When we were being brought up in Del Paso Heights, then Lemon Hill, then 16th Avenue, finally at Kennedy Estates, there has always been a constant: they were low-income neighborhoods. Because there wasn’t much that a single mother with many young-uns could swing. And we even had to move in temporarily with my late sister Teresa and her family.
There was also another constant: how my mother told us to speak proper English despite our surroundings and raised us decent the best way she could. For the record, I had a little bit of an edge because I would read the encyclopedia for fun and some knowledge. And that opened the floodgates of people calling me an “Oreo”, a “Wannabe” and a sellout. I can take comfort that most of those that did ended up in juvenile hall or dead. I count myself blessed and lucky.
Now that’s out the way, I took strong offense to what Dr. Ben Carson said about President Obama regarding race, more to the point of “being raised white”. I have to ask the question and I might be missing something but I don’t think so.
Since when does being raised with a moral compass have to do with being raised white?
Okay, so Obama’s half-White and half-Black, born in Hawaii, spent some time in Indonesia, came back to Hawaii. We got that. But reading Carson’s comment makes it that much irritating.
When he said that Obama didn’t live the Black experience, he lied. He must have “convenient amnesia” because Obama was met with being called a Muslim (he’s a Christian), a socialist (Wall Street nearly tripled), Hitler (really?) plus was going to make death panels (the insurance industry beat him to that), he was going to take away people’s guns (if he did that, you wouldn’t have the guns you got)…he was treated with utter contempt from members of the House and Senate to Fox News, so explain to me how he hasn’t had the “Black Experience”
And yet, Carson calls out Obama for being raised white.
And then these Republican thugs are trying to hop on board with this.
Obama got elected in the White House twice and Republicans are butthurt. These guys are too busy trying to overturn Obamacare, giving the rich and corporations big tax breaks, and trying to control women’s reproductive rights (what is it about the female anatomy that scares these guys?), and blocking legislation that supports getting us back on track. Add to the fact that he has been married to the same person, have two wonderful daughters that didn’t get into trouble – most of these guys are having and have had affairs, children out of wedlock and multiple marriages.
But this “Obama’s raised white” irks me.
It pisses me off because I realize that every person of color is, what I call “The Funkadelic Effect” – this band in their early days couldn’t get airplay on mainstream radio because they were too rock-n-roll for R&B stations and too funky for pop/rock stations. In our own backgrounds, people bitch that we’re too this but not enough of that. Many of us don’t act what our backgrounds that white people stereotype and dictate because [gasp] we were raised decent, with morals, and no matter how bad our surroundings were, we had parents, friends, role models that kept us grounded, never selling out to anyone to please them. We are what we are and the person who tries to change your core without your permission had better disappear.
To say Obama has been “raised white” is a slap in the face of all parents (single or married) who are raising their kids in less than good conditions and giving them a moral compass to make sure they do well. Raising them with empathy while still keeping them strong; teaching their kids how to be kind and caring like they have to be, yet strong and ferocious when they need to be. And children of color, especially multiracial ones, face the “Wannabe” names every day as if they didn’t have enough problems.
Carson’s remarks show that he is going too much in racism ghetto territory, but it’s moot. Obama’s not running a third time because he can’t. And his remarks trying to show he’s the most intelligent made him look like the kid sitting in the corner of the classroom wearing a dunce cap forgetting to realize the these two simple facts.
We are what we are and we know who we are.