BLACK BLOGGERS DON'T WANT SCRAPS
(CROSS-POSTED AT Jack and Jill Politics)
WE GET IT; YOU WERE THERE. CAN WE DRIVE NOW?
We demand a seat at the table. If you're going to discuss us, why don't you invite us to the discussion first?
And it isn't a fight we asked for. Most of us just wanted to be heard. But when we learned how to use this tool, the INTERNET, as a means of not just communication, but for political activism, organizing protests and marches - making demands of the MSM that our issues get media coverage fairly and objectively, it was only a matter of time before we get called into full-scale battle.
I just never thought the first ambush would come from the Vanguard of the Civil Rights Movement. I thought being in the blogsphere would better assist the old guard in the fight, and ensure them they could trust us to keep fighting the good fight against racism, sexism, all-isms, as well as bring attention to issues within our communities that matter to US, BLACK PEOPLE.
So, when I read that Jesse Jackson states that we bloggers are "good at serving the meal, but don't know how to farm and till the soil", I wanted to scream "If you take your hand off the plow and let us drive the mule, maybe we learn how to do that, too!"
And they wonder why we who are under 50 or original Black Panthers are challenging them. I don't care if the NAACP trots out a 35-year-old activist named Ben Jealous; now that I've read that piece in the Chicago Tribune, in addition to what I wrote here, I'm now convinced that the NAACP has sent in someone to infiltrate the blogsphere and immobilize US. All we're trying to do is advance the damned movement, and once again, we're being shown, through the outdated strategies of the Old Guard why we're still stuck like Chuck in the things that matter.
The Tribune article gives props to Black Bloggers for getting the word out on a lot of issues that flew under the radar:
Shaquanda Cotton - I first saw this at Skeptical Brotha and he didn't let up until other blogs picked up the shameful imprisonment of a 13-year old girl that her teacher didn't handle properly.
Genarlow Wilson and Marcus Dixon - imprisonment for giving into hormones.
Jena 6 - mass demonstration organized and had the proper impact to pressure the law into their release; as well as expose good-old fashioned bigotry. I think more than 20,000 Negroes invaded Jena, Louisiana, but the MSM can never admit to more than 25,000 Negroes doing anything in coordinated fashion - that scares the shyt out of them.
Pressuring Democratic Candidates to drop out of the Presidential Debate sponsored by Fox Network (I refuse to call it a news organization). Color of Change.org started that petition and it caught fire to the point John Edwards was the first candidate to drop out; Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton followed in rapid succession. With the three marquee names saying they weren't showing up, Fox had no choice but to drop the debate. Far worse was that the debate was organized by the Congressional Black Caucus.
Now, as a result of those successes, and others on the way, the Old Guard is whining that we're not respecting them. That we're saying they're irrelevant. I don't think I've read where we said we didn't need them anymore; I think we are urging them to rest on their laurels and show us how to carry the mantle of Civil Rights, political activism and demands for seats at the table of political and social civil discourse on a grander scale. We've never asked them to go away.
Ever see two people driving a car; I mean with both of their hands on the steering wheel? It cannot be done - that's why cars are built with ONE steering wheel and a passenger seat. Someone has to drive and others have to ride. I believe we've asked for permission to learn how to drive the car now, and just like old deacons, deaconess, old Pastors in church, they want to hang on until they physically die and kill the movement right along with them. They won't allow us to learn how to drive the car, and then they get upset when we take the keys and teach our damned selves how to put the car in gear and speed off.
They all holler about how they marched with Martin Luther King; but I wonder if they actually caught the man's VISION? I also wonder how many of them really stood with Dr. King, as opposed to kicking him out of their pulpits? Because not all Black preachers were on board with Dr. King; I'm willing to put on my tinfoil hat and propose that if we got a look at the FBI's payroll, some of them would be listed as paid informants. But, I digress.
Rev. Samuel "Billy" Kyles, a revered Memphis Pastor who was with Dr. King the night before his assassination, told me at a conference in DC four years ago, that Dr. King worried about the fact that he hadn't really trained anyone in the movement to carry forward the strategies of civil rights and political activism. He feared that all he'd done was to integrate Negroes into a "burning house". Dr. King instinctively knew that civil rights activism had to go further than being able to ride public transportation anytime or anywhere we wanted; go to schools wherever we wanted. In 1968, our issues turned on the economic scale. Rev. Kyles gets many speaking invitations where he rivets you with total recollection of Dr. King's last night; the cadence, the atmosphere - to hear him tell it is like re-living those moments; so I think he would know how Dr. King felt about what would happen after he left the scene.
In 2008, forty years after Dr. King's death, I think I'm comfortable in saying he had every reason to worry, considering the recent Civil Rights track records of whom he left behind to carry on his work - and the Congressional Black Caucus in particular.
The Old Guard is still waging the fight for scraps from the table when the reality is, we want a seat at that table. Forget scraps.
And yet, when we see them, or the Congressional Black Caucus in the current state, they continue to engage in fights for SCRAPS.
Getting Don Imus fired was SCRAPS. Getting Fox Network's FCC license yanked to stop them from spewing racist vitriol is MEAT ON THE BONE.
Getting a job on Wall Street, now, is SCRAPS. Being someone like Dick Parsons or Stan O'Neal, running thangs, is MEAT.
Old fashioned Civil Rights Marches in Demonstration and Protest, combined with advanced technology by means of the Internet is MEAT. Whining because Clint Eastwood made a historical picture without any Black People in it because it wouldn't be historically accurate because they weren't there at Iwo Jima, is SCRAPS. If they were there, you think a perfectionist like Eastwood didn't do his homework in making that pic? If brothas helped to lift that flag, they would have been in the picture, and not some unnamed Black soldiers either. Honestly, Spike needs to pick his battles better.
We've had scraps - we want a seat AT THE TABLE. We want the same things we thought the Old Guard wanted. Maybe we should challenge them as to what they really want versus what WE really want. Maybe because we're going about it differently, they may be scared we're going to leave them out. We're not; we will happily take them with us if they stop picking fights and battles with us and trust us to get the job done.