international context) is not over - it's just strutting a
haute couture mirage.
So about MJ & Obama...
Obama is said to be the symbol of post-racial America (who
decided this?) and now we have the icon of "racelessness" (MJ) die.
Stanley Crouch (back off - he is right on this one) said MJ wanted to
be neither Black or white but a Disney character - and MJ did indeed
look more and more like Peter Pan (the animated version - not the
Julia Roberts version - Ouch! that nose - Ouch - those tights bunched
up in the family jewels! ). But I am more comfortable with Peter Pan
than Clinton thinking he was the Black president or Chris Rock as the
Black president in the movie Head of State .
I argue that, yes, let's use MJ as what America looks like
- frail, needle-marked, can't sleep, longing, sad, pimped and
pimping, a use to be champ flat on its back. I am not buying into
post-race anything. And, MJ 's voice may still have been
pre-adolescent - but it's time
we shift from the falsetto and drop into alto and bass - we have
people alive who can talk about their great grand parents receiving
lashes on their backs while working on plantations, forced to build
railroads, forced into internment camps, figuring that being in prison
is better than going to college, figuring that suicide is better than
the rainbow. There is rhyme and reason to why Baldwin and Baker
were in France and Dubois was in Ghana - why we need the voices of
Patricia Mcfadden, Wole Soyinka and Nawal el Saadawi
Reasons why there is a secret list of Black atheists ...
as they say - if Jesus where alive he would need a PR agent - 'cause
it's a different world... but it ain’t a post-racial one. We are
going to need more than CNN and Obama's lineage to make the case –
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