Thursday, July 23, 2009

My Apologies to Soledad O'Brien and CNN on behalf of the United Negroes of America

Recently I did a post The Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Watch CNN's Black in America 2. Today, after watching the first installment or part one, I must say that for me it was quite worth the 2hrs of my time; now, as for the reactions of some of my cousins? Well, let’s just say that they don't feel as I do. I honestly didn't want to even share my thoughts on the show until I saw part 2 or the conclusion to the series. But after reading some of the commentary around the blogosphere I feel compelled to open my big ass mouth.

CNN, I want to apologize to you for my people. On behalf of the United Negroes of America -- you know the ones who enjoyed your show last night? -- I offer you my sincerest apology. You may not know it CNN, but many of my people have been bashing your show. They did that last year as well, and, umm, I kinda felt their pain back then. Yes, I too in the pre-Obama age felt some type of way about you airing out our dirty laundry for White America to use as confirmation on long held beliefs. This year however, I'm not feeling them -- the Angry Negro crowd -- so much. Before going into details allow me to say: it is my belief that Black people in America will never be happy.

That's right CNN, you can't please all Negroes. However, don't allow all this "hate" to permit you from bringing forth the programming which illustrates the various experiences that is being Black in America. You see, last year Negroes were complaining about all the negative stereotypes or illustrations of some of our social ills. The funny thing about that is that in doing so, none of them could dispel your presentation to be false. The irony of all of this today is that you put forth a much more nuanced approach with focus on solutions in education, and yet, Negroes are still mad.

You showed us thirty kids from the Bushwick neighborhood (not too far from the Brooklyn neighborhood my mother lives in that I know all too well) who through the work of a wealthy Black woman took them to South Africa. You showed us that in an attempt to illustrate how broadening our world-view has a positive impact on our lives as Black Americans, but even that wasn't good enough. I don't know, maybe it's the fact that me being born and having resided in the Caribbean as a child I'm a bit critical of the Black people in America who cannot even find Africa on a map. Trust me; I've had a hard time convincing a few of my Black American cousins that Africa and Jamaica aren't neighboring islands.

I know, you probably don't know this CNN, but Black people in America are just finicky like that. What can I say, White America has done quite the job on our minds and it didn't happen overnight; it took about 400yrs or so. In a society where we're inundated with negative images of Black people -- you know like on our local 10 o'clock news? -- You’d think that my cousins would be happy to see some well to do African Americans, who are doing well on your show. But no, that's not good enough; no, instead the complaint is: too many bougie light skinned people. Yeah CNN, it would appear that to my cousins you didn't keep it real enough.

Uh huh, and the sad thing about it is that they think that Barack Obama isn't one of those uppity elitist Negroes you showed on TV last night. Which is rather funny because he himself is now the measuring stick for African American success? Yes, today all Black kids are told that they too can be like Barack Obama. Be like the bougie Negroes you showed? Nah, not so much; but we've got that "keeping it real" thing down to a science. You see Black people in America "keep it so real" that we cannot help but to talk shit and only see the glass as half empty when you guys go out of your way to show Black people in a good light for two damn hours of our lives. Yeah, some of them are still mad that you showed how the dauther of an alcoholic father, and crackhead mother can manage to go to college. Yep, screw the triumph in what that young lady acomplished CNN. You guys made us look bad by putting that dysfunctional family on there.

I won't even take the time to go into how much it was a great idea of showing that sister walking away from her $70K per year job and entering that 18mth program as prep for her MBA. Nope, I'm not going to even touch that one because, well, quite honestly, some of my people missed the mark on that one. Yeah, and my inbox is filled with hate mail as is, and I don't need the extra headache. Just know that I thought it was good to see Black women especially doing big things. Yes, and hopefully just by her example we'll see more sisters break the glass ceiling that is landscape of corporate America.

Just know CNN, that this Black man in America is glad that you did what you did in part one of your show. Just know that I'm eagerly awaiting the airing of part two to air. And in closing I say to you CNN and Soledad O'Brien: keep up the good work and don't change what you're doing; hopefully last night's episode will impact the lives of our youth and adults who are not adverse to change, or maybe even hope. Here’s to hoping that the response from Latinos and Latinas in America when you air your documentary focusing on them in October. Hopefully the “Wise Latinos/Latinas” are not as fastidious as my Black relatives in America.


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