Um, Michael Eric Dyson, Play Your Position

Surely if we continue on our current course we risk the utter divestiture of our carnal and metaphysical selves–a cost which is far too high–mandating that we ought not surrender to surreptitious slander sanctioned by racially-dominant polities.

No that wasn’t the skillful orator, Michael Eric Dyson, but it could have been him–or the RZA.  In the above video, Dr. Dyson begins his discussion with a salty “I ain’t been nowhere.”  While his discussion centers, ostensibly, around disagreeing with Obama on political issues, he begins his too-long monologue with a rather acrimonious comment or two on how he hasn’t been invited to the White House.  So the F what?!

As the video goes on, Dr. Dyson goes on to discuss Obama shying away from issues of race–a subject my brotha Earpiece has commented on here.

Now, let me say that I have a great deal of respect for Dr. Dyson for his intellectual capabilities. There is no denying that the brotha has a brilliant mind, and he can quote just about any hip hop artist worth listening to.  I also recognize that while Dr. Dyson is not known for being on the physical front lines of battles, he has held his ground intellectually, and a war (yes we are at war) must be fought on different fronts.  Contrary to popular “revolutionary” talk, philosophy gives credence to action, so we need thinkers everybody.

Still, I find it difficult to swallow that this man is salty about not being invited to the White House.  He sounds dangerously close to smelling his own piss–so to speak.  Let us be clear, Obama has a more difficult task than any U.S. president has ever had to meet (yeah I said it).  He has the world’s eye on him at a time of turmoil with U.S. borders.  He must negotiate the competing interests of powers from within and from without.  Almost anything he does is measured in degrees of failure rather than success, and I cannot begin to understand what it takes to do his job and be a husband and father.  We have no idea what he knows, and we would do well to keep that in mind when discussing him or any president.

Back to Dr. Dyson–we (those of us who supported Obama) have done our jobs.  We got the man elected.  Now let the man do what he was elected for.  When he needs it, we will offer correction, but to rant on for any given amount of time about how you haven’t been able to kick it in the White House or hang out with the president is just plain stupid and narcissistic.  Get over yourself Dr. Dyson.  Play your position buddy.

…there’s gotta be some rules people!

(Rule 78: the goals are bigger than your ego)

4 thoughts on “Um, Michael Eric Dyson, Play Your Position

  1. You have a point Sun, but overall, Dyson is right, especially here:
    “The tragedy of Black people is that we’re so greatful for having a Black person in the office, we don’t demand anything of him.”

    I know Black people who don’t follow politics AT ALL, and aren’t abreast of political issues, but get pissed when a specific policy issue the Prez seems to be falling short on is brought up.

    And the “Obama has it worse than any other president” tag line is growing more and more trite by the day–as fallacious as that statement may be (in a relative sense, did Lincoln not have it harder than every other president? Did Washington, the nations first president, not it have it harder than those who proceeded him? Did FDR not have it harder than every other president whilst dealing with the bankruptcy of the western world fo the 1st time AFTER the industrial revolution?).

    I do agree that what he was handed were the keys to a sinking ship (assuming a ship has keys–as you know I’m an innercity veteran and haven’t spent much time yachting), and because of this, I’m willing to grant him more leniency when it comes to my opinion of him. For me, it comes down to what he ultimately gets accomplished while in office. If he doesn’t get national, universal health care accomplished–whether it be single-payer or public option–or something equally as impressive, sweeping, and liberal that has a clear, positive effect on the well-being of Blacks, then I’M DONE WITH NATIONAL POLITICS!

    I aint votin again, eva, eva, eva.

    • Wow!

      I’m not so sure that we haven’t demanded anything of him. In fact, a lot of Black people have unrealistically high expectations for Obama. What has the Black caucus been saying about this dude? I don’t. I don’t really see him as much different than any other president. Such is the nature of bureaucracy. Now, there will always be those who defend him because he is Black. I don’t even have too much of a problem with that. Such is the nature of in-group/ out-group politics. We like members of the in-group because their in our group, and the out-group can kick rocks.

      As I said in the post, brotha, we ought to offer correction when necessary, and in that line of thinking, I mostly agree with Dr. Dyson. My comment and issue is with this brotha complaining that he wasn’t invited to the White House. I just don’t see how we have time to worry about such things. So you weren’t invited to the White House by the president that you publicly endorsed? And? The fact that he feels slighted is just plain wack.

      My “wow” is directed at you being done with national politics. I surely hope you’re joking or hyperbolizing to make a point.

  2. Yeah, Iron Mike Dyson does come off a little whiny in this piece, but it’s difficult for me to discern whether or not it’s justified. I mean, where does his speaking for speaking sake because he’s somewhat narcissistic and in love with the flashing cameras stop, and his public intellectual, activist author, and articulatory acrobatics in the name of defending the Afrikan diaspora begin? In short, I don’t know if he’s really mad, or really frontin.

    BUT, my point remains that if Obama doesn’t bring us the “change we’ve all been waiting for”, which for me will have to be evidenced by more than the fact that he showed up Black, than I can’t see myself giving 3 shits, 2 bags of damns, or 1 more flying fuck about civic participation in national electoral politics.

    To quote a great man, “there’s gotta be some rules”, and one is that you can’t play pied piper with the hopes and dreams of a people who’ve been scorned for centuries, only to summarily fail to deliver. He’s gotta deliver on something big, and I’ll happily give him 4 years.

    • Well, since you quoted a “great man,” I’m wholly in agreement with you buddy. I hope you don’t give up on the process though. Call me Booker T, but I think we need to follow the rules in order to justify our complaints.

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