I will say that I was pleasantly surprised to hear that they chose Madam Harriet Tubman to grace the 20 dollar bill in 2017 (very disappointed that she will be sharing it with Andrew Jackson which is totally bizarre). Though there have been mixed emotions about it, it never for a second dawned on me that some of those reservations would come from African Americans….........not because we should support all things Black but because she was a strong, courageous, determined, outspoken, slave freeing pioneer of her time. Just an amazing woman to be a representation of our history on a widely distributed bill.
Major news distributors like CNN, FOX, and MSNBC seem to love having people of color on their show because when they do, it is nothing more than feeding the desire to have us support their skewed perspective on topics relating to the Black Community. As I usually do on a drive anywhere between the hours of 6 and 10 a.m, I was listening to Mr. Joe Madison as he played a clip of Dr. Ben Carson defending Andrew Jackson’s legacy and suggesting that Madam Tubman be put on the 2 dollar bill instead. I didn't have my jaw in my lap because over the last few months he has proven himself to be quite interesting and his views are those of someone who has a hard time remembering that he is Black In America...........I wasn't even baffled at how a man so book smart and outwardly intelligent could appear so foolish. Being yet another pawn in this game that is played where mainstream white media uses people of color to validate their thought process. Malcolm X once said, “But whenever a black man stands up and says something that white people don't like then the first thing that man does is run around to try and find somebody to say something to offset what has just been said.” That just simply means that no matter how many Blacks have advocated for things like this, no matter how small it is in the grand scheme of deserved recognition for what we have contributed, white people will ensure they find someone to support their theory so that whatever else is said no longer matters.
On the show, he went on to point out how there was an African American female guest on Fox that stood with the Republicans to say that the Democrats were using the decision as a political play. Now at this comment I was completely floored. I was floored just from the sheer fact that she wouldn’t have felt honored as a woman to have someone with such rich history and depth be identified, but also because she allowed herself to support such rhetoric. Let's be clear, having a Black woman added to money is a great thing, but considering all that Blacks have contributed to the construct of America, it's a pretty small honor. I know some people will be upset with my stance but we should in no way shape or form be thrilled about this. This is only a small token of the respect we should be given and just a small step in the direction of the types of recognition that we rightfully have earned. But we should all be supportive when things like this happen right? Am I completely off the mark as I agree we should stand in solidarity at something so significant as honoring Madam Tubman?
It made me reflect back to the video I saw a few weeks ago with the young black people asking questions they claimed were asked for us by us. My first thought, "The absolute foolery. We are not asking each other these questions!!" I truly couldn't believe that they allowed themselves to be paid by others to film a video of stereotypical questions and pass it off as something we orchestrated. I even posted a comment very similar to what I just said under the youtube video. The response to me from another user was………”They Are Token.” BINGO!
Some of us spend so much time trying to fit in or get that pay check that we will allow ourselves to be used in the capacity that some of those people have allowed themselves to be used. But we cannot get ahead by NOT standing together and standing for something. If anything we are showing how easy it is to buy us and the feeling that some feel of arrival. But our communities will always suffer as long as we show commitment to money and fame as opposed to faith and solidarity in each other as African Americans. People of other ethnic backgrounds feel more justified in their ignorance and stereotypes when we have no problem cosigning for them. People with melanin…………KNOCK IT OFF! Do not continue to feed in to and support the ignorance of others. How does it feel when people just assume you always eat fried chicken, watermelon, uneducated, play sports, rap, have babies out of wedlock and are always late (amongst so many other foolish things)?
Use your platform to educate those who do not take time to learn the beauty, complexity and wonder of a Black Person. Instead of concerning yourself with how they will feel or if they will invite you back, maximize your airtime for the benefit and growth of us all. It is true that we have to utilize the doors that open to us so we are able to leverage it for better, but don’t sacrifice everything for it. Every door that opens is not necessarily a door you should walk through………so be mindful how you choose. That way your integrity and the integrity of your people is maintained. When presented with an opportunity, think about it carefully and evaluate the impact it will have on your desired destination. Don’t exploit yourself for five minutes or money because you can never erase the moment once you’ve lived it.
Until Next Time Lovies!