Mendenhall’s Poor Choice To Act American | The Beautiful Struggler
Agreed. Personally, I wouldn’t have characterised Mendenhall’s tweets on 9/11 or the killing of bin Laden as a “poor decision” because I assume he was smart enough to weigh the consequences of his tweets and it must have been worth it to tweet HIS truth as opposed to staying silent…but I generally agree with everything written here. I was especially stricken by the quote, “…the new definition of insanity (as opposed to the other one that deals with repetition of an old act expecting new results) should be expecting a group of people to be loyal to a country that hasn’t treated them well. It’s like an abusive or neglectful lover getting angry when their partner doesn’t throw them a birthday party; shouldn’t you just be glad she didn’t set your house on fire and leave?” because I don’t think some people of the majority culture get the emotion behind this type of writing. Generally, there is a lack of the ability to see the world with the same eyes as those that have been oppressed in this country. Oppression is not a “one-off” event. There are deep scars and emotional sequelae as the result of oppression. And we don’t spend enough time discussing it.
Speaking of, the treatment of President Obama is a prime example of the way Black people are treated as ‘less-than’ Americans. We are expected to pledge allegiance and commit our loyalties to this country, yet not made privy to the rights and privileges that are guaranteed to its citizens. A White athlete may have been slapped on the wrist and chided for his poorly timed thoughts, but it is unlikely that he would have been attacked in the way that Mendenhall has. If the persons who are so quick to denounce the running back had the same historically abusive relationship to this country, perhaps they would understand how easy it is to question it’s actions.While there is no universal Black American consciousness, there is a long history of Black reticence to accept what has been presented to us by the US government as indisputable truths. Why? Because we have been manipulated, lied to and abused by this country so long as we’ve been here. When we stand up and denounce our mistreatment, we hear “America’s the greatest country in the world! If you don’t like it, leave!” Spoken like a true patriot: someone so blindly loyal to this country- White supremacist patriarchy and all- that they can’t or don’t want to see the misdeeds it has committed against the Colored, the poor, the gay, the female, the immigrant…While I wish that this young man knew better than to use social media to express these particular thoughts, I’d be lying if I said I could blame him for feeling like he doesn’ know the entire story. Sadly, Mendenhall’s race made him a ‘less-than’ American before he opened his virtual mouth and his thoughts confirmed what a lot of folks felt in the first place: that he doesn’t love this country like a ‘real’ American ought to.But why should he?While Mendenhall’s words didn’t seem particularly patriotic, was he not exercising his right to freedom of speech? One of the many rights that the enemies of America seem to resent? One of the freedoms that those like Osama Bin Laden cite as evidence of this country’s evils and reason that we should be taken down? Rashard Mendenhall made the mistake of acting like an American and got a good old fashioned ‘Black wake-up call’. – Jamilah Lemieux (Sista Toldja)