Common was a rapper that I thought was one of the more sensible and socially conscience guys in the game. Different from the rest but we now know from his recent comments during an appearance on the Daily Show that this may not be the case. Frankly, his remarks left me and most of the black community “flabbergasted”. He had the bravado to say, with a smile, that African Americans need to “extend a hand of love” toward white folks in order to end racism.
This is the most asinine statement I think I have ever heard, and there have been a lot of these “chicken pickin’” so-called leaders and public figures to have said some dumb-$h!#! Let me begin by saying off the top, I don’t normally waste my time commenting on issues or things said by today’s entertainers because I know they are bought and paid for by the industry.
It is very clear the Oscar Award’s are for white people and regardless of how much we support movies; they turn their backs on black actors and actresses. It is clear that Hollywood is clearly a racially biased industry. The problem with the statement Common made, as I see it, even if he himself has been brainwashed to the point of believing this – has he seen the news lately. Maybe I’ll be more direct; is he even living on this planet?
Frankly, this is why his statement was ridiculous. Black folk have and do love white people more than they love themselves. They worship a white Jesus and gave their lives in every war. With that said, they have had the hand of love out to white people since being brought to America’s shores, and that’s been about four-hundred years – see how that worked out right!
Let me be clear, I applaud anyone who accomplishes something, and I am glad Common received one of the gold tokens. I also think it’s odd that almost immediately after receiving it, they sent him out on a mission. There was a time when any highly regarded actor could say anything, and black folk followed, you know stepped-n- fetched with them. This new creation for today’s sell-outs they call the “new black” is a shameful because at the end of the day – they are still black. All that term means is when given some measure of success is granted and if they want to keep what Massa gave them; they have to do as they are told – when they are told to do it. Just like almost every male black comedian has to wear a dress to remain relevant.
On the other hand, last summer a string of high-profile cases involving police killing innocent black citizens. The hit song “Happy” filled the airwaves; I suppose to promote a “new” mindset for black people to adopt an attitude of good ol’ positive thinking. This is what Pharrell said, “The New Black dreams and realizes that it’s not pigmentation: it’s a mentality, and it’s either going to work for you or its going to work against you.”
Stereo Williams said it best, Common’s “words were laughably empty and insulting to the current climate, the history of black ambition in the face of tremendous cultural oppression, and the reality of institutional racism; but they also represented a vocal cadre of black celebritydom that is calling for the black community to basically “get over it.” With the racial conversation in the national spotlight, stars like Williams, Kanye West, and others aren’t addressing racism in as much as they are deflecting the conversation.”
“We all know there’s been some bad history in our country. We know that racism exists,” the star conceded, before adding, “I’m…extending a hand. And I think a lot of generations and different cultures are saying ‘Hey, we want to get past this. We’ve been bullied, and we’ve been beat-down, but we don’t want it anymore. We’re not extending a fist and saying, ‘Hey, you did us wrong.’ It’s more like ‘Hey, I’m extending my hand in love. Let’s forget about the past as much as we can, and let’s move from where we are now… Me as a black man, I’m not sitting there like, ‘White people—y’all did us wrong,’” Common continued. “I mean we know that that existed. I don’t even have to keep bringing that up.” He went on to say “Let’s get past this”! Common
Hold up – wait a minute, Common was not the only one this week, actress Raven-Symone found herself in the midst of another controversy after she defended the racist remarks Univision host Rodner Figueroa made about Michelle Obama. “I don’t want to be labeled gay, I want to be labeled a human who loves humans,” Symone told Oprah last fall. “I’m tired of being labeled. I’m an American. I’m not an African American. I’m an American.
“It centers the comfort of white people, absolving white supremacy and indicting black rage as “the problem.” Celebrities like West, Common and Raven-Symone are but ambassadors of the growing New Black culture that Pharrell became the unwitting poster child for in his now-infamous Oprah interview. “Upward mobility,” sayeth the New Black, “that is the promise of America and because I have achieved – you can, too.” They conveniently romanticize their climb to wherever they are in their lives and careers, telling themselves that they got there via personal drive and ambition that is unique to them.” Stereo Williams.
I would like to offer some sage advice from that which I have witnessed. The New Black you proclaim is nothing more than that old black pathology. Black folk have always achieved greatness in a country that doesn’t see value in blackness beyond a commodity. I can list many greats who rose to the top of their game maintained dignity in a land that has consistently dehumanized and stigmatized them and not one survived unscathed. Jessie Owens, Joe Lewis, Sammy Davis, and even the good Dr. King himself.
Maybe because of his part in Selma Common thought he was channeling Dr. King. I can’t say, but we know from history the kind of love he got in the end by holding hands and singing “We shall overcome”. When you think about it, there isn’t much “new” about New Black thing at all. White supremacy often insists that black people prove themselves exceptional just to share a table with white mediocrity. It is not for black people to extend a hand; it is for the privileged and the powerful to remove their boot from the community’s collective neck. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…