By Jueseppi B.
Post-racial America is a theoretical environment where the United States is devoid of racial preference, discrimination, and prejudice. Some Americans believed that the election of Barack Obama as President and wider acceptance of interracial marriage signified that the nation had entered this state, while others believe that groups such as the Tea Party movement prove it has not. In January 2010 the Pew Research Center conducted a poll in conjunction with National Public Radio that indicated that 39% of persons of African-American descent felt they were in a better position than they had been five years ago, an increase of 19% from the previous poll taken in 2008. Actor and director Mario Van Peebles made a television documentary titled Fair Game that challenged the idea that the United States had become a post-racial society.
Documentary “Fair Game”
Whats disgusting to me, as a Black Man, is I could only fine this 1 minute 6 second You Tube clip on this documentary by Mario Van Peebles…..in This Post Racial AmeriKKKa.
WARNING: If Truth Offends You, Move On…Goodbye.
No such thing as a “Post Racial America” exist. The word “Post” is defined as “after.”
The term Post Racial America is defined as…..Post-racial America is a theoretical environment where the United States is devoid of racial preference, discrimination, and prejudice. Some Americans believed that the election of Barack Obama as President and wider acceptance of interracial marriage signified that the nation had entered this state, while others believe that groups such as the Tea Party movement prove it has not.
In January 2010 the Pew Research Center conducted a poll in conjunction with National Public Radio that indicated that 39% of persons of African-American descent felt they were in a better position than they had been five years ago, an increase of 19% from the previous poll taken in 2008. Actor and director Mario Van Peebles made a television documentary titled Fair Game that challenged the idea that the United States had become a post-racial society.
January 29, 2010
Mario Van Peebles discusses the idea behind his new documentary “Fair Game?” and comments on personal versus social responsibility.
After Wednesday night’s State of the Union, there was renewed talk of being in a post-racial America. A new documentary, Fair Game, airs Sunday on TVOne and it questions that very thesis. Host Michel Martin speaks with Mario Van Peebles, the director of the documentary.
MICHEL MARTIN, Host:
I’m Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.
TLC: the 250th episode of the TLC hit “What Not to Wear.” That’s in just a few minutes.
But first, as we’ve discussed, President Obama gave his first formal State of the Union address this week. And while most people knew Obama’s first year in office would not be an easy one, many Americans still hope his presidency would usher in a post-racial era. Now, public opinion poll still show that Americans, in general, and African-Americans in particular see his presidency as a sign of the door of opportunity has opened.
But some believe it has opened all the way, to the point where they have lost patience with African-Americans who are not achieving.
(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, “FAIR GAME“))
Unidentified Woman: I’m not racist. I’m just tired to hear the black people complain. Obama’s election proves it. It’s a fair game.
MARTIN: That’s the opening of a new documentary called “Fair Game” from filmmaker Mario Van Peebles. And it asks: is it really a fair game for black men in America? The film features provocative interviews with a diverse array of black male scholars, celebrities and other public figures giving their perspective on that question. And it premieres Sunday night on the TV One cable network, and filmmaker Mario Van Peebles is with us now from NPR West. Welcome.
MARIO VAN PEEBLES: Thanks for having me on.
MARTIN: I should say welcome back because we last heard from you about your last TV One project called “Mario’s Green House,” which was about your efforts to go green with your very cute family. It had a serious subject, which is just how hard it can be and how much thought goes into going green. But it had a very lighthearted air. This is a very different project and I wanted to ask what drew you to this.
VAN PEEBLES: Well, I guess, you know, it’s interesting. I kind of grew up with that sort of cool ’60s “I’m with the band” mom who is always on the, you know, sort of, had an eco-consciousness. And then with my, you know, politically active – the risk of sounding Sarah Palin-ish – mavericky dad, who was always involved, you know, in what was happening with the Panthers and who, you know, did the first black power film in the ’70s, “Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song” actually. And so, I guess it’s sort of both sides in my family.
And really what’s interesting, all these things actually interconnect. If you sort of treat the environment in sort of this mechanical, industrial way that there’s a disconnect between man and the environment, it’s very easy to treat people that way.
MARTIN: The film spotlights a number of dire but familiar statistics about African-American men, the disproportionate incarceration rate, the achievement gap both racially and between black men and women. It isn’t as though we have not heard these things before. What do you think you have added in this film that is new to the conversation?
VAN PEEBLES: Well, I think what is new to some degree is the time. You know, we have an African-American family in the White House. It’s got a lot of folks thinking about identity and what’s going on, and are we really post-racial, is it now a fair game? And in, you know, one of the things we examined was tests where they sent out applicants for jobs. And we found that the white guy with the exact same credentials as the black guy – except for the white guy had a prison record and the black guy did not – the white guy got more job interviews with that prison record.
MARTIN: The film puts a lot of emphasis into talking about the high incarceration rate and what effect it has on the African-American men in particular…
VAN PEEBLES: Right.
MARTIN: But I want to play a short clip from somebody named Glenn Martin. He’s an ex-offender who is now the vice president of the Fortune Society, that’s an organization that advocates for greater opportunities for former offenders. This is something that I must say was new to me…
VAN PEEBLES: Mm-hmm.
MARTIN: …having spent a lot of time reporting on these areas. He talks about the whole, the impact of having to pay huge arrearages for child support for men who’ve been incarcerated…
VAN PEEBLES: Right.
MARTIN: …who clearly, while they were incarcerated, were unable to earn income, and here is what he had to say.
GLENN MARTIN: When you’re in prison that don’t stop. You still pay child support. You can’t afford to pay it, so what? It builds up. Now, you walk out, you owe like 50 G’s in child support arrears. And you don’t usually owe it to your baby’s mother, you owe it to the state. And the state is not willing to forgive that. They’re like: you owe every penny of that 50 grand. So some cat gets a job, he goes to work. Two weeks later, child support kicks in. He’s like, man, I’m not doing this, 60 percent of my paycheck going towards child support and she is not even getting the money, my baby not even getting the money.
And then some cats say, you know what, she did that. She put me in that situation. I’m not even dealing with her. So, that just totally removes the person from even thinking about getting the family back together and doing the right thing and seeing if he could work it out.
MARTIN: The reason I’m highlighting this is he’s not the only person to say that there are just sort of systems that are in place that keep people in a hole. And once they’re in that hole, it’s very hard to get out of it.
MARTIN: You’re making excuses and the trick here is not to get in that hole to begin with. What do you say to that?
VAN PEEBLES: Correct. Okay, so this is a very good point. And this is the danger with, you know, when you get folks like myself who can make a living directing and that’s great. But I got here because I’m educated, that’s the truth. And I had a dad who, you know, saw to it that I was. What happens is it creates a dynamic where people don’t look at social responsibility. They only look at personal responsibility.
Yes, as an individual, it’s, you’ve got to get up there and do your best and get out there. But I’ll tell you what. My kids are going right now to a private school. They were at a public school for a minute.
There is a public school, you know, not too far from us that if you go to that public school, your diploma is worth next to nothing. So you could be the best kid at that school and you would not be prepared, when you got out, to go to any college. There is definitely places in America where if you’re born into that environment, your chances of getting out are really, really limited.
MARTIN: The film makes an interesting – has an interesting conversation with itself about the role of black celebrities in framing the larger national conversation about African-Americans in general. But I want to play an interesting clip from Chris Rock…
VAN PEEBLES: Okay.
MARTIN: …that’s kind of a response to the idea or a challenge to the idea that black celebrity in and of itself is just positive. Here it is.
(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, “FAIR GAME”))
CHRIS ROCK: Exceptional black people have always kind of been rewarded. Martin Luther King’s dream coming true is for mediocre black people to live and succeed in this world the same way that mediocre white people do.
MARTIN: You know, it sounds funny, but he’s very serious. He’s very clear about what he is saying. What do you think about that? Do you think that’s true?
VAN PEEBLES: I absolutely do. I think that there will always be – DuBois, I think, referred to it as the talented tenth. The people that will, you know, will get there. But the thing is the bigger group of us, how do they get across the line and what’s the shape of it to come?
MARTIN: What do you think you learned from this? I mean, you’ve thought about a lot of these issues for a long time. Like President Obama, you have – if you don’t mind my using this expression – feet in many worlds. You are biracial, like the president, and you’ve lived all over the place. You’ve traveled quite a bit. Did you learn anything from reporting this film that you had not thought about before or known before?
VAN PEEBLES: Yeah. Well, I learned a lot. What I didn’t know when I started it was how much mentorship meant. No matter what color you are, if you mentor some little boy or girl, you make a huge difference in their lives because they then model behavior that leads to success versus modeling behavior that doesn’t. And I think we have an opportunity and that’s why “Fair Game” is a bit also of a call to action. If, you know, if you’ve got money, you can give it, you can donate.
But if you’ve got time, and that’s the biggest thing, you know, mentor someone. Mentor someone that doesn’t just look like you. Let them learn about you and understand you and connect. And I think that’s one of the biggest things I learned.
MARTIN: Mario Van Peebles is one of the producers and the host of the new documentary “Fair Game.” It premieres this Sunday on TV One. It explores the lives and challenges of African-American men in the Obama era. And he was kind enough to join us from NPR West. Thank you so much for speaking with us.
VAN PEEBLES: Thank you for having me on.
Thank you NPR.
Allow me to break it down for you who don’t know….there is no such thing as a “Post Racial America.” There is a “Post Racial AmeriKKKa”…and THAT AmeriKKKa has become a land of genocide for Black males.
Stand Your Ground Laws in 31 states have made it open season on Black males, replacing the tree & rope of southern lynchings with a firearm sanctioned by The NRA, A.L.E.C., The Koch Brothers and racist, scared, gun nuts who stand behind an antiquated 2nd amendment.
Trayvon Martin. Jordan Davis. Melissa Alexander. Remember the names, then research the thousands of other names you never hear about on local & national media networks, of Black skinned Americans killed under this Stand Your Ground Law.
You don’t need a rope or a tree to lynch a Black American in 2013. You only need to procure a gun at a gun trade show, or any gun shop across AmeriKKKa, then feel threatened by someone of color. Aim, pull the trigger. Then scream Self Defense.
There are two America’s. One is The United States Of America, which has humans who love and respect human life and stand for equality for ALL Americans. Then there is The United States Of AmeriKKKa, now THAT AmeriKKKa has sub humans who want equality ONLY for those who look, think and conduct themselves as caucasian, wealthy, greedy, evil caucasian males.
There are a few house niggers allowed to participate in that AmeriKKKa, just as in slavery times, the caucasian slavers employed house niggers as slavers to lure unsuspecting Africans into the nets of the caucasian slavers. House niggers are always useful to capture more Black Americans in slave nets….which in 2013, is the TeaTardedRepubliCANT Party.
There are also a few gullible women who forsake their own best interest of freedom for ALL women, the choice to decide their path on women’s issues such as birth control, contraception and equal pay, just to follow their caucasian menfolk. There are a lot of poor caucasian AmeriKKKans who vote against their own best interests on every level, to avoid voting for and supporting “That Negro President.”
That’s what separates the two America/AmeriKKKa’s and it has divided this once great nation in half.
Post Racial my Black Ass.
This look Post Racial to you? Welcome to a “Post Racial AmeriKKKa.”
The Destruction of the Black Family -Part 3: Colorism
The children of white fathers and slave mothers were mixed-race slaves, whose appearance was generally classified as mulatto (this term originally meant a person with white and black… parents, but then encompassed any mixed-race person). By the turn of the 19th century many mixed-race families in Virginia dated to colonial times; white women (generally indentured servants) had unions with slave and free African-descended men. Because of the mother’s status, those children were born free and often married other free people of color.
Given the generations of interaction, an increasing number of slaves in the United States during the 19th century were of mixed race. In the United States, children of mulatto and black slaves were also generally classified as mulatto. With each generation, the number of mixed-race slaves increased. The 1850 census identified 245,000 slaves as mulatto; by 1860, there were 411,000 slaves classified as mulatto out of a total slave population of 3,900,000. As noted above, some mixed-race people won freedom from slavery or were born as free blacks.
If free (depending on state law), some mulattoes were legally classified as white because they had more than one-half to seven-eighths white ancestry. Questions of social status were often settled in court, but a person’s acceptance by neighbors, satisfaction of citizen obligations and other aspects of social status were more important than lineage in determining “whiteness”.
Notable examples of mostly-white children born into slavery were the “natural” children of Thomas Jefferson by his mixed-race slave Sally Hemings, who was three-quarters white by ancestry. Since 2000 historians have widely accepted Jefferson’s paternity; the change in scholarship has been reflected in exhibits at Monticello and in recent books about Jefferson and his era. Some historians, however, continue to disagree with this conclusion.
Speculation exists on the reasons George Washington freed his slaves in his will. One theory posits that the slaves included two half-sisters of his wife, Martha Custis. Those mixed-race slaves were born to slave women owned by Martha’s father, and were regarded within the family as having been sired by him. Washington became the owner of Martha Custis’ slaves (under Virginia law) when he married her, and faced the ethical conundrum of owning his wife’s sisters.
As in Thomas Jefferson’s household, the use of lighter-skinned slaves as household servants was not simply a choice related to skin color. Sometimes planters used mixed-race slaves as house servants (or favored artisans) because they were their children, or otherwise relatives. Six of Jefferson’s later household slaves were the grown children of his father-in-law John Wayles and his slave mistress Betty Hemings. Half-siblings of Jefferson’s wife Martha, they were inherited by her (with Betty Hemings and other slaves) a year after her marriage to Jefferson following the death of her father. At that time, some of the Hemings-Wayles children were very young; Sally Hemings was an infant. They were trained as domestic and skilled servants, and headed the slave hierarchy at Monticello.
Since 2000, historians have widely accepted that the widowed Jefferson had a nearly four-decade relationship with Sally Hemings, the youngest daughter of Wayles and Betty. It was believed to have begun when he was US minister in Paris, and she was part of his household. Sally was nearly 25 years younger than his late wife; Jefferson had six children of record with her, four of whom survived. Jefferson had his three mixed-race sons by Hemings trained as carpenters (a skilled occupation) so they could earn a living after he freed them when they came of age. Three of his four children by Hemings (including his daughter Harriet, the only slave woman he freed) “passed” into white society as adults because of their appearance. Some historians disagree with these conclusions about Jefferson’s paternity; see Jefferson-Hemings controversy.
Planters with mixed-race children sometimes arranged for their education (occasionally in northern schools) or apprenticeship in skilled trades and crafts. Others settled property on them, or otherwise passed on social capital by freeing the children and their mothers. While fewer in number than in the Upper South, free blacks in the Deep South were often mixed-race children of wealthy planters and sometimes benefited from transfers of property and social capital.
Wilberforce University, founded by Methodist and African Methodist Episcopal (AME) representatives in Ohio in 1856 for the education of African-American youth, was during its early history largely supported by wealthy southern planters who paid for the education of their mixed-race children. When the American Civil War broke out, the majority of the school’s 200 students were of mixed race and from such wealthy Southern families. The college closed for several years before the AME Church bought and operated it.
In many households, the treatment of slaves depended on the slave’s skin color. Darker-skinned slaves worked in the fields, while lighter-skinned house servants (sometimes the children of the master or his son) had better clothing, food and housing.
Where did the separation between skin tones come from?
Willie Lynch delivered a speech at the Virginia colony on the Bank of James River in 1712. Lynch was a British slave owner in the West Indies invited to teach others his ways of controlling slave.
The Making of a Slave
Color differentiation was one of his methods.
In his exact words, “You must use the dark skin slaves vs. the light skin slaves, and the light skin slaves vs. the dark skin slaves.”
He emphasized pitting dark against light
During the years of slavery in America this dark vs. light method was implemented.
•Dark-skinned slaves were made to do field work outside.
•Light-skinned slaves were allowed to take care of the daily house duties inside.
This approach turned the slaves against each other splitting them into two groups, light and dark-skinned.
Distrust is stronger than trust and envy stronger than adulation, respect, or admiration
– Willie Lynch.
Black History Month 2014