Friday, February 20, 2009

Don't ever suppress how you really feel

I was watching some of the reaction about the Post cartoon yesterday and there was a good debate on Rick Sanchez's program between Amy Hughes and a Black history professor. He eventually got to the point where he called Hughes foolish for defending the cartoon. She naturally was offended and started deflecting the issue to some homicide that happened, I assume, the night before.

I don't think the professor should have called her foolish. However, I am concerned as to what point Hughes suppressed her neck-rolling reflex. Here's what I mean, I think the cartoon should have invoked an emotion in Black people that would naturally allow us to ask WTF? Even if you, in the end, accept the Post's explanation of the cartoon, the question should have been asked.

No matter what our political philosophy is, or what our status is in the world, there are times when our sensibilities should be expressed, not downplayed. A number of Black educated women looked at that cartoon and had a neck-rolling moment, asking out loud what was the cartoonist trying to say. If Hughes had that moment in private, made a few phone calls, and got an explanation that she was comfortable with, that's cool, but she should have let that be known.

We are human beings. We have feelings. Just because we have a gig on national TV doesn't mean that we always have to suppress them. Now Hughes had that neck-rolling moment when she was called foolish for her opinion, so I know she is capable. I just wonder did she do that when she was made aware of the cartoon.

I was told early in my political career that if you have to explain what you did or what you said, it did not come across the way you wanted it to, and you need to fix it. It would have not hurt any Black conservative pundit to demand the Post fix it, not just to them, but to all African-Americans. If Sean Delanos did not mean to cross the line, then he should say so, not Black surrogates.

I believe that part of our journey toward racial reconciliation should not mean that we don't have the right to get mad at something that offends us. It is part of who we are and it is healthy. It is medically proven that suppression of feelings leads to an early death. I will not be a fatality of suppressed emotions.