I just read a great post titled February Is For White Folks Too. This made me think about how open is Open Salon to that idea. So I looked at the home page to see if the editors found some literary gems written by Black people for this month. And I have to say it is overwhelmingly white with regards to what they had determined was great writing.
Now I don't want people to just put Black writers up because they are Black. Nor do I want to see a month dedicated to Black posts. But, I would like to feel that for this month they could stretch themselves a little and put up posts that might make one think about any given issue from another perspective.
Because I suspect that much of what is considered good has to fall in line with what is considered right. If one looks at political discourse in this country it really is driven by those who either write about it, or those who talk about it, or both. Even the leaders are driven by what this class has to say. Examining them further you find very little diversity of ideas among those on either side. On the Right there is a lack of compassion, what appears to be a love affair with ignorance, and the ability to take a fact and flip it on its head.
If you examine the Left you find that the big tent is for everybody as long as they are marching behind the same drum major. Like myself, you could have worked with illegal immigrants and seen first hand how Americans are disappeared from a labor sector, but you must never ever speak of it. If you do speak of it, you must sound like a Buddist chant repeating the universal Ohm, which represents harmony. You must on one hand embrace the xenophobia of couching the entire conversation around Hispanics, then condemn anyone else who notices that the majority of illegal immigrants are Hispanic.
You must with a straight face be able to say, "Whose gonna pick the lettuce!!!" then say to anyone who says, "We can" "Who wants to do stoop labor?" And make it seem like that is an egalitarian approach, a way to justify what can only be seen as a racist point of view.
When we speak of "comprehensive reform" in our immigration laws, the entire conversation is only about one ethnic group, how is that comprehensive?
You can't examine the history of immigration in this country, even though there are plenty of books that address how immigration and whiteness are linked. Which brings me back to that post I was reading, Mimetalker was saying that this month is a good opportunity for white people to explore the history of blacks in America. I'm assuming the writer is a she, and she lovingly spoke of her son-in-law who is a black spoken word artist, who works all month educating people about that history.
Much of that history involves immigration and how it has had negative effects on black Americans. We have black groups like NAACP talking about the Dream Act to ensure that "children" up to the age of 35 who were brought here illegally are able to receive an education. I used to raise funds for this group, and I wonder if those 60 and 70 year old lifetime members are aware of how their membership dollars are being spent. I wonder if they even know that this group now states their mission is to help all people of color, not a bad mission I'll grant you. But when you have a black college admission rate of 41% and you think you're giving to a black organization this is not the issue you want to learn they are fighting for.
But where or where are you going to hear this when there is no adversarial black presence on the Left? There are black people who conflate what the Left is doing with the black condition, but they don't in any way challenge what their white counterparts have to say. They march behind that same drum major with glee, they address all kinds of social issues and they slip the word black in dutifully. What they don't do is talk about how blacks are negatively impacted by Left wing ideas, because they want to get paid. And they are well aware that in this new paradigm if they speak truth to power their work will be overlooked or ignored altogether. The real lesson of Black History Month is know your place.