OK stay alert people. We've got a lot to cover and I need your full attention.
Let's hit the chalk board and break it down.
Black and White. The Liberal and Conservative. What defines us, really, and how does it apply to the discussion of race relations; taken within the same vain as yesterdays new found awareness that "it's neither good or bad, thinking makes it so."
First, let me jump in with this. As you know, two weeks ago, I was driving little miss daisy to New Mexico, along with an Uncle, a couple of Aunts, two kitty's, two horses and a convoy of truckers. I never have had much time with my Aunts except holidays and reunions; tending to grandma and moving the household allowed for spending time together in a way that required us to do everything together, on the road, with very little time to ourselves as well as a lot of heavy lifting (hope grandma doesn't read this). It was all about the mission to get grandma where she needed to go ...while keeping our sanity.
It was great; even the funny wacko things that happened along the way made us laugh until we peed; things like inadvertently hitting the trunk button and having a host of grandma's collectibles strewn all over a dark Corrales road, stamp collections and family photos and all; never would we have known if it hadn't of been for Uncle Allan and Aunt Suzanne on our tail. When we realized Allan was no longer in the rear view mirror, we circled around only to find them picking up memories from 1917 piece by piece. Thank God it came after a fine dinner and a couple of glasses of wine; as you can well imagine, the matriarch with a front row seat, watching the escapades play out, was not too thrilled with the lot of us. Not too thrilled indeed.
Oh my, my point.
Aunt Viki, in all that makes her tick -- which is all crazy good -- whenever she was telling a story, she loved to describe the "African-American" as chocolate. And before you jump on her (or me for bringing it up), you really do have to know her. She's an artist (a really good one, who actually makes money at it). She's a cowboy (no, she really is, she's serious about her horses). And she lived in Australia raising her two fine boys for over twenty years (so that, in and of itself, is different being way down under for so long). As true blue as they come, and as happy to be on American soil that she is, and as a product of the 60's , she is just a different sort of bird. She rolls up into one big yummy morsel of quirks and zest for life and living; for her to refer to black people as chocolate is from a whimsical heart full of love and deep appreciation of the flavor African-Americans bring to the world, and more specifically, to her life. Her whole life is like a box of crayola's, so call it artistic license to express herself freely.
So I got to thinking about this idea of perception and how personal it may be, and just how valid our perception of race relations can become through different views; to be more perfectly clear, just how different is the Liberal view and methodology, versus that of the Conservative?
Through Aunt Viki's eyes to the soul, she just honors the flavors of chocolate and vanilla, and mixes it together to make a frosty or a hot fudge sundae; either way, it makes something a lot more fascinating put together than by themselves. (And for political purposes, she swings right down the middle, generally speaking of course.)
Race relations is highly personal, meaning if you are raised by a bigot, you tend to become a bigot; if raised with a radical, you tend to grow up a radical; if raised by a lefty, you tend to stay left; if raised by a righty, you tend to keep right on going right...you get my drift. Of course, there are exceptions, total flip flops have occured within a family, it happens; that's how one's life experiences, added to our upbringing, shape us into who we ultimately become.
Just how different are we -- lefties and righties-- in how we think?
I can't speak for all of you, of course (duh). But as you may have gathered, I tend to veer right. Yes, raised by a couple of rightie's, big shout out to mama and papa, thank you and bless you, and thanks again, really, I mean that from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I love the conservative side of me.
I love how it shaped me. How it helped me to survive the eighties (barely). I love how it helps me today with the great responsibility of raising my girl. I love how it's core belief is simple in nature; take care of your own self, and all else shall be added unto you. I love how, if we could ever get back to it's foundation, that it is the side of politics that values the ideology where less is more; and that the more we allow people to be people doing their own thing the better off we will all be. I love that.
I could never see myself as a liberal, ever. To me, they appear on the side of politics who tries way too hard to make way too many people happy; when for God's sake, people have a responsibility to themselves to find their own way, and pursue their own happiness. I believe all people can do that quite nicely; we all know what makes us tick and what we want out of life and have the ability to get there on our own, right?
But no, here's the liberal swooning in with the philosophy that "I'm with the government, I'm here to help" (I love that one). And what do people do? They roll over and take it, bowing down in thanks; and every so often the people get a treat. A little while later, the people get bored and need attention and they roll over again...hey, watch me...and keep rolling over, again and again and again. Well I'm here today to tell you, the dawg needs a new trick; we will never make it to the big show if this is all you got.
After watching Monday Night Football, a lovely tradition instilled by my dear old dad, I noticed something else. My perception was aided and abetted by what I saw right before my very eyes. The number of African-Americans playing, taking a look around the sidelines and stands -- and remembering according to the real numbers only 13% of our total population is African-American-- and found myself immediately blindsided and tackled to the turf.
Oh but what did my wondering eyes did appear, but a stadium of chocolate, vanilla, cinnamon and cheer!
If my eyes were correct, and I believe they were, I couldn't help but notice the ratio of players with one pitted up against another, all tangled up and yummy together on top of each other, huddled up on the sidelines... there was a lot of chocolate.
And my eyes were not deceiving me; rumor has it up to 70% of the NFL is African-American. Hmmm.
I had to look into this myself; but apparently, we can't talk about it. Apparently, leave it to a girl to not know any better, but it's taboo to discuss the numbers, the racial statistics, in the NFL, or NBA, or the MLB. Nope, we can't talk about the overwhelming number of African-Americans who make alot of money playing sports and entertaining the grandstands. Nope.
Of course, a Conservative view is it's just good bizn nis (say it like funny guy Eddy Murphy); you show me the best candidate for the job and you show me the money maker. And just where is the ACLU in the simple argument that there ain't enough vanilla in the mix? Is that fair? Is that right? Or are we just letting the best guy play the game, and quite possibly, win it?
Or how about even the look at who's in charge of who's playing? According to the stats, in 2008, there were 7 African-American head coaches out of 32; and if you kindly do your math, you get 22%. Hmmm (a number higher than 13)
My conservative perception is simply this, the NFL, by definition, is a sport that capitalizes on the number of times we win the game; knowing that, we pick the best guy for the job, whether or not the stats go askew. As any sport will tell you, we must pick and choose the team according to merit and merit alone, otherwise, we may not win. So where is the liberal screaming out of bounds? Wouldn't this be of interest to any living breathing lefty who works real hard to making sure everyone has a fair shake, that the mix of chocolate to vanilla is even steven? Am I missing something?
FYI there also seems to be no black kickers or punters in the NFL at all. Shouldn't we do something about that? Oh, let that one sit on the bench for another day...
We cannot become a society so consumed by race that it becomes a detriment to individual merit and expertise. We simply can't eat ourselves sick with making sure EVERY segment of profession and position and talent is according to tweaking the recipe for success just out of political correctness or unworthy entitlements, because the truth is, there are areas that would stop the game in a nano second.
Let's look at who gets the rapper contracts (quite possibly 80/1) or who simply writes the songs, motown and uptown and downtown? Let's look at who inspires us, the preachers and the teachers. Let's take a good look at Hollywood, the Oprah dynasty, and the entire media industry who entertains and brings us news? Do you think for one minute Oprah surrounds herself with the actual population percentages of whites to blacks, Asians to Hispanics, men to women, 13% and all?
And along those lines, what about BET - Black Entertainment Television? Do you think we could actually have a WET? And why didn't they call it A-AET?
Just because it took awhile to give an Oscar to a black woman, are we really gonna scream fire, or can we simply recognize NO ONE more worthy in that moment than Hally Berry? And wouldn't Hally even admit how much better it is to hold Oscar due to her performance, and not the color of her skin?
In 2003, Rush Limbaugh was interviewing Jimmy "the Greek"of the Philidelphia Eagles testing the political correctness of the times, questioning the lack of objectivity in covering the performance of the black quarterback culminating out of the fear within the media of being considered a racist if we are critical to one little thing. This was based upon the old school premise, a white quarterback is smarter for the task, thereby we must "protect" the black quarterback of any challenging remarks, holding him safely under guard when faced with analyzing the game; making a new standard of reporting, while invariably creating a counter culture to the rule of picking apart the game films altogether. When Donovan McNabb caught wind of this he said, "It's sad that you've got to go to skin color. I thought we were through with that whole deal."
I hope we are all opening are eyes; but at the same time, this stuff has the potential to make us all crazy, if not terribly ill.
Coming from just a girl, sports is a perfect way to look at where we are in race relations; it's not about winning or losing, or the color of our skin, it's how we play the game, be it whatever game we're in.
The love of my life makes a sundae throwing together ice creams of chocolate and vanilla--butter pecan is mighty fine too-- floats the bowl with a little half/half, and sprinkles the likes of cinnamon, sugar and nutmeg on top (oh baby x did I give away the family secret?)
While the liberal is famous for trying to acheive the perfect utopian balance and making sure every flavor has a fair shake; the conservative, just throws together a bowl with the best possible chance for success. Truth is, don't worry about following a recipe at all, what matters is what makes it a winning bowl of ice cream.
Today, let's appreciate the variety of flavors and talents we all bring to the table, and to the game, and
make it a good day, G