Originally posted by Quicksilver
You are letting your skin color define you.
I have extremely mixed feelings about this statement. I agree with it, but I think it's both a negative thing and something that I can understand and
support. I think many black people relate to the oppression and racism they have and are still experiencing. And when "a people" (whether it be
blacks, gays or women) are oppressed, there's a tendency to be defined by the reason for the oppression.
Women form clubs and "groups" so they can hang out and talk about women things, without feeling oppressed. Gay people have parades to express they
"gayness" together and relate to that in a celebratory way. Black people like to recognize what they have in common with other blacks and validate
and affirm each other.
Since white people aren't generally oppressed, you don't generally see them getting together to celebrate their "whiteness". Except in the case of
the white power groups, which get formed because they feel the threat
of oppression by other races and religions.
So, while I understand
the desire for blacks to have special a TV station, magazines, college programs, etc., I DO think it is divisive in that
it promotes the idea that blacks generally are entertained by something different than whites; that blacks have a different sense of humor than
whites. That blacks are a different species than whites. That they somehow don't "fit" into the American Culture and need to divide and separate
On the other hand, many black people so
identify with their "blackness" that if you ask them, "Who are you"?, the answer would be "I'm
black." First and foremost, in their self-image, they are black. Whereas if you ask a white person, "Who are you"? They might answer, "I'm a
teacher", or "I'm a woman", or "I'm a student". "I'm white" rarely
would be the first response.
My point is that while it's divisive in my mind, many black people seem to feel they need
to have these 'black' things to bond them together
with other black people, which I understand, but at the same time, this very bonding causes separation from other races. And if we're all going to be
Americans together, I think BET and NAACP, etc., IF ONLY IN NAME
are not conducive to the "salad bowl" paradigm of living and mixing
together freely in this country, while still keeping our distinctive "flavors".
When a race (or gender, etc) is part of the title, it implies exclusion. Yes, CMT is mostly white people but Charley Pride and Trini Triggs would fit
in just fine. Because they're Country. And that's the name of the channel. And Wendell Scott and Bill Lester are known in the NASCAR world. Because
NASCAR isn't racially exclusionary. BET is. It excludes other races by it's very name. In my opinion, as much as a Whites Only drinking fountain
I think it depends on what black people generally want. (And I realize that they don't all want the same thing.) Do they want to continue the
separatism, racism, division? Or do they want
to incorporate, not assimilate or deny their culture
, but come together as one country
with the other races that live here?
I think BET is just part of the transition. When black people feel like they have a voice equal to others in this country, I think these racially
divisive institutions will fall by the wayside out of lack of need. I certainly hope so,