A Different Point of View

One (Etchant) Man’s unique perspective on the High Definition remake of Roots.

 For a while, I felt torn as to whether I should voice the ‘black perspective’ on a number of issues involving sports, pop culture, religion, entertainment, so forth and so on,  Why was I torn? Because I could argue that there really is no one definitive “black perspective” on matters. The only perspective I truly have is my own perspective.

The black experience is as varied and diverse as one can imagine. If one grew up in the Northeast, as I have, that’s one perspective, the South yet another. The West Coast, Midwest, internationally the Canadian, European, Asian regions of the globe all provide unique points of views… Here’s mine:

My existence in this country comes not from the path of the slave trade as is the case with some of my closest friends. My parents were of West Indian descent, both sides coming to this Country willingly, my maternal Grandmother via Ellis Island. I grew up in a mostly African American neighborhood, and attended racially mixed schools. My wife is Italian.

I have experienced racism in varied forms, from the blatant to the subtle. What I’ve found fascinating is that the outrageous forms of racism are in some ways easier to handle because of it’s glaring and shocking wrongness, it’s so clear and obvious. It’s the subtle, quiet forms that slowly erode one’s self worth that really damages the psyche. The derisive stares, the being followed around stores, the condescending tones, the “what’s NOT being said”… all have a cumulative almost imperceptible… yet quantifiable effect on the self-esteem. Experts in the field call them micro-insults. Micro insults, if not dealt with effectively often lead to extraordinary displays of rage and retaliation. It is the reason why seemingly minor events can set off disproportionately large reactions. One has only to look at world news to note examples of that.

How do i cope?

  1. My faith and religion
  2. My support system
  3. Humor
  4. In that order        (delicious egg nog at the perfect temperature also helps me cope)

Humor is one of the most powerful tools that can be used to combat internal pain resulting from not just societal injustice, but many different types of angst that we experience in this maze we call LIFE.

In future articles, i will attempt to, through the above mentioned humor, explain the historical foundations of racism. I promise that it will be a rather interesting and insightful journey. Please rest assured that Etchant Man with all his lunacy that you have grown accustomed to, the guy who refers to himself in the third person, will be exactly the same.

Now the attempt at humor.

Just a few misconceptions that are actually true… (worst sentence ever)

  1. Al Sharpton IS our official go-to black guy.
  2. Once a week we all get together via worldwide Skype and assign one brother to appear on Fox News to side with Sean Hannity.
  3. We resent the fact that Tarzan just shows up in Africa and just starts running things.
  4. All black men can do some form of scissor kick MJ dance move….yes…..even Morgan Freeman.

There’s more of that coming in future articles, but for now, folks have been asking me about the new Roots miniseries, so here I go.

-Etchant Man

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