This is certainly going to be one of the most memorable elections in my lifetime. In this clash of civilization and reality, none of the rules apply and in the end we might end up with a person who has a very loose relationship with the truth as our Commander in Chief. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. Our society will be changed forever and regardless of which side comes out on top there will be NO peace on either side of the aisle – whoever the winner may be. Feelings, sensibilities and beliefs have been hurt and a deep underside of ugliness exposed. The “me generation” is fully entrenched and in charge for better or for worse.
So who are the members of the “me generation”? The baby boomers (Americans born during the 1946 to 1964 were called the “Me” generation by writer Tom Wolfe during the 1970’s; Christopher Lasch was another writer who commented on the rise of a culture of narcissism. Wikipedia It is important to understand the thinking of this group to fully grasp where we are in this election. The “me generation” , in the 1970’s, characterized by self-absorption, self help and self improvement. This gave rise to the fitness industry, spa’s and moments such as EST; ; in the 1980’s, characterized by material greed, and this can be argued as simply an extension of “me”. In other words, you are what you own, what your children own, what your children look like and how well you are able to showcase this wealth and the successful achievements of your family.
Being absorbed in the “self loving love affair” makes it “uncomfortable” to acknowledge the plight of anyone or anything that might cause anxiety or pain, so the “me generation” stopped reading anything that was written which might interrupt the self satisfaction they feel with the world they created. Instead of reading, for example, The New York Times, the “me generation” will read something more sympathetic to their views. Instead of watching the “Communist News Network”, they will tune into the cable news programs that best express their views. And better yet, they will record it so they can skip over the guests they don’t want to listen to and focus in on those they want to hear. They have also insulated their children in private schools, charter schools, arranged play dates, home-schooling and the like. And this goes for both sides of the aisle.
One problem here, those “undesirable” books, newspapers, television stations, programs and people carry information that play into the environment in which we live. Let me explain. I often hear my friends and associates say “I don’t recognize the world we live in”, “I don’t recognize my party” or even ‘I don’t recognize the world my children live in”. Is it any wonder that this is the case, as an extension of spending a lifetime focusing on the “me and mine”, paying attention to only those things around us that validate the “me” and screening out all others and other viewpoints …. we just don’t “understand”?
So let me get to the “Black” point. Last week in a discussion with a dear friend of mine, I told her “I am the only Black friend you have…. and certainly I am the only one that you have ever spoken about “race” with.” She paused for a minute and said a name….. I replied “He works for you, so therefore he will never tell you anything counter to what you want to hear, for fear of losing his job.”. At first I was a bit offended that she did not know the difference between a friendship and a subordinate but I realized that she was immediately flustered and wanted to just come up with a “name”. After some introspection, I realized that this was the case with not some but MOST of my Caucasian friends. I often explain to them that people who work for them, work around them or take care of them in the hospital are NOT friends. If they don’t have the ability to speak candidly, they are NOT friends. And more often than not, they don’t want to be.
So, now we have this election. On the one side, we have a woman running for President who has been known to slip into her African American self. Or the African American cartoon that she assumes represents the entire race of people. In the past, she spoke in front of African American audiences with a very strong “quasi circa 1890’s Mississippi slave drawl.” Joe Biden, the current vice president roused up fear and screams by using his best overseer’s voice and accent to say in the last election that ” Romney wants to let the – he said in the first hundred days he’s going to let the big banks once again write their own rules, ‘unchain Wall Street.’ They’re going to put y’all back in chains.”” Then he did some strange southern slave master thing with his hands, I suppose they felt it resonated because even with this antic the Black vote was almost solidly for the Democrats.
Now you know that once something works well, it is done again. During an interview with hip-hop show The Breakfast Club recently, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told the minority hosts that she always carries a bottle of hot sauce in her purse. “What’s something you always have with you?” asked host Angela Yee. “Hot sauce,” Clinton replied immediately. “Now listen, I want you to know that people are going to see this and say, ‘She’s pandering to black people,’” host Charlamagne Tha God told Clinton…….. Here is the telling line: “Okay, is it working?” she joked. Shameless, but it is working…..
Along this same line and even more so, the Republican candidate – Donald Trump appealed to the African American “community”, “What the hell do you have to lose?” This after laying out his case of what a bleak life Blacks now live with the possibility of being “shot” every time we leave our front door. In addition he laid out the case : “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed”. And further: Trump later accused Clinton of wanting to give jobs to refugees rather than unemployed African-Americans in the US, saying they have “become refugees in their own country.” The case that was laid out resembled something out of 1930 – 1950.
At this point, if you are Black or any other race (other than white) you might become offended. But I am not excusing either side of the equation when I tell you on truth, “they don’t know you.” I don’t recall racing through the streets with my children in their baby prams dodging bullets flying over my head. Most black people can concur. And at this juncture, Black people sit on Boards, own businesses, are heads of major universities, major hospitals as well as millionaires and billionaires — one is even the current President of the United States. AND most of the aforementioned successful Blacks have achieved this without singing a tune or bouncing a ball. And might I add, the only race that is not singled out by country of origin in most demographic studies are the Black people. It is assumed that we don’t have a face, we don’t have different cultures, unlike the designations of ‘German”, “Irish” , “Mexican” or even “Puerto Rican” all Blacks are assumed to have southern accents and decedent of slaves. As I said we don’t have a face, just represented as a monolithic culture of slavery, poverty and crime.
The pandering on both sides is not necessarily to the people of color themselves, but to the suburban white women who are usually the conscience and vanguards of their families. They will not vote or might influence the vote within their household for one candidate or another. The goal is to make one side say “He is not all that bad” or “She is better than he is”.
By the way, one thing that I find funny and particularly out of touch is the politician’s dedication to “reaching Black folks” by going to Black churches. Many once-thriving black churches are struggling to survive. The influence that they once had is going by the wayside as well. Millennials, as well as their parents, find themselves wanting to integrate and deal with a different type of worship service or in many cases no worship at all. The cohesive nature that once bound the “Black Church” is no longer no longer a “survival necessity”. In 2013, a record-high 12% of newlyweds married someone of a different race, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census data. Greater than one quarter of Black men married outside of the Black race and 12 percent of Black women in that year. Black people are not huddled together in monochromatic neighborhoods running to the local Black church for safety, they are fully integrated in religion, marriage, housing (for the most part) and professional pursuits.
However, behind the gated communities and and solidly Caucasian neighborhoods stratified by income and wealth, you (designated as others) don’t exist regardless of your political leanings. . You are the guy or gal at the front desk, the handyman, the Hispanic people from somewhere in South America or the Orientals who own that really good restaurant. They know that “Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves”, Black men are good athletes but don’t take care of their children, Hispanics work harder than Blacks but produce more babies, Asians are “smart” and natural Republicans (they are predominantly Democrat by the way) , and Jews are good with business and money. Anything outside of those stereotypes are taken on a one to one basis with “carve-outs” for various Caribbean and “other” countries. For example, Jamaican nurses are kind and caring or surprisingly smart, Haitians are thrifty etc.
Look, nothing is going to be solved in a day and may never be solved at all. I am doubtful of any change any time soon, as we have gotten even more divided in the past few years.
Bottom line, vote with your head, not the “herd”. If you are looking for a political personality to represent “you”, you will be disappointed. The ideology behind each party is the ideology of the majority and this is regardless of race, color or creed. No one is going to make anyone’s life better, that task will begin and end with you and me. No one knows or cares what is is like to be Black, Asian, Hispanic, Interracial, like you or me. And no one really cares.
Its all politics, vote accordingly for the issues that will be best for you and yours.