“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.”

- Malcolm X

I just read an article in the Grio called “D.L. Hughley on Obama’s response to critics: ‘He’s closer to being a white kid’ Well according to the article, “In an interview with SiriusXM Satellite Radio’s Ron Bennington, comedian and former CNN host D.L. Hughley criticized President Barack Obama for not showing enough passion. Hughley said that Obama tends to respond to criticism intellectually and is “closer to being a white kid” in that respect. However, Hughley says that Obama’s calm demeanor also results in a lack of enthusiasm from the public in the election.” Wow. Just wow.

Image via Wikipedia

“[Imus] called them nappy-headed hos and they weren’t hos. But there were some nappy-headed women on that team. Shut up, I’m gonna say it. I don’t give a damn if you all like it or not. You know it’s true. They were some of the ugliest women I’ve seen in my whole life.” – D. L Hughley, 2007

Folks it is not OK for a Black person to say this. It is false. It is racist to equate an intellectual and measured response with race. All you have to do is look at TV and it shows you that this is a lie. To be honest, after agreeing the Don Imus in 2007, when Imus called the Rutgers Women’s College Basketball Team “Nappy headed ho’s” (Imus later apologized) we shouldn’t be surprised at his perspective. What is surprising is that after knowing all of this that he still has a following especially among Black Americans.

Protest Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963, photographed by Charles Moore.

Perhaps this man doesn’t know his own history. Maybe he does not know about the measured and intellectual response of Black Americans that were sprayed with fire hoses and bitten by police dogs when they were marching for equality during the Birmingham Campaign. I bet he did not know that after they were arrested and thrown into jail they were singing freedom songs in their jail cells.

1963 Greensboro Sit-in
Image via http://greensborositins.files.wordpress.com

Perhaps he didn’t see the measured and intellectual response of those who sat at Woolworth counters during the Greensboro sit-ins . Maybe he did not know that both Black and White Americans were doused with food, spat on, hurled obscenities at and were mentality and physically abused because Black Americans wanted to be served at the same counter as whites. And even after all  they endured they sat with grace and dignity and said nothing.

“Will Counts’s iconic photograph of Elizabeth Ann Eckford after she was denied entrance to Little Rock Central High School; September 4, 1957.
Photo by Will Counts; courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission”

“Little Rock Nine students eat Thanksgiving dinner with L. C. and Daisy Bates; November 1957. (Left to right): Carlotta Walls, Terrence Roberts, Melba Pattillo, Thelma Mothershed, L. C. Bates, and Daisy Bates.
Photo by Will Counts; courtesy of the Arkansas History Commission”

Perhaps he forgot about the measured and intellectual response of the Little Rock Nine who while attempting to integrate Little Rock Central High School had their lives threatened. They were stalked by racists, assaulted in class and called everything but the child of god and they did not respond back.

I also could point to Jackie Robinson, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks and countless others.

Perhaps for people like him it is useless because he believes in his own racial inferiority. He projects it on to others in the name of comedy so his supporters excuse it knowing that deep down they feel the same way about themselves. However, one thing that this sad display of self hatred highlights is the need for Black education. We as Black people must teach our children. We must learn our own history so that statements like this can be challenged with measured intellectualism. We must teach our history to instill pride in our children and ourselves and so that stereotypes and feelings of racial inferiority can be tossed into the dustbin of history.