Thursday, May 28, 2020

Racial Oppression Groundhog Day

I was reading HOW WE FIGHT WHITE SUPREMACY by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin and came across a line in one of the essays in the book that read "Why do people refuse to learn the lessons of our abundant history of racial oppression?' kind of Groundhog Day." With all of the current events related to race occurring as I write, this line leaped up at me from the page or in my case the Ipad screen. I thought the phrasing of the question/sentence was a perfect description of where we are racially in 2020. So, I went online to do a quick research of the movie Groundhog Day and found the following synopsis:
A cynical TV weatherman finds himself reliving the same day over and over again when he goes on location to the small town of Punxsutawney to film a report about their annual Groundhog Day. He needed to see his disrespect of them through many incarnations of the day and change his attitude. Only when his attitude was proved to be changed by his love of Rita, was he able to escape the time loop.
Needless to say, I intentionally bolded and underlined keywords in the synopsis to emphasize the parallels with our society and world today. Like in the plot of the movie, sadly, we are reliving the blatant display of racism, racial hatred, and supremacy over and over again. Every day we are seeing on the news and through social media the brutalization of People of Color by Caucasians that is no different than what occurred historically hundreds of years ago and what I am calling based on that line in the book, "racial oppression groundhog day." 

Let's read just three (as I am sure there were many more) of the headlines appearing over the last few days, shall we...

  • Four Minneapolis officers fired after video shows one kneeling ...
  • Ahmaud Arbery killing being investigated as federal hate ...
  • White woman fired after calling police on black man who asked her to leash her dog
In the first two instances, an African-American male was killed (Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd) and in the third, Christian Cooper, an African-American male could have been killed as an intentionally deadly Emmett Till like scenario was set up by Amy Cooper (no relation) a Caucasian woman. 

Ironically, Colin Kaepernick, an NFL quarterback started protesting police brutality and the treatment of minorities by kneeling during the National Anthem during the opening of the NFL games. The movement caught on with players around the league. Kaepernick went on record saying "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color." Kaepernick and his colleagues were lambasted by Donald Trump as he blasted them saying "Get that son of a bitch off the field."  I find it interesting that the officers in Minneapolis nor the good ole' boys in Georgia were referred to as "Son's of bitches"  by the president. I'm sure they fall into the category of "very fine people."  It was not okay for the protesters to kneel while the anthem was being played, but it was okay for that officer to kneel on a Black man's neck. Something is wrong with that picture. So very, very wrong. 

Okay, let's parallel our racial situation to the Groundhog Day synopsis. 

  • Cynical TV weatherman ------------- Racist/Supremacist
  • Rita ----------------------------- Everyone else who is not like or different from the racist/supremest 
In the movie, the change did not occur until the cynical weatherman was shown and realized how disrespectful and hateful he was and made the conscious decision to change his disposition; his view of everyone else who was not like him; his attitude. Then he had to "prove" that he was really changed and that proof was in his showing love to others. It was only then that he was able to escape the time loop. 

We will not be able to escape the racial time loop until all of those who are racists/supremacists either make the change like the cynical TV weatherman did or we will have to wait until they all die off of the planet with the hopes that the following generations know better and refuse to be a part of any type of racist/supremacists views and beliefs. Love is the key to escaping the time loop. 

It seems we have gone backward in time where it is open season on Black men or anyone for that matter who is not a White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP) male. Something has got to give, otherwise, Rapper, Ice Cube may have a point when he states  “How long will we go for Blue On Black Crime until we strike back?”  Something to critically think about. 

No comments: