Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Obama Initiative & Black Fatherhood: yeah, it's about Values. De-valuation, that is

Check my comments on the Alyona Show on Russian TV and come back. Note her pressing me for the facile answer. Note my responses, and even the hint about the departure from Bush/Cheney era philosophy...or even what underlay the current Obama Initiative launched Monday, my reference to "Fences," or fellow Princetonian Rev. Joshua DuBois's pronouncements from the White House Office of Faith Based Programs...

...and here's your answer. It is about values. Not poor ones, ghetto ones, non-white middle class ones (though class enters into it). It's about being de-valued. That is (and watch my fingers in the segment) the intersection of structural oppression (racism, economics, education) and behavior that begets culture. When you are devalued--real or perceived--often the only way you can present yourself as worthy is by having a lot of women...girls, often. Getting them pregnant. bathing yourself in the silly, cartoonish superficiality of quasi-wealth (rims to skids to a 72 inch flatscreen with PS3 in a 500 sq. foot dingy apartment). Or getting pregnant if you're female. And if youYou aren't Michelle Obama--or even Elizabeth Hasselbeck on the View or the girl going to UVA on a field hockey scholarship--how you fill out jeans and blouse or how loud you can be even at age 12, might be all you got to show the world you matter.

Guess what? That's universal, spanning races, ethnicities, world-wide. What would the Palin family be without shady background sponsors pushing them all the way from Wasilla? Answer? Just watch Jerry Springer or Maury. In communities or sub-society's Where there's a history of poverty, isolation from the mainstream, parochial thought/ignorance, lack of opportunity or mind expanding education (for girls and boys) you have this issue. It's just that we have more history and structural buffeting as the basis than most in America. We have a bigger percentage of those living on the fringe, in almost an underground society. So the effects are more acute.

You can't say that on TV. No time.


msladyDeborah said...

She was working real hard to try and make her point override reality. The video clip that was shown from the campagain is a no brainer. Anyone knows from taking a basic Public Speaking course that a good speaker makes the topic relate to the audience. I did not see White middle class America in the background. So her point is moot in my opinion regarding the topic.

There are many factors that go into this issue. I think you did an excellent job of raising them.

Shady_Grady said...

I don't think I could have been as polite and stayed on point as much as you did. She got on my nerves.

Vegetarian Cannibal said...

She was out for one thing so it didn't matter what you said because she had already made up her mind about the topic and the spin she was going to put on it. I can't believe she showed a clip from "Real World" was it? To prove her point! Ha!

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