Color Commentary

Jose Vilson Jose 8 Comments

Michael WilbonThe problem / blessing with being a blogger of “color” is that, because of our natural tendency to discuss politics, we’re instantly labeled and constricted to a certain type of writing i.e. we’re looked at as racial polemicists. I suppose that’s fitting seeing as how I’ve been doing this type of writing since 2K4, but on the same end, I don’t necessarily feel the need to discuss it. The Afrospear Bloggers seem to do a pretty good job of it already, but more importantly, it’s because the world has so much more to offer than racial discussion.

If I was in college at this point and time, I might have gone into the Jena 6 discussion more thoroughly. I might have told you how excited I am that Mychal Bell isn’t getting tried as an adult, and how atrocious this judicial system is that it almost turned a blind eye to the whole situation (if not for the hard work of the thousands out there). I might also have told you how much of a dimwit Jason Whitlock is for his views on the Jena 6, and how quickly he shuffles his feet and claps his hands for people above him. I’d also comment on how I’ll definitely be wearing Black on September 20th with the rest of the (eclectic and united) group of men and women who will protest the Jena 6 madness.

I might also talk about how O.J.’s a disgrace to people of color, and how there’s no way anyone who he once considered his “people” should support him. I might say how, because the denominator representing us is much smaller, when one person messes up, the fraction (or infraction) is that much bigger (math jokes tickle me). I wonder how much OJ Simpson’s memorabilia even costs, as I imagine that the value of his stuff has to cost much less than that of a steroid-abusing black baseball player. I might even say that, unless Johnnie Cochran rolls up out of his grave in a black and white pinstriped suit, there’s no way in hell Simpson gets away with this.

I might even discuss this whole “Read a Book” madness, because I would have supported it back in my college days support the spirit behind it. G_d forbid that we actually pick up a good read from excellent authors, as there’s a plethora of hot trash that people confuse for intelligent Black literature. The fact that BET finally did something right by putting that video up for the masses is ironic in that over the last decade, it’s deteriorated into a very small snippet of what it means to be Black in this country.

I might go into how the blogosphere outside of maybe Guanabee and The Unapologetic Mexican dropped the ball as far as reporting on Elvira Arrelano, the Mexican immigrant who was quickly deported from the United States after speaking out against the government’s immigration policies in a church in a Los Angeles church. I would then react by speaking on the weird relationship with Blacks and Latinos that the outrage for the the Arrelano story wasn’t nearly as big  as the Jena 6 incidents (or in some cases, not even mentioned). There’s a lot of factors in that, but it still makes me wonder.

Then again, the first thing I noticed when I started to circle the blogosphere is the lack of blogs that at least generally fit my experience. I got it in snippets here and there, but in general, I couldn’t just find a blog that discussed a Black Latino’s life. I know enough of them, and there’s a growing faction of them in the media and such, but in the blogosphere? Not exactly.

So I’m usually focused on everything else, because I see value in discussing it all. Hmm …

jose, who has 4 artists on heavy rotation: common, talib kweli, kanye, and chuck mangione (which of these is not like the other?)

About Jose Vilson

José Luis Vilson is a math educator, blogger, speaker, and activist. For more of my writing, buy my book This Is Not A Test: A New Narrative on Race, Class, and Education, on sale now.

Comments 8

  1. Frumteacher

    This is one of the things that makes YOU a unique blogger! Plus, one a more abstract level, one could add that this teaches us that no two bloggers are the same, and that maybe we should start looking behind labels and colors.

  2. Bam

    Jose. Man I felt all this.

    And I mean I felt it because it is to the point that I am annoyed with what people expect the content of my blogs to consist of. I am sick of people expecting a blog on every political autrocity that affects people of color from me… I intentionally did not touch on the Jena 6, although I am scheduled to travel down there for Thursdays protest. I am aware of Elvira Arrelano and that crooked mess… And even hot about it.

    As far as the whole BET “read a book” controversy, people need to take some fuckin ownership. I just ain’t even feel like addressing how ignorant it sounds for people to protest a fuckin cartoon with a message delivered in a comedic fashion, intended for adults, (Much like the Boondocks which will be returning Oct 8), but they neglect to admit they let their kids watch BET and the multiple levels upon which that is wrong, and demonstrates poor parenting.

    Whatever. Guess they won’t be getting Bloombergs little incentive.. Which I can’t go into either. I just can’t.

    I guess I want to believe that the content of the world has to be more than the dicrepancies society has with race and politics… Shit, I am sick of writing about it.

    Or maybe there isn’t much other than that in the world to discuss, and thats why I haven’t blogged.


  3. Post

    @ frum: thanks. i mean, maybe it’s the fact that everything we are makes us so unique. hmmm …

    @ george: i like my blog, too, but those will work just the same.

    @ bam: we’re like eye-to-eye. a-fuckin’-men …

    @ another teacher: WOW!!! HILARIOUS! You think Chuck is a sell-out?

  4. another teacher

    Didn’t he shill for Walmart? Oh, wait, no that was on King of the Hill. And Kanye’s not really a sell out either. Not really. But I stand by calling Common a sellout. Effin’ coke commercials.

  5. Post

    @another: HAHA, shoo, if that’s the case, then what’s with Talib making commercials for the Big Ten conference? Plus, all of those artists we didn’t consider sell-outs before this millenia like KRS, Tribe, Mobb (like I said, before this century) made Sprite commercials.

    Either way, that’s pretty hilarious.

  6. BK Teaching Fellow

    very well said. i think by nature, your commentary (and mine) is already colored with race. thats just who we are. cannot escape it, or hide it. nor do we want to. so delving into topics specifically about race is not necessary. it already happens and there are tons of bloggers already doing it.

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