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Monday, September 5, 2011

Always The Help, never an Equal

One of the most enlightening things I accomplished during my vacation was reading The Help, by University of Alabama alum Kathryn Stockett.
The Help" tells the story of black maids Aibileen and Minny, who work with a white woman named Skeeter on a book about their experiences as domestic help. The black characters fear retribution for working with the white woman on such a book, but Aibileen decides to help in part because black maids are forced to use outside restrooms.

The movie doesn't do the book justice. IMHO the screen adaptation was more about making white people feel good about themselves than a factual, historical, dramatization. Although the book was set during the 60's, black folks from President Obama to RedEye still find ourselves being put in our place when we get too uppity in "post racial" America.

Every campaign enlists its own meta-language. As Randall Kennedy reminds us in his provocative and richly insightful new book, “The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency,” the Obama forces disseminated several messages intended to soothe the racially freighted fears of the white electorate.

On one channel, they reassured voters that he was not an alien, but a normal American patriot. They also made clear that he was a “safe,” conciliatory black man who would never raise his voice in anger or make common cause with people, living or dead, who used race as a platform for grievance. On yet another wavelength, the candidate proffered his bona fides as a black man to ?African-Americans who were initially wary of his unusual upbringing, his white family ties and his predominantly white political support.

In chapter 7 page 95 of The Help, Abileene, the black maid, potty trains Mae Mobley, the white child she cares, for by taking her to the only bathroom she can use, a bathroom built especially for her kind outside. Unfortunately Mae Mobley doesn't know the difference and attempts to use the colored bath room. I say it's unfortunate because Mea Mobley gets a spanking and told she was not raised to use the colored bathroom because it was dirty and she would catch diseases. These are Abileenes thoughts after the fact;
"I feel that bitter seed growing inside me, the one planted after Treelore died I want to yell so loud that Baby Girl can hear me that dirty ain't a color, disease ain't Negro side of town. I want to stop that moment from coming--and it come in every white child's life-when they start to think that colored folks ain't as good as whites."
I know there are some who want to believe this kind of thinking is in the past, but it's alive and well in 2011. No matter how smart we are, how educated we are, how rich we are, we are still black folks who "ain't as good as whites".
Part of the problem is that many blacks don’t expect much of themselves, either. That’s why they elected idiots like Waters and Carson to represent them. The implicit message from such buffoonish leaders is: “You’re helpless and need an angry brawler like me to go to Washington and fight the system for you.”

Ironically the real life Abileen Cooper filed suit against the author of The Help claiming Stockett used her name and likeness without permission and with embarrassing results.
The six-page lawsuit claims, among other things, that Stockett's refusal to publicly admit that she based the character on Cooper's likeness "is so outrageous in character, and so extreme as to go beyond all bounds of human decency, and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community."

It quotes passages from the book, including one in which Aibileen's character describes a cockroach: "He black. Blacker than me."

The lawsuit said Cooper found it upsetting and highly offensive to be portrayed as someone "who uses this kind of language and compares her skin color to a cockroach."
The author in her own words;

That was a normal part of life, the rules between blacks and whites. As a little girl, seeing black people in the colored part of town, even if they were dressed up or doing fine, I remember pitying them. I am so embarrassed to admit that now


Another relevant part of the book deals with the justice system, or should I say injustice system and how it was used to discredit and punish The Help. One of my friends took her six year old grand daughter to see the movie because she wanted her to see what life was for her ancestors. In one scene a white police officer strike one of the maids in the back of the head with his Billy Club while she is handcuffed laying face down on the hood of the police car. She said her grand daughter said she was glad there were no more mean white people around today. She said she didn't have the heart to tell her that wasn't exactly true.

I long for the day when all of God's children will be be treated as equals and not treated like The Help.
All we say to America is, "Be true to what you said on paper." If I lived in China or even Russia, or any totalitarian country, maybe I could understand some of these illegal injunctions. Maybe I could understand the denial of certain basic First Amendment privileges, because they hadn't committed themselves to that over there. But somewhere I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for rights. And so just as I said, we aren't going to let dogs or water hoses turn us around. We aren't going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on.

We Shall Overcome Someday.

15 comments:

Mack Lyons said...

"We Shall Overcome Someday."

Good luck with that. America would rather tear itself apart before that happened.

Redeye said...

You think?

Mack Lyons said...

Some people would rather slow-dance the Confederacy back to life rather than allow certain Americans equality and true freedom.

Redeye said...

Hell no they ain't fergitten! :)

FED UP said...

I will agree that some do think like that but only a small percentage! There are also blacks who hate whites and it's about the same percentage!!!

Redeye said...

Blacks don't hate whites.

FED UP said...

If you really believe that then you are oblivious to what is going on in the world!!

1 example-

Black Panthers announce Egyptian style “showdown.”

The militant armed black Muslim group, New Black Panther Party(NBPP), is calling for a 60 city “showdown.” The group preaches a screwball version of Islam that teaches white people were created by an evil wizard. They say Allah will “burn America with fire,” and whites will soon be exterminated in the US.

“The center of the revolution,” as the NBPP calls it, will be in Harlem and led by militant anti-white NYC city council member Charles Barron and NBPP leader Malik Shabazz.

Members of the NBPP who used paramilitary uniforms and billy clubs to intimidate white voters in the past election will be guests of honor at the Harlem demonstration.

From NBPP

Like in Tahir square in Egypt we will establish this historic location for our revolution and our demands. Over 1,000 are expected in this historic outdoor political rally.

Come to our News conference on Tue April 19th at 1pm on 7th Ave and 125th street

As in other revolutions, protests and uprisings going on around the earth, a showdown is looming for Saturday April 23rd as marchers with the ”National International Day of Action and Unity” are furious and frustrated with New York officials blatant discrimination and denial of their constitutional and human right to rally and march. Marchers are marching and rallying in 60 cities around America and in London and Africa to demand justice for Black People and improvement in our conditions.

On 4-23 We will be Rallying at the Adam Clayton Powell building and Marching Down 125th street. On April 23rd, whether we have to do it with or without a permit, face jail or take whatever action is necessary to relieve oppressive conditions against Blacks in New York and around the planet.

This news conference will be attended by Brooklyn City Councilman Charles Barron, March co-organizer, New Black Panther Leader, Attorney Malik Zulu Shabazz, community supporters and leaders and of course members of the New Black Panther Party, who have been the subject of major national controversy surrounding the Dismissal of Voter Intimidation Charges by the United States Department of Justice.

This is Khallid Muhammed. He is the late founder and original leader of the NBPP. He was closely connected to Al Sharpton, Louis Farrakhan, US Rep Keith Ellison, and former US Rep Cynthia McKinney. In this video he discusses what he wants to do with white people.

FED UP said...

New Black Panther Party
NBPP rally
Associated Profiles
Malik Zulu Shabazz
Related Articles
Feds Investigate Dropping of Panther Case (2009)
The New Black Panther Party is Unlike its Namesake of the 1960s (2000)
Founded:
1989
Location:
Washington, D.C.
Ideology:
Black Separatist

The New Black Panther Party is a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers. Founded in Dallas, the group today is especially active on the East Coast, from Boston to Jacksonville, Fla. The group portrays itself as a militant, modern-day expression of the black power movement (it frequently engages in armed protests of alleged police brutality and the like), but principals of the original Black Panther Party of the 1960s and 1970s— a militant, but non-racist, left-wing organization — have rejected the new Panthers as a "black racist hate group" and contested their hijacking of the Panther name and symbol.

In Its Own Words
"Our lessons talk about the bloodsuckers of the poor… . It's that old no-good Jew, that old imposter Jew, that old hooked-nose, bagel-eating, lox-eating, Johnny-come-lately, perpetrating-a-fraud, just-crawled-out-of-the-caves-and-hills-of-Europe, so-called damn Jew … and I feel everything I'm saying up here is kosher."
— Khalid Abdul Muhammad, one of the party's future leaders, Baltimore, Md., Feb. 19, 1994

"Kill every goddamn Zionist in Israel! Goddamn little babies, goddamn old ladies! Blow up Zionist supermarkets!"
—Malik Zulu Shabazz, the party's national chairman, protesting at B'nai B'rith International headquarters in Washington, D.C., April 20, 2002

"I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate it. We didn't come out here to play today. There's too much serious business going on in the black community to be out here sliding through South Street with white, dirty, cracker whore bitches on our arms, and we call ourselves black men. … What the hell is wrong with you black man? You at a doomsday with a white girl on your damn arm. We keep begging white people for freedom! No wonder we not free! Your enemy cannot make you free, fool! You want freedom? You going to have to kill some crackers! You going to have to kill some of their babies!"
— King Samir Shabazz, head of the party's Philadelphia chapter, in a National Geographic documentary, January 2009

FED UP said...

What do you say know? Is it Bushs fault? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Redeye said...

I say black people don't hate white people.

FED UP said...

"I hate white people. All of them. Every last iota of a cracker, I hate it. We didn't come out here to play today. There's too much serious business going on in the black community to be out here sliding through South Street with white, dirty, cracker whore bitches on our arms, and we call ourselves black men. … What the hell is wrong with you black man? You at a doomsday with a white girl on your damn arm. We keep begging white people for freedom! No wonder we not free! Your enemy cannot make you free, fool! You want freedom? You going to have to kill some crackers! You going to have to kill some of their babies!"
— King Samir Shabazz, head of the party's Philadelphia chapter, in a National Geographic documentary, January 2009

is this guy black? or is it that your black liberal mind will not allow you to see the TRUTH?

Redeye said...

How do you starve an Obama supporter??

Hide their food stamps
under their work shoes

September 5, 2011 12:53 PM

Are you this white guy/gal? Should I blame all white folks for your words and thoughts?

Anonymous said...

yes..no

NOT ONE WORD IN THAT JOKE ABOUT BEING BLACK!!

As usual a you a black liberal twist it into something it's not

FED UP said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Redeye said...

My rich southern heritage makes me keenly aware of the code words FED UP.