Melting Pot My Ass
Black History Month was in February. Did you notice? No? Me neither. The month designed to highlight the contributions that African-Americans have made to the country went by without fanfare. To highlight how little the month meant to some, TV host Jimmy Kimmel sent a reporter out onto the streets of L.A to interview and ask unsuspecting white people a loaded question: Who is your favorite black person (See video here)? Caught off guard but eager to participate, white people dropped names like Jamie Foxx, Chris Rock, quoted some rap songs and replied, “I don’t watch much television.” As a defense mechanism some folks just blinked into the camera clearly stumped. Obviously the exercise was meant to be funny and highlight our cultural divide but I found the interviews demoralizing and just plain sad. 12% of the population is made up of African-Americans but all the general public could come up with as inspirational figures were some comedians, rappers and actors. It’s no wonder MLK can’t realize his dream, his descendants are in a living nightmare. Clearly Jimmy meant to poke fun at the ignorance of Middle America but I think his test demonstrated just how much more we have to learn about each other. It’s not just white Americans that have to learn more about black people but we have to learn more about ourselves.
Ask me who my favorite black person is and I’ll say: God (don’t get me started on this one), Malcolm X, mom, me, Oprah or The President and the First Lady. My list is vast but I was overly optimistic to think that I would hear even one of my answers on someone else’s lips. Although I was disillusioned, the Super is not about attack, attack and sick him boy on the white race. I am the recipient of a full public school education so I know my Anglo-Saxon history. Ask me though who my favorite white person is and sadly Brad Pitt kept on leaping to mind. Before you ask, the answer is yes, I’m slightly ashamed. After further reflection, President Lincoln danced to the forefront of my brain, I gave JFK a whirl and I got jiggy with some Shakespeare? On short notice I think any of these will do? Ultimately, if it’s a melting pot we want just one month won’t bridge the gap. To understand we must interact.
Who’s your favorite black person? If Americans know nothing about Black History can we declare Melting Pot My Ass a holiday?