cnn’s ‘black in america’



i want to begin this entry by giving props for good intentions.  it was really well intended. but.

basically the message i took from it is that if you’re black and living in america, you’re either light skinned and the member of a family of generations of college graduates, or you’re a dirt poor single parent with hypertention, diabeetus, and potentially HIV.

my biggest issue, first and foremost, was that motherfucking kangol wearing spoken word dude.  WHAT THE DAMN HELL.  WHY MUST SPOKEN WORD BE PRESENT IN EVERY EXHIBITION OF BLACKNESS.  like, is this the new alternative to gun-toting dope-slangin gangbanger imagery that we’re trying to shake?  you can’t do that with nothin but a wack ass poem?  really?  GO AWAY.  GO TO HELL AND GO AWAY.  IN THAT ORDER.

second to that, i found the lack of explanation of all the problems that black people have disturbing.  like how can you discuss the wuthering differences in the educations that blacks receive vs. whites without saying two words about brown vs. the board of education?  the only way that link could be more direct is if it had a neon sign on its head, blinking ‘OH SHIT! THIS IS WHY RON-RON CAN’ T READ, YALL!’  and the dude raising his two kids alone who was being put out of his apartment?  it was explained that they were living in poverty, and that there are countless numbers of other black ppl living in poverty as well.  so im like okay…. why is he living in poverty?  just b/c he’s black?  lol is this encoded in our genes or something?  am i not black because i am not impoverished, but rather balling out of control, poppin bottles and collars with each step i take through life?  you know what i mean?  now, i have a good idea of why they’re impoverished, because as a black person, i know how it is.  but to the unblack people out there watching.. i sat and wondered at the ponderances that the lack of explaining allowed for.  my boss, sitting in his million dollar home outside of the city limits, could see a man unable to feed his children and think, ‘oh, he’s not trying hard enough,’ or ‘he’s probably on drugs, living on welfare’ or somethin like that.  there was no context or history given to a lot of the problems.  let ‘black in america’ tell it, black people have hypertension because a slave master licked the cheek of his slaves and put them on boats to the middle passage because they tasted salty enough.

…what in corseted confederate hell?

like.  i dont think its possible to have a discussion on the shit stuck to the bottom of black america’s shoes without talking about slavery (beyond some freak licking his slaves).  that’s what has us in the messes we’re in today.  not totally and completely of course, but you know what i mean.    the huge disparity in wealth, white privilage.  black and white america are still essentially living separately, and the root of all those problems can be traced directly to slavery.

problem is, white people (generally) do not respond well to discussions of slavery at all.  maybe that’s why they left it out.  i mean i assume that that’s largely who this series is created for anyway, and if they want white people to watch it, they can’t scare them away as soon as it starts.  i find that when you bring it up, a lot of white folk are prone to get defensive, and wonder why we just won’t forget it, why not let it go and move on, why are we punishing white people today for the sins of their ancestors.  which, of course, sensible black people do not and will not do.  its not trying to hold current day white people accountable for slavery, its explaining how we *all* got into this mess.  but, trying to get that point across is like trying to squeeze mo’nique in a latex jumper without oiling her up first. 

OH!  oh, and this really rubbed sandpaper on my spleen.. the discussion of black women dating white men?  HA!  so basically there arent any black women who date outside their race just cause they want to.  its because there arent any good black men available.  rotfl.  that’s hogwash, let me tell you, because i know for a fact that there are good black men out there, but im currently taking applications for vanilla cones cause my credit is JACKED and that’s not a good look in this speedballing-to-fucking-hell economy.  not because there aren’t any good black men out there.

i dunno.  i guess it was cool for what it was though.  i find it remarkable that CNN decided to embark on this journey in the first place.  i was actually suspicious.  like ‘wait.. it’s not black history month.  wtf is this about?’

in cnn’s defense,  when trying to tell the story of millions of people, literally, you have to generalize.  i just wish they had done a more inclusive job of it.. it basically just reaffirmed the images that a good portion of white america has of black america.

i cant say whether i’ll be tuning in tonight or not.  if that spoken word bastard is there then that’s a DEFINITE no.  i hate his ass.

9 responses to “cnn’s ‘black in america’

  1. That’s how I know CNN don’t know shit about Black folk… putting that Love Jones spoken word reject on the damned screen. WTF? We BEEN over that shit. White people so damn late all the time.

    ANd yeah, the show pissed me off. What you said about the lack of explanation is crucial because white folks are watching this shit and using it to reinforce negativity, both conscious and subconscious. And we can act all hoard, on some “I don’t care what white people think,” but that’s not true or wise.

  2. The part about black people in America having hypertension because of salty slaves is true. A black Harvard trained economist was looking through some historical textbooks one day and saw a picture of a white slave buyer licking a group of slaves to see which ones were the saltiest. He would then buy the saltiest ones. Why? Because salt retains water, and the slaves with a lot of salt in their blood would not get dehydrated on the boats during the middle passage and die. The man was protecting his investment, you can’t make money on a dead slave.

    Now how does that equate to black Americans having a high rate of hypertension? In Africa ALL kinds of black people exist. But only the salty ones were selected to come to America. We are all descendants of those salty selected slaves.

    Now you know, and knowing is half the battle. G.I. JOE!!!!!

  3. NDPTAL85 – im not at all denying that this is true. it makes sense. im simply stating that that tidbit isn’t enough to give a good historical context as to why all the other problems plaguing black america exist.

    lol @ GI Joe

    nakia, i will answer you in spoken word form:

    A GIRL
    watching national news tv
    and thinks
    and sits

    black people on the screen
    without doing something musical
    for a damn

    thank you.

  4. *Rolling on the floor* @ everyone ( 🙂 especially brokey )

  5. I didn’t get a chance to watch the show but I actually had a cringe feeling about the whole thing. As I looked at the commercials leading up to the show, they all seemed to indicate that I was about to see a program that devotes hours to black peoples grievances. The problem is that I sensed a ‘whitewash’ (pun intended) of slavery from the discussion. The cringe factor is that I’m actually tired of spelling out our problems. Nobody cares and actually the more we whine about our condition just gives white America ammunition for their negative feelings about us. It actually pained me to think that they were about to spend three days letting us bitch. Who gives a shit. What this country needs is a complete unpacking of slavery. No matter how painful, embarrassing, or difficult it might be. We have to do it. That’s actually one thing I really feel like I need to see before I die, and that is the full truth of slavery to be put into the mainstream public consciousness. One to disarm these self righteous bastards who continually point at the symptoms that their descendants, government, and society, helped foster in African Americans through slavery, centuries of subjugation and mistreatment, and use those symptoms to justify their negative attitudes towards us. Many of our people are still stuck in a hellish fog of ignorance. We really need to know our experience or we will continue to have no experience in succeeding. I look at men sometimes and I can’t help but see slavery-in-action in their actions. I can’t help but feel that if they were educated about where some of these behaviors come from, it would be hard to not check yourself from what you know to be slave behavior. I was a 14 year old who thought it was cool to crack “yo mamma so black” or “ni#@a you so black” jokes until I saw Spike Lee’s School Daze, and I was shown how incredibly ignorant it was to do that. I’m just ranting.

  6. Man, listen…
    I haven’t been able to catch this yet, but really: What did we expect?

    Truth be told, we’d be better off telling our own stories on YouTube.
    Just send out a set of decent questions relating to what it’s like being Black in America and let the people address them directly. No bias. No editing.
    Just pure, raw, uncut Black.

    Hmmm… in fact…
    *jots notes*

    I might run with this idea.

  7. LMAO! you are the greatest. I don’t have a TV, but it automagically earned a top spot on my “list of reasons why I’m glad I’m not black”

  8. i totally agree. i definitely blogged almost the same exact thing.
    Nice try…but mission failed.

  9. wtf are mreeuh’s other reasons? she need jeezus.

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