Monday, July 9, 2012

Why is Chris Rock Angry?

I had to wait and ruminate on the July 4th tweet by legendary comedian Chris Rock. It went like this:

"Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks."
Let's see...slavery was abolished after nearly six-hundred thousand white folks killed each other in some little spat called the Civil War that ended in 1865. Now, I'm not that great in math, but that was almost 150 years ago. However, it took almost another century before the black man in America began to be treated as a true citizen of this country. And, I say it 'began', I didn't say it automatically got better. But here we are in 2012 and we have a man of black heritage in the White House. We have many black Congressmen and Senators. Thurgood Marshall was the first black Supreme Court Justice and assumed the role in 1967. At present, Clarence Thomas is a black man and a Supreme Court Justice.
I'm really at a loss as to why Mr. Rock is so angry with the white race in our society. Maybe it's because he got beat up by snooty, upper class white kids in school when he was attending James Madison in New York. I got beat up by a bunch of white kids while I was going to school, and I'm white. Chris Rock's grandfather was a preacher. His father was a truck driver and his mother was a teacher of handicapped children. He comes from people who knew the value of family and set their sights on being decent, productive members of society. It seems to me...apart from the bullying at school...that America has been very kind to Mr. Rock. It is reported that his net worth is around $70 million dollars. Many 'white' people attend his comedy routines and have paid to see his movies. He lives a lavish lifestyle, wearing the best clothes, driving fine cars, eating expensive food, and enjoys all the perks of being a celebrity. So, what does he have to be angry about? My net worth is about $100,000.00. But I don't diss the black population of this country because of it. I don't hate the white boys who punched me out in school. In fact, I'm not angry at anybody on this planet about anything. If there was any way to bring those folks back to life that were slave owners around the time of the Revolutionary War, then I would have no problem with Mr. Rock giving them a piece of his mind. But I know of nobody in this country that has legal ownership of another human being. What Mr. Rock needs to understand is that he has a great figure to look up to and emulate...but he won't. He would rather be an angry man and spout off his racist rhetoric because it seems to make him look like a big man when he sees himself in the mirror. Chris Rock should read the "I Have A Dream" speech, and probably memorize it. Martin Luther King said some strange things in that speech that I think Chris Rock has no clue about. One of them is as follows:
"The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone." (And this was 1963)
We cannot walk alone. MLK espousing racial tolerance and even racial bonding to keep secure every man's freedom. What Mr. Rock needs to understand, as MLK did, is not every white household is against the black man. The 'N' word was never ever mentioned in my house while I was growing up. My brother and I were taught to look at people's hearts, not their skin. My parents didn't have a racist bone in their body. And there are many many more where we came from. So, when someone who has a national stage, like Chris Rock, makes  a blanket statement such as that; it hurts those of us who would stand with all black Americans to see to it their rights were protected. The other thing that Mr. Rock needs to understand is that the black man wouldn't be anywhere near where he is today without the help of the white man. MLK also said this in that famous, 1963 speech:
"I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."
By my estimation, that portion of his dream is yet to be realized, but nobody can deny that it is ever closer today than anyone could have imagined in 1963. His dream of the black man being able to stay in a hotel of his choosing and eat in a restaurant without being told it was for white's only has been realized in totality. The opportunities for the black man are far better today than ever before in our history. It's okay to be angry, for anger keeps the wheels of justice and equality turning. But that anger must be focused like a laser and not shot out into the atmosphere like a shotgun spraying in all directions and hitting the innocent as well as the guilty.
Martin Luther King was the man of the hour during the civil rights movement. He knew how to work the system, even when the system was equipped and designed to drown him out. His legacy is a shining example to all black Americans how to effect change and do it in such a way that even your antagonists respect you for it. This Chris Rock is totally ignorant of. As far as I'm concerned he should merely say 'Thank you, America; for the opportunity afforded me. I'm grateful for having been born in the greatest country the world has ever known. Even with all her warts, she is still my home, and I will celebrate her birth with my fellow citizens, for it matters not if you are black, white, asian, or hispanic....because on this day we are all Americans. And we are proud to be a part of this great expirement. We still have work to do, but we can do it together as one." What would be wrong with that? Not a damn thing.

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