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It's Time to Put an End to the Tribe Mentality
By Stacy Washington on December 19, 2012
What is the tribe mentality? It's loosely defined as submitting yourself to the group think of the greater control group that you should stereotypically belong to: in this case a person's racial identity group. In the case of black people, the tribe can place responsibility for the poor decisions and actions of other blacks upon you, as well as levying a tax of responsibility to behave or think a certain way as payment to ancestors that have struggled, and survived (succeeded) under the heinous circumstances of Jim Crow and slavery.
As payment for the ones that went before whose shoulders you now stand upon, you must constantly refer to your race, vote with the Democrats, and abhor any sign of personal responsibility. Even if you are personally a very responsible person, and expect the same from others regardless of their race.
You must eschew any criticism of blacks, while instinctually and publicly referring to your race, your blackness if you will. You must place outward signs and symbols of your blackness around yourself, even when they are unneeded. Keep your race and the victimhood status of a race previously owned as slaves up front and center, because white guilt is a powerful tool, to be used against our former oppressors at every turn to aid in getting ahead.
If you're a black kid, it means making bad grades, wearing your pants down low, so your underwear show and of course, using a copious amount of slang with a "black accent". So much so that most adults can't make out a single thing that you're saying. But whatev!! If you're a black woman it means acting really hard and tough, having an attitude. Not a regular bad attitude mind you, no. Make it patently clear that if you are crossed you will go nuclear in 3 seconds flat and that anyone nearby will die.
All of that sounds ridiculous, right? But that is exactly what is communicated when a sports commentator takes a black athlete to task for being "black kind of, but not really." When Rob Parker said that about Robert Griffin III in reference to his response to being constantly grilled about being a black quarterback in the NFL, he was speaking for the tribe.
You see RGIII, as he's commonly known, has the unenviable task of having sports journalists constantly focus on his race instead of his performance in the game. He's probably a bit tired of being asked about being a "Black Quarterback" for the Redskins. Instead of copping an attitude about this repetitive gross lack of respect, RGIII has taken to replying in this way:
"For me, you don't ever want to be defined by the color of your skin,'' Griffin said at the end of Wednesday's post-practice news conference in reference to a question about Martin Luther King, Jr. "You want to be defined by your work ethic, the person that you are, your character, your personality. That's what I've tried to go out and do.
"I am an African-American in America. That will never change. But I don't have to be defined by that.''
"I am aware how much race is relevant to them,'' RGIII said. "I don't ignore it. I try not to be defined by it. But I understand different persectives and how people view different things. I understand that they're excited that their quarterback is an African-American. I play with a lot of pride, a lot of character, a lot of heart. I understand that. I appreciate them for being fans and not just fans because they're African-Americans.''
ESPN's Rob Parker's comments (made last Thursday morning on First Take) are so disturbing and comical that you simply must enjoy their racially pungent aroma for yourself: (keep in mind that as an African-American, Rob Parker has a lot of questions about Griffin - on behalf of the tribe, naturally).
“My question is, and it’s just a straight, honest question: Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother,” Parker said. “He’s not really. He’s black, he does his thing, but he’s not really down with the cause. He’s not one of us. He’s kind of black, but he’s not really like the kind of guy you really want to hang out with.”
Parker said he wants to know more about Griffin’s personal life before he can accept Griffin as authentically black.
“I want to find about him,” Parker said. “I don’t know because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancee. Then there was all this talk about he’s a Republican, which there’s no information at all. I’m just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like, ‘I’ve got black skin, but don’t call me black.’ So people wondered about Tiger Woods.”
Asked by fellow panelist Skip Bayless about the fact that Griffin braids his hair, Parker said that’s an aspect of Griffin that he approves of.
“That’s different, because, to me, that’s very urban,” Parker said. “Wearing braids is, you’re a brother. You’re a brother if you’ve got braids.”
So after making a total donkey out of himself, Rob Parker found himself suspended from ESPN "indefinitely. And with good cause. There is no room for this type of low information throwback thinking in today's discourse. Which brings me back around to the Tribe. I know what you're thinking. The answer is.... No. The Tribe will not hire Mr. Parker or give him any interim remuneration for representing them on this issue.
That's the thing about following the dictates of the Tribe: it often leads down an unsuccessful path. Consolation? You'll have plenty of company there, as folks that represent the Tribe best are supremely unsuccessful and proud of it.
Not to be outdone the NAACP has chimed in with their own chorus of Tribe Speak against the appointment of Congressman Tim Scott to the Senate by South Carolina's Governor Nikki Hayley. Instead of hailing this as an achievement, (Scott will be the only black Senator) both for the state of North Carolina and for Americans everywhere, the NAACP has chosen to speak out against Scott for his limited government ideals. They assert this stance is harmful to blacks, because of the black community's inherent need for big government policies.
Rounding out the examples of what not to say about people of your own ethnicity, is an Indianapolis Indiana radio host Amos Brown, who put it rather simply when he tweeted:
"Gee, courtesy of the S. Carolina GOP the nation gets Tim Scott, an ultra right wing Tea Party devotee US Senator who's black only in skin color."
Of course it is de rigueur for black public figures like Mr. Brown to speak racially incendiary utterances like this on a regular basis as he is a devotee of the Tribe Mentality. The very prevalence of this type of idiotic speech is indicative of how far the GOP has to go in communicating its message to blacks. Yet there is a silver lining, more and more blacks are hearing the Republicans concrete plans. And all hope is not lost as we enjoy the prospect of having Tim Scott's voice of fiscal prudence fighting for us in Washington. Truth will win out.