Sunday, November 6

Climb every mountain...

There really is a difference between blacks and whites. We should acknowledge it and be okay with our differences. For example, some whites think blacks are built for speed. Ha! Well some may be, but what does that make my sweet- and slow-as-molassas mother?

So I've just gotta say, there's a characteristic about whites that really boggles my mind. It's this never-ending need to know, to over-analyze. I guess it's that age-old "Why climb the mountain?" question. The answer of a white person being, "Because it's there!"

Here again, a difference. Because I believe most blacks would answer quite differently; we'd have a very specific and "good" reason for expending so much energy mountain climbing. Personally, the promise of a pot of gold being in them there hills is about all that would get me going.

But not certain white folk. They're just going... Going to nose around.

I listen a lot to NPR, and I'm really into it. But sometimes I hear them pondering the DNA of the most assinine things, and squint at my radio. Sometimes they're like fascinated cats, pawing at subjects that look like lint on a carpet to me. Just poking and prodding at peculiar things -- just gotta figure it out. And heaven forbid, they're trying to wrap their minds around a black subject. It can get downright Kamikaze, the intensity and so-called expert logic.

This blog I stumbled across sort of illustrates my point. I was so confused while reading this young man's entry about African hip-hop. I don't think he meant any harm and I wanted to comment, to answer his questions. But I just didn't know how to steer him back down to sea level. Here's a snippet:

...While I find the African hip hop interesting, I wouldn’t call it good. (Yet.) It makes me wonder, though… how much of the interest generated in the African hip hop scene (both in Africa and around the world) is based on the racist assumption that if blacks in America (or elsewhere) can do it, so can blacks in Africa? Such an assumption denies successful black hip hop artists the credit they deserve and simply feeds into a “black people have rhythm” stereotype.

Huh? He goes on to say more. But the above really seized my attention. Mostly because it made me think of Andy Rooney of 60 Minutes, who again has entangled himself in some politically questionable blackthought. Here's what he said Friday morning on Don Imus's show:

Rooney: “I object every time I hear the words ‘African-American,’ you know? I don’t know why we have gotten caught with that.”

Imus: “Yeah, I don’t either.”

Rooney: “I mean, am I an ‘Irish-American?’”

Imus: “What should I say, just ‘black’ right?”

Rooney: “Well, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with ‘black.’ Growing up, it’s funny how words get to be opprobrious. The word ‘negro,’ perfectly good word. It’s a strong word and a good word. I don’t see anything wrong with that. Mostly it’s not necessary to identify anyone by skin color. But I don’t care for ‘African-American.’”

Imus: “I won’t use it anymore.”

Sure wish I could have tossed Mr. Rooney a rope before he flapped his gums. He should have climbed right back down that mountain -- not even have gone there. You'd think he'd learn from his past debacle that whenever he pokes his nose in conjecture about "blackness," he's bound to slip and take a PC fall.

Clicks to Miles Davis catalog, but explore as you like


Blogger Inside Man said...

My rebuttal for people who say hip hop isn't good haven't ever taken the time to listen to quality rap music.
Whites and blacks are inherintly diffirent from a historical standpoint and our cultural norms. That's why it really bothers me when I see brothas/sistas who are easily influenced by wicked behavior that is not authentic to black culture.
For a white person to say he is not Irish/German/French-American has no value because they don't have to. They automatically asimulate because they are white. They are not physically seperated from the face that makes them American as apple pie. People of color we don't have this luxury, therefore our culture must be sustained through our identity. Those who feel otherwise ("I'm just American") are sell outs to me.

Sorry so long, but this was a great post.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Mr. Techjitsu said...

Um... where to begin?!?!

It never ceases to amaze me that whites feel that 'non-whites' need their approval, understanding, or assistance in defining themselves in ANY form: musically or ethno-national-culturally. It's like an unstoppable urge to put their stamp on EVERYTHING.

I should call myself NEGRO because he likes it?

Or black because it's appropriate in his mind?

Well- he should call himself a new-age bigot in order to appease my personal perception of who he is as a person.

10:13 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...


hey take your time, preach and teach. folk only start clutching their purses when blacks walk by, and don't bat an eye when they could be walking right next to a charles manson psycho killer on the street. it's the skin, man.

4:32 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...


can you believe rooney went there? i think he's got a knot about the size of texas lodged in his brain.

what gets me is not that he feels that "negro is a good, strong word," but that he thinks it's cool and funny and witty to announce this on national tv. that speaks to an arrogance that i can't stomach.

4:55 AM  
Blogger Lili said...

Ok, first this made me laugh because I thought of the haunted house joke. Upon finding out the house is haunted the black family has moved out but the white family stays to see what's going on. Of course finding out that curiosity killed the cat!
I'm not comfortable with any labels in fact I've talked to my husband about this many times. I asked him what he preferred and he said "black"...
Rooney, unfortunately for so many reasons that I don't need to explain, represents the old guard and even worse he enforces and perpetuates the old way of thinking. My grandparents were a part of this terrible way of thinking. Thank goodness it died with them and that my parents are very open minded and not prejudiced.
My utopian views of getting rid of all labels and trying to see people as individuals sadly, will never be. This is as simple as checking what your ethnic background is as well as sex when filling out any "important" government paperwork.
America -for better or worse- is our home and it was once known as a great melting pot. I always liked that terminology in grade school because it implied a diverse group working together. Of course that was how my little brain put the concept together before I really knew what was going on.
It really makes me wonder where we can go from here to improve and create an unbiased society. We've tried to educate but there are so many closed minds out there. Different races have chosen to separate in an effort to strengthen their bonds but that ended up distancing them from society.
I wish I had the answers, unfortunately it would probably involve removing way too many heads from their own assholes.

8:12 AM  
Blogger Mr. Techjitsu said...


I love your optimism; I used to feel the same. The problem is that people will often classify you in terms and definitions that you are not comfortable with- it is a fact of life. In order for people to feel as if they understand things that are outside of their normal sphere of influence\interaction, they will use labels that either enhance or support what their perceptions are in relation to the subject.

I wanted to be nice to Mr. Rooney, but he doesn't deserve that gift. He is older than I am- so he KNOWS the struggle that our people have gone through. He works for a NEWS agency, on a show that PRIDES itself on being the journal for our nation and documenting the changing times...

This situation reminds me of an episode of MadTV where David Allan Greer played 'Ed Bradley' interviewing Eminem and checking him on being a 'whigga'; anyway, at some point Ed commences to whipping Em's butt across the set- then Andy Rooney starts commenting on the fight. Ed stops beating Em and turns his attention to kicking Andy's butt.

I would like to think that the ear-ring in Ed's ear denotes a little 'street' in the brother- and that this innate personality trait will rise to the top and compell him to break his foot off in Andy's backside!

10:36 AM  
Blogger Viqi French said...


You are such a sweetie! :-) I really appreciate your comments and sensibilities. Can you have a little chat with the likes of Mr. Rooney some day? He could learn a lot and mature from someone like you.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Viqi French said...

techj --

lol i missed that episode of madtv, which i love. i'll keep an eye out for that one.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Derek said...

If it were true that whites tended to be more inquisitive than blacks then I would say this would be a result of culture rather than any inherent quality. Similarly, raise a white kid up by a black family within a black community and you'll probably find that they walk, talk, dance, think, and act like those they've been exposed to the most. Of course, there would probably be some differences given the fact that you couldn't get the family and community to treat the child the exact same way, not to mention to get the child to see themself as no different. Even within the black community, different shades of black can often result in being treated differently. Nevertheless, such an experiment would certainly teach you a few things about what it really means to be black or white.

Similarly, raise a black kid up in a white family, within a white community and you might just get another Carlton who loves to sing "It's not unusual to be loved by anyone ... do do do do".

7:35 PM  

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