Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Bin Laden’s Defeat a Different Kind of Sweet for Black Americans…

May 3, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( On Sunday evening, in the minutes after the official announcement of Bin Laden’s death at the hands of American Special Forces, I began receiving  two kinds of  phone calls. One genre came from my media junkie friends,  ever eager to gab about the social  significance of any news considered earthshaking.

The other calls came from black people.

The spirit of the latter calls returned me to my mid ’60s childhood, when, on any given evening, the home phone  would ring and an anxious   caller–a friend or family member–would forgo formalities. “Quick, turn on channel four,” they’d urgently insist. “There’s a colored guy (or girl) on.” Then they’d hang up.

If you were an American Negro in the ’60s and got such a call, you knew the drill: you’d quickly turn to the channel mentioned, simultaneously yelling for family to gather around. Singing on a variety show or acting a small part on episodic TV might be Sammy Davis, Jr. or Pearl Bailey; Nipsy Russell,  Diahann Carroll; Scatman Crothers or Barbara McNair. Perhaps a performance by the Supremes or James Brown. We might not have even liked a particular entertainer. Didn’t matter.

To us, the important thing was that they were people of color. In those days, blacks weren’t on television very often. For the fleeting moments they were on the screen, we’d bask in the swell of pride and accomplishment that undoubtedly pervaded every black American  household that happened to be watching TV at the time.

I heard similar gratification in the lilt of my black friends who phoned me Sunday evening. Like the rest of America, we are pleased that an evil man has met his fate. And since one of the first things you learn growing up black in America is that the unfortunate actions of one black person  magically represents us all, we are especially elated and proud that Bin Laden’s end came under a black President’s watch.

Let’s put it this way–walking around town this week sure will feel different for me than when O.J. was acquitted,” said a buddy. He was laughing as he said this, but it wasn’t a joke.

Some might wonder why I’ve injected race into America’s noble victory.  I didn’t put it there. The issue of color lurks in most facets of American culture. While black Americans never get used to it, we have come to expect it. Nevertheless, how a segment of the country reacts to practically anything President Obama does would be downright hilarious were it not so offensive.

Thus, on Sunday night, in either a preemptive strike of emotions, a case of collective ethnic dysfunction or both, every one of my black friends who called, after applauding the courage and dynamism of America’s brave soldiers in Pakistan, proceeded, without prompting,  to list all the things some people might possibly say to dismiss the operation simply because it was helmed by Obama.

They might say that killing Bin Laden now–as opposed to months earlier–is a political conspiracy designed to raise Obama’s figures in national polls. Maybe they’ll  say credit for Bin Laden’s demise  should  ultimately  go to  Bush, since 9/11 happened during his administration and because that’s when the hunt for Bin Laden (but not the nation’s financial mess, right?) began.

You just wait, say my friends–they’ll insist the whole thing is a sham. “Where’s the birth certificate?” will soon have a sibling query: “Where’s the body?” It’s true that photos can easily be faked. However, these people have never questioned the grainy, decades old super 8 footage of Big Foot.

In any case, for America, a far weightier question looms. For sheer  argument’s sake, let’s say Bin Laden  really is gone. On what do we now focus our communal vigil of righteousness?

I say we set our sights on the abolishment of  forces that, in many ways, are  as dark, sinister, determined and certainly as nutty as al Qaeda. However, unlike those terrorists, this Public Enemy Number One doesn’t skulk in the caves of Afghanistan.  No, our homegrown hate, ignorance and lunacy is embarrassingly transparent.

Written By Steven Ivory

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One Response to “Bin Laden’s Defeat a Different Kind of Sweet for Black Americans…”
  1. James says:

    “… Like the rest of America, we are pleased that an evil man has met his fate. And since one of the first things you learn growing up black in America is that the unfortunate actions of one black person magically represents us all, we are especially elated and proud that Bin Laden’s end came under a black President’s watch.”

    Excuse me Mr. Ivory, but what pie-in-the-sky nonsense do you utter here? The slick con-artist, Obama, simply told you bin Laden was murdered and dumped in the sea & without a scintilla of proof, you believe it? Where is your sense of evaluation? I smell nothing but a massive lie coming from Obama’s mouth. At the very, very least I see not a shred of proof of anything he announced about Osama bin Laden. All evidence points toward the fact that Osama bin Laden died almost ten years ago. Obama’s publicity stunt works on the gullible.

    Furthermore, for black people in this wretched regime, bin Laden is not our Dracula. Neither bin Laden, nor anyone from Afghanistan did anything to us. White America, on the other hand, has been the ones clubbing, beating, stealing, enslaving, ethnically cleansing, imposing apartheid & generally keeping us in slavery long after 1865 to the present.

    Bin Laden didn’t railroad Troy Davis to death row. Bin Laden has not created a million-black-man march to America’s hideous gulags for Wall Street’s profits. Bin Laden never discriminated against a single black person … at least not to my knowledge. At the end of the day, bin Laden had nothing – absolutely nothing to do with 9/11 and, hypothetically, even if he did, why is that of interest to us. The amount of black folks who went down on that day is a drop in the bucket compared to what white America has done to us.

    I always find it amazing how the real enemies of black people can always manage to get us to cheer for them and their causes – part of which is to keep us down at the very bottom of American society. Obama is nothing more than window-dressing and I challenge you or anyone to demonstrate otherwise. How wonderful are we doing, compared to how wonderful Wall Street, Libyan rebels and Israel is doing under the reign of Obama.

    You’re proud of what? I do hope the bar for such pride isn’t set so low.

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