Okay I’m about to share an amazing learning philosophy with you that will definitely broaden your horizons. Some of you may have already figured this out all by yourself, and if you have then you are way ahead of the game. The rest of us will catch up for sure.
If you really want to expand your mind’s capacity and harbor all sorts of knowledge about different things, start hanging out in places where opposite ethnic groups hang out. As a matter of a fact start following opposite ethnic group individuals around. Observe what they do, try some of the things they try. ( This could result in some historical feats. Like the first black person to ever bungee jump, or maybe the first white person to enjoy a hamhock and blackeye pea meal with a forty of malt liquor deep in the hood) In the meantime…back to the scheduled programming.
Do You remember the Million Man March where a million black men emerged on already predominately black Washington DC? One would’ve thought this would be last place you would’ve found a white person. You would’ve been dead wrong too. Right there in the midst of a million black men were a sprinkling of white people who was actually quite transparent. Oh there were the classic reactions abound to the appearance of whites attending, what had been heralded as an all black event by the leader of the Nation of Islam’s renowned Louis Farrakhan. Considering past remarks by the good minister about white people, a big damn billboard proclaiming “No White People Allowed” could not have been a clearer deterrent. But some were not deterred. I can’t align myself with the notions some adopted regarding their attendance either. “What the hell are these white people doing here? They’re watching us in case something jumps off” Another one. “White people have absolutely nothing to do with this” Umm I wouldn’t be too sure of that. And finally. “White people are nosey as hell, look at them, all in this” Umm nosey. Nosey is good. Nosey, if that’s the term you want to roll with, is a precursor to learning. Learning about other things, places, and yes people.
And for one more analogy to pacify those that hunger for a concrete visual of a black wandering places on the other ethnic front and benefitting from it. I present to you Barrack Obama. Let’s just suppose President Obama in adolescence embraced the assumption that because only one particular ethnic group made up the majority of a particular sect, union, or organization, that it must be for them only and he decided he would endorse the standard fare of stereotypical propaganda associated with young people of color. Let’s just say he trashes his belt and drops the waistline of his Levis to expose his Hanes, never pursues any musical interest beyond the violence laced lyrics of gangster rap or reads anything pretty much at all. Let’s also consider him declining to attend Columbia University or Harvard Law school based on the oppressive assumption they were schools for “white folks” Let’s give some deep thought to how history may have been shaped, if President Barrack Obama hadn’t been nosey. We may very well at this point be waiting to see what President Sarah Palin is going to do about healthcare, or wondering of President John McCain is going to make it four years to do any thing at all. (I hear a lot of “oh hell to the naws” going on out there about right now) “Boy git them pants back up on your waist and turn that TV from BET to the Country Music Channel!!!!) “Whaaaaaat???? Dad! ” You heard me, and we’re going to the synagogue on Sunday’ “Ma, i think Dad’s on that stuff”
A word of caution here people. You’re going to have to ease the teens and real old people into this exercise. Spoon feed it to them slowly. I can hear it now from grandpa “I’m not following no white folks no damn where. I remember the last time somebody tried that we all wound up on a boat outta Africa headed for America.” Okay, I was wrong for that one, but I had to make a point.
And white people, you all pretty much got the handle on this exercise and maybe inclined after reading this to step it up a notch more.( Proof of that is you all tend to be a little too inquisitive about strange gunfire, often gravitating toward it to investigate, while black people run like hell the other way. So I say to you, be careful and don’t get crazy with this. You there Mr Madison Avenue, DO NOT drive your S-class Benz over to Central Park after midnight and try to learn anything about any people that’s in that park that time of night. That type learning can be obtained from reading the crime section in the news paper.
Oh yeah, black people, don’t go down in rural back wood South Carolina and attempt to learn anything about organizations whose required uniform is a holey white sheet. There are some things history is very adept at teaching us.
Candid analogies aside, we are doing ourselves and our children an enormous disservice by not pursuing the opportunity to learn all that we can about the cultures, beliefs, habits, aspirations, social structures and convictions of the many ethnic popularities we share the world with.
Open you mind, open your heart, and the floodgates of knowledge will be non stop.