Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Obama is President because...

Obama is the President elect of the United States of America because his mother is a white woman.

Aw man... before you get indignant and leave an angry text or facebook message or even email me, (or stop reading) just hear me out.

Me and thummyb have a raising kids conversation that comes up from time to time that I don't think either of us has come to a conclusion on. It's a we'll cross that bridge when we have kids thing (for me: A LONG TIME FROM NOW). So the question is should I raise:

1) Perfect respectful kids who don't act out in the grocery store, who say please and thank you and who are quiet and reserved in public


2) Loud, opinionated rambuctious rude children who want what they want at the check out, don't speak to adults, fall out all of the got damn place and tell you how they feel without fear of getting the crap knocked out of them.

Now, if you've ever seen me with my nieces (or any child really), you know just like homie the clown... "Tea don't play that." Children will RESPECT me. They will SAT down somewhere and shut the hell up unless I ask them a question. Don't get me wrong, I'm not mean to the kids (LOL!), I actually love [well-behaved] children. I just think children need to understand that there are children and there are adults and I am the latter and expect to be treated as such. Given my stance on how children "should" act you'd think I'd pick #1 right...

Well, kids who fall out all over the place and get put in timeout (rather than spankings or whoopings) are kids who think they can do anything. Anything can mean acting out in the grocery store, talking back to their parents and running amuck all over the friggin' place. These kids grow up, however, and think they can run the world.

You've seen these kids. They walk in front of your car when you have the green light thinking they won't get hit. They bump into you in the lunch line thinking you won't demand an "excuse me." They come into the dorm room drunk late at night while you're sleeping and think you won't ask them to stay at a friend's if they're going to make that much effing noise while you're getting your beauty rest on.

I'm not going to assign a race to these "kids," but you all know who I'm talking about. (LOL!) Actually, yes I will... it's mainly white kids. At the end of the day, they are willing to take risks, with their lives, their money, their jobs and even their interpersonal relationships. (talking to me, sometimes with their personal safety, but I digress).

Black parents and usually mothers, have not been able to allow their children to take risks for a very long time. Simple things like dating whoever they want to, watching a movie where they want to watch it, eating where they want to eat and even going to whatever school they want to go to have, in the past, been the cause of extreme distress, torture or even death. I can comfortably say that our generation may be the first generation who as parents will encourage our black children to take risks because we are the first generation to see risks being taken without racist backlash. (Correct me on the history, if necessary).

To be clear, this is not a knock on black mothers or parents.

This is also not saying that black mothers and parents don't encourage high achievement. They do. But it's been my experience that they encourage achievement by following the rules. Go to school, get a good education, get a good job, get married, work, have kids and die. Not "be a community organizer, get married, have kids, get involved in state government and become the President of the United States."

This is merely an observation I have about risk-taking. What would you do as parent, BUT protect your children, if you felt doing the contrary would land them in prison, or dead. If you felt your children acting up with you would lead them to act up with other authorities, which again could lead them to devastating consequences, you'd do whatever you could to train them to act right at all times.

People are awed and baffled at the success of Barack Obama, mainly because he's a black man. They're overwhelmed at the margin of the win on election night. People, are, of course, baffled that this racist country voted the way it did, but they just don't get how it happened for him [as a black man] and happened so fast [i.e. just 40 years after they signed the Civil Rights Act].

Seriously, go back and read all the rhetoric from the pundits and naysayers about why it wouldn't happen, how it couldn't happen and how to this day no one believes it happened and is happening.

Well, besides God covering Barack Obama, it also happened because he was raised by white people. The only hindrance in the way of [most] white people is themselves. Otherwise the world is their oyster. They teach their kids that they can do ANYTHING. For blacks our hindrances our ourselves, [some] white people and social, legal and economic systems that don't benefit blacks that white people created before they considered blacks people. We teach our children that there are limitations because of the color of their skin. We teach them that it's not right and we don't agree with it, but that's the way it is.

This presidency was won in the mind of Barack Obama WAY before any of us knew who he was because he was taught and rightly believed he could do ANYTHING. (I bet you he fell out acting a got damn fool on a grocery store floor or two asking for a Snicker or a G.I. Joe). I wish we could go back and reprogram a bunch of children of color to believe they can do ANYTHING despite the road blocks in front of them. Hell, I wish someone could reprogram me.

So, does that mean I've changed my mind? Will I be the mom who tell's Johnny to "simmer down," rather than smack him in the head? Well, I'll let you be the judge of that (in 10 or 15 years when I pop some babies out). In the meantime... I look forward to your comments on the topic at hand.


TatooTuesday said...

Well said... I definitely share your point of view on this subject, but with my own spin on it of course.

I had a smart remark but it is way off topic and I'll poke fun at you another day.

Brown Girl Gumbo said...

FANTASTIC post!!! I must say that I have never thought about this topic, but now that you've written about it, I agree 100%!!

What a thought-provoking post. Tea, you should write a book one day!! :-)

I've been missing your posts since I was in Chicago all last week and swamped with work yesterday. I'm back now!! LOL

ThummyB said...

Yeah...I haven't solved this mystery yet, which is probably why I am not ready to have kids. I will say this, though.

I think that there are quite a few yte kids who grew up with rules and manners who have gone on to 'concur the world'. If you think back to the past...even the others taught their kids to respect adults, be polite, say please and thank know, the basics. Only recently has it turned into 'kids gone wild'. That may have more to do with a change in our societies values and lifestyle than race alone.

However, of course I agree that our kids are raised with a thumb in the middle of their back. To be sure, we take 'be seen and not heard' to new heights. This is the type of 'oppression' that I think that we need to overcome. I believe that there is a balance btwn learning to be respectful and well-behaved AND having the confidence in yourself to take on the world.

Maybe this is just a matter of parents not having that level of confidence themselves to even inspire their kids. You know that I've talked about traveling on my blog...well this really only seemed like an option within my grasp in the last several years. For some reason, it just felt unobtainable before that. Well, now I realize that my parents never discouraged me from this reality, but it was so far off of their radar that they couldn't set the example to encourage me. I just heard my dad struggle to figure out when he could come back to Chicago to use up some 'buddy passes' before they if this is the only place in the nation to travel. Now...if we can't even get a trip to NYC, DC or LA in, then the thought of going to Europe, Asia, or Africa is unheard of.

Ya feel me?

T said...

@ TT, That's like twice in a week you've agreed with me. Hold on, I've got to look out my window for Jesus. I'll look forward to the smart remark tomorrow.

@ BGG, I know you're glad to be back in NYC away from the Chi-town hawk. It's supposed to snow again today. Womp. I'll probably write a book one day and Tea & Such readers will be the first to know about it!

@ Thummyb, I feel you on everything, the generational change, the exceptions to the rules, the scope of... life our parents had or have. I feel ya.

Lovin' the comments all.

Mrs.Young_fashion said...

This is a very very good post. I think about this all the time. I like the way your posts are so relateable.

Happy Wednesday