|Journal: On Writing...|
-------------------------------------------Mood: Straightening things out...
jesse jackson's job
I wrote it a few nights ago, after having a conversation with my father. It’s one of those thoughts that just hits you and barely needs adjusting. I think it’s one of the few worthy ideas I’ve ever had and was able to present in such away that it made sense.
My father is actually the “papa” in the poem (in spanish it means “potato” and I find that funny) but he is really the universal black person. Middle-class, tired, balding…he knows he can’t change the system so he fills his children up with his spirit instead, in hopes that we can progress further than he will in his lifetime. We like to have discussions about politics, and I find that I think more and more like him everyday. Our last discussion was about the voting rights’ act. I felt confused about why the act wasn’t a law, why we wasted our time renewing it every some odd year, and why as a black people we weren’t infuriated that this was just another suppressive means by our country to keep us chained to our “massrs.” Then my father asked me, I think it one of his more brilliant moments, “What is Jesse Jackson’s job?”
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, really. I know that we can get caught up in the title of ACTIVIST, but activism I always believed was self-sufficient, practicing what you preached. Jesse Jackson, in my mind, was like my father, a middle-class, tired, balding black man trying hard as hell to keep the “American” on the end of African. He just had more means that’s all. But I kept wondering what ever gave me that impression? How did I come to this conclusion?
My father told me, “Nothing against Jesse Jackson. But the man has no job.”
Sure, he’s the president of his self-founded, non-profit organization, but the money that is putting him on his soapbox, waiting on him in fancy hotels, flying him out to conferences isn’t from that or even from his own back. People pay him to speak. And all the others you see “standing up” for our rights. With an amendment to the Constitution, permanently condemning disenfranchisement among all races in this country, Jesse Jackson would really have no job. Thousands of my people would be milling around with their picket signs thinking, “What now?”
“As much as it is in the interest of a white government to keep us under their thumbs with the Act,” he looks me straight in the eye, “so it is the interest of black people to stay there. It’s all about this…” and he rubs his fingers together, like he showing off crisp hundred dollar bills. “That’s all it is.”
It made me sad to hear that, but I feel it’s really true. Centuries of racial inequality waded through just to end up where we started, our futures resting in the hands of money, the new “massr.”
...Created 2005-11-24 17:48:40 [ View Past Journals ] [ View as Blog ]