The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

I Don't Want To Be Labeled "African-American"

"To each his or her own." 

Life is what you make it, live it and experience it. We as people have every right to choose how we present ourselves to all external stimuli and every external reality.  One can hardly grow upset when one makes choices that they feel best fits their existence. 

When people make choices that do not sit well with me as a person, I also have the right to divest myself from any and every experience of, to and from that person. Apparently, a person who I have no knowledge of, who happens to be of a person of color has declared her disdain for the reference "African-American" while declaring she is an American.  

I will admit to a personal affinity for "black" over African-American, so I understand choice. "Choice" if we really must have labels. In a diverse society labels matter. When we live in a world of of overt and growing bigotry with unequal treatment for some by some in the racial majority, a distinct matters. We are not all equal as "Americans" and anyone who longs for a neutral and equal playing field lives in a alternative universe. They, like Raven-SymonĂ© are generally people who have reached a level of notoriety and celebrity that affords a position above the flock. 

First, who the hell is Raven-Symone? It seems I am again guilty of what I call "failure to star worship." My knowledge and experience with the Symone would be as unremarkable as crossing anyone on a grocery star parking lot. Yet, Ms. Symone has the celebrity for an interview with another celebrity and was afforded an opportunity to explain her contempt for being referred to as African-American. 

I have posted the Oprah Winfrey video below. It should be no surprise Symone chose to visit the Oprah set with a hairstyle that was clearly void of any quick look opportunity to say, "She looks black."

Joe Madison, The Black Eagle, addressed the Symone sentiment with typical Madison flair. He invited noted scholar, historian and professor Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. to comment from a deep and cerebral perspective.
In a world of centuries long oppression of black people, and growing bigotry and racism embodied by overt "white privilege," Symone's remarks are deleterious and disrespectful to the millions who afford her celebrity. She is also as misguided and shallow as others who wish to deny their ethnicity while seeming to long for acceptance in a world that will not overlook nor accept them beyond their celebrity. Today Symone issued a statement along this line: "I never said I wasn't black."   Well, isn't it amazing how a few days of flak and a publicists can modified reality?

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