Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Including All of America in the discussion on Race.

"I have nothing against older white men; I'm married to one. And the nation's power structure, often represented in Post op-eds, is white, male and at least middle-aged. But a 21st-century op-ed page needs more diversity."

~ journalist Deborah Howell

When deceased journalist Deborah Howell was talking about America's newspapers lack of diversity, she could have made the same statement for television news as well. She could have made the same statement for television news as well. All last week we had white men debating the word Negro. Liz Cheney, Vice President Dick Cheney’s daughter, was chiding Senator Harry Reid for using the word. All of the time Dick Cheney was in Washington D.C. he probably never made it to U Street. The only black person I ever saw Dick with was Condoleezza “accidentally black” Rice and that’s not saying much. Now we have MSNBC’s Obama’s America: 2010 and Beyond. For the life of me, I can’t tell why Chris Matthews is leading a discussion on race. I don’t personally have anything against Chris Matthews but really….Chris Matthews? When Matthews name comes up I never think about race. When most of these white political pundits talk I don’t think about race. My main concern is with blacks not having a say in the discussion. I think it is disingenuous to have discussions about black folks without black folks around. White pundits shouldn’t be allowed to debate our issues while we stand by watching and listening. We need to be actively involved in the process or it’s not authentic. Sorry folks but that’s how I feel.

So again why is Matthews running the show? And why is Tom Joyner riding shotgun? He is out of his element in this town hall format. Tom is a disc jockey and not a comedian. His problem is sometimes he forgets the former and embraces the latter. I was thinking that this Obama’s America: 2010 and Beyond would be alright…..just alright not great. And in the end I wasn’t impressed. The next black person that mentions reparations needs to be taken outside and beat with a bamboo stick. *NEWS FLASH* we are on our own!!! Black people, no one is coming to save us!!! Katrina foreshadowed that fact. We have to handle our business and do what we gotta do. Aint’ nobody giving away nothing!! Well at least not to black folks. And we need to stop being mad because white folks accuse us of voting for Obama because he is black. That’s not a lie. A lot of black people did!!! That’s why so many black politicians keep being elected year after year. Qualifications? What are those? Track Record? What is that? He or She is Black!! Sounds good to me. This is a systematic problem that is killing majority black cities and will end up being the death of them.

It is hard having discussions on race because everybody goes off on their own tangent. The problem with race is that it’s more than just white folks hating blacks or black folks hating whites. It involves Immigration, Education, Quality of Living, Employment etc. It also means that you need to include Latinos because they will be the 2nd largest minority. Also you need to include Muslims, Asians, and Native Americans etc. You can’t discuss race in 2 hours and hope to have a better understanding. Some people just won’t get it in that short period of time. One Latino woman said she didn’t believe affirmative action has ever played a part in her career. Yeah, and I’m in line to be the next Emperor of China.


Anonymous said...

It's also difficult to have a discussion about race because so few people are willing to be brutally honest about how they feel. It's not politically correct to explain that you truly do hold certain biases and stereotypes.

I'm disappointed that Tom Joyner was the featured guest, but I'm certain if someone like Cornel West was to be the guest the discussion would be different and far too uncomfortable/unpalatable for a large majority of people.

Val said...

I don't know, maybe White people are the ones that need to talk about race amongst themselves. They are the ones who perpetuate racism, for the most part, since they hold most of the power.

But I'm right with you on Tom Joyner. The media loves certain kinds of Black folk and they never seem to venture beyond those people.

the uppity negro said...

Maybe black folk need to stop accepting the offers to be on these panels.

but this is beyond race.

Any media event will never fully discuss any issue in depth in just a couple of hours. The same could be said if this was a panel discussing the banality of capital gains taxes. Once we really understand that media, as we know it today, must fundamentally change then we're just spinning our wheels.

Yes, we've all had opinionated journalism from the beginning of media as we know it such as the yellow journalism at the turn of the previous century, but still, journalistic integrity reigned supreme. There were always reporters competing for who could get the biggest scoop without having to print a retraction the next day. Now when people are going to Bossip and TMZ for NEWS--or even still turning to Jon Stewart for news, we need to check ourselves.

No longer is media out for just reporting the story--it has to be salacious and glitzy and glamorous and dressed up a certain way in order for us to watch it.

God forbid you actually report JUST the news.

Citizen Ojo said...

Labellanoire - Honesty on T.V. could be a problem. But I think whites would have a harder time in that department. You will find some black person that won't care and will say what they gotta say. Cornel being the prime example. I never thought of him being uncomfortable for the mainstream. Now Dick Gregory...yes. He would have middle America's head spinning.

Val - There are other blacks out here that can talk besides the usuals. I really don't need anyone to be the spokesperson but I would like to see someone different.

the uppity negro - "if it bleeds it leads" the local 6 o clock news is proof of that.