Is it possible that people are so addicted to skin color that they refuse to acknowledge the most obvious indications that such an addiction is wrong? The answer, of course, is yes, many are.
A person of color recently ridiculed me because he felt I had lumped him and his family in the category of “having something given to them based on color.” (I apologize for not being able to find his name and his comment, which are somewhere on my Facebook page.) He was genuinely offended that mine was a broad statement and, as such, included him in that category. The thing he didn’t do, however, was condemn the category. He just took exception with my placing him in it.
The other thing he overlooked is that support of race-based affirmative action results in him, his family and nearly every other person of color in the category of “being there” because of their skin color juxtaposed with “being there” based on skill – unless you’re talking about athletes.
Race- and gender-based affirmative-action policies aren’t based on meritocracy or deservedness. They are based on the theory that populating a landscape with prescribed numbers of certain skin colors and genders makes the landscape “more” complete because all groups are represented. That mentality is wrong on any quantifiable level. Suffice it to say that placing people into positions that they are not qualified to succeed in is an alchemy for failure.
There is no pride in being given a seat in a school that a person doesn’t have the academic ability or preparedness to succeed in. There is only the shame of dropping out or the shame of knowing that you cannot compete academically with your classmates.
I found it interesting that the gentleman was upset because he viewed my comments as lumping him into the category of getting something he hadn’t worked for – which is precisely the problem with race-based affirmative action. No matter how the proverbial cake is sliced, the person understands that he didn’t earn his way in. And if, as the gentleman alleges, he has what he does because he worked for it, he is justified in feeling aggrieved at being lumped into the common category.
However, it is inconceivable to me why he still embraces the very thing he openly admits unfairly brands him. Like so many others, he is offended by but refuses to cast off the yoke that pins him there.
Thursday of last week I commented on my Facebook page about what a difference the Country Music Association Awards were contrasted with awards shows for rap and hip-hop. Apparently, Deborah Cotton was offended that I would dare to point out the differences.
She wrote: “Exactly WHO is it that you speak for when you make all of these ‘pointed’ remarks?????? You DO NOT speak for me … you flatter yourself with the amen’s from white Americans and that makes you feel good about yourself. … you, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, and Don Lemon must be related!”
Apparently, she was offended because I pointed out that at the CMA Awards, “there were no gang fights, no East Coast gonna’ kill West Coast, no gratuitous vulgarity, no women in g-strings and no men walking around with gold chains hanging from their necks with their pants hanging off their [butts].” She was upset because I pointed out that there were no shootings and no threats of violence during the awards show.
She apparently was insulted because I said, “Rappers and hip-hoppers should take a lesson in propriety and citizenship from country western performers.” Or was it that I said when the music identified with persons of color, “Earl ‘Father’ Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, Louie Armstrong, The Supremes, The Temptations, etc. there were no East Coast–West Coast wars”? There certainly wasn’t the level of drugs, guns and violence in predominantly black enclaves that there is today.
The point should be obvious. If a person of color is offended by my comments pursuant to affirmative action, logic would indicate they understand the stigma attached to same, so why would they still support it? As for Deborah Cotton, what can be said? After all, how dare I speak out against that which portrays rage, misogyny, self-contempt, drugs, alcohol, rape, killing and unbridled venality as culturally acceptable?
Race-based affirmative action hasn’t helped people – it has rewarded underachievement – as the referenced gentleman, by his own admission, agreed. The elements that hip-hop and rap extol are among the most demeaning and insulting, especially to women. And yet, Cotton attempts to insult me for saying it.
It is the mindset of people like those I referenced that encourages persons of color to reject modernity. Said mindset is also one of the primary causal factors that convinces blacks that regardless of how wrong and/or reprobate the people or their behavior is, if they are dark enough they must be still supported.