Corr

*What television host Larry Wilmore did at the Presidential Correspondence Dinner took the culture of the black poor, and put it on stage as a mockery.  Referring to the President Wilmore stated, “I’m gonna keep it 100 yo Barry you did it my n*gga“.

To have this stated on this stage, joke or not was not only ignorant, but disrespectful to all those that died for President Barack Obama to get to that stage.  Disrespectful to those who heard the slur screamed while they were lynched, disrespectful to those that heard it yelled across cotton fields when they picked cotton on land acres wide in the hot sun.

Plainly it was disrespectful to all of Black America.  As our race tries to decide between fact and fiction about its purpose, the gamesmanship played by far too many in the black elite has made a mockery of the actual challenges that have given birth to the struggles of the black poor.

Black educated professionals (particularly those that have no experiences of being in the ghetto) need to stop using black language of the ghetto to make themselves feel more relatable, and or cool. From seeing black women from Harvard using fleek to describe their clothes, to seeing black men who spend the bulk of their lives submersed in white identity, finding their idea of how they will project blackness primarily through Hip Hop records, it is all misplaced ignorance. According to his biography Wilmore who grew up in suburban Pomona serves as the perfect example of the point. Rather than being a veil, this new variation is in fact a mask of mockery being worn by too many blacks, one that is used as access to white acceptance.

This issue is not the same as coming from the South in the 1900’s, and the duality of the veil described by W.E.B. Dubois. That identity issue was one where you were forced out of your blackness in order to become an accepted participant in the greater white world. That was a time and place where a Black person would slip into “y’all” because they were raised in 1960’s Mississippi. What we saw last night at the Correspondence dinner is not that, it is a joke.  A joke made on all of us. This is not double consciousness, it is a lack of being conscious and aware of black struggle. A joke played on the black poor by those who don’t struggle with their problems, and likely never have before.

Antonio Moore is an attorney based in Los Angeles, is one of the producers of the documentary Freeway: Crack in the System. He has contributed pieces to the Grio, Huffington Post, and Inequality.org on the topics of race, mass incarceration, and economics.

Follow on Twitter @Tonetalks