Editors Note: I originally wrote this a couple of years ago. I am now 66 and too lazy to write something new (Bob Davis)
THIS IS MY FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR
Today is my 64th Birthday. People who know me know that given the health scare that I had four years ago, that when I say that I am “just happy to be here,” that it isn’t just a line of B.S. They will tell you that I really mean it.
Over the past four years my worldview has changed. I have learned to appreciate the things that I have far more than the things that I don’t have. This change in worldview has also resulted in a noticeable change in my behavior. That change has been a positive one for me, and it also has done wonders for my blood pressure 😊
Despite the health benefits of my behavioral change, it presents something of a problem for anyone who wants to get me a birthday present. Since I have been transformed into the man “who literally thinks that he has everything” (simply because he is here,) how do you get a meaningful gift for someone with that mentality?
THE MONTH THAT DOESN’T APPEAR ON THE CALENDAR
People who know me also know that this is my favorite time of year and not just because it’s my birthday. It kicks off with Dr King’s Birthday, because not only is his Birthday almost the same as mine (and some years it’s even celebrated on the same day.) That season then extends into February and ends sometime around the first week of March. In case you haven’t guessed, this is my personal definition of the REAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH (because February is just too damn short.)
People who know me, will tell you that Black History Month is very important to me. If you want to blame anyone for this, blame my 8th grade English teacher, Mrs. Marion Fleming who I have mentioned here online before. I think that a big part of the solution to many of the problems of “mah people,” is that we don’t spend enough time focusing on what we have achieved and specifically making sure that our children are able to use the achievements of “mah people,” as the starting point for creating their own. I believe that if you can create a “positive groove” for children to see themselves as having a significant stake it, that it will last them a lifetime. I think that is what the purpose of Black History Month and I celebrate it in a FIRECE manner.
THIS PAST SUNDAY I GOT MY GIFT
And I got it on all places on Twitter. People who know me, know that one of my favorite things to do here online is to do battle with “Culture Bandits.” Especially with “Culture Bandits” who don’t realize they are “Culture Bandits.” This past Sunday I was on Twitter making folks aware of our friend Lawrence Perry’s wonderful review of the new movie “One Night in Miami,” I came across another review of the movie in the “liberal” Slate magazine. In that review the author not only marginalizes the performance of Leslie Odom, but also marginalizes the career of Sam Cooke. He marginalizes Sam Cooke in what he thinks is a sly way by equating Sam Cooke with Rod Stewart. Marginalizing a GREAT Black artist, by equating them with a MEDIOCRE White artist, is a favorite literary mechanism of “liberal” white authors. It enables them to get away with demonstrating ‘white privilege” in a manner that they feel shields them from being accused of being racist. It usually results in more sales for them and also allows them to pat themselves on the back because as a “practicing liberal,” in their mind they have helped to “UPLIFT THE NEGRO” by making one equal to a white man.
Of course, IMHO, making Sam Cooke “equal” to Rod Stewart is marginalizing Sam Cooke. And when I saw this on Sunday, I became incensed. So incensed in fact, that I remembered the following piece called “Black History – Revisionist History – Rod Stewart – Soulbook The Greatest Soul Singer of All Time” that I had written a few years back about Rod Stewart (which includes a prediction that one day people are going to regard Rod Stewart as the greatest Soul Singer of all time and Black people will be silent about it, because the victim is always a willing participant in their own victimization) and decided to share it with the author of the article in the “liberal” Slate magazine.
We went back & forth on Twitter for about an hour. He eventually apologized to me for what he had written, saying that he wouldn’t have written it the way he did if he had realized how offensive it came off. I suggested to him that while an apology to me is nice, the real contribution that he could make is to stop writing articles about Black people from a perspective of white privilege. He agreed that he would try to be more conscious of that.
SO IT WAS A SMALL VICTORY
But nevertheless, a very satisfying one and it was a nice birthday gift for me. And it made me think about the quote from Dr, King in the referenced in the attached graphic;
“I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice..”
Anyhow, forgive me for the length of this post. I really did not mean to write this much. I just wanted to tell you all about my birthday gift this year!