Monday, September 25, 2023

Remember When Tavis Smiley and Cornel West Attacked Barack Obama.

February 27, 2018 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( The Black community wastes far too much time sharing recipes, and not nearly enough time sharing knowledge and wisdom.  We’ve been trying the grits and gravy approach for 400 years now, and where has it gotten us?  Yet, when I brought up the prospect of recognizing the need to use the most powerful organizing tool known to man to address this issue and reassess our priorities, many people became up-in- arms over what they claimed was my attempt to ban the sharing of recipes, which was ridiculous. But it seems that I’ve inadvertently revealed two very serious problems in the Black community.  First, the seeming inability of many of us to prioritize and differentiate between the frivolous, and those issues that are a serious matter of survival, and secondly, our tendency to go out of our way to look for ways to be obstinate, disruptive, and disagreeable in order to corrupt serious discussion.
It was clearly not my intent to ban the sharing of recipes. My point wasn’t even about recipes, per se. “Sharing recipes” was merely a metaphor to reflect our tendency to focus on the frivolous. My point was actually about priorities, and the fact that we tend to place much too much emphasis on the frivolous, and much too little on the things that can improve our condition. A perfect example of that is, instead of working together to improve our condition, we try to put up fronts with each other to give the impression that we’ve already “arrived,” like buying big new cars that forces us to deprive our kids and starve to death to afford. So instead of wasting our time discussing grits and gravy recipes, we need to be in serious discussions with one another about the need to change our cultural mores, and investing in our community, instead of trying to front-off as individuals.
But when I broached this subject, you would have thought the sky was falling. Instead of focusing on the part of my statement which referred to improving our condition, many completely ignored the substantive part of the comment, and focused like a laser on what they claimed was my suggestion that they stop sharing recipes.  It was like I committed a mortal sin. Of course, they knew better, but it was a clumsy form of obfuscation in an attempt redirect the discussion.

So while my intent was to inform, what I actually did was inadvertently bring out a very interesting characteristic in our people, that many of us are much more interested in the social and the frivolous than we are the practical and serious. The discussion became so heated that I actually had to block a couple of people, but when I look back on it, it might have been partially my fault, because I have a very low threshold for ignorance and stupidity. I tend to be a bigot in that regard, but a writer should never give-in to his personal disposition and always remain remote and objective towards his subject matter.
But one of the reasons that I became so irritated was because I recognized many of the response as Willie Lynch-inspired.  While many Black people don’t realize it, the tendency to be disagreeable and nitpicky toward other Blacks was psychologically bred into us during slavery. Slave masters instilled that character flaw in us to insure that we would never be able to successfully come together to rebel against them – and it can be on any subject. We could be discussing the horrors of picking cotton, and somebody will say, “Why pick on cotton, what about wool?” – in spite of the fact that you don’t have to pick wool.  But they’ll find a way to turn it into a counterproductive and distracting argument nevertheless, and thereby, disrupt the focus of the discussion.

Thus, many Black people have an unnatural tendency to be distrusting and hostile toward any Black person who advocates any kind of change to the status quo.  Black people were bred to be protectors of the status quo; there were even a few who fought against the abolishment of slavery.  Many Black people claimed, for example, that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West were justified in taking a bus all over the country criticizing Barack Obama’s conduct in office. They claimed they were doing it because of their love for the Black community, but the truth was, these men didn’t care anything about the Black community. They were haters, and they used the Black community as a pretext to justify their ignorance.  They started criticizing Obama long before he even entered office. Look at the video below of Tavis and West on THE VERY DAY that Senator Obama threw his hat in the ring just to RUN for office, and the truly ugly part of their character was, when it became clear that Obama could actually win, Cornel West jumped the fence and tried to start supporting him.

So it’s all about mindset. We can always find an excuse for being obstinate, and we’ve become experts at it.  During the election when they were so insistent on knowing where Obama’s money was coming from, they didn’t say a word about Hillary Clinton, and where are Tavis and West now that Donald Trump’s in office? All we hear now are crickets – and there’s a good reason for that. It’s because Tavis and West are comfortable with Trump running America, because he’s a White man. Even though he’s an absolute horror, he’s a White horror, and he represents a status quo that they’re accustom to, and quite comfortable with.

So even though we often fail to recognize it, many Black people contracted a serious mental disorder during slavery, and it’s been passed down through the generations over the years. It entails an innate distrust and disdain of our own people, a lack of focus and the ability to prioritize, and the tendency to be disagreeable and hostile toward anyone who challenges the status quo. That attitude makes it next to impossible for Black people to organize to improve our condition – and it also serves to insure the stability of this White supremacist system. Even Martin Luther King was initially criticized by the Black church for causing an unnecessary disturbance to the status quo. They told him to stop rockin’ the boat and just pray on it, and eventually racism and bigotry would work itself out. And that mindset is so pronounced within the Black community that Malcolm was even killed by his own people. So the White man has done his job well, which brings me back to grits and gravy.
While we might love using the most powerful tool on the planet to share recipes and such, the Black community has far too much work to do to waste our time engaging is such frivolous pursuits. Now, I’m not suggesting that we cease socializing in such ways altogether, but we must get away from making it our primary way of life. If we want to move forward in a society that has the odds stacked against us, we must learn to stick together, organize, focus, and make knowledge and a dedication to serious pursuits what it means to have “soul,” and sharing grits and gravy is not going to help us in that regard.

Staff Writer; Eric L. Wattree

More thought provoking articles feel free to visit; The Wattree Chronicle.

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