Disclaimer: Cue The Rant is a weekly rant written by Roderick Red. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his and do not necessarily reflect the position of JessicaSimien.com.
Having an understanding is probably one of the most important things you can have with other people on this earth. Over the years, it’s been well known that people of different races, cultures and backgrounds don’t have a good understanding of one another all the time. This is no truer than in the South unfortunately.
Did you guys catch the Jackson Mayoral run-offs? Did the guy you voted for win? Initially I didn’t care about the mayoral race because one I couldn’t vote because I’m registered in Ridgeland, MS and two, I didn’t think anyone would do anything to make much of a change in the city. But I couldn’t keep my feelings out for long because of what I witnessed during this election. Then I realized what I witnessed happens on a broader scale all the time. People of different backgrounds just don’t understand one another.
Cue the Rant
For those of you who don’t know, the Jackson mayoral runoff got heated between Chokwe Lumumba and Jonathan Lee fast after they won the right to go against one another in the run-off. While Lumumba couldn’t match Lee’s finances, people started to point out where it was coming from. Many white republicans from the surrounding suburbs of Jackson were helping Lee fund his campaign. While he touted it as his ability to involve a diverse group of people, many people (specifically black) grew to distrust him. And quite frankly, he came across as someone who couldn’t be trusted. I could tell that the people who were running his campaign didn’t quite have a grasp on the local community of Jackson.
And I’ll tell you the glaring mistake they made: Lee’s campaign used Lumumba’s words against him in a TV ad, words that made him sound unpatriotic, militant and anti-Christian. These are things that would scare the average citizen. The average white citizen. And that’s where they failed at. They brought up these old YouTube videos in hopes of rattling voters. But they forgot that Jackson is about 80% black. They forgot who their audience was. These things don’t scare black people at all.
And conversely, Lumumba painted a picture of Lee that made him look like a liar, untrustworthy and a sell out. Those are in fact things that black people do hate. Lumumba pointed out Lee’s commercial touting his father being from one of the roughest areas of Jackson and graduating high school in the area. If you weren’t paying close attention to the commercial you’d think that Lee actually did those things and was from the area but he actually wasn’t. He and/or his campaign staff were obviously trying to pull a fast one without really “pulling a fast one.” The sheer audacity of Lee’s campaign to make such an amazingly uncalculated mistake was incredible.
And at the same time, black people make mistakes as and when it comes to whites too. Speaking with appropriate tone, with correct grammar and intelligently is seen as “talking white” and that description has to stop. We sound so ignorant when we say that because one can only assume that if you speak with slang that’s considered “talking black”. It’s a form of self-deprecation that actually has no roots with white people. It’s a term coined by very unintelligent black people.
We as a community have to make more of an effort to understand one another, especially people of other races. White or black, we gotta stop assuming and making generalizations. Because it happens on both ends of the spectrum. And I know that we as Mississippians are handicapped because this is practically the birth place of discrimination, but all that means is that we need to try harder. Be informed, study and make good decisions. I’m sure it’ll all work out because we really have nowhere to go but up.
I was a whole lot nicer today…probably because it’s a holiday weekend. I don’t know. But definitely don’t forget to cue the Sir Charles this beautiful Friday.
Photo credit: Clarion Ledger