Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"It's not what they call you; it's what you answer to..."

So while everyone is talking about former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's comments about being "blacker than Obama," and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's assertion about Obama's skin color and amazing ability to not always talk in the Negro dialect (I think liniguists call this code switching), I was less concerned about their definitions of what it means to be Black and more concerned about a class of students who told me that "getting over" was what Black people do.

Working at fast food restaurants and skimming profits. Switching the tags in the store on clothes so they could get DKNY and Calvin Klein at the prices they wanted. Only one student spoke up to say that she pays the correct price for whatever she gets because she had the experience of nearly being fired/jailed after working in a store and having her manager steal money when she was responsible for counting profits.

Of course politicians should be censured for their foolish remarks, but in the end what really matters is how we define ourselves.

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