The 2015 racial draft is amongst us. It’s official. The black delegation has decided that we are releasing Raven-Symoné and Dr. Ben Carson. They are now American free agents. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired of them. They rather conform to Americanism and belittle blackness at every turn. We’ve decided that we’re a better team without them.
The black delegation knows that many of you have read Dr. Ben Carson’s autobiography, Gifted Hands for inspiration. You’ve connected with him as you read about his struggles and triumphs on his way to greatness. His story is well-documented. His mother proudly raised two boys with the help of public assistance to make ends meet. He was considered the ‘dumb student’ until his mother required him to read two books a week. He had a violent temper that led to near stabbing incident of friend over a radio station. He received a scholarship to Yale University where he felt isolated and alone. But he overcame all of these obstacles to become a pioneering neurosurgeon at John Hopkins’, one of the best medical institutions in the world. All of which made Dr. Ben Carson symbol of inspiration and hope.
And throughout his career at John Hopkins’, Dr. Carson continued to give back to the black community by going to inner-city schools encouraging kids to be their best selves. New York Bestseller author for Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates who grew up in Baltimore admired Dr. Carson for talking to the young people to let them know there were more to life than the streets. INSPIRATION! But then he started to attack Barack Obama in ways not even his white counterparts couldn’t with the exception of the uncensored bigot, Donald Trump. Carson had the audacity to say that the Affordable Care Act (affectionately known as Obamacare) was ‘the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.”
We could not believe Carson who has been a victim of racism compare universal health care to slavery. But more than that Carson is a hypocrite. We think that Dr. Ben Carson forgot that he benefited from welfare and affirmative action. Dr. Benjamin Carson has decided to close the door of opportunity that millions died and fought for him to get him through. He chooses to disregard that he benefitted from same social programs that he wants to get rid. So we are done. It is not his affiliation with the Republican party. We always knew he was conservative, for he always believed his values of faith, family and self-reliance helped him to get to his prominence. It did. He also needs to acknowledge that affirmative action and public assistance helped him.
But Carson’s insistence to be included to be a part of America blinds him to the reality of being black in America. Let’s ask Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray. Oh yeah, we can’t. Their lives were cut short because they were executed for being black. Ben Carson doesn’t want to address the disproportionate risk blacks face of death at the hands of the police. We think he feels he is exonerated. Let us remind him that in 2009 Yale graduate and Harvard professor, Dr. Henry Louis Gates was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct for trying to get in his house. Since Dr. Ben Carson wants to be American, we’ve severed ties with him. You’re free, Ben, to sign with any other delegation that will have you.
Now let’s get to Raven-Symoné. In the last 6 months she’s defended Univision’s Rodner Figueroa’s statement that Michelle Obama looked like a member of the Planet of the Apes cast. In an interview with Oprah Winfrey despite her racial origin and her same-sex relationship, she did not want to limit herself being labeled as African-American or gay. Since she was 4, we fell in love with Olivia, the cute precocious child on The Cosby Show. Did we know Raven-Symoné? How could we? She was only four.
Raven-Symoné grew up in front of eyes first as Olivia on The Cosby Show then as Nicole Lee on Hangin’ with Mr. Cooper. But it was her stint on the Disney Channel that made Raven-Symoné so famous. She started with a voice role of Monique on Kim Possible. Then she auditioned for a part that became That’s So Raven which spawned a franchise of soundtracks, dolls, episode videos and video games. This led to multiple Disney roles and albums with a Disney-based record company which yielded a lot of money. Yes, we know her professionally, but we really never knew who Raven-Symoné was until now. She’s telling us who she is, and we should believe her.
Yesterday Raven-Symoné got more public heat for her comments in the Hot Topics segment for refusing to hire anyone with ‘ghetto names’. But this is discrimination. This is racist behavior. This was our last straw with Raven-Symoné. Maybe she’s in denial about her own name. Maybe she’s immersed herself in the privilege that her money has afforded her, for she’s never been a child of struggle. She’s never had to put her name on a job application to just make ends meet. Obviously, she lives in a bubble of a post-racial America that the rest of us do not live in, but it is time to let her go and be just American.
We do not care what Raven-Symoné says. We should be proud of our names. According to her Barack Hussein Obama should not be president based on his name alone. Ta-Nahesi Coates should not be on the New York Times’ Bestsellers List. Quvenzhané Wallis should not have been nominated for Oscar award. Taraji P. Henson should not be a leading actress in one of the most popular shows in America, Empire. Maybe Condoleeza Rice shouldn’t have been Secretary of State. Or Uzoamaka “Uzo” Aduba should not have been given the chance to read for Crazy Eyes and eventually winning an Emmy for that role. Basically, Raven-Symoné believes that we shouldn’t be judged by the color of their skin but our name on paper.
We, the black delegation, find this absurd and elitist. Therefore, take both of them. We don’t want anything in return. We thought about Matt McGorry from Orange Is The New Black and How to Get Away with Murder especially after he spoke out for Black Lives Matter movement. But we have to get our shit together. We have to learn to support each other no matter our shade, names and socio-economic positions. Before we can get to #AllLivesMatter we have to learn that #AllBlackLivesMatter. We have to create businesses to hire our own where our worth is not linked to the color of our skin or the names we write on our resumés or job applications but rather if we can do the job well. We have to take care of our own Maliks, Amirs, Shaniquas and Anisas one at a time. But in the meantime, we would like that 40 acres and a mule from the white delegation.