Can We Be Good to Ourselves So Obama Can Win: Campaign Like Tyler Perry and George Clooney
How good we’ll be to each other seems to be the order of the day. How good we will we be in the wake of the Trayvon Martin tragedy, moves us in this unprecedented and interesting way. How can good, solid black people say that we have been right by the intellectual capital that we are building in our children today? When we listen to the radio each and every day, are our children better off, or are they any better to society because of the rhymes and the rants they hear coming over the radio waves? We know that there is more to be said, to ensure that our children and their children aren’t crippled by the misogyny of the verses in song. That they are protected from the indignities of disrespect and being treated wrong. There is so much to fight, so much to do, so much to make right and strong.
I wonder if Trayvon Martin had donned a suite and tie, and made that walk wearing penny loafers, would he have been met with suspicion and lies. Bigotry through clothing and the way one looks, is the downfall of a culture and the boy whose life Zimmerman took. But being judged by your appearance is a precept that we perpetuate, something we have brought on ourselves with the images we disseminate. The stigma attached to hoodies, sagging pants and visible tattooes, labels you a violent criminal and perhaps you use. In the era of colorblindness, it is no longer socially permissible to use race to justify discrimination and social contempt, but the truth is no matter the policy we know the intent.
What happened to being proud black people and saying that aloud? What happened to the “movement music” that made us think of ourselves in a positive way? What happened to celebrations for the holiday that brought the community together in a productive way? The racket that fills our ears today, leave us ill-prepared for life ahead, and subjects us to a cruel existence that renders us culturally challenged instead. But we don’t have to let black culture go, we don’t have to be ashamed of the truths that we know.
And as the intellectual and entrepreneurial paradigms continue to unfold, soldiers like Soledad O’Brien are pushing forward the agenda for a multiplicity of races, encouraging diversity in industry and so many other places. In Silcon Valley she addresses the issues that so many ignore and dismiss, the fact that African American-led tech companies barely exist. Funding for black entrepreneurs in the “New Promised Land” is a concept lenders resist. And the reality is that in addressing this issue, we are remiss.
Redlining has been outlawed in the past, but it continues in commerce and industry and media broadcast. They deny us access to opportunities that could give us mainstream expression for portrayals that are good. Advertisers historically lock black people out, they even set aside large sums of money to purchase news media outlets and delight in their foolishness, like professional, racist clowns. We are obligated to denounce companies and policies that perpetuate political and social negativity.
The impending billion-dollar spin that Obama re-election supporters will spend for the outcome they want, calls for an immediate advertising and media detente. The elections are dominated by big money, which is openly used to shape or smear, a candidate’s life and his or her career. An opportunity to speak to the participation or the lack of participation of agencies and corporations in the diversity dialogue, compels us to explore ways to educate the community at large, regarding the economic injustices in the area of creative services and its impact on youth.
So Trayvon Martin, Soledad O’Brien and Barack Obama, it all comes down to images of what’s right and who’s good.
And on this week’s cover of rolling out, we respond as we should, with the beautiful young spirit known as Meagan Good.