Is it possible that people are so addicted to skin color that they refuse to acknowledge the most obvious indications that something is wrong? The answer, of course, is “yes, many are.”
A person of color recently ridiculed me because he felt I had lumped him and his family in the category of “having something given to them based on color.” (I apologize for not being able to find his name and his comment which are somewhere on my Facebook page.)
He was genuinely offended that mine was a broad statement and, as such, included him in that category. The thing that he didn’t do, however, was condemn the category. He just took exception with my placing him in it.
The other thing that he overlooked is that support of race-based affirmative action results in him, his family, and nearly every other person of color in the category “being there” because of their skin color juxtaposed with “being there” based on skill — unless you’re talking about athletes.
Based on theory
Race- and gender-based affirmative action are not based on meritocracy or deservedness.
They are based on the theory that populating a landscape with prescribed numbers of certain skin colors and genders makes the landscape “more” complete because all groups are represented.
That mentality is wrong on any quantifiable level. And suffice it to say that placing people into positions in which they are not qualified to succeed is an alchemy for failure.
There is no pride in being given a seat in a school where a student doesn’t have the academic ability or preparedness to succeed.
There is only the shame of dropping out or the shame of knowing you cannot compete academically with your classmates.
I found it interesting that the gentleman was upset because he viewed my comments as lumping him into the category of getting something he hadn’t worked for, which is precisely the problem with race-based affirmative action.
No matter how the proverbial cake is sliced, the person understands that he or she didn’t earn his/her way in.
And if, as the gentleman alleges, he has what he has because he worked for it, he is justified in feeling aggrieved at being lumped into the common category.
However, it is inconceivable to me why he still embraces the very thing that he openly admits unfairly brands him.
He, like so many others, is offended by the association but refuses to cast off the yoke that pins him there.
Thursday of last week, I commented on my Facebook page about the contrast between the Country Music Awards and awards shows for rap and hip-hop.
Apparently, Deborah Cotton was upset that I dare to point out the differences.
She wrote: “Exactly WHO is it that you speak for when you make all of these ‘pointed’ remarks?????? You DO NOT speak for me … you flatter yourself with the amen’s from white Americans and that makes you feel good about yourself … .You, Cornel West, Tavis Smiley, and Don Lemon must be related!”
Apparently she was offended because I pointed out that, at the Country Music Awards, “There were no gang fights, no East Coast gonna’ kill West Coast, no gratuitous vulgarity, no women in g-strings, and no men walking around with gold chains hanging from their necks with their pants hanging off their (butts).”
She was upset because I pointed out that there were no shootings and no threats of violence at the Country Music Awards.
She apparently was insulted because I said, “Rappers and hip-hoppers should take a lesson in propriety and citizenship from country western performers.”
Or was it that I said when the music identified with persons of color was that of “Earl ‘Father’ Hines, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, Louie Armstrong, The Supremes, The Temptations, etc., there were no East Coast — West Coast wars.”
And there certainly were not the levels of drugs, guns, and violence in predominantly black enclaves that exist today.
The point should be obvious.
If a person of color is offended by my comments pursuant to affirmative action, logic would indicate he/she understands the stigma attached to same. So why support it?
As for Deborah Cotton, what can be said?
After all, how dare I speak out against that which portrays rage, misogyny, self-contempt, drugs, alcohol, rape, killing and unbridled venality as culturally acceptable?
Race-based affirmative action hasn’t helped people — it has rewarded underachievement — as the referenced gentleman, by his own admission, agreed.
The elements that hip-hop and rap extol are among the most demeaning and insulting, especially to women. And yet, Cotton attempts to insult me for saying it.
It is the mindset of people like those I referenced that encourages persons of color to reject modernity.
Said mindset is also one of the primary factors that convinces blacks that, regardless of how wrong and/or reprobate the person or his behavior is, if he is dark enough, he must be still supported.
Mychal S. Massie is the former National Chairman of the conservative black think tank, Project 21-The National Leadership Network of Black Conservatives; and a member of its parent think tank, the National Center for Public Policy Research. You can find more at mychal-massie.com.