Tuesday, April 09, 2013

When A Song Reminds of Of A Ruckus Memory

Accidents happen because of circumstance or carelessness. And then there is that dang song. Awesomely Luvie and company put a hurting of truth and humor on what should have been left the song writing notebook. Scribbles, yes. Song, no.

I didn't want to pay attention to the verbiage about the Accidental Racist song. The resurrection of the symbols of genocide as badges of honor do not interest me. I'm getting worn out about stepping up to the soap box to once again remind people that slavery was not a life style choice or a hangover of regret for a bad weekend.

You can't put it behind you if you can't recognise some of y'all are doing the same shit that your ancestors use to do. Like voter suppression. Like controlling women fertility and what she wants or needs to do with her choices and options in life.

There is blood on that Rebel flag. Which isn't even the correct version of the Confederate flag. If you are going to bring up history get it straight.

I know people do not want to talk about slavery in terms of genocide but if you take people involuntarily from their home country, pack them into ships and then force them into labor, sexual abuse and cultural indoctrination then you got to figure on some people being killed because they did not want to go or they did not want to be in bondage.

Most people don't. 

Anyway, I didn't want to talk about the song as much as bring up fragments of an Uncle Ruckus memory.

Uncle Ruckus does not like black folks. Even though he is one himself.  I have met a Ruckus or two and it rings true to my experience.

The speech is wiped clean of any inflection or intonation that could remotely be associated with the African American experience. This does NOT make a person an Uncle Ruckus. No, no and no!

(I'm a little sensitive on this point for reasons I choose not to go into at this time.) But it could be a teeny-tiny clue if other elements are in place.

We are talking about a person who makes such an effort to speak in an un-accented neutral English that he make Tom Brokaw sound like he's dropping slang.

Uncle Ruckus can be immaculate in his attire. No hair on his head that would be allowed to be in any form of a curl or a kink. Whoops, forgot about those that are aiming to emulate Dean Martin's hair from the 70s.

It can go either way.

Uncle Ruckus finds safety in dressing as someone from 1965 and it isn't because he is a hipster. Dude lives in culturally neutral clothing.

Uncle Ruckus does not associate or allows himself to be seen with other black folks. Socially, he can be forced into it but he don't like it and will bolt on over to the other side of the room if white folks are present.

He will tell you he is not African American. He is American. Not of African decent.

Seriously, I've had this conversation with the Ruckuses. My understanding is that they feel it is a self imposed limitation they do not want to be associated with; an association that can cause them to be distant from their families of origin even if they are living in the same house.

Politically, Ruckuses can be Republican. However, not all black Republicans are Ruckuses. And  Uncle Ruckus wouldn't associate with black Republicans anyway. Even hanging with Black Tea Party folks would make him uncomfortable.

It is just that extreme.

He is not a white man trapped in a black body. He is a black man who is doing all he can to be white and racist against African Americans.

It is a puzzlement but there you go. So when you co-sign to sing lyrics on a song like:

I’m just a white man
(If you don’t judge my do-rag)
Comin’ to you from the southland
(I won’t judge your red flag)
Tryin’ to understand what it’s like not to be
I’m proud of where I’m from
(If you don’t judge my gold chains)
But not everything we’ve done
(I’ll forget the iron chains)
It ain’t like you and me can re-write history
(Can’t re-write history baby)

You gotta take a pause. You have to ask yourself why would somebody sing those lyrics? Why would you put your gold chains higher than the suffering of the ancestors?

I'm just remembering people from long ago and yet not so far away.

Accidents can happen. By circumstance or they are caused by carelessness.

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