Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ownership 101: Do the Right Thing

I was watching Spike Lee's "Do the Right Thing" last night (or very early this morning) and the importance of ownership became clearer than ever in my head. From my views on racism to the cycle of evolution; all of these were topics that I had to revisit and think twice about my stance on. By incorporating everything going on in the world at large it became clearer to me how right Frank Lucas was when he said "the man I worked for didn't own his company. White men owned it, so they owned him." I don't want to sound racist in the least; this is strictly factual information.

I believe the reason why Europeans were able to conquer the world so easily hundreds of years ago is because they had what everybody else lacked; a sense of ownership. The day I get the keys to my multi-million dollar complex, I'd die before letting somebody come to MY house and telling ME how to live. It's not being materialistic, it's simply fighting for what's rightfully yours. The fact that it's MY house gives me a sense of ownership that I'd be willing to kill and die to defend. That's something that us, Africans and Native Americans lacked at the time.

[I've heard some of the reasoning behind why the sense of ownership was none existent to the Native Americans. From my understanding, land could not be "owned", fore they had merely found it. Therefore it must have belonged to a higher power. Sort of like in order to really corner the bottled water industry you'd have to be able to dictate when and where it rains, and who can have access to the oceans and other water ways. (But of course, people still make a fortune from Fiji bottled water)]

Ownership is something that we see come into play repeatedly throughout history. The ownership of slaves and share cropping are just a few things that come to mind while on the subject. The occidental "pimp hand" stays strong till this day in Africa through colonization and the other monopolistic methods used to take advantage of Africa's soil and resources.

It really gets interesting when racism is added into the mix. This is actually where the concept of the post came from. In "Do the Right Thing" Radio Rahim is killed for trying to get black people's pictures on the wall of an ITALIAN pizzeria. And as I was watching that scene, I thought to myself "that's the dumbest thing you could possibly die over." If you want pictures of Black Heroes on a wall, why don't you just open up an African-American themed soul food Restaurant, decorate it how you want, and make money at the same time?

Now, in no way am I advocating racism, but consider this: If racism is just being prejudice towards a different race, what is being prejudice really other than an over nurtured sense of pride? If you really stop to think about it, we all casually exercise some form of encouraged prejudice when we go to sporting events and "boo" at everything the other team does; or at a high school pep rally when the underclassmen get put down just for being underclassmen. The only reason why it's not okay when it comes to race is because of things that have happened in the past. Not to get too political, but we all know people (not everybody) of all colors who voted for Obama just because he was black (and vice versa); being that the vote was based on skin color, was it not a racially driven vote?

Looking at things from that angle, it makes me question whether or not racism can truly ever end. And if there is even a slightest possibility of that happening, it'll have to start with opposing fans not getting upset with the Lakers every time they take home a championship!

Getting back to the matter of owner ship; if black people are so sick and tired of being "discriminated against" in this system formed by white men, why don't we all go back and really take ownership of Africa (like Nas said in "Belly")? And don't give me the "we helped build this country" excuse. Slavery is internationally recognized as a loss for black people everywhere on multiple levels.

The point I'm trying to get across is this: let’s take ownership of our losses like we do our victories and our tomorrows like we do our yesterdays. Is racism still alive? Yes; but slavery was well over a hundred years ago. A black man has since been elected leader of the free world. We're no longer shackled on cotton fields. In fact, on paper we are all pretty much granted the same opportunities. Let's stop constantly trying to burden other people with our baggage. The world might not be a utopia, but taking ownership may create one.

No comments:

Post a Comment