Mark Levin pissed me off...

Granted this is an 'old' piece, but should be posted nonetheless... 
A brother of mine asked me to listen to Mark Levin's podcast offering his thoughts on President Obama's response to the George Zimmerman verdict.
As my dear brother is white, he wanted to know what I thought about it.
After I listened, this is what I wrote to him...

Ok brother, since you want me to listen and opine. I am not going to deal with the specifics of the Zimmerman case if I can help it, I am going to listen and opine on this statement. I will not edit before I send it either…
Let me be clear, I despise pundits and punditry, they are hired killers, their purpose to divide and go as far to the extreme that they can, while hurling their turds at the other side, much as Gorillas do...

1) I am always put off by people who do not address the President by anything other than ‘President Obama’, or ‘The President’. It is disrespectful and done purposely. It is a common thing done on both sides, and equally egregious. The Dems did it all the time, referring to former POTUS Bush by his last name only. (Mr. Levin is already off to a bad start)

2) The Zimmerman case WAS INDEED about ‘race’. Any other way to look at this is a false reality; self-serving and convenient. ‘Stand your ground’ statistics notwithstanding.

3) President Reagan was not a saint, by any means, the revisionist history here is
both curious, and duplicitous.

4) I do not like the POTUS, nor do I agree with the vast preponderance of his policies, or his agenda.  That is (and has always been) clear, but

the fact is that
he told
the truth in his statements about what it is to be a Black man in this country, and no white man in this nation will EVER understand that, EVER
(with the notable exception of John Howard Griffin, and if you do not know who he is, you should look him up).

It matters not how people try to spin it, it IS the REALITY here. It is my everyday reality, and EVERY SINGLE THING that he described in his statement, has been  (and continues to be) my

daily life. DAILY, brother…

5) The statement was Unexpected??
Not at all. In fact it was EXPECTED, HOPED FOR, NEEDED, DESPERATELY. I needed to hear the President, who looks like me, discuss what it is to look like me. My 81 year old Father who still gets ‘profiled’ needed to hear it, my 74 year old Father in law, who just recently was surrounded by the cops, and hassled for no reason needed to hear it.

6) What President does NOT impose his politics on the nation? His beloved Reagan did the same thing. That is the way the job is done. EVERY President does.

7) I HATE the ‘Uppity Nigger’ undertone that I hear in this man and others.

8) It is, IMHO, Mark Levin who sounds,‘resentful , condescending and contemptuous’

9) This ‘great country’ still has a long way to go, and the willfully ignorant Mr. Levin needs to know that legislating morality does not change the hearts of people.

10) I am a man who went to an Ivy league University, posses an above average IQ, have had access to opportunities, and yada yada, it does
exempt me from the DAILY issues that exist even here in racially diverse NYC.
(The President said that for him it did not stop until he was elected to the US Senate…)

Even on my job, I am the ONLY African American male, and I replaced the ONLY African American male before me. During my tenure in this position (some 16 years), there has been ONE other African American male in our group, though we experience significant (12 in the last 18 months for example) turnover. Is this because there are NO qualified African American males??

11)  ‘Rather than using the bully pulpit in ways that only a black man could’? WTH??? That’s exactly what he did!!!  He explained a situation that millions of men live with
daily, for people like Mark Levin and whomever else would take their anti-Obama glasses and earplugs off long enough to listen to what he said.

I am angry as I write this, brother. I am disappointed but not surprised. Let me be clear, the ONLY thing that keeps me from being the ‘angry black man’ that Levin and others feel by rights should not exist, is
JESUS CHRIST. Period.  I am, like the Apostle Paul, constrained by the Gospel, else there would be a very different man in front of you.
(You saw the potential for that other man to surface in Berlin, in 2004, when the spittle rained down onto my head and face...)

The LORD has been (and continues to be) my refuge, and strength, a VERY present help in times of trouble, and it is only by the Grace of God that I can say that.

Let me be clear brother, no amount of equivocation by white men (which deeply offends me by the way)
can minimize the truth of what exists in this nation. It is the same
(the attempt at equivocation)
as the post MLK assassination white liberal guilt that so many felt, and I was the unwitting beneficiary of. 

Trips to vacation homes, interviewed by the New York Times, trotted out when convenient to put forth the illusion of fairness, like the token I was, etc.

That is, until the guilt assuaged, and it was no longer chic for 'Billy' to have a 'little black friend',especially one who was so 'polite and well-spoken' like I was some kind of anomalous trained simian... and it

(the attempt at equivocation)
makes light of a deeply rooted pain.

The POTUS spoke to that specifically, the fact that these types of things (the Zimmerman verdict, etc)  are seen through a lens of experience that is unpleasant, painful and problematic

and No, people can't just
'get over it'. The perceptions continue, the reality continues...
(As a side note, I find it interesting that the Jews are never told to 'just get over' the Holocaust, but it is implied that black people are supposed to just 'get over' their historic and still quite present American experience.)

In the same way that I can NEVER know what it is to be a woman giving birth

brother, and NEVER know what it is like to be a white man in a white male dominated society, no white man can know the reality of this.

Take my good friend (name expunged): Graduates Cum Laude from Yale University, a brilliant man, brilliant writer. He gets all kinds of responses from his resume, until he shows up for the interview… Suddenly, there is not a job to be found, until finally, he gets a job as a lowly copy editor at (name expunged)

Why is that?

Take my Homeschool Government class (Fall 2012)

  We are discussing the Miranda rules. Why is it that when Pastor Jermin asks if any of the kids can think of ways that modern day policing gets around the Miranda rules, NONE of the white kids in the class can? Why is it that ONLY the sole brown-skinned male in the class knows what ‘stop and frisk’ is, and all of these kids live in Brooklyn?
Why is that?

Why is it that I could sit across the table from my Father in Law this week, and though separated by a generation (a crucial one at that) we could share experiences of helplessness, emasculation, rage and fear imposed/inflicted upon us by white men for no reason other than our skin color? Why could he talk of angry helpless tears staining his face, not because he was frightened, but because he was helpless? Why have I heard my own Father utter those same words? He who was raised in another country, My Father in Law in Alabama , and me raised in Brooklyn??

Why is that?

I can go on and on, but I won’t. There is no point. I ask for no pity, I expect no quarter, nor do I expect to be understood.

ONLY when the hearts of men are changed that we will truly be ‘color-blind’, and move past our petty differences, to the Utopian ideal that Dr. MLK spoke of: a place where people are judged not by skin color but character.

Righteousness cannot be legislated. Equity cannot be legalized by vote…

It is ONLY THE GOSPEL which can change the hearts of men.

To that truth I cling, and under that standard I stand, to GOD be the Glory.


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