Shame shame shame…(dragging my right index figure over my left index finger)
What year was it when this author put pen to paper? I don’t want to misinterpret but is he saying that racism is not really a problem anymore. I might not get to five hundred words on this one. So many thoughts run through my head as I agree with some of what he is saying and I am totally confused about other things.
I guess we can talk a little about interpretation. I read this book almost entirely when we were assigned it the first time. Maybe I have a mental block to it but I have as much understanding as I had then. What is he asking for? I get the part about being tired of the “white guilt”. Later I hear him say that programs such as affirmative action were a hinderance to us as a people. I believe that the author wants to show that Africa Americans have the ability to get what they need. I believe that this is true for some but there are also great number of African Americans that can’t.
In my neighborhood we are primarily a set of working class people. There are about 30% middle class, 40% working class, and 30% below the poverty line, I would imagine. In my neighborhood, we communicate by the method of what I would call “when in Rome”. If a situations requires you to change character, you know just how to do it.When the author implies that programs created to assist others to advance may not have helped, I instantly think of my neighborhood. I ask myself how would each of these three sets of people respond to his implications?
One of the when in Rome statements that I hear often and can compare to this reading is “Get it how you live”. For many individuals this is quite confusing. It leaves the reader to question just what it means. In a sense, this is what I hear from Steele. Do not wait for someone to give you help get it the best way you can. Do not let someone soothe you by the telling you that the world is full of racism and gift you something that will put a bandage on it. For most of the middle and working class people in my neighborhood they might agree with Steele. They might agree that they don’t need hand outs. They might want to “get it how they live”. The social worker in me says that the opinion of those that are poverty stricken might not agree. They might need that extra help the welfare, affirmative action, etc.
I have learned that it is not intelligent to group a set of people together and say/think that they are all the same. I have witnessed that many poverty stricken people are not mentally or physically capable of picking themselves up by their boot straps. So as I interpret or what stands out for me in this writing is that Steele can speak for himself but this is not the case for all African Americans. Also sometimes the Lord can speak to a persons evil heart and cause good to happen for people that have been oppressed. It is a Shame that as christian people we still have to decipher through this, if we followed Gods greatest command to love one another this world would not be so confused. As I think of the hand signal for shame I shake my head this is “our” America.
3 responses to “Shame shame shame…(dragging my right index figure over my left index finger)”
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I was able to understand what the author was wanting to get at when I read the story starting on page 134 about Clarence Thomas. I am curious what you might think about this story?
Shonell, Thank you for your post! I appreciate you sharing your reactions to this author’s writing and value your experiences. I am interested to go back and read this book with your insights highlighted. Did I read correctly that you had the same reaction to this book when you read it in preparation for the Washington D.C. advance?
Thanks for the honest thoughts, Shonell. I agree with your comment “I have learned that it is not intelligent to group a set of people together and say/think that they are all the same” in some respects. I realize America has a wide range of demographics and many people are in need. I would never argue that, however, do you think some of the programs designed for the people in need have been abused or perhaps, need tighter restrictions? This is actually not a race question, I see all races on welfare programs, and this most recent covid handout was gobbled up by many of the people that did not need it. It makes me frustrated but reminds me that we are all minorities in Christ with the darkness that dominates this world.
Thank you again for your thoughts.