Monday, February 15, 2010

Conservativism, Whiteness, Exploitation and More Ways to Help Haiti

I got two different thoughts and at the moment, neither is so long as to elicit its own post. But, share your thoughts and we'll see what happens.

I came across this:

THAT liberty is indivisible, and that political freedom cannot long exist without economic freedom;

Now I suppose by "economic freedom" they mean low taxes and little regulation. But it's those very policies that have gotten us to where we are now.

The funny thing is that it's absolutely true that political freedom doesn't matter much without economic freedom, and that's something else we see now. No, not that ACORN stole the elections, which is an accussation that's more embarrassing for the accuser than the accused. But that Americans are so busy trying to string together some semblance of "economic freedom" that they can't pay much more attention to politics than the bumper sticker slogans that lead them to believe healthcare reform will lead to government panels killing grandma.

Then again, they did find time to protest being over-taxed hardly four months into a new administration taking office and subsequently cutting taxes for 95% of Americans. "Boutique" tax-cuts. They could choose not to listen to the idiot channel known as Fox News. But even the "liberal" media isn't doing that great of a job. They just repeat the charge of "boutique tax-cuts" without driving home that 95% of Americans received tax cuts. Though, a more knowledgeable electorate would demand better.

Or . . . maybe not.

Which brings me to my next point: cultural theft.

I haven't made any peace with the fact that "proper" English is always borrowing from black English while still badmouthing black English. I just don't mention it much. Perhaps I should.

But what's pissing me off is the mainstreaming of the African American traditions of stepping (which deserves something of a post in its own right) and the banging marching band. Don't get me wrong, I know intellectually, it's not a bad thing and different cultures borrow from each other all the time. What I'm not feeling in this instance is that our musical traditions are being mainstreamed while we as a people remain marginalized. (If you want "proof" of that, ask and maybe I'll post specifically on that. But don't come copping attitude. I'm not in the mood for it.) Shakira is Columbian, but with blonde hair, she sure looks white. That band playing "Let's Groove Tonight" in the Ritz commercial sure looks white. I'm tired of white America stealing our stylo and not only are we not given due credit, we're not even given a bump in social status. Not long ago, area band teachers called that kind of percussion heavy marching and music "junk" and the "big-city" high school band that played the music "trash." That's some change in all of a few years, right? So, I guess that means urban black youths are encouraged to continue beating out rhythms on their desks and lockers between classes? Of course, when I was in high school all of a decade ago, that was frowned upon.

You know what? I'm not being clear. Here's the thing: there's a term for stealing people's creative property while continuing to treat them as though they're too stupid/lazy/criminal to have created the art you're stealing - cultural exploitation. It's not unlike what I saw in the opening ceremonies of the 2010 winter Olympics in Vancouver. I mean, if they really respected the aboriginal Amerindians, they'd give them back their land. Or pay for it. Or something. Some glorified minstrelsy for the purpose of making Canada look good is bull.

I mean, are more people attending HBCU football games or giving more to HBCU scholarships and endowments? I haven't checked. For some reason I doubt it, but . . . Yeah, I'm just gonna doubt. Cause I went to a good number of football games in college, and I don't recall the percussion session just doing their thing out on the quad before the game until after DRUMLINE came out. Black folks aren't given credit for being bright enough to develop music. But here we are. It's the mainstreaming of hip-hop all over again.

Man. It must be good to be white. You get to vote and protest against your own interests, ruin the global economy, "discover" other people's cultural art forms, and you're still treated like your shit don't stank. You get to roll into other countries, take 33 kids without proper documentation, then complain that the US government isn't doing enough to help you. Meanwhile, their international idiocy and blasphemy had led to the deaths of several children. "Damn. It must feel good to be a gangsta." Let me tell you something. Not only do you stank, you smell like fish, too.

If you really wanna help Haitian orphans, click here to go to UNICEF's USA donation page or here for Save the Children: Haiti Earthquake Children in Emergency Fund and make a donation. Click here if you're looking for ways to volunteer with UNICEF or ways to volunteer with Save the Children.

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But Don't Jack My Genuis