Mark M on Remembrance

Booker Rising: Mark M on Remembrance

My generation learned a great deal from the prior generation. We are much bolder in the most simple matters. It is of no consequence for us to have certain occupations, make money or integrate within the larger community without the past generation’s angst or valiance. We do not feel as inhibited in speaking our minds or questioning authority. When the past generation spoke the truth to authority, it was a rightful sign of heroism and honor. When we do the same, we’re just speaking our mind.

We are, however, still defined by race, but that defining is partly our own choice. We go to black churches. We socialize mostly with black people and still do not discuss certain things in the company of whites. We still believe it is “us” and “them” and we still get uncomfortable when crime shown on the evening news has a photo of one of “us”. We are comfortably and defiantly not them, a white society we believe, mostly in our paranoid minds, barely tolerates us.

You are welcome in our society.  All you have to do is step in.  Millions of black people already have.  Separate but equal never was and still isn’t.

21 Comments

  1. Jazzy says:

    “You are welcome in our society”

    It’s a sad day when I have come to look forward to the mental jab-fests with you Phelps but I think I will just pass on the above statement altogether today.

  2. Phelps says:

    It’s funny — I’ve been playing the eternal optimist here (because I think it is the way to make this situation better) yet I’ve also been playing GTA4 like mad, and one of the most annoying characters there is the eternal optimist (who is mainly comic relief.)

  3. Jazzy says:

    Alright Phelps I have recuperated from my mental fatigue and feel up to addressing this topic appropriately today.

    “We are, however, still defined by race, but that defining is partly our own choice”

    This you already know I feel I believe you described it as projection in an earlier post. However I believe it to be natural to categorize someone by appearance, female, male, old, young, black, white, etc. This is something that people may be unconscious of but pattern of recognition that they participate in nonetheless. And America is a society that does define by race other wise it would not be listed on every blasted piece of paper you have to sign.

    “We socialize mostly with black people and still do not discuss certain things in the company of whites.”

    As far as this statement goes it does not only apply to white people but people who are not apart of my immediate circle of family or friends something’s will and should remain private.

    “We still believe it is “us” and “them” and we still get uncomfortable when crime shown on the evening news has a photo of one of “us”.

    Some black individuals may be uncomfortable about images of us portrayed on the news however, the fact is that dumb ass did commit the crime and should be upbraided for it. My particular issue with the media is that they HARDLY ever so any positive reinforcement of black individuals unless they are associated with the entertainment industry. There are countless black individuals out there in the community and on the national scale that rarely get mention on popular shows such as 60 minutes, etc.

    “We are comfortably and defiantly not them, a white society we believe, mostly in our paranoid minds, barely tolerates us.
    I don’t believe that white people barely tolerate us and I truly don’t believe MOST (mexigouge) black people feel that way. I do believe that because of our experiences we view the world differently and react to certain situations differently because of that experience.

  4. Jazzy says:

    “You are welcome in our society. All you have to do is step in. Millions of black people already have.
    Ok now this is the section I feel needs adequate addressing. We are welcomed in YOUR society WTF. I’m sure you did not mean this the way it reads but really. YOUR society and OUR society implies that is a right and a wrong and that YOUR society is the only correct choice. You are correct millions of black people do this on a daily it’s called GOING TO WORK.
    It is annoying and frustrating that the minority culture should always have to assimilate with the dominant culture and any wish for the minority culture to retain some of its culture is perceived as defiance. This is just plain ludicrous. Minority cultures seek solace and shared experiences from each other.
    For example, occasionally I will throw a party at our home I will invite a mix of people the white people I can tell are uncomfortable they don’t relate to spades and dominos and Lord help when everyone gets liquored up. When on the other hand I can go to my white friend’s home and fit right in playing taboo or some other house game. Black people in my position cross over everyday into YOUR society and there are times when we need to reconnect with our culture. People that share your same culture and experiences automatically know your positions and feelings no explanation is generally needed.
    And a little levity as far as the whole church issue I have attended service with predominately white congreations and all I can say is zzzzzzzz, they are rather monotone and stuffy, and don’t even get me started on Catholics (my father’s family is Catholic), sit, stand, kneel, didn’t know I was going to aerobics class. I like a little inflection and drums, guitar, and bass to keep my mind from zzzzzzzzzzz.

  5. Phelps says:

    Actually, what I said was to assume that everyone defines everything by race is projection. I’m sure that most black people do, because most black people say they do. As a white person, I don’t think about race until a black person brings it up. It doesn’t define me.

    My particular issue with the media is that they HARDLY ever so any positive reinforcement of black individuals unless they are associated with the entertainment industry.

    They don’t do any positive reinforcement for whites or Latinos or Asians either. It is the news. It is about crime and violence. Whenever there is a Happy Funtime Hour black people get a segment.

    For the last part. First, I was specifically addressing what he wrote, where he said that he had set himself apart. I didn’t say my society, I said our society. As in, all of us, him included. And I’m not referring to the millions working, I’m talking of the millions of black people who do not set themselves apart in a self-imposed apartheid out of paranoia about white people.

    I don’t know how to play spades because I’ve never been very interested in bidding games. I can play dominos all day long. It is funny that you brought up parties, because that is exactly where I draw the dividing line. When I was a kid, there were two kinds of parties. There were the ones that I got invited to, where there were lots of latinos and blacks, and there were the ones that I didn’t get invited to. You know what? The latinos didn’t get invited to those parties either. Those are the people I am talking to.

    I can’t help you about the church service. I went to pentecostal services when I grew up. There was always someone gibbering or falling out in the aisles and electric guitars in our churches.

  6. Jazzy says:

    “I’m talking of the millions of black people who do not set themselves apart in a self-imposed apartheid out of paranoia about white people.”

    Phelps this same segment of people you talk about are equivalent to red necks. They are the same individuals you see plastered across your nightly news. For these people same as their white counter parts they do view the world as and us and them mentality, that will only change through education. As long as education in these areas remains inadequate and little to no other outlets for these individuals their thought process will remain the same.

    “It doesn’t define me.” [it being race]

    What did you mark on your job application OTHER? Race/ethnicity does define you I never understood why people say this, I don’t feel like the word race is a dirty four letter word it is what it is and people should not run from it. Race and ethnicity does not however have to rule you but an understanding of its role in America is not something to shy away from.

    And as far as the our society things goes America and the rest of the world is becoming increasingly global, societies are going to have to learn co-existence and tolerance of one another. It boils down to simple respect for others and their differences and not the constant pounding of assimilate or be destroyed. (Yeah I know that last statement is a little melodramatic but whatever)

    “Happy Funtime Hour”= LMAO

  7. Phelps says:

    I agree that they are the rednecks of black america. The problem is that there are a lot more of them than not. (And the comparison is more literal than you think — if you haven’t read Sowell’s Black Rednecks and White Liberals I highly recommend it.)

    I don’t think that education is the answer. You don’t tell someone how to act. You show them how to act. The answer is to have awkward white people milling around in parties not knowing how to play spades or dominos. You can’t stay angry at someone that you drink beer with. Integration — real integration — is the answer.

    And assimilation works both way. General culture has adopted quite a bit from black culture in the last 50 years.

  8. Jazzy says:

    I disagree with you about the education issue I have learned quite a bit from my cultural competency classes (which includes a pretty health segment on white America). However, I agree with you completely about integration it teaches you acceptance and tolerance but how do you reconcile that with individuals that don’t leave their chosen areas black and white alike to intermingle

  9. Phelps says:

    Shun them. White America has been shunning racists for about 20 years. It has been working.

  10. mexigogue says:

    I play spades. I learned how in the Camp Pendleton Base Brig when I was there for two months. Interesting aside, I hung out with the black guys and eventually the Mexicans excommunicated me from the Mexican race. The brothas said it was ok as I was now “down”.

  11. R says:

    I’m going to have to challenge the comment that ethnicity defines somebody.

    I am full-blooded genetically Mexican. But I was raised in the U.S. for my entire life. As a Mexican I’m supposed to enjoy spicy food, speak Spanish, know all about Mexican culture, dance around a sombrero, and impregnate women.

    I have a mediocre tolerance for spice. My Spanish is horrendous. I know very little about Mexican history and culture. I’ve never danced around a sombrero and haven’t impregnated a woman.

    So for all intents and purposes, as far as individual definition, I am 100% American.

  12. Phelps says:

    Hmm. I on the other hand, eats tons of horribly spicy Mexican food at least five times a week, speak horrible Spanish, know all about Mexican culture, both own a sombrero and have danced around it. Haven’t impregnated anyone yet.

    If I wasn’t Texan, I would be half Mexican. (Texas was the best part of Mexico for a while, after all.)

  13. Jazzy says:

    @R I consider myself an American and a 100% American at that. However what you just described are considered stereotypes. I am an American with a distinct cultural background. That stereotypical cultural appearance is that I should have HIV/AIDS by now, have at least 3 kids and speak Ebonics all day. All of which I don’t, however I do identify with the cultural aspect of my community and not the stereotypes that often describe it.

  14. Phelps says:

    o noes! DO NOT WANT TEH AIDS

  15. Jazzy says:

    “So for all intents and purposes, as far as individual definition, I am 100% American.”

    What is wrong with being considered a Mexican American, African American, Asian American, like you said that is your genetic make up. I just don’t understand it’s upseting to an extent that people would not want to know who or what they came from. I enjoy learning little known facts concerning black america. I am an American but also black, I see no problem with identifying with both. Should one have to give up one to appease the other?

  16. Jazzy says:

    @Phelps LMAO

  17. Phelps says:

    You don’t have to give up one to appease the other. The problem is that too many people don’t have an other to appease.

  18. R says:

    Jazzy,

    I was responding to the statement you made: “Race/ethnicity does define you…”

    I mean, sure, on a basic level, it’s a physical definition of you. I was responding to the idea that race/ethnicity defines an individual beyond the physical aspects. I don’t know which meaning you were using.

  19. Jazzy says:

    @R I meant both meanings, literally and figuratively. For me personally to Reconcile one (American citizen) with out the other (race/ethnicity) is perplexing to me personally. I am aware that people do this just seems that when they do they are denying a piece of themselves (this is solely my opinion). This often makes me think of my grandmother who could have passed for white but chose to live her life as a black woman she chose to go through the hardships of living in a Jim Crow era I could not be more proud of her for doing this, especially when others in our family chose the opposite. Therefore, for me this is personal, race/ethnicity is very personal I’m so very proud to be a Black American that I don’t understand when people choose to drop the race ethnicity part as if it does exist or that it is a trivial issue.

  20. Phelps says:

    For me, it is a trivial issue. I’ve got Irish and Welsh on one side. On the other side, I have French, Irish, Apache (and not the “noble savage” ones, the “murderous rampage that shocked other Indians” ones) and German. What ethnicity do I have other than “American?”

    Seriously. Race doesn’t define me. I don’t answer questions in my mind in the context of, “as a Welshman/Irishman/Continental/Indian…” I’m guessing that as more people of mixed race start identifying as “other” rather than black, this will get to be more common (since most black people are of mixed race at some point in their lineage).

  21. R says:

    Jazzy,

    I will agree that ethnicity defines an individual inasmuch as anything else that has any serious influence on that same individual.

    Had my being a Latino affected me in noteworthy ways, I, too, would have included my race as part of my identity. Of course, things can still happen and perhaps my ethnicity will come to form a larger portion of my personal identity in the future, but up to this point, I haven’t had any real struggles or triumphs due to my Mexican heritage.