Freedom’s Not Free

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  • It’s funny how during the week of the Fourth of July, three news stories broke out that question freedom of speech, expression and religion.

    Chris Rock, who was hailed the funniest man alive…by white America, no less, sent out a Fourth of July Tweet wishing Happy Independence Day to white people.

    "Happy white peoples independence day the slaves weren't free but I'm sure they enjoyed fireworks."

    What is a comedian to do? I can see Chris bored out of his mind at a cook out; not even an old school barbecue with ribs, potato salad, and baked beans with the Gap Band music blasting in the background. Chris was probably at a new-school cook out under a tent with grilled chicken breast, vegetables, and fruit salad. He looks around at the crowd and decides to crack himself up along with his Twitter followers.  Next thing he knows, the media is up in arms about his comment. He’s only the funniest man alive when he’s not reminding Black and White America of our history. Just because you’re eating watermelon balls in an interracial group doesn’t mean you can really say what you think.

    Olympic star Michael Johnson thought he’d do more than just give credit to his trainer, his old P.E. teacher and his parents for his success has an athelete. He took it back to slavery. Here’s the theory from one of the greatest Olympic sprinters of all time:

    "All my life I believed I became an athlete through my own determination, but it's impossible to think that being descended from slaves hasn't left an imprint through the generations. Difficult as it was to hear, slavery has benefited descendants like me. I believe there is a superior athletic gene in us. Over the last few years, athletes of Afro-Caribbean and Afro-American descent have dominated athletics finals. It's a fact that hasn't been discussed openly before. It's a taboo subject in the States, but it is what it is. Why shouldn't we discuss it?"

    According to the response from a lot of Americans, it’s okay to discuss it, just not publicly. Whether you’re Michael Johnson or the late Jimmy the Greek who got fired from his job as a sports announcer for pretty much saying the same thing, you can only say it at home. I wonder what will be remembered as the worst offense: Michael Johnson’s comments about slaves being better athletes or Carl Lewis’s horrible rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” (Google it, it’s hilarious.)  By the way, who do you think would win between a fair foot race between a slave and slave master?  Did I actually use the word "fair" and "slave master" in the same sentence?

    And finally, from my home state of Alabama, this story:

    A three-day whites-only religious conference — which will conclude with a flaming cross — is being held in Lamar County, Alabama. The invitation to the annual pastors’ conference made it clear that it was an all-white affair. And here’s a quote from the Christian Identity Ministries: "Yes, we believe that the Europeans and their descendants are the chosen people of God."

    That’s what they believe. Are we mad because they believe it or mad because they’re bold enough to admit that that’s what they believe?

    I don’t have an answer.  I just know that as long as we deny having an ugly past, we can’t move past it. If Chris Rock and Michael Johnson can’t openly acknowledge that slavery existed and the reality of what impact it’s had on us mentally and physically, why can’t white people make the same comments? They can. But just like Chris Rock and Michael Johnson, they have to take the heat when they do.  I personally think that it goes beyond having the right. Sometimes it goes to common sense. Yes, Jay-z’s cd is called "'N****s in Paris."  And yes, it appears to be a double standard when rappers use and comedians use the "N" word, but a white person is liable to get villifed or worse if he or she does the same. When Jay-Z’s fan and friend actress Gwyneth Paltrow tweeted that “N” words in Paris for real,” she abslolutely had the right to say it, and you had the right not to like it. Speech may be free, but apparently, we all have to pay a cost if it rubs someone the wrong the way. 

    This is a debate that we’ll be having for generations to come and I’m not sure if we’ll ever have a solution to whether certain topics and truths should be taboo. But for now,  I’d rather we spend our energy getting people fired up about the November election. If you know someone who isn’t registered to vote, tell them to call 1-866-My-Vote-1. It’s okay to get mad if it gets you motivated. Let’s go!

     

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    15 thoughts on “Freedom’s Not Free

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    2. My brother white racism or white supremacy is fading not the white man in general. Although it is impossible to completely eradicate racism from America I think we have triumphed to the point where it is no longer feasible for any politician to support racism of any kind as a matter of policy. That is true on both sides of the political aisle. Many of us have been indoctrinated into the liberal democrat way of thinking to the point that we think that racism only exist among Republicans. WAKE UP BLACK AMERICA! Liberals do not like us! They just want our votes!!!

    3. Hello Tom, I enjoyed reading your blog on “Freedom’s Not Free.” Chris Rock is a very funny comedian; his jokes always have me cracking up. Us Black Americans have come a long way from slavery that once existed and we still have a long way to go. I agree Tom, let us all focus on this year’s upcoming Election. For those who are not registered to vote, please make an effort to get registered and vote, your voice matters. May God Bless You.

    4. I have been saying this all along. It seems many in our society, mainly the other side want to only talk about the good stuff that has happened in America, but not the part when blacks were killed, hosed down, & dogs sicked on, & this wasn’t that long ago in the 60s. They say we should just get over slavery, & the attrocities that were committed to many of our ancestors. Mainstream wants to forget that, & just highlight the good, but I can’t do that. I agreed with Chris Rock, cause like I said not so long ago we were considered free, separate & but certainly not equal. We need to teach our kids this history, because I am still wondering how did we go from slavery to many dieing for freedom in MLK time, to the decay in our communities now, & the high rate of black on lack crime. & high dropout rates. There is a link with all this that no ones seems to have the answer for.

    5. Tom
      Help me understand your mindset.
      Are saying it’s ok to express oneself openly as long as you are willing to take the heat?
      Are you suggesting that you gladly accept some Caucasian calling you The N word? Are you also suggesting that the same caucasian can rightfully ban you for his establishment because you and I are N..as according to his beliefs?
      Tom you are opening a can of worms that we fought so hard for , died for, MLK died for . You can’t have it both ways

    6. Tom if we want any kind of freedom we must donate to Pres. Obama campaign.
      The GOP sure isn’t hesitating. If we think these are hard times just wait if Willard Romney get his foot in the door of the Oval office.

      I would like the bloggers and your listeners to really read all of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was stated to remain on our ex masters land to be become employed. Don’t go to the Union posts. There wouldn’t be any tolerance of idleness there or any where. We weren’t idle when we through suffering , sweat and tears, built this country. We as Black race have never been free.

    7. Tom if we want any kind of freedom we must donate to Pres. Obama campaign.
      The GOP sure isn’t hesitating. If we think these are hard times just wait if Willard Romney get his foot in the door of the Oval office.

      I would like the bloggers and your listeners to really read all of the Emancipation Proclamation. It was stated to remain on our ex masters land to be become employed. Don’t go to the Union posts. There wouldn’t be any tolerance of idleness there or any where. We weren’t idle when we through suffering , sweat and tears, built this country. We as Black race have never been free.

    8. Along the lines of Freedom is Not Free, Tom, do you have plans to ask people to sign up at the Obama/Biden website and begin to make small donations? They can donate as little as $3 if they want. However, if your 8 million listeners gave 3 bucks a month it would help Obama defeat all of those republican billionaires who are giving Romney millions.

    9. Along the lines of Freedom is Not Free, Tom, do you have plans to ask people to sign up at the Obama/Biden website and begin to make small donations? They can donate as little as $3 if they want. However, if your 8 million listeners gave 3 bucks a month it would help Obama defeat all of those republican billionaires who are giving Romney millions.

    10. What do you mean you can’t say what you think? Tom, it is time for some among us to stop doing this equivalent of the Texas-two step or walking on egg shells. Someone should have magnified those tweets to Chris Rock reacting to what he said and put them on CNN and other news programs which go worldwide. Let America be shown for the hyprocrite that she is. It’s not the word N******. It’s the tone used by the white man in saying it which causes more than your garden variety vilification. Let’s not get it twisted. Gwyneth Paltrow is a white person who was in the moment. Her kind have always been around. Their speciality is shock and sticking it to their elders. A wise man once said there is absolutely nothing new under the sun, how right he was.

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    12. Tom,from day one we’ve known that white folks thought of themselves as the chosen ones.But look back at history and we find lots of folks claimed theirs was the chosen race.Blacks,Whites,Yellow and Red men have claimed this throughout the ages.Some Pharoahs and Emperors have thought of themselves
      As gods on earth.But we have found all of them to be Ball faced liars who bit the dust and returned to the same dust they were created from.All mortals are equal in the sight of God.And all mere mortals gotta bow down to the certified king of eternity.

    13. We have to remember that all of our “freedoms” come with limitations, and the Constitution only protects us from government infringement, not private citizens. Chris Rock certainly had the right to make his comments, but when you make a public comment, there will be public reactions. He spoke an ugly truth. A truth that most would rather not face squarely and deal with, so they lash out to make Chris look bad and take the focus off an evil past. Keep speaking your mind Chris, we all need to hear the truth.

    14. I know this for a fact because when that day came for me bow down to eternity,it
      Was the grace and mercy of the for real king I’m still alive.Trust me bro what I saw
      Was alpha and omega..A beginning that had no end.And every mortal is gonna see that same end,and it really is Gods grace and mercy that allows each mortal to see another day.For that experience I earned a Purpile Heart from the United States.

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