Sunday, May 06, 2007

CLINTON, LEADERSHIP, ADORATION & BLACK FOLKS (A Few Reflections via Randall Robinson)

Bill Clinton He purchased our affection with gestures . . ."our support should not be so easily obtainable." (Randall Robinson)

Randall Robinson is somone whose work I've been intending to read for years now. I remember watching an interview with him on some cable network, shortly after his book, THE RECKONING: WHAT BLACK FOLKS OWE EACH OTHER (2002) was released. Quite a few of his thoughts and relections made me stop, think and go, "Hmmm."

Recently, while cleaning out a folder, I ran across a scrap of paper on which I'd scribbled a few of the sentiments Robinson had expressed on that particular program. Robinson's comment about Clinton (see above) struck me, not only because it was a view I shared, but also because I hadn't heard any other African American liberal or moderate, worthy of respect, express such. My notes on the Robinson interveiw also included the following two gems:

Leadership "Leaders are assigned for the convenience of people who dominate you."

Adoration "The school teacher we don't respect like we used to--the wealthy bandit, we adore."

Robinson's view on adoration is one that has serious implications, I think, not only in the world of politics, but also, increasingly, in the field of entertainment. But then again, I guess that really should come as no surprise. Historicially and across the board Americans appear to have a warped fascination with outlaws, gangsters and thugs.
From yesteryears' large than life Jesse James, Billy the Kid, Bonnie and Clyde and Al Capone to today's John Gotti, and his fiction-drawn cronies, Tony Montana (Scarface) and Tony Soprano we do seem to love us some ruthless, money-grubbing bad boys and gals. And don't let me forget all of the pimps and drug-dealers, the rouge preachers and politicians and the thieving CEO's who've taken up the mantle and become the real American Idols. Yeah, there's some thug-love out there, for real y'all . . .
But anyway, the following are a couple of other books by Randall Robinson that I hope to read one day and may, perhaps, be of some interest to some of you:
THE DEBT: WHAT AMERICA OWES TO BLACKS (2001) and
QUITTING AMERICA: THE DEPARTURE OF A BLACK MAN FROM HIS NATIVE LAND (Reprint 2004).

If you've read any of Mr. Robinson's books, feel free to express your opinion (whether good or bad) about what you read in the OSM's comment section. Also if you agree or disagree with his reflections about Clintion, leadership and/or adoration, please don't hesitate to share your views.

2 comments:

Sharon J. said...

I read "The Debt" a few years back. It was very good. It's the first place I learned that Trent Lott was featured regulary on a white supremacist web site. Robinson didn't have a high opinion of Michael Jordan, either. He wrote of how Harvey Gantt couldn't get Jordan's support when he ran against that bigot Jesse Helms for the Senate. Jordan's excuse was, "Republicans buy tennis shoes, too." Robinson couldn't understand the great affection some in the black community have for Clinton. He pointed out that the Three-Strikes rule came out during the Clinton adminstration, which has led to an increase of imprisonment of black men. Clinton is jive as hell. I really don't have a lot of respect for men who cheat on their wives. Some people, Black and White, blow that off (no pun intended) as being no big deal. I disagree.

Lori said...

Sharon,
Thanks for sharing your take on Robinson's work. One of these goold ole days you need to share just how many books you've read since you started keeping track (smile). Talk about a well-read woman. I only wish I had the time and energy to keep up with you!