By Greg Thrasher, VOD Washington Bureau Editor,
Director, PLANE IDEAS©
“WHERE IDEAS HAVE VALUE” Founded 1993 Opinions-Research-Consultations Alternative Think Tank, Activism-Services
Recently in the sports arena there was a big controversy over a sports columnist questioning the “Blackness” of an athlete. This issue has been a fixture of late in the post racial era especially during the election of the first person of color in the white house as America’s president.
President Barack Obama was also subject to a number of barbershop and beauty salon conversations in the Black community regarding his commitment and advocacy of the Black community given not only his bi-racial DNA but also his wilingness to discount and marginalize a Black agenda to appease and pander to the white electorate. It was an internalized race based litmus test that was warranted on many levels in not just the Black community but other venues in our nation.
President Obama during all of his presidential campaigns deliberately avoided and navigated around the issue of race and his ‘Blackness’ in part for fear of offending the white electorate and creating a premise that he would be concerned only with Black Americans and not the entire country’s agenda. Obama’s wilingness to handcuff his approach to ‘Blackness’ and reflect a Black agenda has proven to be lethal and fatal for many segments of the Black community, from the high rates of Black unemployment in the domestic area to the foreign policy template where he discounts Africa to attend to the issues of the Middle East and Europe. There is a real time reality which comes when our elected Black officials position our concerns at lower tiers of importance.
The question and relevant issue of ‘Blackness’ of course is deeper than a cosmetic obsession and focus. The issue of ‘Blackness’ and the lack of it has been a staple of the Black community since our illegal and inhumane entry into America. Our ‘Blackness’ has been a portal and conduit for the ruling class and even other minority groups to wage havoc and contempt for our very existence and humanity. The insertion and presence of ‘Blackness’ is a cultural utility of the highest order and we must always object and reject those attempts to make it impotent.
The Utility of ‘Blackness’ has allowed us to survive the insanity of oppression and every manner of indignity. We have employed and engaged the Utility of ‘Blackness’ to assist us secure employment, educational opportunities, and a myriad of hidden opportunities that were lost to us because of our Black heritage. Black people have used ‘Blackness’ to disarm Uncle Toms, Black apologists, shallow liberals and many others who discounted our basic dignity and value as a matter of fact and custom. In far too many circles and bandwidths of life in our nation it is fashionable to indict and ridicule the exercise and behaviors of ‘Blackness’.
The Utility of ‘Blackness’ created a loyal and devoted ethos and principle within the Black community. It allowed us to navigate around racism and it required people who secured opportunity to look out for others who were not as blessed or selected because of their Blackness. This utility helped the first wave of the Black middle class to create a duty to give back. It also created a defense against those who sought to disenfranchise Black issues. Many people in powerful bandwidths in our nation have been held in check for fear of ‘Blackness’ biting them in the ass from harassment on the job to policies which have fostered the low expectation of soft bigotry.
The litmus test of ‘Blackness’ was created by us and for us on the souls of Black people. It has allowed us to disarm and put into check those with Black faces who seek to engage in intra-racism and color-ism. Many people who reject to the Utility of ‘Blackness’ often undervalue and fail to appreciate this authentic Black cultural norm created by Black people in America! This was an internal cultural tool and adaptation which never required the approval or validation of the white majority culture. The protocols and nuances of ‘Blackness’ have been a priceless asset and process which deserve our continued usage and defense from even those other Black folks who seek to remove it from our community.
Those who seek to indict, object, ridicule and make the Utility of ‘Blackness’ a negative force must be ignored. The Black communities’ assets should not be abandoned, displaced or marginalized. It is imperative that we continue to evolve and tweak all of our internal cultural and racial protocols and not run from them to appease others in this “post racial” era.
Contact Greg Thrasher at email@example.com .