Posts Tagged ‘kanye west’

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Michael Jordan doesn’t care about Black People. Like Kanye West courageously shouted on national television, about how he felt then president George W. Bush felt about Black people during the Hurricane Katrina disaster and the screw up that followed.  I personally feel the same way about Mr. Jordan and other athletes but, this is about MJ. He is in a position, a well paid position; that allows an exploitative condition to be created for some of our less informed Brothers and Sisters to fall into. One of the highest paid and greatest athletes of ALL time, shackled by his surname to a product, an expensive brand that creates death and drama in poor Black communities.

Death. Violence. Capitalism.

How is MJ to be blamed? He knows exactly what’s going on outside of the sneaker stores – mothers and fathers fighting, kids dying, police being called in to control the ravenous crowds that come out in droves to purchase these shoes. The majority of these people can barely pay their rents, live check to check, neglect their children but, still find a way to spend over $300 on his sneakers. That’s not his fault but, his marketers control the euphoria that draws people to it.  On the flip-side, is it fair to completely blame him?

For 30 Years, we have chosen to be enslaved to a product. Materialism has been likened to psychosis; this is a sickness of consumption…

I’ve always wondered, what is more important to African-Americans? Do we really NOT care about the future, about our lives, the lives of our children and the lives of others? Are we that broken, that we refuse to try to do the slightest things to fix the problems that plague us and our communities.  I think of the hair industry – Black women spend billions (b) of dollars a year on someone else’s hair.  I can only imagine, if MJ or MJB put their name on a wig it would sell like hot combs!  I’m also reminded of a quote, “Rich people stay rich by living like they are poor and poor people stay poor by living like they’re rich.” True right?

Our priorities are all jacked up and it adds to our Slave Narrative of 2014 and possibly beyond.

In light of the glorification of Slavery in dramatic and cinematic exhibition, I wanted to start a conversation about our current condition. Let’s talk about our current Slave status.  Not in a speculative sense; let’s literally discuss where we are when it comes to accepting the fact that we are mainstream Slaves.  Slaves to materialism and consumerism. We get caught up in the razzle-dazzle of “buying things” and line dance our way into the money-grubbing hands of capitalists that make you think you need to spend money that you don’t have on products you don’t need.

The amount of money we spend during holidays is sickening. Christmas, New Year’s, Valentine’s Day to name a few; on these days, the African-American dollar is looooong….However, we are the bottom of the list again, when it comes to charitable contributions and circulating money in our communities.

I feel this way about all Americans but, African Americans must do better. We have fewer resources but, expend up to 3 times as much as our European counterparts.

Now,  I’m not trying to be right or wrong; that will be decided by you, the readers but, this obsession over Jordans is crazy and it has to stop! Period. Point. Blank!

Michael Jordan and other “High Society”, Blacks do not care about the plights of poor Black people. They are somehow immune from issues that affect the “little people” due to their economic statuses.  These are people that are trying coming up from the bottomless pits, trying to get out of the same dark places that many of them came from.

We have to send them a message that they will not continue to profit from our suffering.

Stop feeding the machine. Stop buying Jordans!

 

CT

A few years ago…

I was in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania for a business trip.  As we spent some free time around the town, I took it upon myself to walk into a Confederate Novelty store.  The store was laden with Confederate Flags and other memorabilia of the Deep South.  As I perused around, confident and fearless, it became clear as I delved deeper into the dark corners of the store, that the painted faces of the tiny soldiers, scowling in caricatured war grimaces, were staring at me as if I was Gulliver, traveling into a hate-filled forbidden land…Okay, so I let my imagination get to me sometimes…Anyway, I felt uneasy and wanted to go.

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When I entered the store, I passed by a Black Woman; an older woman in her sixties or younger but, she was clearly my elder.  I passed her by as if she was just another curious person of color that challenged the system and ran head first into the store like a “Boss”, the same way that I did.  When I came from the rear of the store with my “Gettysburg” refrigerator magnets, I realized that the woman I had passed, was behind the register.  Now, this caught me by huge surprise as I certainly didn’t think a Black Woman would be the caretaker of a Confederacy Store but, lo and behold she was.

At first, I was a bit uneasy to ask why she worked there, but I built up the nerve to ask, “Do you feel comfortable around all these Confederate flags, knowing the history of them?” I asked.  She said, “Yes! This is my store and it’s my history too.  I was born and raised here; my Mother and Father were raised and died here.  This is just as much a part of my history as it is theirs.  I’m very comfortable with it.”

Being from the North, where the Racism is disguised as Liberalism and Gentrification jogs by your house at six every morning, I was surprised at the tolerance it must take to deal with the energy behind the symbolism and how it wasn’t enough to deter her from accepting her place as a part of it.

I realize that it’s a proud symbol of southern heritage;  while some see it as a painful reminder of slavery and segregation.  The “Southern Cross” is just an emblem, a token of ideas, materialized in the same Red, White & Blue that graces Old Glory.  People are so upset because the Ku Klux Klan and White Hate groups use the flag as their symbol of power and separatism, while others see it as a bold reminder of who they are and where they come from.

united-states-flagI was very grateful and honored to meet someone who was proud of who she was and proud of where she lived.  We can’t be honest with ourselves and say that the United States of America has been kind to African Americans and we can’t say that it would have been better under the Confederate States either.  What we can say is that we are the products of history: North vs. South, Freedom vs. Slavery and Black vs. White; we are here because we fought and died on both sides to have the choice to raise whatever flag we want to.

Kanye West, who claims Chicago as his home, was born in Atlanta GA in 1977 so, I’m sure that he’s seen his share of Confederate Flags. It was not until 2001, that the State Flag of Georgia, which contained the Southern Cross, was changed to suit businesses, white liberals and the NAACP.  I haven’t done much research or really paid any attention to Kanye and his reasons for embracing the Confederate Flag, but I understand and I do think it’s his right to wear it, rock it, sport it or flaunt it anyway that he sees fit.  It’s a part of his heritage; it’s a part of all of our heritage in this country whether we like it or not.  So, no matter where you stand, if it’s with the Union or the Confederacy and no matter what flag you’re waving, both of them are drenched in our blood.

Take your pick!

– CT