Monday, March 15, 2010

Advice from Mr. Hatter

Mr. Hatter,

In a recent interview, John Mayer reconfirmed that we have not progressed much since the times of the Civil Rights movement. It seems that he feels somehow connected with people of other races, so much so that he can insult and ignore a long and tired road it has been to equality. I guess he knows what it was like to march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the front steps of Washington. Has Mr. Mayer ever sat at the back of a bus? Has he ever been denied a table at a restaurant? Has he ever been told that he doesn't have the right to speak his mind based on the color of his skin? I seriously doubt that he has had much conflict in his young and successful life. 

So here is a curve ball right back at you John Mayer. White performers have always have always had success from claiming Black artists works. I can only imagine this is the case for Mayer since he shows so little lack of respect for his so called "BROTHERS" or an entire race by using the word "NIGER" and claiming to be one. I tried to ignore the babbling opinions of an over rated pop star, but turning my back on the issue makes me feel as guilty as the person that committed the crime. Go back 30, 40, or even 50 years. Would Mayer be another man with a guitar around his neck or just another obstacle with a whip in his hands? We do not chose to be politically correct when the mood strikes us. We have to make it a way of life for the future and the past. 

What is your take on this? If you proclaim to truly give people advice, then I'm curious to see how you would address a topic as serious and painful as this exhausting cry for equality. Do you even have the courage to address the issue?  


Me, and a history of being proud of it 

Dear Mr. or Miss Proud,

I am extremely grateful for you insight. I love to talk about things I know little about. But occasionally I come across a topic that I understand all too well. I don't find myself lacking the courage to talk about the topic of racism but it makes me feel very sad that we STILL are. I don't, however, give up hope that future generations look back and think "how could that be?" after finding the answers to the dream.
Let me start by saying that a fool never worries what others will think regarding what he or she has said. Knowing this, you must understand that the wisest man was once the greatest fool. Why else would he climb the highest peak by himself only to spend his days thinking in solitude? For the most part it is because he has alienated everyone around him and now needs the time alone to reflect on his decisions. In no way am I calling John Mayer wise. Just listen to his music for that enquiry. What I am saying is that Johnny Boy needs to find a mountain to climb and stay up there until he is ready to come down and be a man. 
I am not here to defend the babbling immaturity of a fool. But I can not deny that I have been one myself. What starts out so innocently as curiosity on the playground, turns into (if not monitored or nurtured) a bitter attack on everything different from ourselves while even alienating us from our own flesh. The color of our skin is easy to detect and differentiate. But it goes past that. Is it a boy or a girl? Where is he from? What church does she go to? Is he dating him? Well, you know... those people always do that. We start grouping, isolating, finger pointing, and insulting everything that doesn't fall under "OUR" category. 

The funny thing is that if you turned our bodies inside out you couldn't tell each other apart. 

"Was that David?" 

"No I think that was Tom."

"How can you tell?"

"Tom is taller."

"OOOOOHHHH yes, of course." And then it begins to start all over again.

Am I saying that the age old problem is human nature? Well being different is human nature. It is also human nature to process, evaluate, and make logical conclusions on how to coexist with each other. It is human nature to love. We are one of the few species on this planet that have that capability. We are primal but our ability to comprehend the world around us is a true gift. We can rise above our own ignorance. I have never enjoyed racist or sexiest jokes, but I have heard them. So that must mean that I was listening. As a child I lashed out even though it felt wrong. It was being done to me so why not do it back.  I said things I heard others say, even towards friends. One day I realized I didn't have to listen to the jokes. It was okay to speak through my heart and tell people they were out of line. I began to grow up and value the differences in culture, language, and color. I value the differences in each other. That is something I spread around very freely. You are right Proud, you have to work on it everyday and I did.

In Martin Luther King's last speech he said, "Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!"

I believe that land is here and that time is now. That is the hope I carry around in my pocket. Times are changing. Little by little we are spreading the word that racism is wrong. My kids have the same color of skin that I do, but I will never let them forget all the generations, nationalities, struggles that were met with victories, and beautiful colors it took to pave the road we are on to that mountain Dr. King spoke of. Slowly we have changed our narrow minded opinions of each other. There is still work to do but together we can change the world.


Mr. Hatter

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