Recently I visited a black website, The Grio, to read an article entitled, “12-year-old CJ Pearson becomes Tea Party hit for claiming Obama ‘hates’ America in Youtube video”. (see video here)
Because of the title of the article, I was ready for the article and the readers’ comments to be left-wing, Tea-Party-rejecting, liberal, and Democratic-conforming.
What I was not ready for were the hateful, spiteful, demeaning reactions from the posters, especially the black posters (they had proud pics as avatars). The things said about his child and his parents read as following…
“Another one of the Black Devils!!! #clown”
“You dont (sic) know what you are talking about child have a seat.”
“WTH?!?! will somebody sit this kuntre (sic) boy down somewhere. i think he just likes to hear himself say “merica” smh poor tink tink…boy has no clue!!!”
“I’m not surprised the Republicans are using a 12 yo as their spokesperson, that is about the mentality of most of the Republican leaders these days. But it seems a bit cruel to use a young child in this way.” (this one is white)
“Young coon in training sound like the nigga from back woods atl”
“He need to read a book and take his little self to bed!”
“He’s a white boy with a deep tan. Sit down little boy. This nation was not designed for Africans who were forced to.be Americans. Stop following what you hear your parents speak on and learn the history of this great nation you speak on.”
“Whoever put this young child up to do such a stupid video must be as stupid as Mr. Rudy. This is how mis information (sic) gets it’s (sic) roots. Go speak with your elders first next time; Please!”
There are over 200 posts on this article! Please feel free to read them all (if your stomach can take it).
I love our freedoms and strongly support our First Amendment rights, therefore I have no problems with these folks stating what they feel/think about the video. What I do have a problem with is the hatefulness, dismissal, and intolerance they display in their words. The effects of this kind of unwillingness to listen to, respect, and value all contributions is what is contributing to the racial, political, and class polarization in America.
To be fair, I have visited other websites and found such polarization evidence among white posters as well. But here today, I want to focus my attention on members of my own racial group, black people.
I have three observations as a Black American which don’t shine favorably on my fellow Black Americans, 1) Blatant hypocrisy, 2)Racism, and 3)Political Tribalism.
Here I am focusing on the first, blatant hypocrisy. (I’ll tackle the other two in later articles)
Black folk are marching in the streets carrying signs that read, “Black Lives Matter”, and “Stop Killing our Sons”; yet when a 12 year-old, young black male expresses himself in a video; his blackness becomes irrelevant and the brutality against him becomes unmerciful.
This young man was called ‘a black devil’, ‘country’, ‘stupid’, ‘coon’ (an ole’ standby used for Black Conservatives), ‘white’, ‘tanned’, ‘little’, and ‘nigga’!
He was told to ‘sit down’, ‘read a book and go to bed’.
In addition to the personal character assassinations, this child was never given the benefit-of-the-doubt that his feelings, statements, and intellectual position were his own. What! A twelve-year-old is incapable of thinking, forming opinions, and passionately stating them in a video?
As a parent, here is something I know for sure — you keep telling a child that what he/she says is unimportant, to sit down, and shut-up — that is likely what you will get. You will have played a significant role in that child’s inability to communicate a position, argue in a debate, settle disputes respectfully, resolve disagreements, and assert himself respectfully.
Perhaps being told to sit-down, shut-up, and speak and be like everyone else is a contributor to why some of our boys can only speak in ‘hip-hop’, resolve conflict with their fists or guns, seek acceptance in gangs, and believe that a man is defined by his ability to make babies than raise and care for them.
Yes, black lives do matter. But here, with this young, black boy, not so much — it’s sit down and shut-up. Do you see the hypocrisy here?
If this young black boy decides to sit down and peruse the Internet to get a feel for what people thought about his video, he will find tremendously supportive and encouraging comments from white, Tea Party leaning, conservatives. But when he encounters those who look most like him, Black Democrats or Liberals, I pray he wears a spiritual armor. The shots taken at him are not coming from a gun, but they are just as intellectually lethal as any bullet!