By Miss Victoria Pannell
The one thing I have no patience for is racism. It is ugly and ignorant. If you dislike a person because of their character so be it. Race or a person’s sexual preference should never be a deciding factor in how you feel about someone. My mother has a lot of books and films based on the Civil Rights Era. When I read the books or watch the films, I’m filled with an angry that cannot be described. I believe george wallace and bull connor represented the worst of America, bigots in positions of power. We have a few george wallaces and bull connors up for various political offices this November, so vote to keep them out of office. The above names were deliberately not capitalized. Although they are dead, racists that believed in “segregation forever” and attacking people with dogs and water hoses will not be honored with capital letters.
Sometimes when I’m watching the news, reading the paper or surfing the Internet, I get so mad at the comments directed toward the President. So many comments have racial undertones and others are just blatantly racist. If you don’t like the President because of his policies or you feel he didn’t live up to your expectations that’s fine. Keep the comments politically based and not racially based. Twitter and facebook friends that don’t like the President, be honest with yourself. Does race at all play a part in your dislike of the President ? No one has to know your answer but you. If race does play a part, ask yourself why and take it from there.
When Hilary Clinton was running against Barack Obama in the primary, I told my mother I wanted Hilary to win because she was a female. She said running the United States was too important of a job to vote for someone based on gender or race. My mother voted for President Obama because she felt he was the better of the two candidates and not because of his color. Yet, she understood there were black people that were children and grandchildren of slaves who wanted to see and needed to see a black president before dying. I also understood the significance and importance for African Americans to finally see a black president.
I take pride in the fact that President Obama is in the White House because it shows that the majority of Americans put race aside and voted for the better of two candidates. I’m proud that he is a great father, terrific husband and a wonderful role model. I will be just as proud when Hilary Clinton become President 4 years from now because it will be a first for women. If McClain had won the presidency in 2008, mom and I would have been disappointed, but would have prayed for his safety and for God to bless his term. This is the prayer that we said for President Obama and will continue to say for each new president. A few days ago, I was watching a President Obama campaign video. What made me so happy was the diversity. It is such a feel good video. You will want to watch it over and over.
Take Us Forward (OBAMA 2012)
Published on Jun 26, 2012 by CrystalandLelund
Music and Lyrics By
Crystal Lucas-Perry for CrystalMadeProductions
Song Produced By
Jason Michael Webb for WorldWideWebb Creative Studios
Video Edited By
Crystal Lucas-Perry for CrystalMadeProductions
Executive Producer, Director of Photography, Video Director
Lelund Durond Thompson for YellaFella Entertainment
As a full time MFA student at New York University, I am unable to contribute financially to the campaign. However, as an artist, inspired by our Presidents vision, I created a song to help support his mission.
Lelund Thompson, Jason Michael Webb and I proudly present
TAKE US FORWARD (OBAMA 2012)
Last year my mother wrote a facebook note titled, When Hatred for the President is Stronger Than Love of Country.
Here is an excerpt from that posting.
“When Obama was elected President in November 2008, there was a feeling of love, peace, and rebirth. It was a patriotic portrait of pure beauty to see all colors, religions, nationalities, male, female, gay, straight, young and old hugging, laughing and crying tears of hope for our country. Never had I witnessed such an outpouring of love for each other. For a brief moment in time, the majority of Americans felt that indeed anything was possible, that times were going to get better, and the so called American Dream would be a reality for everyone. After the glitz and glamour of the inauguration, President Obama took a seat behind the gleaming desk in the Oval Office that up until that time had been occupied by only white males.
A sense of panic replaced the joy and promise of what tomorrow holds. Racism reared it’s ugly and revolting head like a devil rising from molten lava. Panic mode had set in like a world war. It took on the feeling of the 50s and 60s. No longer was it a dashing, handsome, polished, Ivy League educated, family man that wanted, “health care for every American like we have in Congress, change we can count on”. To Conservative whites it’s, “Heaven to Betsy, we have put a Negro in the White House”.
Quite a few whites were not ready for little black boys and girls to believe that they could do anything. They were not ready for black children to feel as if an Ivy League education was within reach. They were not ready for the look of pride and determination that had replaced the look of despair on the faces of Blacks, Asians, Latinos and immigrants. They started to feel threaten for themselves and their children’s future. Friendships ended or came close to ending.”
Thank you mom for allowing me to use this excerpt.
After the President went into the residence that was built on the backs of slaves, people became bold again and started to speak racial hatred. White people were not alone in saying really stupid racial remarks. There were so many Black people that had hateful comments toward the President. What was so upsetting is, so many that made nasty comments were seen as role models in the Black community. They are highly educated and have various platforms to spread their message of division. I believe a lot of it was jealousy from not being invited to the White House. If the President invited every black person that voted for him to the White House he would not have time to run the country.
Here is another except from my mother’s facebook note:
“Why do some highly profiled black males hate the President? They say it is because the President has not talked enough about the black agenda. What black agenda? The man is President of the whole United States of America. If he has an agenda it should be for all Americans. Yes, we know that black people suffer more socially and economically than any other race in America.
Policies should be put in place that will help all the socially and economically disenfranchised, not just one group. Ever wondered why Black people are so disconnected from the American Dream? One of the reasons why, is what Willie Lynch wrote and taught hundreds of years ago. Check out the book, Willie Lynch Letters. He said division among blacks would last for hundreds of years. The racist lowlife was dead on in his assessment.”
Thanks again mom.
In order for the United States to move forward we have to break the cycle of racial hatred. A few weeks ago, I was watching the coverage of the Aurora shooting on World News Tonight and felt so depressed. Then I saw a photo that gave me hope. It gave me hope that the people of Aurora would come together to get through this tragedy. It gave me hope that through this hate filled crime, love is what would be remembered. It gave me hope that one day racism would be a thing of the past. It was the picture of the young black man hugging an older white woman.
When I saw the photo, I told my mom this is what America should be. There was no black or white. They didn’t care about each others financial status. They didn’t care if one was a Republican or Democrat. It was just two people sharing sympathy and comforting each other. Together, as a community, they were getting to get through this senseless massacre.
That is where we as a country need to be. Let’s stop race from separating us from becoming friends, partners, business associates and good neighbors. I know some Black people are not going to like what I have to say but the truth is sometimes controversial. We have to stop complaining about racism if we as a people are doing the same thing. I am always looking at different organizations that have titles like Black this or Black that. Weren’t we, against our will, separated enough in the past? Now we are segregating ourselves. Are we being hypocritical when it comes to race?
Everyone knows that if Caucasian people came out with a group called White Women this or White Men that, the African American community would cry out racism. If white people put KKK as part of a business name there is going to be an outcry. We are constantly separating ourselves, but are fast to yell racism if another group make their race a part of it’s organization title or name. Isn’t that a kick in the head? Because we are left out so much when it comes to education, the performing arts, media, and jobs, we must create our own opportunities and businesses.
Trust me, I get that. If I created a business by the name of Black Martial Artists Unlimited, I’m doing to myself, the same thing that white people have been doing to us for hundreds of years. I’m racially separating myself. My future business, Martial Artists Unlimited, can still have the same business ethics without the race based name. The one thing that my martial arts instructor always tell me is, before commenting on other people make sure that I am doing the right thing and my stuff is in check. That is what some African Americans need to do. We need to reflect and make sure that we are not doing what we tell other people not to do. Now don’t get me wrong.
Celebrating your heritage and your culture is wonderful. If we want to announce our pride in being black than we have to accept the fact that white people can be proud of being white or Hispanics being Hispanic. Although I have pride in my African American heritage, I’m proud because of my character.
The question is, do we as African Americans set a double standard? When Gabby Douglas won in the Olympics it was a proud moment for all of America. It was especially rewarding for little African American gymnasts that now have Olympic dreams after watching Gabby’s performance.
I envy Gabrielle’s village, made up of a supportive mom, a white host family and an Asian coach. She put all the colors of the village together and came up Gold! You know what happened next, right? Black women attacked her hair! Are you kidding me? The 16 year old just made history and you are commenting on her hair! If a white female had been the first to comment on Gabrielle’s hair it would have been Hades to pay. That’s the Willie Lynch effect still working hundreds of years later.
Now let’s talk about music or what is passing for music these days.
If white rappers were calling us the B, H and N words, we would be marching everyday against the record companies. Outrage doesn’t even begin to describe what we would be feeling. Yet, we have made millionaires and celebrities out of rappers blatantly disrespecting us. Whether the word n#gg# comes from black lips or white lips, it’s wrong and we should have the same outrage from blacks as from whites. To be honest, I’m more upset when it comes from a black person because you would think they would know better.
There is no way you can know your history and still be that ignorant to call your people the word that was used as we were beaten, lynched, hosed and arrested. The record companies, that are mostly filled with white executives, would never allow their race to be disrespected through music. They throw out millions to some stupid rappers to keep us mentally enslaved and it has worked.
The derogatory and demeaning lyrics of rap have become embedded in the minds of our black youth, and we are feeling the effects through violence and stupidity. Again, where is the outrage?
We get upset when a white person kills a black person, but do we have the same outrage about black on black crime? If Zimmerman had been black, I would have still marched and protested. I would have had the same anger if a black man had killed a white boy and was standing by the body and not arrested. The real sad fact is we know that is never going to happen. We know blacks are not treated equally in the criminal justice system.
We know blacks kill whites and whites kill blacks. The difference is, I don’t believe I will ever see a case where a black man killed a white person, still be at the scene, and not be arrested and charged with a crime as in the case of Trayvon Martin. Whites were mad because race was brought into the case. It was racial. I hate the term, “race card.” That is the first thing Caucasians say when they don’t want to accept the fact that a situation is racially motivated. So and so is playing the “race card.” Racism is not a game. It is a negative action or feeling that we must work hard to overcome so we can live peacefully together.
Unfortunately, I have faced racism many times. I went to most Hispanic schools. I was a target of racial bullying almost every day. The Hispanics that came over to the mainland USA years ago didn’t have time to bully people. They were too busy finding work, providing for their families and trying to live the American dream. Too bad a lot of the kids from my school don’t share the vision of their forefathers. If they did, they wouldn’t have time to bully children in schools. They would be taking advantage of getting an education.
The most blatant racism has come from New York City cab drivers. Most are immigrants. Yet I, who was born in American, is subject to their racism. I have a huge problem with that. One day I had to go to NBC studios to do Saturday Night Live. My mom waved for a cab.
When the cab stopped, I opened the door. The driver, who was from somewhere in the Middle East, drove off with the door open, and ran over the tip of my foot to pick up a Caucasian lady a few feet away. My empowerment came from me going to 40 Rector St with my mother, and testifying in the Taxi Limousine Commission case that we brought against him. He was fined $600 and given 3 points on his hack license. When my mother was nine months pregnant with me, a cab passed her by and stopped a few feet in front for a couple of white males. The males then questioned the cab driver as to why he passed by my mother.
My mother said they berated the cab driver good fashion and took down his hack information to report him to TLC. I love that story. People doing what is right regardless of race. To NYC cab drivers I say, “Don’t bring your racism and hatred of blacks to America. We deal with that enough from people that were born here.”
To the cops, you are not suppose to act as if you were trained by bull connor. The call to eliminate stop and frisk might not had became an issue if cops had used the procedure the way it was meant, which is when you have a reasonable suspicion or stopped based on description.
It became a civil rights issue when cops, because of their own prejudice or stereotyping, wrongly stopped mostly black and Latino males based entirely on race. The only time race is ever suppose to be a factor is in description of a suspect. One huge argument against stop and frisk is it does not work. If anything is used wrong it will not work.
Grownups, you need to set good examples for the young people around you. Young people follow what you do and watch your every move. If you call people n#gg#s, the children around you will start to say it. If you say you hate a specific race, they are eventually going to start to hate that race also. If you call gay people derogatory names your children could become homophobic and call gay people derogatory names.
Don’t spread racism. Be an advocate for peace. Young people don’t be a victim to racial hatred. It does not matter if your family, friends or people around you are racist. Be different and embrace equality. Don’t be afraid to stand against what is wrong even if you stand alone. Education of the mind will be the biggest weapon against racism in all of facets.