A Small Stream of Consciousness on Hate

Roger Porter

4/21/11

Tyler Perry recently said that Spike Lee can go straight to hell during a press conference for his latest Madea movie. Apparently he is still irritated by Spike Lee saying his movies are “coonery, bafoonery” back in 2009. So now we officially have two more prominent African-Americans that have decided to have beef. Sometimes it seems like beefing is our most celebrated past time. We’ve had WEB Dubois and Booker T. Washington go at it, Zora Neale Hurston and Richard Wright, James Baldwin and Eldridge Cleaver, Martin and Malcolm, Ralph Ellison and Amiri Baraka, Pac and Biggie. Sometimes it seems like you can just sum up black history by reading “The Battle Royal” scene in Ralph Ellison’s book The Invisible Man. That is to say it seems like we’re just fighting one another blindly much to the amusement and benefit of the ruling class. Now I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with having opposing viewpoints–after all it would be impossible to have meaningful discourse if everyone had the same opinion–all I’m saying is that as black people we take it to the extreme. It seems as though there are no respectful disagreements in our culture. When two black people have an issue, especially two black men, it’s almost always a fight to the death. Internalized racism is a beast. It never ceases to amaze me how programmed to hate one another we truly are. Whether it be on the streets, in the press, on a record, or on the written page–we are consumed by our disdain for ourselves. We hate one another everyday and in every possible way.

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