Friday, March 21, 2008

Criminal Profiling of the Day: My Vote goes To Smokey Robinson

I have to admit, although I am fairly conservative when it comes to policy and economics (and definitely crime), I felt sad and betrayed when I found out about Obama's connections to Wright. I like the way Obama speaks and carries himself and I was proud that any man of color (as well as any female) can be a top contender for the presidency of my country. Although I would not have voted for Obama for reasons that are purely issue driven, I was still happy to see him running for president and to see so many in America (of all races and subcultures) be supportive of him. It was exciting to see America has come so far.

Or has it? Reading the information posted on Reverend Wright's church's website and listening to his speeches, I feel as though the rug that I had become comfortable with under my feet had just been pulled out from under me and I came crashing back to the 1970's. All the positive changes in race relations and in the lives of blacks in America have been insulted by Wright and by the Obamas (lest we forget Michelle who wasn't ever proud of America until this election campaign) who seem to feel so little progress has been made.

I remember when I was dating my black boyfriend (American) in the early seventies, I was considered quite radical. When the two of us went out as a couple, I felt people spent an inordinate amount of time staring at us. My parents were not all that happy about the situation and worried they might suffer condemnation and social shunning because of their daughter's "behavior." I remember going to a meeting at Howard University on Africa (where I had traveled) and finding out I wasn't welcome because it was a black power meeting and not really about the country of Africa at all.

Fast forward to the end of the decade. I married a Jamaican man and my parents shrugged and held the wedding at their home. Their friends gave us presents. My New England grandmother who had never spent time with a black person in her life simply said my husband was a good looking fellow. I never felt anyone stared at us and the few times people looked our way I assumed it was because we were an attractive couple!

My kids grew up with no racism of note in their lives. Our neighborhood, in a suburb of Washington in Prince George's County (PG to those that live here)is a racial mix with the richest black population in the country (which doesn't keep PG from being considered a ghetto by neighboring counties because we also have some very poor areas as well). Whites and blacks in this county mix quite well and in the last ten years, there has been a strong cultural blend and it is no surprise to hear rap music come out of the white boy's car and find the black kid is driving the Camaro. And, they hang together; close your eyes and you couldn't tell them apart by listening to the talk.

I don't object to Reverend Wright being community driven and if the folks attending his church happen to be 100% black because they live there, well, then he should be inspiring and working to improve the lives of these black church members because this is where he preaches. I don't have any problem with being proud to be of any race or culture if what this represents is just a love of what one happens to be or has experienced. Nothing is wrong with saying I am PG through and through, or I am a product of Washington DC where we have Go-Go (a unique DC sound coming out of the black community), we have WHUR (the most awesome radio station for decades), the Tom Joyner Morning Show, and we still love Mayor Barry no matter what he has done. Wright can be Chicago proud and church proud and community proud, but to be separatist, hateful of his country, and claim to be more African than American (I bet Africans would think this funny) is truly sad.

For a great commentary on this issue, Smokey Robinson nails it on the head : Smokey Robinson - A Black American

Barack Obama, the man that could have brought us even further forward in eliminating racial bias in this country has more likely started a "debate" that is going to put America in reverse. While the 1970s were an important part of the growth of our country and racial progress, reliving them is going to be detrimental. Obama may have missed growing up black in America but he shouldn't be hanging out with people who are angry, racist and anti-American just because he wants to know what it would have felt like if he had.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So I finally went to the website everybody has bee talking about and I cannot quite understand what exactly is wrong with it, let alone scaring or dangerous. I had the rug-pulled-out feeling, too, when I read media accounts of Reverend Wright and especially his latest speeches. Then Fox posted the transcript of one and what I found was in no way anti-white or anti-American. A viewpoint that is debatable (blacks and whites are different) and another that I absolutely agree with (difference does not mean deficiency). Half the comments after the transcript agreed with my view, some even thanked Fox for providing the original transcript that belied the media caricatures. That Obama had to distance himself from him says more about the extreme (I would say narcisstic) touchiness of mainstream America than about him I agree with Obama that times have changed and that difference should not be emphasised, but this Reverend cannot help belonging to a earlier generation. As a white European (female) I did not know about the Tuskegee experiment so I googled for it and THAT was outrageous, THAT took my breath away. And this experiment was only ended by a whistle-blower in 1972 - roughly the time I entered college (as did you), so this is in no way ancient history.
But I suppose as a European I am a socialist from the American point of view no matter what my own definition of my policies. For instance, to me Hillary is a right-winger par excellence, in fact I regard her as a Republican, so you should not be afraid af the results of the election. But as a European I clearly do not count:((
To answer your last post on Obama: you seem to forget that the incident you label as contrived happened 40 years ago while your experiences with your adopted son are much more recent. So what was an amusing story in your life may have been more traumatic in earlier times, don't you think?
Pity, I used to like your crime analysis and once - in the McCann case - you even asked me to e-mail you privately since you liked my contribution to your analysis. I am now happy that I did not. Good criminal analysis does not seem to equal good economic reasoning, which would see the connection between Republican policies and the new great depression America is heading for, dragging all of us along. Good criminal profiling does not mean that the profiler sees what corporations have been getting away with lately and where the trend is headed for. Sad.