My Thoughts on Shining a Light: A Concert for Progress on Race in America

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The issue of race has always been a complex and controversial subject in this country. Black folks have spent years discussing racism on various platforms, rallies, talk shows, radio shows, and through classic literary works. Nevertheless, the discussion of race has eluded the Negro unless discussed in an academic setting i.e. an English or Sociology course; but as a matter of political demagoguery, racism is often used by white liberals to deter blacks from ever voting Republican thus ensuring the black vote remains predominantly Democratic. So when the issue of race is addressed between American blacks and whites it’s mainly used to guilt naive white people due to the legacy of slavery; and to instigate and inflame blacks linking them to slavery and reminding them of systemic racism through post-traumatic slave disorder. I personally do not espouse to the post-traumatic slave disorder rhetoric; however, that is not to say that racism doesn’t exist in this ill-gotten country. As cynical as this may sound, racism will always exist in America no matter how “progressive” talking heads and celebrities want to say otherwise. Such is a case involving a Kentucky circuit court judge, Olu Stevens, who’s been making headlines because he decided to dismiss a primarily all-white jury panel (40-1) in a case involving two black men and a white family. Judge Stevens became “deeply offended” towards the victim’s family (Jordan Gray) who wrote an impact statement letter expressing her daughter’s continual fear towards “all black men.” Stevens has been called racist for both dismissing the panel jury and criticizing the Jordan family for “accepting that kind of mentality.” That mentality, Stevens is referring to is a generalization for an entire race of people; something black folks are continually stigmatized by American whites. So as I viewed Shining a Light, would there actually be an honest and candid discussion about race? Or with all of the celebrity A-listers would I just be in for something similar to Lou Rawls’ Negro College Fund with a hint of Live 8 and Sunday’s Best?

A+E Networks "Shining A Light" Concert
LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 18: (L-R) Recording artists Zac Brown, Tori Kelly, Jamie Foxx, Jill Scott, Eric Church, Miguel and Smokey Robinson perform onstage at A+E Networks “Shining A Light” concert at The Shrine Auditorium on November 18, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images for A+E Networks)

The event seems to focus on what they call the tragic events which happened in Charleston, SC involving the deaths of nine congregants at the Mother Emanuel A.M.E. Church because of their race. Call me a conspiracy theorist but I believe the attack was a hoax/false flag event like just many other ‘terrorist’ attacks happening recently. The crisis actors, the shooter going to a fast food restaurant after being arrested, and the families being awarded $29 million dollars two days after the shooting. Oh yeah, and all of them forgave the guy which is part of the reason why their having this concert for race progress. The program wants everyone but especially black folks, to sing those typical civil rights anthems of “We shall overcome,” and “Someday we’ll all be free,” which was actually performed by John Legend and Pink. The Shining a Light program included a diverse group of people from different ethnical backgrounds mostly speaking on the importance of change, equality (which to me is a bad word), love, and oneness which when I hear that and equality; the real racial rift primarily between blacks and whites, will not be addressed. Instead, programs like this will focus on social justice reform which to me means more young millennials forming groups using social media to lash out at the slightest form of micro-aggression.

There was an interesting turn in the program when they decided to speak to the wives’ of Ferguson, Missouri police officers. This was done to fuel the liberal narrative which is that blacks only have racial issues with white law enforcement officers. Again, this is not to say that there isn’t a substantial divide between many law enforcement officers and blacks. I mean, racial profiling does exist, but if you were to ask the wives’ of some of the officers interviewed, they said race didn’t play apart in the death of Michael Brown; an absolute “No-No” to the Ferguson protestors and others. Then there was the interview Missouri Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who was called to police the demonstrators after the Ferguson riots (while becoming a media darling as well), elaborate on the necessary steps needed by everyone to build trust in law enforcement and the community. After a few performances, the scene shifts to another city—Baltimore, MD–which was affected earlier this year by racial tensions between blacks and police. Rather than bring up the Freddie Gray case, they decided to film singer/songwriter Alicia Keys visiting a community center and speaking to a group of single mothers. Single mother’s which included the liberal media’s mother of the year for smacking, I mean rescuing her son; Toya Graham.

The only conclusion I could come away with after watching Shining a Light is that as far as racial progress goes the only thing blacks will ever get out of these events is more awareness spreading using the black struggle, hardships, and tragedies, as the face of another agenda altogether. It’s the equivalent of Black Lives Matter using murdered black males as a front, but the real agenda is equal rights which are more geared towards gender, sexuality, and cultural (social) Marxist thought; instead of the issue of black lives. Shining a Light is no different because though it may tout that they’re raising concerns about racial divisiveness and criminal reform; however, the actual issue of race-relations gets curtailed to interactions with police and ultimately, as a society we need to do better. That’s integration 2.0 ladies and gentlemen. Unfortunately, these groups only tend to the stereotypical impoverished single mother (i.e. the Toya Graham’s of the world), her children desiring to grow up in safer conditions, and the often absenteeism of the illegitimate father. I wonder if Judge Stevens would consider this too as an over generalization of an entire race? Certainly, the liberal media doesn’t have a problem with it

The problem of race, racism and racial progress will only be talked about from the level of which the media covers it using spin control to cause division. So while racism and discrimination does still exists to a degree; however, going to the same people you’re saying is oppressing you and asking them to fix it; is absolutely asinine. If we really want to deal with racism we need to look no further than the blacks post Reconstruction. They had a different attitude, mindset, work ethic, determination, and strength. Yet somewhere along the road of opposition and overt oppression during the 20th century; that Negro lost his way and is bordering extinction. So as long as there are events like Shining a Light, Black Lives Matter, and a host of various social justice groups; black people will still be left singing the same Negro spiritual: “We shall overcome,” for another 50 years.

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