Revisiting White Privilege and the Hillary Supporters

Last night I had a chance to catch Michelle Obama’s speech at the DNC convention, all I can say is wow! I swear I like her better than her husband, she appears to be authentic, I look at her and see myself and so many other Black women in her.. she represents well.

So I went to bed, feeling warm and fuzzy since between that emotional speech and those 2 gorgeous daughters, I was feeling good that I actually had the chance to catch the happenings last night.

Well the bubble was busted this morning when I woke up to my usual dose of NPR and the coverage about last night’s happenings at the DNC and they were discussing the Hillary factor, and had a couple of die hard Hillary supporters being interviewed. Let me just say they pissed me off, both women were clearly white, one described herself as an academic, the other a professional. They both spoke of how passionately they believed in Hillary and just needed proper closure before they could even consider supporting Obama. Wait! Hold the fuck up… you need closure. Um, newsflash, your candidate lost, time to move the fuck on.

Then it hit me, what has been bothering me most about the Clinton supporters who cannot let go and those that have  expressed the fucked up thought that they would rather vote for McCain over Obama (um, that’s not even logical but what the fuck does a little black chick from Maine know?). I think what bugs me most is that every time I hear these women speak, I am hearing them speak from a place of white privilege yet none of them would dare call it that. Oh, no, its coded in such a way that it sounds good, they use deep words, very emotional and moving language that while passionate, what they are really saying is  that losing to a nigger was never part of their expectations. I rarely use the n-word here but this is one time it feels fitting.  No, white privilege is predicated on the very false notion that whites are better than lowly people of color? Now, I admit I am not going to take the academic route here but white privilege is real and I sincerely believe the reason Clinton supporters can’t let go is that losing to a man of color is just not acceptable. When one operates from a place of privilege they in essence are able to look at the world through rose colored lenses, as I have written before white privilege allows one to make assumptions and not ever have to think about it, as I posted once before its simple shit like literally shitting where you want.

I have been Black all my life and its been my observation that whenever a Black persons bests a white person in something, no matter how trivial, the average white person gets uncomfortable. I won’t say all as my spousal unit is white and I know some good white folks but the vast majority only pay lip service to wanting to be equal.. in the end, for many white privilege comes into play.

At this point I feel like white privilege is too deeply ingrained in many Clinton supporters (where were these women when Hillary was being made to look like a fool while Bill was having not real sexual relations with Monica?), then again maybe just as I see bits of myself in Michelle Obama, perhaps these women see bits of themselves reflected in Hillary. Staying with a man, you really want to throw hot grits on when he has publicly humiliated you.. yet you stay because through him you can access power. However at the same time staying in a soul-less partnership drains you but at the end of the day, much like Scarlett O’Hara you believe there will be a better tomorrow, after all you are woman.. hear you roar. That was until that interloper aka Obama showed up. Ok, I admit I am getting goofy..not enough coffee yet.

Really though, the bottom line is that for me I believe white privilege is playing a large role in why some of the Clinton supporters cannot or will not support Obama. The pundits love to say Obama cannot close the deal, well unless the brotha gets a vat of white paint to give himself a makeover, with some folks he won’t close the deal and the sooner he accepts that and focuses on those he can convince to support him, the better off he will be.

Checking out early.. we don’t live long

Its starting to feel like every time I go on-line, I am hearing about another Black person dying, generally someone who is in the prime of life. In the past week and a half, both Issac Hayes and Bernie Mac died, within a day of each other. Today, I saw a report that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of the Dave Matthews Band had died, he was only in his 40’s. Then a few hours later I saw a report that Stephanie Tubbs-Jones congresswoman from Ohio had died after suffering a brain aneurysm and she too was fairly young, only in her 50’s. I must admit I am wondering who next?

Then again, I don’t have to look far to see folks dying young, my own beloved Mama, died 4 days after turning 50 from a 8 month battle with cancer; her dad, my Paw-Paw was barely in his 50’s when he died. Thankfully there are some folks in my bloodline who live to old age but I must admit the older I get, I do wonder if I will live long since statistically the odds in my family favor checking out early, which is a damn shame since this is one instance I want to run on CP (that’s colored people time for readers not familiar with that term)  time, not regular time.

All jokes aside though, statistically on average Blacks die earlier than whites and while we know there are reasons for it as far as the inequities in the healthcare system, even when factoring for socio-economics, middle class Blacks still die earlier so its not just po folks with no money to see a doctor. Even when we have the resources our illnesses are detected later, a year ago Mother Jones magazine did a piece on this where the author, a Black man spoke of his own father dying in his 50’s and he was a physician. Shit, that’s scary when you think about it… you mean Black doctors don’t even live long?

Now we all know about the dangers to the young, especially  young Black men, but the folks dying young that truly trouble me are folks 35 and up who I don’t expect to die young. I find myself wondering what can I do? What can we do to stop Black folks from dying early, personally I do try to watch what I eat, thanks to the internet while I am by no means a doctor, I can read up on things. Truthfully though I must confess I have one bad habit I struggle with and that’s smoking. For the past decade I have wrestled with quitting, I have gone anywhere from 1-3 years where I quit but then something triggers me and I fall off the wagon. Right now I am off the wagon, but thankfully I smoke less than I ever have before in part because I don’t smoke in the house, car or around the kids which doesn’t leave too many places to grab a butt. I recently had my annual physical and everything came back good, in fact I was bothered by how surprised the doctor seemed that my blood-work was good… damn, Black folks in good health can’t be that rare? Then again, I know if I don’t quit smoking for good that may not always be the case.

I sometimes wonder is it the food today that has us all fucked up? Seriously, what is it that keeps us unhealthy? I guess I got no answers on this but I say join me in commiting to good health, for me that will entail quitting the butts once and for all and truthfully I can stand to increase my activity level a tad more. I am not sedentary but I would like to be more active.

After all when it comes to reaching the end of this game called life, this is one time being late to the game is better than being early.

Tropic Thunder..my thoughts

I must admit when I first heard about this movie, I was pretty much in the WTF camp. However after reading a few reviews and a desire today to not work on a pressing piece of client work today, I gathered eldest child and the spousal unit and decided to go check it out while mini-me lounged at daycare.

This is one of those films that on the surface I see why its getting good reviews, Americans are not that deep and on the surface it is a funny movie. I think Ben Stiller has some talent as a director and from a cinematic angle he did do some interesting things. To quote a Ben Stiller interview I heard on NPR, he satirizes satire and I will agree that he did that well.

However as someone who studied media images of African-Americans (specifically Black women though I will don my quasi-academic hat here) the use of Black face or rather Robert Downey Jr as a Black man is disturbing to me. Now my son on the way home, told me point blank he does not agree with me and felt that maybe I was looking to nitpick at the movie. Yet as I watched (by the way Downey is a talented actor), I could not help thinking of early films such as Birth of a Nation, which is the most offensive piece of shit I have ever seen.

No, looking at the larger picture as a society we are not a place where I feel black-face regardless of how we dress it is ok. We may have a Black man running for president yet we live in a world where there are too many negative media representations of Blacks for me to be ok with this portrayal.  Downey’s character does attempt some shucking and jiving and is in fact put in his place by a real Black man but still its too much for my taste. The  fact that Downey’s character even attempts to shuck and jive no matter how brilliantly acted, still lets me know how the greater white society often views Blacks. We are not taken seriously, we are expected to perform and while on a base level we laugh it exposes the racism that is still firmly entrenched in our society.

Would I recommend this film? That’s a tough one, to be honest, though while Tropic Thunder is deeper than a Tyler Perry film, it was still a hard pill to swallow.