Sunday, December 03, 2006

The Trivialization Of Black Suffering

With all the hoopla over racial comments made by the two Michaels recently-Richards and Irvin-everyone seems to be overlooking the comments that was recently made by one Bernard Goldberg. A contributor on HBO's "Real Time" with Bryant Gumbel, and the author of books, such as "Bias", and "The 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America". Mr. Goldberg is a former CBS reporter who has turned his wrath on the liberal press for what he calls liberal bias. Ever since he wrote an oped piece in the Wall Street Journal in 1996, he has been a darling of the right for his willingness to speak out against the, ahem, liberal media empire that is supposedly poisoning America. In truth, he is no more than a hustler and opportunist who has found a way to pimp the conservative discontent with what they perceive as a prevalent main stream media bias.

So anyway, this charlatan is on Bill O'Rielly's FAKE NEWS television program, discussing the Danny DeVito meltdown on "The View". Of course, they were upset at not at his alcoholic induced meltdown, and lack of decorum, but of his rant against their beloved President Bush. So after some discussion about the issue, Goldberg makes what I think is probably as outrageous a comment as the ones made even by Richards: He says, and I am paraphrasing here, that he, DeVito, being on the "View" was like being at a Klan rally-I guess he should know-because every one on the show was agreeing with him-DeVito- about the President,and it was all these like minded people gathered in one place. So what the f**k!!! Are you serious? Comparing an appearance on a television show to being at a Klan rally. Maybe Mr. Goldberg doesn't realize how serious the sh** is that he is saying. Klan rallies were where plans were made to lynch my people and burn out and scare hard working families from the South off of their property and their land. Klan rallies are where groups were organized-and still are- to terrorize my people and keep us oppressed and in fear for years. And Klan rallies were held in secret with many prominent towns people and citizens taking part in the conspiracy of hate. The last time I checked, "The View" actually had black people on it.-Yeah I know Star Jones is gone, but they have had a token on damn near every day since- So how dare Mr. Goldberg makes that comparison? And why isn't America talking about it except on maybe a few left wing blogs like News Hounds?

Well, I think I know why. It's this new trivialization of black suffering that America is so fund of doing these days. It's why you hear racist and ignorant rants from Michael Richards about stringing us up, in a public place like a comedy club. It's why my Irish and Italian immigrant friends tell me they don't want to hear about how blacks suffered, because when their ancestors came here they couldn't get municipal jobs, or they had to work in the mines of Western Pennsylvania, and the Irish were discriminated against because they were poor and they were different, and the Italians were discriminated against because of the stigma of being Italian....give me a f*****g break! With all due respect to my ethnic friends, they have no idea what discrimination is. When you are beaten beyond recognition for looking at a white woman, when one of your churches is bombed on a Sunday morning and four of your little girls killed, or when state troopers, and local police are given the green light to fire hose your ass, and beat you within an inch of your life, then get back to me. It's why I get so pissed when I hear conservatives quote all of a sudden their favorite line from MLK's I have a dream speech. You know the one, about "not being judged by the color of your skin but by the content of your character.." yeah that one. It's easy for you to say, the Klan wasn't plotting your destruction on a daily basis.

But this is what's happening in America now. The hurt and past suffering of black folks being minimized and trivialized in order for us to move forward. It's why that house Negro de jure, Ward Cooonerly, can push for, and get passed, his bogus anti affirmative action amendments. Who needs affirmative action when we are all equal now? When the past suffering wasn't as bad as we think it is. When, if you think about it, all ethnic groups suffered, and we all have moved past all that now. Yeah right, unless you are a Native American, don't even tell me about all suffering being equal in this f*****g country. And no, we haven't moved past it, because the sh** is still happening.

Which brings me to another point. Goldberg is Jewish. And I am not even going to get into that old argument about which one was worse, the holocaust or slavery. In my humble opinion, both rank up there as man's greatest inhumanity to man in modern history. You can argue 1 and 1A it doesn't matter to me. From the birth of the Gestapo in 1933 to the atrocities at places like Auschwitz after Hitler's "final solution" plan, where Zyklon-B was used to gas-with all due respect to Mel Gibson's daddy-millions of Jews, there is no doubt that the holocaust was a horrible time in world history. But so was slavery. The "Middle Passage" was no picnic in the park either, and if 20% of the slave cargo was lost at sea, and historians generally agree that about six millions slaves were taken across the middle passage to the West; well then you do the math. And I won't even get into the conditions on those slave ships because like the conditions in the concentration camps, it has been well documented. My point is, as a Jew, Goldberg should know better. But it was so easy for him to throw out the Klan reference, and so easy for America to over look it that it bothers the sh** out of me. If a non-Jew had made a reference like that about the Holocaust , the press would have be all over him.-and rightfully so- But because it's black folks, and black suffering is no big deal anymore, Goldberg gets a pass.

Well fu** that, he won't get a pass from me, and neither will anyone else who tries to tell me that
it wasn't always that bad for black folks. Hey, look at the bright side, if it wasn't for slavery, you people would still be in Africa. Yeah I have heard conservatives make that argument too. But I think I know what my problem is; and it goes back to the whole holocaust slavery thing. The people that were responsible for that Holocaust got what they had coming to them. The Auschwitz Kommandant, Hoss, was captured and hung. Herman Goring committed suicide rather than face hanging, as did Hitler himself, and at the Nuremberg trials, sixteen of those former SS officers were found guilty, and seven of them hanged. So in essence, many of the people responsible for that horrible chapter in history faced justice, and were prosecuted for their crimes against humanity. But that never happened here. Those responsible for enslaving and terrorizing my people were never brought to justice, and are still holding rallies today. Rallies, that Mr. Goldberg feels free to mention so flippantly, and with such ease.

"By the way that was a long overdue suggestion" That quote comes from Mr. Goldberg telling Allan Colmes about what he thought of Dick Cheyney telling Patrick Leahey to "go fu*k yurself" on the floor of the senate. Mr. Goldberg, may I suggest you do the same?


Anonymous said...

FN, Excellent commentary.... you speak power to truth my Bruh! I have had some of my white liberal friends in the past also tell me that what Black people suffered wasn't all that bad "compared to.....". "Mi put dem inna chek quick!" I let them know that comparing oppressions is indirectly and subconsciously saying that what happened to Blacks "is" acceptable to "THEM!" That usually gets them stuttering with "That's not what I mean.... etc" and falling all over themselves trying to apologize and convince me that they don't have a racist bone in their body! Uh-huh....


Mahndisa S. Rigmaiden said...

12 03 06

Hey FN:
I agree with you and Asabagna. I hate the comparisons of suffering in the world! Evil is evil, but in the United States, unless someone professes Judaism publically it is difficult to tell many Jews from American Whites. In that sense, they have an advantage in this country that Black folk have never had. And you are right to point out the institution of racism into law. I have read Higgenbotham's book on Early Colonial Law and I haven't seen anything discriminatory about Jews, but I did see laws banishing Blacks from early Georgia (1735) and I did see the laws post Stono Rebellion in South Carolina.

I still think that although we are making strides, Blacks are still relatively at the bottom of the barrel in this country. We have a lot of strides to make. Trivializing our experience as a people is so destructive to our success.

I also wonder about the comedic genius of Dave Chapelle. On the one hand, I thought some of his material was necessary and was the type of 'in your face' statements that were needed to bring attention to inequities in our society. However, in time I felt that he ended up trivializing our plight and his gratuituous use of the N word almost gave license to others to toss it around...Rambling sorry;)

field negro said...

Mahndisa, good point about the color of ones skin masking his true identity or nationality. Whether it be Irish, Italian or Polish, a white person is still white in appearance, and therefore gets the benfit of the doubt in matters of race.

As for Chapelle, I co-sigh with you on him as well. At times he can display some comedic genius; but I also worry about his actions trivializing some serious subjects.

Anonymous said...

I think a lot of the trivialization comes from our reaction to the wrong things. Not to bring up "Kramer" again but we got so caught up in the 'N' word that the lynching references went almost without mentioning. That's even worse than dropping the 'N' bomb if you ask me.

Again, let's pick our targets and causes more carefully. Otherwise, we'll have Jesse riding for Kramer at the same time cops are putting holes through black folks for leaving strip clubs.

Tasha said...

I agree with speez. I think we are quick to feverishly react to the wrong things, and we end up trivializing our own experience. We honestly can't expect another race of people to accurately appreciate our experience or expect them not to marginalize our struggle when we can't do the same for ourselves.

And I'm glad that you respect the struggles of other races while at the same time not wanting to trivialize our own. Too many people in our race want everyone to appreciate and essentially feel sorry for us because our race has been through it, but they don't want to hear about any other race's issues. It's like "Feel bad for me because I'm black and my ancestors were slaves, but I don't give a damn that half your family died in the holocaust. Feel sorry for me, I'm black!!!"

Also, we have to be careful not to under-trivialize the situation. When we use the fact that our ancestors were slaves a the sole justification for our actions and pathos, then there is a problem. Slavery is quickly becoming people's scapegoat for not doing well in their life, and that's a crying shame. No, we're not on an even playing field yet, but trying to hold onto a scapegoat like that isn't healthy and doesn't allow for personal improvement. Using that reason as an excuse to be lazy and do bad for yourself is inexcusable.

I also wonder sometimes about not only Dave Chappelle,but also at times, Chris Rock. Even though both can be considered comedic geniuses, I wonder if society at large can accurately tell the difference between their genius and their bottom-of-the barrel humor.

Anonymous said...

Nice one Field.

Everyone makes excellent points.

I think the main reason no one said anything is because about 9 people watch Real Sports. It is sitting there languishing on my DVR as we speak.

Bernard Goldberg is a straight hack, so nothing really shocks me...

but comparing an estrogen fueled blab fest like the view to a klan rally is like comparing the Cheetah Girls to Marilyn Manson.

plez... said...

Posts like this illustrate why you'll always be my favorite field-negro.

Unfortunately, the plight and denigration of Black people (and our suffering) has gone on for centuries, as though our pain is less than others. The klan reference really hurts.

Thanks for the knowledge!


Anonymous said...

Love your blog...been checking in the past month or so.

I can relate when you say many of your white friends are tired of hearing about the history of what's happened with black people. I hear their mumbling and see their looks of impatience when references are made to slavery and lynching. They wish that black people would "just get over it." Yet, these are the same people that, after 9/11 happened, just couldn't understand how a group of people can hate enough to bring down the Twin Towers. They actually had the nerve to say that Americans don't commit acts of terrorism like "those Arabs." They don't understand how people in Lebanon can vote groups like Hamas into power. All I could say to them was GET REAL! Church bombings are terrorist acts. Lynchings are terrorist acts. And last time I checked, the KKK, a terrorist organization, still exists in the U.S.

Anonymous said...

For us to be who we believe we are,we first we must stop calling ourselves nigga, nigga that or black people we are africans we will always be from mother land africa.

Those names paint a vivid picture of inferiority.sense of hopelessness.

I hate that world, one day people will understand why.

Take the time to think about it.
remember in South Africa those dutch people called us kaffirs do we call ourselves kaffirs no.

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Anonymous said...

Many professional Jews consider the Holocaust to be THE major crime in humanity and they will chase you down and make you apologize in academic journals if it is suggested otherwise.

I was checking out Jewish speakers for a cultural event and vetoed several for that very reason; they believed that no one has ever suffered like Jews have. One of the speakers wrote an academic paper about how slavery in America was not as bad as the Holocaust.

As for Irish and Italian they still have the dibs on the best jobs in plumbing and electrician area and have a monopoly on licensing companies that pourposely excludes Blacks. That is why so few Blacks work in that area outside of state or federal positions, and why none have their own companies. In spite of the immigrant discrimination, they were able to hog entire markets and get hired over black folks,so they benefited from racism even in the north.
There are still Irish bars that will not admit Black folks, even now in the 21st millenium.A pretty racist bunch on the whole.

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