Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Negro, Please!: Exhibits B & C

I had not intended to devote another post to Michael Steele and his foolishness. However, as more bits and pieces of his weekend media forays come to light, I find myself in a position from which I cannot help but comment. Let me repeat, each and every time Steele opens his mouth, foolishness seems to gush out in a massive torrent. I am almost apt to agree with those who just a few weeks ago charged that Steele should just keep his mouth shut and work to build the RNC.

Earlier I commented briefly on Steele’s comment that he had attempted to engage President Obama in a dialogue, but thus far the president had resisted. When it was suggested that he was in someway jealous of the president, he stated that there was not reason he should be jealous. After all, he was the chairman of the Republican National Convention, and that both men were at the pinnacle of political power. (See Exhibit B below) He quickly catches himself and states that he does not equate the two, the presidency and his chairmanship.

And now this clip from the same interview (See exhibit C below) when he lapses into a long colloquy about how he partied during his freshman year of college which led to him being expelled. But then he seems to catch himself and tries to fashion some type of redemption story around it.

Who is he talking to? Is he admitting his screw-ups and asking for a second chance to redeem himself? I know that he is responding to the interviewers question; however, I'm not able to understand where it fits in to his whole agenda.

The question becomes does he think before he speaks? What exactly is he attempting to accomplish? Because each time he goes in front of the camera, each time he does an interview, he seems to dig himself in a deeper hole.

It is not that I want Steele to fail. In fact, it is quite the contrary. All African Americans have a stake in Steele’s success or failure whether we realize it or not. If Steele does fail, his failure will be accorded to certain shortcomings inherent in African Americans. If he does succeed, his success will be accorded to a certain singularity in his being, or, in other words, he is simply an exceptional human being.

I can only hope that Steele pulls it together. It certainly pains me to see another African American male thrash about so.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Negro, Please!

When Michael Steele was selected chairman of the Republican National Committee, I must say that I was more than a little skeptical. I mean, this followed right on the heels of the elections. The country had just selected its first black president and the republicans had been trounced. Then, Michael Steele is selected. Sounds a little suspicious, does it not?

But I wanted to give him a chance. I wanted to believe that he was selected on his merits and not just as a token. But things quickly fell apart.

I will not recapitulate the whole sequence of events that led me to believe that Michael Steele is but a figurehead, but let’s just say the whole Rush Limbaugh debacle caused me to lose any respect I had for him.

Everytime he opens his mouth he loses credibility. He showed up on CNN this weekend claiming that the whole Rush Limbaugh episode was part of some master plan. This makes no sense. For one, if this whole thing was planned, what was the end result supposed to be? It did nothing to further Steele’s cause. In fact, it made the whole Republican Party seem like a ship of fools. Secondly, if it was planned, why was it that Steele emerged from the whole affair looking like a complete punk? Why would anyone put themselves in such a position for any reason? See the video below for a glimpse of this foolishness.

Steele also claims that Obama has rebuffed all his attempts at a dialogue. This I believe. Why would anyone want to be caught up with a negro like Steele?

Steele states further that he does have political aspirations for the future that might even involve the presidency if God gives him the go ahead. If Steele really believes that he has any political future after the events of late, he is more disillusioned than he was when he allowed himself to believe he was really in charge of the Republican National Committee.

Obama and the ‘Hood

Last night I tuned into D.L. Hughley's CNN show to see Hughley bid adieu. It's not that I was a fan of the show. In fact, last night's show was made up of "best of" clips of previous shows that simply confirmed why the show was being canceled in the first place. But I did tune in with the expectation that Hughley would do or say something completely outlandish or over-the-top.

But anyway, the show proved to be pretty uneventful. There was a segment that stood out though. In one episode, Hughley asked his guests Stephen A. Smith and Michaela Angela Davis what President Obama's presidency meant to "the streets".

Both guests were in agreement that his presidency would have a profound impact on the streets. In fact, one guests stated something to the effect that now "brothas in the street" would know the importance of having discipline, morals, and values. I think it was Hughley who told a brief anecdote about children who were mis-behaving on a train, but who then quickly repaired when Barack Obama and his children were invoked.

I don't know. I'm still pretty incredulous about the whole conversation. I mean, I agree somewhat, but there is a lot more work that still must be done at the grassroots level. Take the following as a case in point.

A few days after President Obama's historic win, I gave an assessment to a group of eighth grade boys at an inner city charter school. For the most part, the group's performance was absolutely pathetic. If I remember correctly, all but two failed miserably. Nevertheless, on all the papers, with no exceptions, was some form of "Obama '08." In big letters, in little letters, his name was everywhere. But one paper stood out.

Not only did this student write Obama all over his paper, but he also drew a fairly good likeness of him and the back of his paper featured a pretty good Obama rap. But the student didn't answer one question. He didn't even attempt the assessment.

The students are certianly inspired by Obama's victory, but they seem totally oblivious as to what got him where he is now. Obama's discipline, morals, and values are all good lessons to learn, but who is going to take them back to the streets and teach them. Those who are in most need of this message will not receive it simply by osmosis.

Brothas in the street are undoubtedly proud of Obama's accomplishments, and certainly his path to the White House is a blueprint for success, but unless there are people on the ground re-iterating this message and modeling this message, then I'm afraid it goes for naught.
Related Posts with Thumbnails