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September 25, 2011

Considering a Type of Underexamined Hype

It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I wanted to really be passionate about the next thing I wrote so that the words would just flow. I’ve had many topics that I’ve considered but dismissed them almost as soon as they popped in my head because of their already being overtly discussed. The Obama presidency is always an easy route to go because whether we want to believe it or not, we are undergoing a period in American history that historians further down the road will be salivating over. The fact that people want to downplay this bi-racial president’s Black presidency is almost as comical as it is tragic. First, if I were bi-racial I’d be very upset about the fact that the first bi-racial president is being put into a box that eliminates the richness of his identity. Secondly, bi-racial or Black, anyone, including Obama himself, who doesn’t want to discuss his racial reality is ignoring the biggest elephant to ever saunter though our political discourse. As well, the fact that we have political legislative bodies more invested in the return of their political party to prominence than the good will of the people is the epitome of dysfunctional if not exceedingly selfish. And to know you are doing dirt to thousands, no, millions of people who count on you to do the right thing is abominable. But I don’t want to talk at length about that or I’ll just get pissed off and morph into another rendition of the angry Black man. So, I’ll just admit to being peeved.

I could talk about the recent execution of a so-called convicted killer, after the recanting of testimonies by many of the witnesses who initially contributed to his being placed upon death row. While I understand how long this case had been on the books and bureaucrats need to clear their coffers for other so-called more pressing concerns, it doesn’t escape me that if one of their family members were the one perhaps being falsely accused of a crime now being reconsidered, they would have found some way to be more considerate. But this reeks of the type of consideration given to people speeding 11 miles over the speed limit in contrasts to the citing officer’s favorite niece being verbally chastised, but not cited for the same offense.
I could even talk about relationships, those that perhaps we should have never entered, those that could have been greater than inadequately synchronized watches allowed, those that failed because the lovers talked to each other—but not with each other, those that we stay(ed) in too long, those that we are in to leverage escape from the ones we stayed in too long, and those that we might still be in if we hadn’t bought into a degree of hype that prevented us from seeing what was before us. But we’ve talked about those topics before and are now blue in the face as a result. Because I’m Black and now blue, it may appear that I’ve taken a bit more of a beating, but not necessarily, so don’t fret over me too much. However, understanding that the depths of diversity resonate just as profoundly in romance as anywhere else, it always helps to listen carefully enough to be better equipped to explore the grey areas that at first glimpse seem black and white.

I could talk about my current visit and stay in NYC. It was initially supposed to be me primarily teaching a diversity & social justice class across a weekend. Instead it became more about a personal epiphany I experienced seeing a billboard for the play Wicked, which affected me as much subconsciously as professionally. Shortly thereafter I found myself visiting the jazz club Birdland and processing what the club’s tribute to jazz giant John Coltrane, essentially a celebration of what would have been his 85th birthday, did to me. I should have known I was headed towards trouble when I chose to let down my guard and listen to music that I only listen to when seeking my deepest level of cogitation. As a result it reinforced the fact that I’m probably not alone thinking I have everything figured out. Then I turn a corner and almost instantaneously it becomes apparent that all the logical thought I thought I had situated logically was illogically situated in a context so loaded with pretext that it is hard to even consider the subtext. [I suggest you reread that prior sentence slowly, but not aloud or you could lose your mind]. Suffice it to say, when you start to consider how the Wicked Witch of the West was not an evil bitch to detest nor a human glitch of whom to make jest, but a person that challenged us to be our best, it becomes apparent that we failed miserably. It is all too easy seeing someone who is unceasingly framed as a perpetrator as a criminal and nothing more. Postulating what motives others have for accusing someone who is verbally under siege as being defensive when they have every right to defend themselves, is like not considering the reasons a so-called criminal who has been systematically disenfranchised might have a criminal response. These assertions are as ridiculous as:

1. A so-called elected leader publicly avowing to make a newly elected country’s leader a one term leader (and yet everything that follows is not supposed to be consistent with that earlier avowal). How does this happen? Are we stupid or what?

2. People who don’t know anything about someone professing insight into their reality based totally on hearsay and hype (as if there aren’t other motives in place). Why don’t we just ask the simplest of questions, like “so, how do you know this for a fact?”

3. Only caring about the welfare of those related to us, or only caring about news that directly impacts us, until something directly does affect us..only then we’ve already assisted in the construction of a world that is so desensitized that nobody cares (and yet we claim we don’t know why things always seem so bad). If we don’t care about what’s happening outside of our homes, down the street, and/or around the corner, why should anyone else?

4. Claims of loving someone that you never could possibly love because you never knew her/him, and were too busy loving whom you wanted that person to be. More so, until we know ourselves in our current context, are we even capable of loving another, romantically?

It would behoove those of us who posture as if we know ourselves, or care about making this world a better place to try being the only Green person in the country. Labeled inadequate, aberrant, deviant, different, dare I say, wicked just because someone can label us, knowing others will buy into it. One day perhaps after experiencing the hype of being the unfathomable prototype we will, though self-reflection come to recognize the assault on our psyches that we must engage before we can see how we see. Additionally, perhaps we will all see who is going out of their way to invite us into their world, not to mention caring enough to understand ours. Until then, though, we are in jeopardy of not recognizing something is rotten in Denmark. That lack of recognition often makes a “mark” out of you…and me.