Den of the Cyphered Wolf

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Editorial: Angry Black Man: The Pit of Tribalism

You know what.  Screw it. I guess I will write that diatribe.

Alright so over the past couple years I've been noticing an exclusionary attitude at city council meetings. It's not quite flat out racism so I don't feel the moral indignation I would if it were you know that.  But it is troubling.  But every so often I do feel myself groan on the inside.  It makes me feel all the weirder knowing that some of the people saying this stuff are of the old guard who did experience real racism. Not the I "think somebody doesn't like me because I'm black" racism the "they will run me out of town on a rail" racism. 

Who the hell am I to call bullshit?

But I feel certain comments about DWBs are forcing my hand. Okay all of that said I am going to make multiple arguments so let me get started.

Racism, Tribalism, and the Other
After much thought what is irking me has somewhat become apparent. My community is starting to become a bit tribalistic in its fear of The Other. 
People relate to each other through the lenses of similarity. How much are you like me? And conversely how different from me are you?  It's not racism but it is the thing that causes it and other types of persecution, yet it's also human nature so I don't want to get into the morality of it but it is having effects. 

Cultural and Economic Stagnation
Now to make myself sound like a pompous ass. You know what made Rome, Persia, and New York great.  They incorporated technology, ideas, and cultures from other peoples, leading to something great. 

I might be collegially obligated to venerate the Spartans, but compared to other cultures at the time the Spartans were backwards. They stagnated because of all this Spartan pride crap, which may make for badass movie catch phrases but in terms of cultural, economic, and technological enlightenment fall a wee bit short. 

I keep hearing all this talk of artistic and  economic development, but when people start talking brass tacks it always ends up being "not that kind". And I can understand that from a government sponsorship point of view, but I keep getting the feeling that a good chunk of the community is starting to feel that way in general, and it's leading to push back on anything conceived as different. 

I have this fear that we are starting to stagnate. 

You can't build this because of the unsavory types it will attract. You can't do this because of the unsavory types it will attract.

The Defeatism of Black Social Conservatism

I will grant that in an effort to appease, sometimes blending in is necessary, and I am not telling anybody to mouth off to the cops. But I feel that there is a weird sort of upside down racism implicit in black social conservatism. This idea that rather than embracing aspects of black culture that are Other to the mainstream we should be shunning them makes me feel a wee bit uncomfortable.  

It makes me feel as if we're saying yes, racism is right. Now I get for practical purposes sometimes we have to play that game, but we shouldn't have to. If I want to walk down the street in a hoodie I shouldn't have to fear getting shot at. It's almost as if we've said oh it's fine being black as long as you don't take part in black culture. That is wrong! And I think as a community rather than just going with that we should stand up and say, "No. I like hip hop. No Timberlands are practical streetwear. No. my hair grows up. I was not put on this earth to make white people feel comfortable, but to live my life. "

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