Some days I just have to shake my head and laugh to keep from crying...
is reporting some guy who goes
by the name "Charlemagne tha God" (real name is reported as Lenard McKelvey) made a few statements that indicate he obviously doesn't even know
what a slave is, despite being pretty worked up over being a black man and supposedly having slave ancestry.
Here's a couple of quotes:
"I don’t think that we have gotten to the point in our society where we can take those chances on a president
who may be putting money in our pockets but rolling back all of our other civil rights, and rolling back all of our other civil liberties. That
don’t add up to me.
“I don’t care how rich you are. If you don’t have civil rights, what’s the point? Who wants to be a rich slave?"
definition of a "slave" is a human being who is the property of another human being. There can, by definition, not be a rich slave because a slave
owns nothing, not even their own bodies. That's what makes slavery so terrible. A slave does what they are told, when they are told, how they are
told, without reward or personal benefit, because refusal to do so can and often will result in a beating, starvation, selling off to another owner,
or in severe cases, death.
The phrase is a total oxymoron.
In essence a slave was human cattle... who has ever heard of a rich cow? A rich pig? A rich horse? Their owners may be wealthy, but the cattle owned
by the owners are not; they own nothing. So it is with a slave. Just like a responsible livestock owner will take basic care of his animals' needs,
so a responsible slave owner would take care of his slaves' basic needs. Those needs did not equal human rights, however, as children could be bought
and sold from their mothers' arms, and food, while typically provided, was not exactly the same kind of food fed to non-slaves. It was usually
tasteless, cheap gruel. That's what I mean by "basic needs."
The term slave has worked its way into our modern language... a harsh, demanding boss is said to be a "slave-driver," for example. A worker may
describe himself as a "slave to the company." Neither euphemism is accurate, however; employees always have the right to quit their job, while a
slave cannot simply decide he doesn't work for his owner, any more than a cow can decide it doesn't want to be owned. The consequences for quitting
may be harsh (inability to find another job, indigence, loss of property, etc.), but the right exists for a worker whereas it didn't exist for
So Mr. McKelvey has just used a public venue to inform his listeners that slavery is not actual slavery. Instead, according to his words, slavery is
apparently just everything not going one's way. OK, his right to say that and make himself look like a babbling fool, but then this little statement
caught my ear and is really the reason I had to write this thread:
"Financial freedom is definitely our only hope. But we also have to
remember that we’re black at the end of the day."
What? Is his agenda for some legal protection to change his skin color? Of course he's
black "at the end of the day." "At the end of the day," I'm a white redneck. That's not gonna change for either of us, no matter who is in what
position or says when where.
That bothers me greatly, because it indicates to me that he somehow sees himself as inferior. No one should ever see themselves in that light,
especially not someone who has placed themselves as a celebrity figure. We are all unique and important human beings, despite our skin color, our
gender, our sexual proclivities, or anything else we choose to use to separate ourselves. Everyone has a history that is both good and bad, and that
means every culture has something that those descended from it can look on as a source of pride in themselves.
This is the true source of racism: a belief that certain people are inferior, and by extension that other people are superior. That is not the case. I
may be superior to someone mathematically, but I promise you I am inferior to them in other ways. Anyone remember when Baz tortured his audience on
the radio by making me sing? I think I'm safe saying I am inferior to pretty much everyone else on the planet when it comes to that talent. My point
is that everyone has talents and abilities... some of us use them, some ignore them, and that is the basic reason for both social and income
inequality... not skin color.
It is as possible to see oneself as inferior as it is to see others as inferior... and both are wrong. Both are the heart of true racism.
Now, I will give credit where credit is due. Mr. McKelvey does go on to say that financial prowess is a good thing and to point out, correctly IMO,
that a lot of the problem many blacks have achieving income equality is that they don't know how to manage money. I agree with him on that, and I
wish he would put more emphasis on educating his audience in that area. He could do so much good for his culture that way. But, doing so without
bringing up the ridiculous mis-characterization of slavery would not achieve his major point: he thinks Trump is a bad President and black people
shouldn't vote for him.
That's fine; I support Trump, but I have no problem with people pointing out mistakes he has made, policies they disagree with, or even personal
foibles they find irritating. Where I get concerned is that Mr. McKelvey, in his zeal to thwart what appears from polling data to be a shift of black
voters away from the DNC and toward Trump, is passing up a chance to help his culture, his people, his listeners, and instead instruct them in
dangerous rhetoric. Slavery is illegal and frowned upon because it was a horrible institution that dehumanized an entire race in the US, and it still
exists in some third-world nations. Changing the definition to include simple hardship, something everyone has regardless of their skin color, will
have the effect of lessening the horror and allowing those pockets of slavery to exist... worse, it could someday, at least generations from now
hopefully, lead to the re-institution of slavery. Look at what the constant cries of "racist!" have accomplished... we see almost no outrage today
at true racism, because it never makes the news any more. It is covered up by the constant cries of the label toward those with opposing political
policies. Skinheads are not heard of, although they do still exist; we as a society are more concerned with calling a political opponent racist than
pointing out the true racists in our midst.
So it will be with slavery if this new expanded definition takes hold.
(I remind everyone that this is NOT the Political Mud Pit. I consider this a vitally important issue that affects our society greatly, not a useless
argument over personality. There are some good, juicy threads full of mud happening over there right now if that is your desire.)