July 24, 2008

Answering a few questions...

There's two posts I wanted to make today, and this is the first. I wrote my last entry (the black in amurrr'ca) in a bit of a passionate fury so I kinda thought about it more, and I figured I'd answer a couple of my own questions. This is a little symbolic because I feel that the questions you ask are ultimately best answered and can only be answered by...yourself.

So first, I wrote this last night:

But really, so far they haven't skimmed on anything new and it's irritating/disheartening to me that this same shit gets repeated and repeated.

It's true, I'm still mad about the fact that they basically only repeated what most blacks knew already. And I am upset that they chose to focus, apparently, only on the negative and not the positive. I can't stop being upset about that.


Why did they choose to only focus on the negative? I think I know. There's only one reason to keep harping on negative aspects of the black community: BECAUSE THEY STILL EXIST.

Yes, inter-racism, poverty, high crime rates, they still exist no matter what we've tried to do about it. That's why the same shit keeps getting repeated, because it doesn't change. There is a positive side to the black community, but in order for it to be seen we have to actually work on the damn positive aspect. We have to reach out and not just complain anymore about how we're perceived! The rub of that, though, like I said, I swear it seems like no matter how much the black community tries to better itself it feels like we're still constantly stuck at square one all the time.

Now this:

They give facts and problems but no solutions.

I realize now what's wrong with this statement. Of course they don't give any solutions, and I really don't feel that's CNN's or Soledad O'Brien's job. It's our job and our problem to come up with the solutions to the issues that plague us. Even when I asked or said that, I couldn't even give a solution to any of the problems presented and it made me really sad. I'm starting to think, are there really any solutions? Will it always be this way? I feel it's important for black people to realize that they have to better themselves in order to help others, but how many of us really do that? And is it enough? See, more questions and no clear-cut solutions...except, really, on an individual base. No mass, quick-fix solution and there never will be.

Then I said this:

This gets me back to who this show was made for. Who is watching this show? Blacks? Whites? Just curious people? With all these rehashed facts, who is this show tailored for?

That was the first statement that went a little overboard :P I really shouldn't be asking that. While I do feel that this show probably wasn't tailored for black folks that knew this shit, of course it's just made for everyone. I kinda fall into the trap that everyone knows what I know, and that's wrong. Hell, even black people may not be aware of our own condition--in fact, sometimes I'm almost sure of it. And even people living in the conditions described in this documentary just need a little wake up call sometimes--assuming they watch it. So that question was a little unfair to ask.

Last of all, this question was a little unfair too:

I guess what's more frustrating to me is that it doesn't feel (yet) like the documentary is getting to what it really means to be black in America. Does it just mean being broke and living in the projects, hiding under your bed so you don't get shot by 5-0 or some gangs? Does it just mean probably dying at 50? Never seeing your father? What is it, Soledad?

Okay, that question was pretty unfair. For one, I can't expect a 4 hour documentary to cover all aspects of black life, even though they gave it their best shot, and did hit a lot of issues rarely touched on. So I give them props for that. Also, asking what's it mean to be black in America is really unfair. That's like asking what it means to be white or mexican or chinese. What does it mean? It doesn't--it's all on an individual basis! That's generalizing and what I did was generalizing. Of course being black isn't all negative even though it feels like that sometimes. There's no clear answer as to what it means to be black in America and I can't expect anyone to answer for me, only I can.

In conclusion, I don't really regret that last entry, just a few things I kinda said in the heat of the moment :P And I really was expecting way too much from CNN that I shouldn't have been.

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