When should we 'talk Black?'
By Carl West
I respect and appreciate Rev. Al Sharpton's hustle and his commitment to Black America, and I can't begin to challenge his accomplishments. But what I can challenge is his ongoing "us versus them" chatter, and his denouncing of anyone who disagrees with his views.
Rev. Sharpton uses his radio platform to engage in dialog that breaks down the likes of Dr. Cornell West, Tavis Smiley and others who disagree with him or go against President Obama. What's worse is when he tries to act like he's not responsible for the outrage from his callers who engage in these denouncements with him.
He's in absolute control of the propaganda because he incites it everyday on his show. If he doesn't bring the topics up, it won't get discussed. His listeners don't control the airwaves and the phone lines.
I'm not in favor of anyone who denounces others because they don't agree with their philosophy. Freedom of speech and free will should allow me to disagree or agree with anyone I feel is wrong or right. And we should not have to justify our beliefs to others.
I don't favor people in general who bash President Obama without merit. But people have a right to express themselves. And where Rev. Sharpton is wrong is when he uses the race bait discussion to question why West and Smiley have certain issues with the president.
I really dislike even discussing this issue or singling out Sharpton, but his flopping like a ballplayer on the basketball court faking a foul is really getting old. What's worse is that people continue to buy into this particular madness and propaganda.
Obama made a choice
Barack is president; he knows the job description and what comes with the title. He chose this life and benefits greatly from the life HE selected for himself and his family.
Democrats and Republicans fight daily over policy and issues, and they don't have to fear being labeled more White or less White for their political or personal views. So why can't Blacks debate policy with mature and conscious fervor with or against President Barack without being told to "stop attacking the Black man?"
Columnist Dr. Wilmer Leon was on WVON Radio in Chicago and expressed the same thoughts I've contemplated: Blacks need to grow up and mature in our politics, and how and why we debate the facts - not the personal connection (being of the same race).
When is the debate going to target what Whites have or haven't done in this country? It's a great debate to have instead of having White talking heads leading these discussions on mainstream outlets, while shying away from talks about their community and racism, bigotry and prejudice.
I've seen Soledad O'Brien from CNN do "The State of Black America" or "Hispanics in America," but when is she going to do "The State of Whites in America" and expose their rise to power, and how they've achieved wealth through many illegal means?
Why should Black talking heads, so-called scholars, educators and other professionals be engaged in stupid discussions like who's Black enough in mainstream media or at all? I saw two Black ex-athletes and several journalists on ESPN's "Outside the Lines" heatedly debating boxer Bernard Hopkins's alleged statement that NFL star Donovan McNabb was "not Black enough."
Then there was the most recent debate of former NBA basketball player Jalen Rose's comments about NBA player Grant Hill not being 'hood-ready.' This should not even be discussed, especially not on mainstream media with some White dude leading the chatter as host and cheerleader.
When I was a child and a boy, I thought like a child and a boy, but now that I'm a man and a father, I attempt to think, debate and discuss concerned men's issues. If we still feel the need to debate these issues in our present condition, then we'll never tackle the real issues affecting urban communities across this country.
Carl West is publisher of the Truth B Told News Service, www.tbtnewsservice.com.