The Nov. 12 resignation of McMicken Arts
and Sciences Dean Ronald Jackson at the University of Cincinnati marks a
sad ending and an even sadder beginning for the university’s battered,
tattered and exposed race relations (whatever that means these days.)
He sat on that tiny chair across from me
and poured tea and talked to me in the blackest British accent that was
awesome and made me giggle. He turned up the pinky finger of his
drinking hand and kept my little cup filled. (I took lemon and sugar.)
As we watched our hero Solomon Northup
endure 12 years of kidnap, beatings, witnessing rape, being forced to
lash another slave and learning the subservience of slavery in order to
survive it, I couldn’t keep my eyes off the old black woman.Especially during the beating scenes. She never flinched or looked away.
What I saw in Carter’s ascendancy was
lemmings swimming toward someone else’s manifestation of their own wet
dreams of gaudy consumerism. If hypertension, diabetes and heart
disease won’t kill black folks, then grabbing for luxury items someone
else convinces us we need will.
Generalizing to make a point, barring
slave revolts, domestic violence and deadly gun play during drug deals
gone wrong, blacks, historically, haven’t been much for mass public
shooting sprees or for violently acting out in public to instigate what
can only be called “death by cop.”
The racist brouhaha swirling around
University of Cincinnati College of Arts and Sciences Dean Ronald
Jackson should quell once and for all any lingering nonsensical verbiage
about a “post-racial” America or the “end of blackness” since the
election and return of President Barack Obama.
Some of these folks have been around too
long or they keep reappearing as council candidates/members because
perhaps there is nothing else for them to do in the private sector. But what’s their platform?
I have seen Boehner’s political rise —
from courtside seats in the early days — and I am amazed but not
surprised by it because it’s easy to be “impressive” and to be passed up
the ranks and into many branches of American politics; it’s a trait
politicians share with student/athletes in higher education.
If you have ever been past these places
at twilight, just as the exterior lights are coming up, the dichotomies
of our shadowy citizens “living” near a casino in proximity to two
entertainment districts are illuminated as the houses of justice become
the beds and toilets for the indigent.
I’m not saying whites can’t and shouldn’t
keep recording Blues, Hip Hop, Jazz, Gospel or they should quit
appropriating black African influences. Please. Keep it up. Let’s us know we’re alive and that we were here. Just stay in your lane.
Annually, those of us who care about such
things beyond the gates of Black History Month either ask ourselves
quietly or discuss the question with our intimates: Has “The Dream” been
fulfilled and how much farther, Brother Martin, ‘til we reach the
promised land here on Earth?
In the herd there are so
many students who come to college who’ve absolutely no business there;
they’re no more prepared for the intellectual rigor, the dicey social
matrix and the expectation of talent in their respective disciplines
than an average junior high school student, and no one’s had that
come-to-Jesus conversation with them until maybe well into their third
When that summer was over we got our black asses on the bus. We expected the worst. We rode the bus stiff-backed, ready for all-out race war. We weren’t comforted by our white bus driver’s choice of WEBN on the radio.