Tuesday, February 21, 2006Shamelessly jacked from PARRISH, The Thoughts
February 21, 1965 is a day that lives in infamy for the United States of America and it doesn't even know it.
1965 also marks the debut of the much discussed generation X. GX is so named because we are the children of the Baby Boomers, coming of age just outside the idyllic post WWII period and in the aftermath of the non-violent driven portion of the Civil Rights movement. Keep in mind that The Watts riots were in 1965 and America burned every summer thereafter punctuating in the riots that followed the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Every year around this time (Black History Month) the usual suspects trot out to impersonate Malcolm and Martin and "lead" us somewhere, telling us what we need to do. Then you have those who try to tell THEM what WE think...and what WE need.
What you mean WE kimosabe.
There IS NO WE anymore. 1965 marked the end of WE.
1965 was the beginning of the Negroes and Niggas era.
The N&N era is defined by one segment of Black America shaking their head and their fingers at the other segment of Black America for betraying the race.
The Black Elite (Negroes) has as a voice: Bill Cosby
Ladies and gentlemen, the lower economic and lower middle economic people are [not*] holding their end in this deal. In the neighborhood that most of us grew up in, parenting is not going on. (clapping) In the old days, you couldn’t hooky school because every drawn shade was an eye (laughing). And before your mother got off the bus and to the house, she knew exactly where you had gone, who had gone into the house, and where you got on whatever you had one and where you got it from. Parents don’t know that today.
I’m talking about these people who cry when their son is standing there in an orange suit. Where were you when he was two? (clapping) Where were you when he was twelve? (clapping) Where were you when he was eighteen, and how come you don’t know he had a pistol? (clapping) And where is his father, and why don’t you know where he is? And why doesn’t the father show up to talk to this boy?
The church is only open on Sunday. And you can’t keep asking Jesus to ask doing things for you (clapping). You can’t keep asking that God will find a way. God is tired of you (clapping and laughing). God was there when they won all those cases. 50 in a row. That’s where God was because these people were doing something. And God said, “I’m going to find a way.” I wasn’t there when God said it… I’m making this up (laughter). But it sounds like what God would do (laughter).
We cannot blame white people. White people (clapping) .. white people don’t live over there. They close up the shop early. The Korean ones still don’t know us as well…they stay open 24 hours (laughter).The Negroes are BELIEVED to be the natural offshoot of the King Faction of the Civil Rights Movement. Many of its spokesmen were in the King Faction and use his name and legacy as irrefutable credibility. They brandish it everytime someone asks them how they got here and who said what they thought mattered. Those at the forefront of the Negroes are almost exclusively male and have this knack for getting in trouble with women they are not married to, an unfortunate legacy of the King Faction. They are the ones who cringe whenever someone in the media pokes fun at the movement, as reference by the calls for Boycotting Barbershop the movie, Boondocks, and suing OutKast.
The Negroes are acknowledged as the voice of Black America. CNN has the primary spokesmen of the Negroes on Speed Dial, FOXNews has them pinned on their dart board. The latest and perhaps largest sighting of Negroes was at the funeral of Coretta Scott King, where they spent SIX HOURS, alternately calling out W to his face and groveling at the feet of their honorary member, Bill Clinton.
Niggas on the other hand have a less defined pedigree. Their first appearance is believed to be at the Watts riots in 1965. Niggas are USUALLY less affluent and less literate(or at least hide their literacy if they have it). They are currently the demonized segment of Black America, being blamed for sagging britches, drugs, violence, births out of wedlock. They seem to find the cameras and microphones of the local news with frightening regularity. They watch lots of television and don't read. Their most recent appearance was in the wake of Hurrican Katrina, although you had to look carefully to differentiate those looking for food from those looking for free. The Nigga movement is mostly made up by those unable to take advantage of the limited advancement opportunities provided by education or gainful employment. As we move to a more knowledge based economy, not knowing is the worst sin you can visit upon a child and the Nigga movement passes on its ignorance like a birthright.
Of course, theses are only two small vocal segments of the Black Diaspora. The rest of us exist somewhere in the middle, jumping from one group to the other or are too busy trying to make ends meet to run with either of those crowds, because, truthfully, being a nigga or a negro is far harder work than it should be.
Had Malcolm lived to truly articulate his evolving ideology, the parallels with Dr. King would have been able to merge and perhaps we would have had the chance to listen to ONE voice and not be stuck with the choice of a hypocritical, pious, self-righteous, and condescending Negro movement and an amoral, short-sighted, and generally clueless Nigga movement. The middle cannot hold, primarily because the middle has no voice. In a culture that insists on screams for attention, a calm reasoned plea for anything falls on deaf ears.
And that, my friends, is the struggle.
And the struggle continues.