In Response to: “Shaq Was Singing And Dancing In A Turkey Suit Is This Coonery Or Good Clean Fun.”
(ThyBlackMan.com) I appreciate Dr. Boyce presenting this article, and welcoming conversation to delve into the layer of white supremacy racism which his point envelopes. In my opinion, this is indeed an argument that needs light shed on it in order to bring about healing and change.
Dr. Boyce posed the question of black men playing the role, or better yet, fitting the mold, of jester (i.e. the person who habitually plays the fool). He referenced our beloved Shaquille O’Neal dressed in a turkey suit, wearing no pants, and being made light of all for the sake of good fun, at least in the producers’ eyes. Yet, Mr. O’Neal is an established professional sports analyst, actor, rapper and a businessman.
Many of us may look at this and just think of it as a laughable moment. Some may take slight offense, but, nothing worth ruffling their feathers over. Then there are some of us who are appalled, yet again, of the actions displayed by the oppressor’s need to spew its (encrypted) white supremacy racism. It’s amazing that these insults take place in front of our eyes, yet many of us, can’t see, or refuse to see its evil. It’s astounding that we, as a people, have escaped slavery on the railroad underground, protested inhuman treatment, marched for voting rights, sat-in to be equally served, stood up in the face of evil. Yet, we bend over for a laugh at the expense of our dignity.
However, let’s not settle on analyzing this instance with Mr. O’Neal. Let’s think back over our American history. Let’s think of all the times we were made to flex, extend and backward bend to entertain the powers that be, just to survive. Our brother, Stephen, the character played by actor Samuel Jackson, in the movie Django; Unchained, is a prime example of a jester. Whatever Stephen had to do to entertain Monsieur Candy, he did. Even standing over his Massa as he ate, to ensure a moment wasn’t missed to fulfill his need for entertainment. Then, as a people, our role was to endure hard labor for Massa’s profits and his comforts, or to entertain Massa when he desired to hear our beautiful music, to watch beautiful Black bodies dance, to laugh at our jokes, or at us.
So, today, I ask “what has changed”? In their minds, we are still seen as inferior beings, placed here for the oppressors need for cheap labor, for his comforts and his profits, and most certainly, his entertainment. It’s very unfortunate, that many of us have been whitewashed (or brainwashed, whichever way you can relate), to still fall into this slave mentality.
We are more than cheap labor, which we will never satisfy the insatiable greed of the oppressor anyway. We are more than entertainment. Our Black women are more than gratifying moments of their sick voyeurism. Our Black men are more than warriors assigned a position to battle on a sports field or in an arena. Our children are more than designer clothes, cell phones, or video gaming junkies to keep uneducated and ignorant to the world around them.
We are more! So, I pose the question, “Today, what can we change?”
We can change our mindset. It is crucial that we began to re-educate our minds, and the minds of our children. Or we will continue running, tapping, jumping, singing, shouting and smiling all for the sake of being the “headliner” of Massa’s Never-Ending Slave Mentality Show…. Step Right Up. The show has just begun…Again!
Staff Writer; La Royce
One may read over more of this sister writings over at; http://laroyceblog2014.com.