As simple a statement as that is, processing that concept is a shortcoming in every corner of life. You can explain until you are blue in the face the pain you are feeling about something, and people who think they are empathetic will ignore or deny your suffering. But when it is their pain, their suffering, their blood–their cries for righteousness from the universe will be immutable! The very same complaints that you voiced and were refused will now have weight when emerging from their lips and demand redress.
Today’s Conservatives, and the larger Republican party, are unable to get any fair treatment in media. If it were not for Fox News, there would be no avenue for those on the political right to communicate. Every film from Hollywood, every television program, every newscast, is oriented from a liberal perspective. It is a forgone conclusion that everyone agrees with the Democrat party and the direction of progressives. Conservatives, me included, are frustrated that the minority of entities controlling American media ignore our complaints. But hasn’t this happened before, hasn’t this been done to someone else . . .
It doesn’t hurt until it affects you.
For decades, the Black entertainment experience in American media was a tortured existence of minstrel shows, tapdancing, and blackface.
That evolved to portrayals in film as buffoons who spoke poor English and fat mammies in domestic service to others. Sometimes sweaty bug-eyed black men frothing at the sight of a white woman or piece of chicken.
In real-time media such as nightly news, “Negroes” were the criminal, the
illiterate, the unproductive dependent dragging the progress of society. Next came the era of black men as the mugger, the pimp, the slick jive-talking hustler not to be trusted, and black women as sassy attitude loud-mouthed and no/low class.
While many of these conditions were not fiction, and were even frequent, they were not the majority, or half, or even a quarter of the Black existence. But when you are not in control of, or even a part of, the creative or decision-making hierarchy, your portrayal to an unfamiliar or hostile public is subject to the whims of unsympathetic writers, editors, and even accountants. The portrayals of Blacks in media whether in film, TV, or news reports and newspapers, was either insulting, frustrating or infuriating.
Powerless to stop it due to not being producers of it, it fit some people’s entertainment tastes, or other people’s socio-political narratives. The portrayals of Blacks in the media enabled interpersonal laziness; rather than form a relationship with an African American, one could convince themselves they knew the Black struggle based on media. Bigots used it as empirical data to support their superior views, progressives used it (and Blacks) as a maul for their political goals under the guise of ‘helping’.
In my opinion, no one cared, because it did not affect them.
Fast forward to the Reagan era, and Conservatives are hopping mad because they cannot get a fair shake in the media. They describe it as the ‘liberal media’, CNN was labeled the ‘Clinton News Network’, and they were right. It seemed that in the space of thirty years Socialists and Liberals had wormed their way into control positions in every facet of media. All interviews on political shows were seeded with slanted questions. News reports in print or television became more and more slanted for a left-leaning agenda. It bled over to entertainment, and the pace picked up exponentially.
Today’s Conservatives have the very same complaints about media and public perception that the Black community voiced over the last hundred years.
But it doesn’t hurt until it affects YOU.
When the first accusations arose that an FBI investigation into Donald Trump was the result of a hoax, Republicans and President Trump railed about FBI overreach and abuse—to which Minister Louis Farrakhan replied in a speech: “WELCOME TO THE CLUB! WE’VE [Nation of Islam] BEEN SAYING THIS ABOUT THE FBI FOR DECADES! IF YOU WANT TO TAKE THEIR POWER, HAVE AT IT!”.
President Trump (for whom I voted) declared his innocence and decried the evil ‘swamp’, but when the Central Park five were found exonerated as the result of DNA(!) evidence, did he issue a front-page apology? Remember, he paid for a full-page ad in the Daily News demanding their prosecution and reinstatement of NY State’s death penalty? Good manners and adherence to the man code dictates that the apology should match the veracity of the violation.
As comedian Bill Burr joked on stage, every movie portrays the white male character as one of the ‘ists’—racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. It’s terrible, but if any of you had come to Black people’s aid when the media used the Black image for entertainment caricatures, you might have an ally now. No one would hear our complaints, nor solicited our opinion–just like when your ancestors built those damn statues . . .
I find it quite baffling that whites, American white men, men whose forefathers fought for freedom, cannot seem to fathom the abhorrent social crime those same men committed when they built statues honoring the confederates who fought to enslave my forefathers. Naming streets after confederates and klansmen to glorify their cause. If anyone were to honor a white man’s enemies, American white men would shut it down immediately. Remember the attempts by Muslims to build a mosque at ground zero post 9/11? Everyone (except Muslims) understood how tone deaf that was.
If we value American men fighting for freedom, why is there no monument to Nat Turner? John Brown? Robert Smalls? The only memorial I know of representing black men gallantly fighting for their freedom is the 54th Infantry Regiment monument in Boston, MA.
It doesn’t hurt until it affects you.
As a black conservative, I am occasionally asked about how to gain the “black vote”. How about recognizing our pain? Do some digging and right a previous wrong, especially if liberals did it. You get the moral high ground. I’ll jump start it: I read a book last year titled “Forgotten: The untold story of America’s Black Heroes on D-Day and back at home.” It is an incredible account of Black men who went ashore at Omaha Beach. FIRST WAVE. I SAID FIRST WAVE!
Yet as a military historian and war movie buff, I have seen three major Hollywood films about D-Day, not a single Black Soldier was even in the background. “Saving Private Ryan” executive produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Tom Hanks (both big time Hollywood Liberals) made no reference to them nor did the mini-series “Band of Brothers”. Neither were these men seen in “The Longest Day”, which illustrated the battle from several different perspectives—but not the Black men.
I have been angry at media and entertainment and now professional sports for their one-sided narrative that shamelessly and slickly (and sometimes overtly) champions that we on the right are evil. But I cannot say this has not happened before, and when it did, no one in political office with an ‘R’ next to their name heard the protests of Black Men.
It doesn’t hurt until it affects you–now, no one is hearing the protests of Conservatives.