Tuesday, January 21, 2014

On Richard Sherman & White America

"The interesting thing about this issue is that it exists at all. The mere discussion of Richard Sherman's actions yesterday betrays how unacceptable black passion continues to be in the white consciousness. This man is under the microscope, not for spewing vulgarity or striking another player, but for being "too black" on national television. By far the scariest part about this fact is that middle-class, educated black people, out of fear of white retribution, denounce Rich's actions as ignorant and not representative of Stanford students. It is the terrifying fear of white skin and white power that has been imprinted so deliberately into the cultural heritage of African-Americans, a paternalism branded so deeply that even the most "liberated", ivy league black gentlemen shudder in fear when another successful, black man violates the master's code of conduct.

The honor-shame dialectic that plagues our post-slave community causes us to grovel and scratch for white appreciation, white assimilation and white acceptance. For it is ONLY when White America approves of our black behavior that we can hope to elude the titles of "ignorant" and "uncivilized". To simply appear educated, well-mannered and humble is akin to "acting white". To be aggressive, passionate, arrogant and loud is to be un-white, uncouth and subhuman. It is the way of that slave who is bereft of all hope to seek the approval of his master in such an assimilative way.

Civilized men are supposed to wear business suits, speak in perfect, low-tone english, have short hair and give milquetoast interviews. Civilized men fit in to this European standard without complaint or dissent. Civilized men don't cause trouble for the other slaves on the plantation. The good slave watches his master and imitates his godly essence. He feels shame whenever his own status has been afflicted by the disobedient behavior of other, uppity slaves. But as Malcolm rightly acknowledged, "What do you call an educated black man with a BA, MA or PhD? You call him a 'nigger', cause that's what the white man calls him." Certainly, you are free to call Rich whatever you want for what he did last night, but one thing I can certainly say, is that he had no fear of white retribution. For he realizes, as I do, that no matter what level of success you manage to reach in American society, no matter how correct one tries to speak or dress, your dark skin will remain the laughing stock, and dividing rod, of the white world.

For those of you in the educated, black community who believe that behavioral and cultural assimilation to European standards is somehow THE solution to our race problems, I truly hope your Antebellum worldview does not collide with the gnawing of your conscience one day, and compel you to hang yourself on your own noose.

Happy "Educated, Fearless, Free Black Man" Day."

By Grant Newsome

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