Politically Correct, You Say?!?



It’s Friday, Y’all …

I’ve got to do it … Thank God It’s Friday!!  Yeah, Baby!

I remember when I was growing up in White Plains and  my father, “Big Ike”, had that conversation with me that “black” fathers usually have with their sons to prepare them for the hostilities of the world aimed at African American men.  He was a little different from most, he didn’t graduate from high school and didn’t have the best vocabulary, not that he was dumb or anything.  He would read the newspaper, “The Reporter Dispatch”, as the local newspaper in White Plains was called, nearly every night.  One of  my favorite places as a little boy was in his lap as he read!!  Yep, that’s right … there I was, “Little John” sittin’ in “Big Ike’s” lap learning to read.  He would always show me the comics … start laughing and then read them to me.  When I was feeling “adventurous” and curious … like that little monkey in a story book of my day, “Curious George” … I would point to one of those long articles and wait for him to start reading it to me.  He often did that for me to satisfy my curiosity until some of the words got so challenging to pronounce that I couldn’t follow his lead.

So that conversation for young black boys of my time went something like this:  “Don’t claim racism, boy, when those white people are treating you bad … or less than the other kids.  Show them how smart you are!  Learn every darn thing they are teaching the other kids in those schools, boy!  You can do it.  Never say that something is too hard for you, ’cause it’s not.  You just have to study harder, you hear me?!?”  I never talk or write a lot about my father, but know that I have the utmost respect for “Big Ike” who fought bone marrow cancer for five years at the end of his life.  He never wanted to see me cry … unless HE was whipping me!!  And he did that as he saw fit … except with my sisters, Edna and Barbara.  Me and Hank (RIP – Henry Charles Cook) got the worst of it … he wanted us to be well behaved young men.  He used to tell me, “Don’t be crying and running home from those damn kids!  Stand up for yourself and fight back!”  He never EVER touched my mother, his beloved wife … Marietta Dolores … unless it was to show her his love, or assistance, holding doors for her and carrying things for her.  He was a true gentleman … though my mother told me he wasn’t always like that.  She helped him to learn how to be a real gentleman, for that was the kind of man she wanted … as her husband and the father of her children … he was a great Dad … and grandfather to my daughter … Ayanna Lynne Cook …

Wednesday night, I watched the television program called “Empire”, which I don’t usually watch.  That last scene, Jamal was stopped by the police as he was putting a box in his vehicle as he moved from the home he lived in in a rather upscale neighborhood.  The two white police officers asked him, “What are you doing around here?”  He replied, “I lived here … I am moving now!”  The officers looked at each other … smirking … and asked him: “You know, there have been a lot of home robberies around here … Do you know anything about that?”  Jamal, feeling disrespected and profiled, replied:  “No, I don’t know anything about any robberies … Why?  Should I?!?”  Then, the officers went into their mode of feeling offended themselves,  said he was a wise guy and joined forces to grab Jamal and throw him face down on the asphalt on the street in front of his former luxury home.  This was an excellent depiction of what happens to black men … even the lighter skinned ones like Jamal who had previously often passed for white … or were treated better than the “darker” black men … as he, too, was slammed to the ground because he made a comment that the police didn’t like, even though they had JUST offended him by asking if he knew about the break ins.  Should he have been “politically correct” and not responded to the officers that way?!?  I think not … we black men have had quite enough of this profiling crap, though there is a price to pay … which has in reality, ended in the death (murder) of African American men like the man selling loose cigarettes on a street in New York City – Eric Gardner!

What does it mean to be “politically correct”?  Why can’t people just respect each other in their conversations, and as one of my yoga teachers “Michelle” said during our class yesterday: “Don’t be so quick to be judgmental.  Just try to understand each other first.”  How hard is that?!?  Considering the fact that people have become hostile first … in general … it might be difficult to scale down ones angst and just live with respect for humanity.

Have a great Friday, and a wonderful weekend!


John I. Cook, Director

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. lindagallery
    Sep 30, 2016 @ 18:52:33

    Beautiful, brilliant post! We need your posts to go viral now…Dreaming of 50K+ followers…A.I.M. high!



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