Monday, July 14, 2008

Crabs In A Barrel

There is a saying in the black community that blacks cannot improve as a people because like crabs in a barrel whenever one tries to climb out of the barrel the other ones will pull him back down. The reaction of some of the so-called black leaders to the success of Senator Barack Obama seems to bear out this analogy. It seems like the closer he gets to making history the more the “haters” try to sabotage him. The sad part about this whole episode is that the same leaders who are critical of the Senator today, should he get elected will be at the White House the day after the inauguration looking for handouts.

The latest perpetrator in the series of “crab mentality” is Jesse Jackson’s and his comments being aired on Fox News about Senator Obama.. Now I have written extensively about the exploits of Mr. Jackson. From his reshaping of his relationship to Dr. King, to his corporate boycotts that seem to benefit his family, to his love child exploits; Mr. Jackson has demonstrated a lack of personal integrity in my opinion. His recent comments caught on a hot mic during an interview concerning health care policy where he appeared to be promoting the castration of Senator Obama is just the latest in a long line of comments that Mr. Jackson has been allowing to “slip” since it became clear that Senator Obama was going to make a serious run at the nomination.

Jesse Jackson reportedly ripped presidential candidate Barack Obama for "acting like he's white," according to The State newspaper in South Carolina, but the civil rights leader says he doesn't recall making any such comment...He later told the newspaper that he did not remember making the remark, but State reporter Roddie Burris told FOX News that Jackson's "acting like he's white" comment came during a 45-minute, one-on-one interview Tuesday after an hour-long speech at Benedict College in Columbia, S.C. Burris said he stands by his report.[1]

These comments were made back in September of 2007, when the Senator would not bring attention to a rally Mr. Jackson and Al Sharpton were holding for the Jena Six. While the Senator wanted to draw attention to the larger role of race in America, according to Mr. Jackson because Senator Obama didn’t follow his lead then he was acting white. When did Jesse Jackson become the barometer of blackness in America? The comments made by Jackson then and echoed today are representative of more than their generational differences, but also represent the envy and jealously that is being barely contained on the part of Mr. Jackson.

There are two aspects to the cause of the continued “slips of the tongue” that has plagued Mr. Jackson the first is the generational gap between the two and how it plays out in their views of America. Mr. Jackson wants Senator Obama to be a black man who is running for President, while for Senator Obama he views himself as a man who happens to be black running for office. Those seemingly subtle differences in language bridge decades of black life in America. Senator Obama can not win running as a black candidate, just as Jesse Jackson could not win. Why Mr. Jackson would want to insure the defeat of Senator Obama is beyond me. Mr. Jackson still views the nation in terms of the old struggles with the old answers.

According to the article, Jackson called the incident in Jena "a defining moment, just like Selma was a defining moment," and said Obama's failure to seize the opportunity to highlight what he describes as a disparate approach to prosecuting whites and blacks demonstrates his weaknesses as a candidate.

“If I were a candidate, I’d be all over Jena,” Jackson said at the historically black college.[2]

Is there still racism in America? Of course there is, but it’s forms have changed over the years and so it’s alleviation will require new tactics. Tactics Mr. Jackson is either unwilling or unable to grasp. By standing by the old methods of delivering money to urban organizations to mete out to the uneducated masses of poor inner-city people, Mr. Jackson stands to fill his coffers at the expense of his less fortunate brothers and sisters. It is no wonder he is opposed to any new concepts for attacking the problems of the inner-city.

Senator Obama will be our next President not because of people like Jesse Jackson, Jeremiah Wright, or the many new “black” commentators who have suddenly been discovered by the MSM, but in spite of them. There is a train leaving the station in America and there will be some folks that don’t get aboard for various reasons, but the train will leave with or without them.

Richard Pryor had a joke he told that encapsulates the current state of black support for Senator Obama from the old guard of the civil rights movement. He is not one of them and so he isn’t beholden to any of them. Richard said he use to go home and when his old friends seen him they would say, “Man you ain’t nothing, you wasn’t ever nothing, you was telling them same ole jokes back then, loan me a dollar."

[1] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297332,00.html
[2] http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,297332,00.html

5 comments:

POed Lib said...

Your note about "black man running" vs "man who happens to be black running" is EXACTLY EXACTLY EXACTLY the phrase I have used, over and over, in examining Mr. Obama. No black man will ever win the presidency. A man who happens to be black can and probably will win. If Jesse and the other Professional Black Whiners reduce Obama to a black man, he is politically dead.

The Humanity Critic said...

Crabs in a barrel, exactly what I thought as soon as I heard Jesse's words.

Betsy L. Angert said...

Dearest Rodney . . .

I did not realize the saying was one adopted by the Black community. I actually turned to this essay for the title "Crabs in a Barrel" is a familiar truth, not disputed.

A friend from the business world shares the story often in relationship to corporations. He speaks of how no one wants change and all work to keep their colleagues down.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I recall a version of this adage in respect to the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Bucks. The father of my former was a sports fan. This football, basketball, devotee would watch sporting events religiously. Frequently, in frustration he would share a similar sentiment when a team was doing well, and then, could not sustain the lead. The avid aficionado would remark, "They cannot stand prosperity."

I am reminded of the energy policy and global warming. Every person on Earth seems to wish to remain in the dark and commit to worldwide doom. Millions of species are already extinct. Humans of every race, color, or creed may be next. I take no pleasure in the notion we will perish together. The walls of this barrel are high and dark. No one seems to wish to climb out.

Sadly, I suspect humans are all too often crabs in a barrel. For me, the issue is we criticize the person, and are personally punitive towards our brethren. I yearn for the day when we will live in peace, be we crabs or humans of any community.

Betsy L. Angert said...

Dearest Rodney . . .

For me, Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama, on the issue were each correct. People, no matter their race, religion, gender preference, age . . . we, each need to consider that we are physically, emotionally, financially, and intellectually connected to our family, friends, and community, whether we are present or not. What any of us does is a cause and there will be an effect. This reality also explains why government must actively function for the good of the commonweal. As Thomas Paine explains in Of the origin and design of government . . .
Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

I did not realize the saying was one adopted by the Black community. I actually turned to this essay for the title "Crabs in a Barrel" is a familiar truth, not disputed.

A friend from the business world shares the story often in relationship to corporations. He speaks of how no one wants change and all work to keep their colleagues down.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I recall a version of this adage in respect to the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Bucks. The father of my former was a sports fan. This football, basketball, devotee would watch sporting events religiously. Frequently, in frustration he would share a similar sentiment when a team was doing well, and then, could not sustain the lead. The avid aficionado would remark, "They cannot stand prosperity."

I am reminded of the energy policy and global warming. Every person on Earth seems to wish to remain in the dark and commit to worldwide doom. Millions of species are already extinct. Humans of every race, color, or creed may be next. I take no pleasure in the notion we will perish together. The walls of this barrel are high and dark. No one seems to wish to climb out.

Sadly, I suspect humans are all too often crabs in a barrel. For me, the issue is we criticize the person, and are personally punitive towards our brethren. I yearn for the day when we will live in peace, be we crabs or humans of any community.

Betsy L. Angert said...

Dearest Rodney . . .

For me, Jesse Jackson and Barack Obama, on the issue were each correct. What was not and is never healthy or helpful is to personally attack another.

I believe, people, no matter their race, religion, gender preference, age . . . we, each need to consider that we are physically, emotionally, financially, and intellectually connected to our family, friends, and community, whether we are present or not. What any of us does is a cause and there will be an effect. This reality also explains why government must actively function for the good of the commonweal. As Thomas Paine explains in Of the origin and design of government . . .
Four or five united would be able to raise a tolerable dwelling in the midst of a wilderness, but one man might labour out the common period of life without accomplishing any thing; when he had felled his timber he could not remove it, nor erect it after it was removed; hunger in the mean time would urge him from his work, and every different want call him a different way. Disease, nay even misfortune would be death, for though neither might be mortal, yet either would disable him from living, and reduce him to a state in which he might rather be said to perish than to die.

I did not realize the saying was one adopted by the Black community. I actually turned to this essay for the title "Crabs in a Barrel" is a familiar truth, not disputed.

A friend from the business world shares the story often in relationship to corporations. He speaks of how no one wants change and all work to keep their colleagues down.

Growing up in Wisconsin, I recall a version of this adage in respect to the Green Bay Packers and the Milwaukee Bucks. The father of my former was a sports fan. This football, basketball, devotee would watch sporting events religiously. Frequently, in frustration he would share a similar sentiment when a team was doing well, and then, could not sustain the lead. The avid aficionado would remark, "They cannot stand prosperity."

I am reminded of the energy policy and global warming. Every person on Earth seems to wish to remain in the dark and commit to worldwide doom. Millions of species are already extinct. Humans of every race, color, or creed may be next. I take no pleasure in the notion we will perish together. The walls of this barrel are high and dark. No one seems to wish to climb out.

Sadly, I suspect humans are all too often crabs in a barrel. For me, the issue is we criticize the person, and are personally punitive towards our brethren. I yearn for the day when we will live in peace, be we crabs or humans of any community.

 
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