About The Funk...

Observational Spittle from the mind of a man of color in his 40s, without the color added (most times). Come in, laugh, and you may learn something...

90 Things That Irritate The Sh** Out Of Me Trailer

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

1969...oh what a night (or The Brother-dent, Part Tres)

I was born in the late 1960's.

This isn't a secret, of course, because you can simply go back in history on this blog and figure that out.

I am coming up on my 14th wedding anniversary next week to a wonderful woman who happens to be Caucasian.

Now, I'm sure that you are wondering why I would bring up what (should be) an irrelevant point about my wife.  I mean, I didn't marry her to add points to my "white women I've slept with" card (even tho, um, I have a few notches on that card.  Don't worry, it's been ripped up for nearly 18 years).  She is simply put my best friend/homie/crime dawg/partner/lover/arguing opponent/mother of my knucklehead kids.

And I fell in love for what she is, not because she burns a lot more easily than I do on a mid-summer day (and believe me, she burns.  Like lobster with butter sauce burns).

The reason I brought this up is that I just finished watching "12 Years A Slave", a flick that I believe everyone of age should watch.  If you are not familiar with it, it's the story of a free black man, Solomon Northup, who was kidnapped and sold into slavery, separated from his family for 12 years.

It truly was a very powerful film, and it brought me to tears as I watched it.

Now, as those who have read the blog for the past few years know, I am a stunningly handsome man of color (OK, just of color...damn it, there goes new female fans).  You would expect that a film such as this (it was graphic, on point, and hard to watch how folks who look like me are treated)would affect me.

You would be right.

However, not necessarily in the way one might expect.

If folks didn't know, interracial marriage wasn't legal in the U.S until 1967.  That is only 47 years ago.  Since then things have gotten better for folks like me, including electing the first non-white president of the U.S. (President Obama is half white, but according to this old rule, he is considered black).  Now while these are all wonderful things, well...

...Let me go on a different route.

I have always considered myself color blind (especially once I went to school and was surrounded by a lot of folks who had no idea who Grandmaster Flash was...and yes, I know I just dated myself).  Not to use another old saying (and one that makes me secretly chuckle because I'm twisted like that), I give everyone "enough rope to hang themselves."

An old commercial from MTV that has always stuck with me said (paraphrased) "We are all equal here (showing a nursery) and here (showing a cemetery).  What happens in between is up to you."

It was a 30 second commercial, but even 20 years or so later, it was so on point.

So I flash back to "12 years", and (spoiler here) there is a scene near the end of the movie where the whipping of a slave is so vivid (made me cringe like "The Passion of the Christ" because it was so vivid) it made me curl up in the fetal position.

And it brings me to day.  Now, I've encountered plenty of white folks that have the mentality that people are people.

I have also encountered folks that probably wouldn't mind the 13th Amendment to be repealed, either.

I have a good friend who happens to be white that says some of the most bigoted shit I have heard in my lifetime.

However, if I was in a fight, he'd be by my side if he was there.

The entire fascination with skin (and I am guilty of it as well) is so utterly moronic sometimes, even though I understand it.

I at times get jealous of white guys and how they can do things with their hair (there was this dude at the last job I worked with who just had this pompadour; wouldn't work on me, but I thought it looked cool).  But should I judge him because his hair is more flexible than mine (used to be)?  Should I form opinions based on what I had heard and taught?

There are times I wonder if we are in 237 years as a slave at this point.  I mean, black folks enslave themselves because we are guilty of falling into what people expect of us...or our apathy of doing nothing about it.

Are there certain people in Washington DC who are so disconnected from not just folks of color, but everyone else, that they are happy with the status quo?

How about the media?  The current incumbent in the White House (whom I have shared my concerns on a couple of occasions...here and here) gets more flack from these guys than any president in my lifetime.  Let's be real on 2 fronts:

1.  He's a flawed president...but what president wasn't;
2.  If he could tan as easily as my wife, it wouldn't be as intense.  The previous occupant was a C+ student, and we elected him TWICE.

So in a lot of ways, we haven't changed much, truly.  I mean, we've ADVANCED, but we haven't CHANGED.

If Mr. Northrop was still alive today, I wonder if he would of smiled and celebrated when President Obama was elected.  I remember that night, and while I smiled because I saw something I thought I'd never see in my lifetime (more for my folks than anything, who got a taste of what it was like back in the day..wait, depending where you are, TODAY in the South), I didn't see a black man getting elected president.  I saw a guy with limited experience being swept into office because the white guys in charge were too busy chasing war penis instead of handling the people's business.

But that's just the way I think.

But the bigger picture, in my humble opinion, is this...

...when will that MTV commercial become reality?  And if never, can a few more people get the message?

I'm married to a white woman.

Her name's Carla.

I see her blue eyes.  I am not jealous of them, and I never bought into colored contacts that were so prevalent back in my "yoot" (What's a Yoot?).

I just look into them and see love, despite all my many flaws.

Why can't we look at each other like that?

I wonder if Solomon wondered the same thing.

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