Submitted by BAFBFP
Many decades ago White Americans set a standard of acceptance for their race that went beyond the one drop rule which of course mirrored the British notion of “a touch of the tar brush”. Concerned with always portraying an image of sophistication they found it very convenient to define Whiteness as a qualification. Not only was one required to be pure, one’s lifestyle and standard of education had to be top draw. In fact it was necessary for one to be a couple generations removed from one’s impoverished roots to be considered acceptable. White people who did not qualify were Trash. And boy did it work. Even Blacks referred to offensive Whites as Trash, thereby serving to protect this created idealistic image of what being White is all about.
So here is the thing. As Blacks should we not try to set criteria for Blackness that goes beyond colour of skin? Already Blacks (anthropologists Peter Simmons included) accept the White defined ‘one-drop’ initiative and that is fine, after all Black people are not as hung-up about purity as is the case with other species of man. We welcome the mixed breeds as a historical prerogative. But what about the other attributes that should determine whether or not you qualify?
I propose that unlike our White cousins we should exclude level of education and net worth from the standard. There are simply far too many unfortunate uneducated and poor Blacks in the world to even consider going this route. I am even prepared to say that level of intellect should not be considered either, less I run the risk of being excluded as well. No. I propose that if you are to be considered Black it doesn’t matter how stupid you are or how destitute you are, you most certainly must not be a hypocrite. In short, all Black people that are continuously guilty of hypocrisy are Black Trash. Bush-billies.
So Blacks could feel a level of removed comfort when the Trash votes for Obama as he represents success for a people with a history of protracted repression and at the same time vote against equal rights for another grouping of people in America.
Harry Belafonte’s remarks to Larry King of CNN October 15, 2002:
“Last year, in South Africa, the United Nations under Kofi Annan gave us an excellent opportunity in convening the International Conference on Racism …There was a place where the United States should have been in attendance, and given us the benefit of thought on a very grievous set of conditions that affect the human family – the issue of race. And in that instance, the United States government sought to turn its back on the thousands of people who were gathered there to make a difference. And Colin Powell was the point person on that distancing of our country…”
Had notion of Trash been defined then, Harry would not even have had the need to respond.
When Mr. Obama becomes POTUSA should he spin on a coin (again) then Blacks would have an easy fall back position.
Should any West Indian politician spout the virtues of Democracy and take it on himself, without consulting a committee of any kind, to name a prime piece of real estate, a mountain no less, after a personal icon then he cannot be one of us.
When a moderator of a call in program stops a contributor from speaking on the grounds that there is limited time left for other callers to get in, and proceeds to take a few minutes to explain why he is taking such action, I say he is not one of us.
When a Police officer concerned with the appropriate use of the road by motorists stops a car on High street and asks for documentation, thereby blocking all the traffic back onto Broad Street, I say he belongs to another ethnic group.
And then there are the religious blowhards. Oh well there will never be enough space to deal with them.