What we Choose to Air

By Ronald Shirley

Why is it that we as black people without any caution will openly air our dirty laundry for the world to see. Now I know that this isn’t pervasive, but when it happens with high profile blacks one questions the motivation behind it. Concerning the Jalen versus Grant controversy- Grant Hill’s comments I thought they were right on and very well articulated. It is very apparent that he was a “student athlete” and I for one have always admired him, David Robinson and AC Green as black men!

On the other hand, I can understand why Brother Jalen Rose would make the comments that he made along with the others that I viewed in the high lights of the Documentary. Their comments are reminiscent of the house Negro and the field Negro during slavery. If there was one thing among many that we as black people (the community at large) still need to concentrate on it would be our history; for in doing so we would discovery the richness of our heritage as a people; and thereby we would be able to shed that old paradigm from slavery that de-humanized us as men and women. It should be said that we were enslaved versus being slaves – there is a huge difference.

Those of us who are blessed to be a part of the world stage should not take that awesome opportunity / responsibility lightly. It continues to amaze me that I have never seen players like Larry Bird, John Stockton and others white players exposing the ugliness of their experiences to the world. We as black folks need to learn how not to be pimped in this manner. When we allow ourselves to be pitted against one another none of us wins. The world doesn’t respect those who consistently don’t respect themselves. In light of the Bernie Maydolf scandal I have yet to see the Jewish community come out publicly and crucify him (no pun intended) and he raped them for billion of dollars!

Finally, we must re-think who we allow to be spokesmen for us. We are not a people who have all had the same experiences in life and just being black doesn’t constitute a segment of us establishing the image for the entire population of black people. We should be able to celebrate & respect all flavors of us as a people!
In my small way I have tried to up lift all of us in the way that I live, raise my children, respect my wife and how I love my parents, family member and friends. We must strip the shackles of self-hate (that was drilled into us as a result of enslavement) from our minds and begin to collectively love ourselves for who we are and for our ancestors!

Ronald Shirley is a founding Board Member of the United Voices for a Common Cause, Inc and serves as its First Vice Chairman.

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