April 25, 2008

America and Pennsyltucky Will Get What It Deserves

To be an Afro-American, or an American black, is to be in the situation, intolerably exaggerated, of all those who have ever found themselves part of a civilization which they could in no wise honorable defend-which they were compelled, indeed, endlessly to attack and condemn-and who yet spoke out of the most passionate love, hoping to make the kingdom new, to make it honorable and worthy of life. -James Baldwin, No Name in the Street (1972) Quote taken from the book Democracy Matters by Dr. Cornell West. “The government gives them the drugs, builds bigger prisons, passes a three-strike law and then wants us to sing ‘God Bless America.’ No, no, no, God damn America, that’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating our citizens as less than human. God damn America for as long as she acts like she is God and she is supreme.” -Reverend Jeremiah Wright sermon (2003)

The quote from James Baldwin could apply to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, Sen. Barack Obama or any Black person in America. We would be justified through and through in showing disloyalty to this country. However everyday the majority of African Americans in this country are passionate about our belief that if America would respond to the proverbial small voice that emanates from the woods (the wilderness of “urban” America), but is often not heard, then our ideas would make a difference, for all not just some Americans. We fight day in and day out for some recognition that if some of our ideas were heard and implemented, then this grand experiment called the United States of America would work for all people, not just one particular group of people. Isn’t this essentially what Barack Obama is trying to do? How foolish we must be that we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; despite the fact that when these words were written in the Declaration of Independence it did not apply to Black people, we still cling to those words.

We fight and fight and fight some more each and everyday. In most cases to our own detriment. We accept promises in the hope that things would change. Instead of rising up, we acquiesce and abide to the laws of this country. However, when we speak out we are vilified and demonized for practicing and exercising our rights as American citizens. As American citizens it is not unamerican to exercise our right to freedom of speech.

Therefore, why is it that when someone tells the truth about America, Americans can't swallow it? In the aftermath of the Pennsylvania primary we were given many reasons regarding Hillary Clinton's decisive victory in the most recent primary. One of the many reasons given is the backlash against Barack Obama's "bitter" comments.

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not."
"And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

Did Barack not tell the truth to Pennsyltucky and America? Barack why are you wasting your time trying to campaign on an intellectual level. American is not ready for it. The ignorance in America is pervasive in all of its parts from shore to shore. The disinformation that most Americans embrace has led this country to a point that it deserves in this time in history. How dare anyone talk bad about America! Can you hear the conservative and often time racist voice in this country. I can. "If you don't like it here, then you need to leave." "You need to go back to Africa." Well in this country, despite what is stated in the constitution, no one is allowed to speak passionately about the things that are wrong in America in order to make it better for everyone to live. What a travesty and an affront to the good white Christian slave owners who crafted the constitution more than 200 years ago.

Look where this country is at the moment. The price of gas is headed towards $5.00 a gallon. Record breaking foreclosures. A war that is now categorized as a preemptive attack designed to squelch and eliminate Al Qaeda forces around the world. The price of and the demand for corn is at an all time high in order to use it in the production of ethanol for fuel. And now we have a shortage on rice. But Americans are trying to elect a president based on what issues. Barack Obama's pastor's comments. His association with the Weather Underground. Obama wearing an American flag lapel pin. Meanwhile the very top, that 1% of income earners in this country are unaffected by any of this and the Pennsyltuckians remain stuck in their own mental malaise and ignorance that causes them to not to recognize that they should be angry, bitter and frustrated.

I go back to my opening question, but slightly revised. Why is it when a Black person tells the truth about America, the "Pennsyltucky" mentality has an anxiety attack? Pennsyltucky is a euphemism that identifies many in America that hold on to the so-called American values and traditions. It's those people whose jobs have been outsourced to other countries. They live in the "Rust Belt". They represent the people that hold on to twisted ideas regarding guns, religion, and immigration as it relates to the constitution. When in essence, the right to bear arms does not mean I can buy an assault rifle whenever I want. The constitution states that citizens have a right to form a militia and to protect themselves. Do we need a militia? No. We have an army, navy, air force and marines now. Was this country not founded on freedom of religion? Do these so called Christians even realize that Jesus Christ was Jewish? Do they even know that everyone here is an immigrant except for the few Native people who live in places like Connecticut, Oklahoma and Arizona.

Pennsyltucky goes into attack mode and hold on to deep rooted traditions and philosophies that tell them that people of other races are essentially the enemy waiting to rise up in revolution. Do you really want a Black man answering that 3:00 AM call? It's the "Pennsyltucky" mentality across much of American that got George W. Bush elected twice. This mentality believed a decorated Viet Nam war veteran like John Kerry is a traitor to his country. It gets Michael Dukakis buried in an election with the mention of Willie Horton. Somehow gay marriage legislation gets a president elected. Let's just throw the constitution out the window. Is that issue not a responsibility of each state as set up by the founding fathers? The Pennsyltucky mentality is based on voting on fear and as Obama stated, they hold on to the long standing traditions they feel they have some measure of control. Obama you're right, they hold on to things that they really shouldn't care about when faced with the multitude of problems this country has.

Obama continues to say that the America people are smarter than that. He gives the American people credit for being intelligent. Really? I don't believe it. Especially when it comes to the matters of electing a president. Obama why are you so passionate about a country that the majority of Americans want you to be no part of as president of the United States. Obama you have put up a good fight. Do you really want to deal with the prospect of fixing America? Can anyone straighten out this mess? Do you realize Obama what will be expected of you if you were to become president? Nah, Obama leave it alone. Pennsyltucky and the rest of America will get what it deserves.



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