You Lead, I will Follow: Fearless Obedience
Friday, February 1, 2013
by Ebony Vines
Why in two thousand and thirteen is my color still an issue?
Why does what I do or don't do still break you?
All I see is self worth going down the drain
We beat each other up and call it plain
But why is there no repentance for this pain?
This cycle keeps circling round each generation
We need to quit and bring about some healing and regeneration
Why don't u build my man up so he can conquer the world?
Why don't you build my girl up so she can rule this world?
We blame others for our shortcomings, but we're putting it on ourselves
I thought we were coming together to believe in ourselves
I can't get off the subway without my own people yelling at me.
We can't be friends without you judging me
We say God is the center but if he were wouldn't things be different?
We go to church and make great music, but is the music we make making us any different?
I break you, you break me and now were even?
What does this eye for and eye tooth for a tooth deepen?
It deepens our wounds and pains of rejection
Bringing about injustice and dejection
If God is love and we are His people, let's reflect Him
Don't pray then later open your mouth and deflect Him
This isn't a joke I wrote, it's a hole in my soul that needs repairing
I can't trust my people because after they speak I'm despairing
Let's stop beating each other up and come together
Let's bind together no matter the weather
A people divided can not stand
A people together take new land
A genre of American film of the 1970s featuring African-American actors in lead roles and often having antiestablishment plots, frequently criticized for stereotypical characterization and glorification of violence. [from bla(ck) + (e)xploitation]
I've been working at Pace University since November and Thursday night we had a special speaker, Spike Lee. The topic was Social Justice in the Media. This was in light of MLK Jr. Day and Black History Month. Between that, the new movie coming out about MLK Jr's wife & Malcolm X's wife, "Betty & Correta", "Django Unchained" and "All My Baby Mamas" thankfully being cancelled before it started, I'm reeling. If you don't know what Blaxploitation is listen to this podcast discussing some of the movies from that period
Why am I reeling? Because last night Spike Lee informed us that only 47% of black men graduate high school. Which means my brother is in the minority and one of his best friends and one of my second cousins are both in the "Elite" group for pursuing their Bachelor's Degrees right now. I'm reeling because "All My Baby Mamas" was about to be a show on TV. Because "Django Unchained" uses the N-word almost 200 times and no one bats an eyelash. Mr. Lee said,"I went to Harvey Weinstein and asked him,'If the slur for Jew were used that excessively would you have made the film?' Harvey said one word definitively,'No'. So, why is it okay for the N-word to be used that often? A slur is a slur.". I agree with that line of thinking but, we, meaning Black people, call each other the N-word. I wish we had more respect for ourselves. Realized that eventhough that was an identity put upon us, even by our own people, that it's not one that should be perpetuated. We have the power to wipe this word of ignorance from ALL LIPS! Spike Lee and Bill Cosby have been saying it for years..."It's about Education.". Many of my family members who have pursued education and have striven to encourage their children to be educated will attest to this standard. The Bible reads, "My people perish for a lack of knowledge." And we are, we are perishing. More Black men go to jail then graduate college or high school. There is literally a Black Genocide happening where we are killing our own race off between abortion, gang violence, drugs, etc faster than we are creating Blacks. If you don't know about Black Genocide, here is a link to a man I co-interviewed a few years ago on the issue.
I'm reeling because I just learned this week, that there are still places, here, in my tri-state area, that still do not allow Blacks! I was so aggravated to know that in 2013 this is still happening! If you're unaware of this issue here is a link to the podcast I listened to, where a very well educated black man goes into a country club to work for one week. You'll want to listen to Act Two of the link below.
This not a black or white issue. This is an issue for ALL of us. If you know me, you know I don't play the "color card" and say it's the Whites, Hispanics or whomever who are bringing us down or taking our jobs, etc. I'm tired of us continuously blaming someone else. It's every one's fault. There is not just one people group to blame. On Thursday night a very intelligent young black woman asked Spike whose responsibility it is to change the music industry, this is in regards to music where women are sexualized and degraded. She asked, "Is it the label, the artist or the consumer?" Spike said that it's between the consumer and the artist. We are buying this music where I'm called a "Ho" or "B***". Yes me. Because they are talking about your sister, mother and every other female you know. And if you're buying it what are you doing? You're sustaining the degredation. I don't allow people to even elude to me possibly being one of those derogatory terms in person, so why would I allow it to be sung about? We are all participating in this and this bigotry, the bigotry on every nationality, whether you are Black, Hispanic, White, Asian etc, needs to stop. Why do people say, "Go back to your country!"? Frankly, if you're saying that, chances are, your behind shouldn't be here either. So, you should be getting on the same boat as the man or woman you just yelled at. This country was founded for ALL PEOPLE, so get over yourself!
This blog entry is going to anger some people. But this is the truth. So, instead of just getting angry and blasting everyone and everything I want to know what is my part? How can I change these stereotypes? There is only one answer, to be me. So, what does that look like? Not carring that other black people say that I, "Talk white". I speak well. That's it. I'm not trying to be white, just intelligent. I need to keep the friends I love. God has blessed me with wonderful Black, White, Indian, Asian and Hispanic friends and leaders. I wouldn't have it any other way. This is the way my Mother raised us. To love God and others. To learn from everyone's differences and embrace them, have them teach you things and open your mind. And my hair, oh my hair. My hair has been my own personal journey of self-hatred. Straightening if for years and never feeling pretty enough or having "difficult" hair or "coarse" hair. Yes, it's hard to comb, it's coarse, it's difficult, but it's what God gave me and I'm going to ROCK IT NOW! So, if you don't like it, turn your head when you walk by me because I'M NOT STRAIGTENING IT FOR YOU! And anyway, why does my conforming to the standard that my hair isn't good enough make you feel more comfortable?
So, learning what I've learned makes me want to get my Masters Degree so I can be almost as smart as my Mother and continue this walk of Virginity until I'm married. I refuse to be a statistic. I refuse to add to our dilemma. I refuse to perpetuate stupid. If what I've written angers you, good. At least you're thinking about it now.
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