Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The field is ready

for this national conversation on race. This is all I have been hearing since the latest little racial dust up in our little slice of heaven on earth called America. "We need to be talking to each other. Maybe this Imus thing will be good for all of us in the long run because it will start a national conversation on matters of race."

OK fair enough. So I headed to a very white part of Philly, where I will see lots and lots of white people... alright you got me; there is nowhere in Philly with lots and lots of white people. Instead, I will head to upstate Pennsylvania, where I know all I will see is white people. After about an hours drive up the Pennsylvania Turnpike, I see what I was looking for, a large gathering of "normal" looking white people. I think we are in a mall or something. Hey, white people love malls, what can I tell you.

"Dear white people, my name is the field Negro, and I am from Philly, I am hear to participate in a part of the national conversation on race in America with you."

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"please folks feel free to comment at any time about anything having to do with race"...........................................................................................................................



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"Anybody have any questions for me?............................Anybody? Yes you sir.".................................."Yeah did you ever play football or something, you look like a football player." "No sir, I did not." "Well you are from Philly are you an Eagles fan?" "Ahhhh yes sir I am. But let's stick to the issue of race shall we." "Well isn't your quarterback black?" "Yes he is, but I just want to talk about race as it effects us as Americans both in a social and cultural context. So let's talk" ......................................................................................................................................
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Maybe we will have this conversation at another time.

28 comments:

we saw that... said...

lol

mark said...

YO Field you trying to get something started.

field said...

mark, let's be serious here for a minute. Just how do we have this "conversation"? Will it be some town hall forum sponsored by BET, CBS, or CNN? Will it be a national mail promotional campaign-everyone gets a government sponsored questionaire in their mail-box, check yes if you like black people.

Give me a break! Again, you cannot legislate morality or force people to recognize you as their equal. You just can't. So my suggestion to black folks is; let's get our sh** together, and stop worrying about whether other people like us or not.

Now if they start f*****g with laws that were meant to protect our civil rights,that will be a whole other issue.

Chris said...

YOU NEED MY APPROVAL!!!!

cnulan said...

this is

http://kmbz-am.fimc.net/showdj.asp?DJID=27524

darla jaye

and she has linked the rev. al parodies on her page today.

useful because it gives a sense of just how concerted the efforts are that are now underway in the conservative talkosphere to counter the full effect of the perfect storm.

these efforts have to be tactically countered and neutralized because this isn't about rev. al, it's about some social capital flexing that may still be building toward a truly critical mass.

Villager said...

field - I heard Bob Johnson offer himself up as a convener in this national conversation on race relations. I imagine that part of the discussion can take place in the Afrosphere ... as well as in the more general blogosphere. There are enough of these blogging memes around. Perhaps we issue a new question, issue, thought or theme on a weekly basis and ask those bloggers interested in engaging in this national debate on race relations to answer via a post on their home-blog.

As my pops regularly reminded me, if you want something done, you best do it yo'self.

If you were to issue the first question for consideration in this so-called 'national debate on race relations' ... what would that question be?

peace, Villager

field said...

villager, this is why I like brothers like you, because you are way less cynical than I am. Unfortunately, I honestly don't think most(most not all) of those in the majority are capable of an honest dabate about race relations in this country; but I may be wrong.

And seriously, I really don't know if I want that debate with them, because they are incapable of seeing the f****d up sh** that they have done and continue to do. I would much rather a debate among ourselves on how to get our own house in order, and straighten out some of the pathologies that have been plaguing us.

But to answer your question; my first question would be: Do you think America has done enough to atone for the dark stain of slavery, and institutional bigotry that has existed throughout the years?

And if they answer yes, then the debate from my end is over. Because if we can't even get past that, then what's the point?

Adwin said...

First, peace to you...I am Adwin

Second, thats a very creative way to say maybe they really don't give a DANG! But the thing that bothers me is why are we so concerned with them and their ways.

I don't know if you are married, but any pastor or counselor will tell you that before you can change your partner you must first change yourself.

I gurantee you that if we did what my man Huey P. & the Party did...organize and become self sufficient we would see some real changes!

Liz said...

Um, just a quick request...if we send a questionnaire, maybe we can also include my address and ask folks to send a dollar to it if they like black people and TWO if they don't and want to finance my move out of the United States (I'm thinking Montreal or Hong Kong).

In all seriousness, I truly believe a national dialogue is ineffective if we can't even have dialogues within our own individual spheres of influence. A national dialogue with big-wig talking heads doesn't necessarily change our own hearts and the hearts of the people around us. A dialogue is only possible through close association, true bonds of friendship, and folks dropping there inherent sense of superiority. And, as I'm typing this, I'm overhearing folks in my office saying that CBS just fired Imus. I'd like to believe that my colleagues are not thinking like the majority of Americans that believe Imus should not have been fired. Fortunately, momma didn't raise no fool.

Francis L. Holland Blog said...

Here's my question: Must a sincere apology include the making of amends? Can a relationship be repaired without reparations?

These questions ought to give white people plenty to talk about.

Anonymous said...

A national dialogue doesn't have to be a single conversation. It can be multiple conversations in coffee shops, in families, in churches, on the subway, wherever we are. We need to be talking about these issues. Talk can lead to action such as whether or not to vote with our pocketbooks or coming up with real action plans.

If it's nothing more that people talking on blogs or only with their kids, it's a start. Talking can lead to action and let's be real, only a few will do the actual heavy lifing anyway. But we have to start with talking. We need dialogue about family, education, technology, global warming, pop culture, lots of things. We need to be discussing these issues in the black community and we aren't, not really.


....in Oakland

jameil1922 said...

hahahahaha.. hilarious. that's so how it would go...

sonya said...

Field,

LOL! Tell the truth and shame the devil.

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be COMPLETELY silent. I mean you'd hear the crickets chirping.

Tasha said...

LOL! Too funny, but unfortunately that's how it would go. Race is one of those taboo topics that people try so hard to skirt around. Political corectness, or worse yet, silence replace brutal honesty during conversations about race relations.

-=Topper=- said...

It isn't easy. Damn near impossible. Angry black woman recenly blogged about a certain brown couch with a certain label. And this topic made it to the political forum I belong to.

The question I have of my fellow white people is the use if generalities explaining, black people.

They say the usual of "well they all say it, and I find it amazing".

"They all say it", I am so sure.

White people fail to understand culture and cultures within. That is where the debate faulters. They really do not know enough going in.

The best you would be able to find is a person who has stated "I don't see color".

That will give you a good start right there and a "good luck with that" from me. Because I have found these people to be about the most ignorant yet.

-=t=-

Keith said...

Hey field.

All I can say is I'm with you on this one for sure. A national dialogue? This kinda suggestion always gets thrown out whenever 'Imus moments' occur, and then tey swiftly fade into the woodwork. The idea seems to be that somehow if we all come together 'round the campfire and sing 'get to know one another' then we will somehow reach salvation.

We've been here how many centuries now? And we still seriously believe a damned (sorry) national dialogue is going to inspire us all to link arms and sing 'Kumbaya'?

Yeah. OK.

Keith said...

Doggone, field.

Got so wrapped up running my mouth I skipped over the main reason I dropped by this morning. Just wanted to say thank you for linking to my site, The "D" Spot. Much appreciated, just as I appreciate what you're doing here.

Easy.

field negro said...

thanks jamaeil922 and sonya. topper, you are one cool white boy. You better check your card, I swear you might have some black in you :) Tasha,your words continue to be on point; and keith, thanks for stopping by and hanging in the fields.

BTW, I love your site as well.

Peace.

Andrew Kujan said...

Topper is on point.

Its hard to have a conversation with white people who simply do not get it. Heck, I don't even know if "I" get it completely. By "IT" I refer to the power structures, social structures, and all the history and complication caused by race in America. Many white people that I have talked to seem not get it. They see that Imus's "words were wrong" but they don't see what is behind the words and the years of power and meaning crammed into them, and into the very act of saying them, the stage they were said from, and the societal/historical moment they were said. They also can't understand the intersections between racism and sexism and the horrible history the pair have in destroying the lives of black women.

So I believe that some white people may be willing and able to begin a conversation, but some will not even be able to find the table.

Connecticut Man 1 said...

"YO Field you trying to get something started."

To be honest, I think he is trying to start something. Honest and ongoing dialogue that just doesn't go on OR gets completely ignored in too many parts of the Blogosphere.

I have learned alot about differing points of views and opinions and, more importantly, views and opinions that we all share, since I have been visiting this Blog.

Not just from Field, but from the commenters views I would have never seen otherwise.

"The question I have of my fellow white people is the use if generalities explaining, black people.

They say the usual of "well they all say it, and I find it amazing".

"They all say it", I am so sure.

White people fail to understand culture and cultures within. That is where the debate faulters. They really do not know enough going in."


I agree Topper... And that is one of the main reasons I will continue to read and participate here. (as I have mentioned in comments here before, I am just another white guy...)

You can see this complete lack of understaning of "culture and cultures within" in foreign policy in Iraq, where Americans can't seem to bother to figure out the differences between the many factions the middle-east. Sadly, it is also evident in day-to-day business as usual in America.

The fact that Imus and his supporters throw out a "blame the victim" apology is worse than the original comment in some ways. Considering many of the victims are as against the originators of drivel like that to begin with.

Blaming rappers for saying something like that is akin to saying "Well, we expect comments like that from Rush Limbaugh..." in trying to explain why he hasn't been nailed for some of the crap he spews (ie: Rush calling Obama a "Hafrican American").

WTF??? We should we "expect" crap like that coming out of anyones' mouth concerning anyone else to begin with?

Rush is just another guy, like Imus, that apologizes (sometimes apologizes?) and then does it again, and again, and never really learns anything from it.

Connecticut Man 1 said...

I should also add that even though I think I am starting to "get it" a bit, I still don't "get it" completely, but I am trying.

I just wish more people were, at the very least, trying. Some would rather bury their heads in the sand and ignore it all. That will get us nowhere.

Anonymous said...

I don't think bringing up the subject of rappers is blaming the victim. This discussion/debate has gone on among blacks behind closed doors, and occasionally publicly, for some time. It is a topic that is fair game. Black men marginalizing women then hiding behind it as "art" or "telling it like it is" is pretty disgraceful and I think it is high time black people have a frank discussion about it.

Lola Gets said...

The best way to start a discussion on race is to just start! Yeah, its hard and folks will get upset and flustered, but its better than being silent. We had a brief discussion about this yesterday at work. Peep the blog to read more about it.
L

field said...

Thanks Andrew and connecticut man, hell, with you two and topper, I think we started the discussion right here. Now could you guys please share some of that knowledge with the majority population? Your voices are needed.

lola,I will check out your blog to see what yourt "peeps" at work were saying.

Peace.

Connecticut Man 1 said...

I'll have more to say on this at the end ofthe weekend. (Or maybe late tonight?) My weekends are for the family! :)

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