Version 2.0

Culture, healing, politics and bullshit - Not necessarily in that order

The general, socio-political and very personal rantings and ravings of a hip hop head from the hood hustling for change... Of himself.

You all know me and are aware that I am unable to remain silent. At times to be silent is to lie. For silence can be interpreted as acquiescence.
—Miguel de Unamuno


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Stew Gets Darker

I've been trying to find the right way to explain it. You try not to offend or assume anything about someone, something or some people but when a situation hits its fever pitch, you're not supposed to just let it take you over and engulf you.

I'm talking about this whole healthcare thingamobob.

It would be foolish for folks to just idly sit there and let this issue pass them by. The suggestions and changes being brought forth is paramount to how we will live the rest of lives here in this country. It has to be discussed because the current, proposed and future system(s) of healthcare affects each and every one of us, so I'll get to it.

It has been incredibly silent in the black community as a whole. One one hand you have folks like myself that have a passing concern and hope for the best. On the other, you have a whole gang of folks that really don't care one way or the other. The folks that read the papers, gather info from the internet and watch the news in attempts to gather fair assessment of what's going on are purposely being desperately quiet as to not be engaged.

Ask my grandmother. Hell, ask my mother... Wait! Ask me.

We have been here before. Nothing is going to happen. Somebody might get hurt, but...

One of the main reasons a lot of minorities haven't really spoken up on healthcare reform is because we know that a certain silent part of the majority will be energized in knowing that change on the way of American life is imminent whenever 'sweeping reform' of anything takes place. We know that this country was founded on human trafficking and the trade of goods and commodities manufactured and handled by its human chattel. We also know that some of the corporations and financial institutions still exist from that era and some newer ones formed over time to present day were supported and partnered with monies from businesspeople, families, foreign and religious interests which as a result houses the majority of our upper class.

The rich in this nation continue to get richer and the poor get poorer. Thank you free market system! It works!

Some of those large companies that exist off of money from the past are being upheld by the government via asset relief and bailout money that has already been taken from the taxpayer. Other companies have downsized and reduced themselves into unemployable, unrecognizable shams of their former selves. Whereas Latin and other minority groups have integrated, entered the various markets and are growing in population, folks of African descent are actually growing in reverse. The perception and acceptance of these people has always been suspect to say the least by the majority for whatever reason.

Most minorities had to be legislated into the class system, then taking liberties of the laws of the land to freely participate in the free market system as well as the various markets and workplaces, thus thrusting themselves into the middle and upper class. For a lot of (mostly) black and (these days not a lot of) Latino folk over the years, attempting to integrate the market and workplace as well as the real estate market (obtaining prime housing) has been a complete and utter failure.

The majority has gone to great strides to preserve their version of American life, and that ain't a bad thing. The lack of understanding and the lack of acceptance has given most folk in the American majority a great advantage in achieving the American dream, and the misunderstanding of self, the lack of self respect and the curse of pride... both having too much and not having enough all in the same breath has held African American folk specifically back to the point where most of us still struggle to achieve middle class goals even in 2009.

There is hope but... It takes two to tango and neither the majority or minority wants to extend their hand to dance. Although we as a people have been taught and trained to forgive and forget, history tells us that the change the current president campaigned on to win the election last year wasn't really expected to happen because most folk don't forget. There is so much mistrust and disrespect being thrown not just his way, but in a wise Latina supreme court justice, an African-American attorney general, a liberal female secretary of state and a Jewish white house chief of staff's way because they lack the proper aesthetic in some people's minds causing them to think that the American way of life they knew as children and young adults will be snatched from them with no regard to the constitution and their unalienable rights.

Some folk are also mad that their candidate didn't win and the audacity of 'that one' to be so confident and arrogant... My word! Some folk no longer respect the process or the office as well as the law (and we are a nation of laws) because the sanctity of it all has been tarnished by a brown hand.

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Why the mistrust? Why the disrespect? Why the anger?

The reason a lot of black folk haven't responded is because this has happened before. Regardless of who was in charge, regardless of who was minding the store a bunch of promises were made and never kept. Most folk know that these are just proposals, ideas that are being thrown on the wall to see what sticks. Most of us know that special interest groups will line the pockets of some and make it rain for others in order to maintain the status quo. EVERYONE knows that our current health system must change to reflect the needs of the people.

The majority will one day become the minority, this we know, but it ain't happening tomorrow. We know who has the money, the advantages and who can influence rule making, so for a lot of black and Latino folk - poor, fairing midland and extremely well off we know that change will be fought with resistance so we bide our time and pray for the day the sweet chariot comes forth to carry us home.

Some of us do that.

The choices in thought and the belief in reparations of some sort based in a weird form of white fear and guilt makes healthcare reform in 2009a major race issue.

To reform the system, we begin to remove the system that was put in place that appeases the majority. Thing is, things will eventually start to balance themselves out. I cannot change how folks were raised. I cannot stop folks from teaching what they teach in the privacy of their own homes. I cannot dispel the rumors and can't stand alone attempting to preach the truth til' my face turns blue because I myself do not know exactly what that is anymore because my mama could be an agent (Sup' Langston and Alyson!). What I do know is...

Well to the small majority of folks out there that just woke up full of anger because inclusion of folk outside your circle and reform will supposedly break your system and eliminate your way of life, we're just like you. Faith based systems, flesh and bone, how we put on pants. We're remarkably like you in so many ways. No need to demonize a process being suggested to open something up to folks that never had real access. I mean, really! A little inclusion would be nice, and if you really want to know about us then... Just ask.

The anger and mistrust and lack of respect is real. Glen Beck said that this is all about reparations. Bill O'Rielly said that it's all about an extreme left agenda. Rush said that this is the precursor to socialism and then dictatorship. Lou Dobbs said that certain folks just want to break the system without seeming terrorist.Conservatives speak in cynical fashion ready to fight to save their way of life.

The same rhetoric was used in the late 1800s and during the Suffrage and Civil Rights movement. The same scare tactics were used against folk like Harvey Milk.

Us minorities know that whenever healthcare reform is passed, it won't look like anything being suggested right now and that this certain small part of the majority got their panties all up in a bunch because somebody suggested that our healthcare system readjust itself to look like all of America and to prepare itself for a different looking America somewhere down the line.

Eventually the hot button issue in America will be about our horribly inefficient and financially wasteful healthcare system. Whenever the shouting stops and dialogue can actually start that would be nice, but this conversation ain't nowhere near talking about health insurance...

It's just a small bunch of folks scared and feeling the pinch, ready to fight, beig egged on by corporate and political interests.

Pray that we get something done.

1 comment:

Bananas said...

The sad thing is their corporate driven maddens actually works. As you pointed out, fear is one of the best sales tools around. To counter it one has to become educated and then make a stand. That’s hard to do when you have been conditioned to be skeptical. You’ll take what is given to you and the sounding voices know it. They understand the theory of he with the loudest voice gets his point across. Forget that point is rooted in greed and racism, they yell loud enough just to make someone consider it.

Why are we so gullible? Because we live our lives in ten second sound bites and no one wants to take the initiative to find out things for themselves. We hide in mindless television and under ipods and all the while figure it won’t matter in the end anyway.

Well you’re right Hassan it does matter...a whole fucking lot! And if we as a society let the ridiculous rantings of a few unintelligent, right winged, ratings whores dictate policy in this country, rather than take a stand...we deserve exactly what we get.