Friday, December 14, 2012

Who are the racists here?

The "I have a dream speech" is famous, in part, for King's assertion that he hoped one day to live in a nation where people are not judged 'by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.'

So why is it, going on half a century later, we have black pundits asking if a prominent black sports star is "a brother" or not?
Rob Parker, a former Detroit News columnist, questioned the blackness of Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III and claimed he wasn't authentic. "Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother," Parker asked.

"I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he's a Republican."

"He's not real. OK, he's black, he kind of does the thing, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black but he's not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with because he's off to something else."
What cause?  And who is "us?"  It's not difficult to figure that out -- the same questions about 'blackness' are leveled at people like Walter Williams, Clarence Thomas and Condi Rice*.  Far too many talking heads seem to think it's unnatural for anyone with an elevated melanin count to be anything other than a outspoken radical Marxist or Malcom X disciple.

So who are the real bigots?

It's worth repeating: a society cannot get past race when it focuses on race.

(*Note: I realize Rice is more neocon than conservative.  Nevertheless, the reflexive questioning of her ethnic 'authenticity' due to not being affiliated with the expected political apparatus still illustrates the point.)

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