Vern’s Venting: It’s a Black Thing

By Lavern Merriweather

While on Brotha’s website recently, I clicked a link to another great blog by Kushite Prince who is a frequent commenter [and one of my favorites] named Kushite Kingdom. There, he reprinted a post by Boyce Watkins where Watkins praised black athletes like LeBron James and Derrick Rose who are using tee shirts to protest the current violence and evil perpetrated by white cops against black people. Watkins also called out other black athletes such as Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan for not speaking out.

I have a major issue with Watkins’ attitude, because I often wonder why is it that black people are expected to fight everyone else’s battles but nobody has to be there for us. Many black folks are quick with the quickness to criticize other black folks. Yet, when any other racial group has a problem, we are supposed to be there for them too? So black people are so incredible that we can solve our own problems as well as other folks, but nobody should come to our rescue?

I feel that it’s more about the notion that we aren’t good enough for other people of color (POC) to worry about. That mindset always gets me to thinking; okay then, why the fuck do you keep demanding our help? You can’t believe that we should drop everything in our lives for you, but you don’t have to return the favor? FUCK THAT!

Dr. Boyce Watkins, like many other high minded Negroes, could just as easily complain about athletes of other races that play for baseball, the NBA, hockey and soccer. Not one comment ever is made that the same people of color who are forever bitching about “If this were the blacks” seem to think that we should be on our own. And even if they didn’t feel that way, it’s still fucking common decency to give a damn about your fellow man. Obviously, they really do appreciate their spot on the unspoken race ranking system of white people. You know, the one that says Asians are the model minority and that black folks are at the bottom of the totem pole.

We supposedly are the worst of the worst, which must be why other folks of color don’t have to worry their pretty little heads about our troubles. It doesn’t matter if they aren’t actually going to get treated that much better by white people. They still aren’t us, which is good enough apparently. It certainly seems to justify why it is they think we should play Zena warrior princess for their benefit as they sit silent when black lives are annihilated time and time again by the police departments of America.

It’s somehow become the responsibility of black people to protect everybody else. Yet, when it comes to us it’s our trouble, we have to fix it our damn selves. The people who don’t imagine that they need to have our backs while they scream that we should have theirs seem to be forgetting that maybe we are too damn busy. They refuse to do for us while crying how if it were black people, it would be a lot different and bitching about how they don’t have organizations like the NAACP.

I have no problem with sympathy or empathy for others. That’s why I get so pissed when I hear high minded black folks attack other black people. We shouldn’t be the only ones outraged about brutal, cruel and horrific acts against innocent citizens. And we also shouldn’t be anticipated to forgo our own trauma while other folks are allowed to ignore ours. Anybody who has an ounce of decency and humanity should be outraged.

I was very grateful seeing non-black people walking the streets of New York and elsewhere protesting particularly the death of Eric Garner. However, those people aren’t famous. So their voice, wonderful as it is, won’t be as respected.

Many famous white comedians and white folks in the media have no qualms giving black people their undivided attention when they can make snide comments about a black celebrity in trouble with the law. But when it’s the law giving US a problem, they are nowhere to be found. That means we are okay for their entertainment or to point fingers at and make fun of. Yet, when it comes to seeing us as people just like them well that’s too damn heavy a burden for those assholes. I have seen this scenario play out quite a lot before.

Obviously, other people of color feel that we are strong enough to face discrimination by ourselves. I got news for them; the only reason why black people come across as strong is because, we had to be. It’s because we knew very few people outside of our own private circle who would stand up for us as well as by us. We have had to face many a daunting sadistic situation all on our own.

Now, once again the same folks bellyaching for us to come and save them from white folks could care less about what is happening to black people. Police brutality and authority run amok is everybody’s issue and if not then it should be. Just because I’m not Jewish doesn’t mean I can’t hate on the Nazis, but when it’s a group of black people, we are continually stand alone. There is no support system from the people that whine about our lack of support for them. You don’t even hear us complaining. No, we just got out and do like we have done for countless years.

It’s very interesting that many marginalized groups like to use black people as an example. Yet when what they say comes true they can’t be bothered. I applaud my man Lebron as well as Derrick Rose. However, there should be outcry and outrage from every corner, not just the ones affected most. There has been a lot of talk about humanity from the police lately, but I guess ours is still on hold. It’s like that song says, Don’t take it personally, because you are not a person. Perhaps to ourselves, still, we can’t let the idea that defending our rights is only our fight. Not when there are so many others riding the backs of blacks to get respect as they deny us ours. You don’t have to share my skin to share my pain or experience, especially when the stakes have never been higher. Those people who speak of there only being one race the human race need to start acting like everyone actually is human. That means it should be more than just us concerned with our injustice.

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10 thoughts on “Vern’s Venting: It’s a Black Thing

  1. Good post Lavern. I appreciate the kind words about myself and my blog. I always like when you comment on my blog. Even if we do disagree. But there’s nothing wrong with healthy debates. I think it helps people an understanding of different perspectives. You said you have no problem with Watkins praising Derrick Rose and Lebron James. That’s the right attitude because we has black people should be looking out for each other. I always say…all we got is US. I agree that all races should be speaking out against police brutality. But the reality is that whites don’t see it as an issue because they’re kids aren’t dying in the streets. It would be nice if Mexicans,Filipinos,Koreans,Puerto Ricans and whites all saw how bad black people are treated. Wait a minute…let me rephrase that. They see see it…they just don’t give a damn! That is the sad reality Lavern. I personally don’t want to sit around and wait for other people of color to help me fight white supremacy. Most of them are too whitewashed anyway. Anti-blackness is a global problem. And other races have adopted an anti-black mentality. They have no sympathy for Trayvon Martin,Mike Brown or Eric Garner. Whites and other races see them as troublemakers that got what they deserved. And the reason Watkins goes after other blacks that don’t speak out is because he realizes the social responsibility they carry. Whether they like it or not,they represent the black population. They should be speaking out for the oppressed. It’s not up to whites to do that. It’s nice to wish they would…but wont happen anytime soon. Back in the 60’s Muhammad Ali,Jim Brown,Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Bill Russell spoke out against racist bigotry. They spoke for those that couldn’t speak for themselves. Those are REAL black men in my opinion. It takes courage to speak TRUTH to power. That’s what those men stood for. I wish more black athletes had enough guts to do that. Most athletes today just want a paycheck from their white masters and they’re happy.They don’t want to piss off their bosses. So I don’t have a problem with Watkins calling other athletes out. Why not? Who will speak for us? Whites who benefit from our oppression? Watkins is calling these black superstars out because he sees the bigger picture. He understand the power these athletes have. They could help galvanize black people and change our way of thinking. Guys like Michael Jordan and Charles Barkley are apolitical athletes. They have always been that way. Some of their comments are very buffoonish in my opinion. I would take Muhammad Ali over Charles Barkley any day. Black kids shouldn’t be looking up to self-hating,boot licking fools like Barkley.
    That’s not being a high minded black man. That’s a black man that has dignity,self respect and a love for his people. Thank you. 🙂

    1. I also think that more black people like comedians and actors as well as Negroes in the media themselves. I never see Robin Roberts or America’s mammy Oprah speaking out about this either. All the black folks need to be held accountable not just athletes that’s what I was saying but too many like the Chappelles and Chris Rocks of the world are busy shuckin and jiving for their white audiences. However I agree Barkley needs to have a dirty rag stuck in his mouth, some rocks tied to his feet and thrown in the river Gawd he makes my stomach churn!

      1. Yeah I know exactly what you mean. They get on my nerves. I’m curious why Oprah doesn’t speak out more. I think she sold out a long time ago anyway. Some of them don’t want to piss off massa.lol

  2. Great post, ‘Vern! Both whites and “fellow” POC have long exploited the Black plight, social standing (or, rather lack thereof) amongst Western society, and even Black body for their own personal gain, advancement, and even amusement (comedians who “act black”, or even pop “singers” who make cash by “sounding black”) etc. so it makes perfect sense that they would expect help for their own selfish causes as this has long been the tradition in the plantation/nation U.S., and abroad since their first arrival from the MIddle Passage to the world at large!

    …@ Kushite Prince: Good points about Watkins and the “New Coons”, erm I mean “New Blacks” like”Bark” ley and his idiotic ilk!!

  3. Black people have more than assisted the world in securing ourselves as a PERMANENT underclass. Unfortunately, today we do not realize some universal truths that our ancestors clearly understood. The key to our collective success and survival is unity. We don’t see or understand this concept as a people. None of those people you mentioned (hispanics, asians, whites, etc.) are willing to do a damn thing about black suffering because they all benefit from our oppression.

    Another thing: blacks don’t get the assistance you are calling for because the rest of the world don’t RESPECT us! They see the tomfoolery we accept here in the U.S. and world wide and laugh at us. We’ve become the asses of the planet. Having said that, they are pretty much done with helping us. They refuse to waste their energies on a people that REFUSE to help themselves. This is why you saw many other races willing to participate and assist us during the civil rights movement compared to now. That is because we displayed solidarity and a will to overcome that was respected outside our community. These same displays are completely missing today.

    Again, black people are securing our places as the permanent underclass worldwide. Only we have the power to change that, but sadly, I think most of us have mentally accepted being the underclass. Sad indeed.

    Side note: black people need to get off this “let’s concern ourselves with all of humanity” nonsense and start being more strategic in our circle of concern like every other damn group of people on the planet. This thinking is part of the reason WHY we’re the underclass everywhere we go and candidates for slavery across the globe.. We need to start looking out for us and US alone! For the life of me I don’t understand why blacks refuse to embrace this concept. Black people are not responsible for putting the rest of humanity on this planet, so we really are not responsible for what happens to them. Sounds harsh, but that’s how EVERY race on the planet approaches life. Again, our circle of concern should only extend as far as the impact our assistance with have on OUR (meaning blacks’) security and well-being.

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