One of the most beautiful things about being an African-American is that there is so much diversity to be found within our Race. I don’t care if you are talking about the vast physical beauty found within our Race, as you well know we run the gamut from the darkest ‘blue-black’ skin all the way through being “light bright, damn near white”, a funny quip that my Black Studies Professor Paulette Pierce once stated during one of our classes.
Even Dr. Pierce’s brilliant description fails to fully capture many within our Race who are so fair-skinned that they chose to ‘pass’ as white during opportune moments.
Put simply, even a surface-level study of Black America will reveal that one is hard-pressed to find any area — politics, social, cultural, economic, educational, religious, spirituality — where there is consensual agreement. And for the first time in my life, I am fine with that diversity; it truly is what makes our people even more beautiful than God originally intended them to be.
Before I move forward, I must re-emphasize my belief that there is nothing wrong with diversity in our midst. However, and I am quite certain that you were awaiting this ‘however’, words cannot describe how troubled my soul is regarding the appearance of what should be considered ‘The New Millennium Minstrel Show’ starring Donald J. Trump’s 2 favorite pickaninnies Diamond and Silk.
Although I cannot imagine that you have missed these sisters national tour of stumping for Republican Presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump, however, if you have been fortunate enough to miss their public buffoonery, just imagine a modern-day minstrel show that serves as nothing other than a consistent assault upon the brilliance, intelligence, style, and eloquence that we all know resides within Black America.
Although I have my own feelings regarding their endorsement of Trump as a Presidential candidate, it is not that decision which disturbs me to the core. It is the degrading manners, indecent behavior, and boorish language that they have exhibited on national stages across the nation that has proven most disconcerting.
Now I am certain that there are many who will say that I am being hypocritical in this matter. Such individuals will highlight that that on the one hand I am willing to embrace and celebrate the fact that African-Americans are not a monolithic population; however, I repudiate Diamond and Silk for their political expression in the same breath. Such criticism is flawed at its core. I do not disagree with Diamond and Silk having a political voice, I disagree with their sophomoric antics that have never been aimed at liberating Black America. My critique is not aimed at their political choice, rather a denouncement of their repeated behavior that has undoubtedly damaged our collective image.
I would hope that African-Americans, regardless of their political leanings/affiliation, would agree that Diamond and Silk are modern day minstrels whose language, style, rhetoric, inability to hold a decent conversation, and total lack of political acumen contributes nothing to present-day political discourse. What these two fools’ antics does achieve is to substantiate the most prejudiced beliefs that whites hold about African-Americans.
After watching these two sisters ‘perform’, I am reminded of the great Malcolm X quote, “It was a circus, with clowns and all!” It is time that all Americans on the Left, Right, and the Middle of the political spectrum shunned this buffoonery and took persons such as Donald J. Trump to task for even allowing such foolishness to be included in this very important political season.
Let’s remove the clowns from the stage and get down to more substantive discussions regarding the future of America.
Dr. James Thomas Jones III
©Manhood, Race and Culture, 2016