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black history month
dave ackerman
brigham young university
youtube
speech pattern
Black History Month AT Brighamyoung University?
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Black History Month AT Brighamyoung University?

Black History Month, February 2012. It’s the time for celebration. The acknowledgement of the achievements and conrtibutions of African Americans for the betterment of world society. Orignated in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, the Father of Black History, the activity began as a week long schools study and became the worldwide yearly reality that we enjoy today. And so the festivities and the learning goes every year.

But not all parties have a joyful time out. There always seems to be the one misguided son of man that lives to spoil everyone’s fun.

On February 9, 2012 the Grio internet magazine posted a video that rose my blood pressure to walking prayer heights. YouTube has followed suit and comments are rolling. It’s on!

Dave Ackerman claiming to be a Utah State University student, dons blackface makeup and with a microphone in hand and a cameraman in tow he canvasses the Brigham Young University campus asking supposedly random students questions about Black History Month. It was a bad idea right from the git go. Comedy does not give license to automatic ill without conscience.

Strutting around in blackface, parading as a caricature of a Black man is the first offensive, but the student responses were pure agonizing; both the white and the two black answers. The video hurts more than just feelings. It uncovers the truth about the core attitudes of too many of my family members.

Ackerman was having a ball talking in a badly versed stereotypical, black speech pattern and asking pre-targeted inflammatory questions. The students appear honestly ignorant of their lack of African American cultural understandings and of being used in this publicity farce. Even worse, I watched my young brothers and sisters enjoy poking fun at the heart of my ethnicity. The realization is the teeth gritter that is all too often avoided in public dialogues.

Check out these highlights. “ I know fried chicken, Jay-Z, Will Smith, Tupac ( no you don’t know either )…Malcolm X started the Black Panthers ( not )…Black History month is when Black history started ( arghhh )…Do you know a Black guy when you see one? ( really )…Yeah, there’s a lot of jungle fever girls ( sad )…When you go Black you never go back ( check the origin )…I did my mission in Alabama. They have a lot of Coloreds down there ( Colored-from the young & the dumb ).” And these are only what stood out to me. There are many different buttons pushed here.

The heart of this sadness is not the kid’s honest ignorance. They weren’t taught these attitudes at BYU. This ill conscienced thinking migrated with them from home. I don’t blame them at all. There’s time for their repentance and I will continue to pray for the parents. Do the right thing at the right time for the right reason.

America has a Black President ( mysteriously not mentioned in the interviews ) partially because of the Dream of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Race relations have indeed come a long way since the days of Jim Crow laws, public segregation, and blatantly trumped up obvious racism. For cultural ignorance of this degree to still exist in these United states is an unacceptable reality. It must be eliminated.

I’m not having it that the BYU administration gave this joker a pass to roam their campus with a live microphone and intenet video feed capacity. It had to be a walk-on freelance assault as Ackerman later claimed that it was a school to school prank. BYU has long proved its validity as a reputable institute of higher learning.

The claim to ‘ fight ignorance with ignorance’ proves without a doubt the utter stupidity of this innane project. Also it verifies that ‘a man cannot be saved in ignorance.’ Ignorance is the greatest cause of separatist racism and it’s own self-destructive condemnation. When comedy crosses this line it is no longer humor, but anti-social treason. Pictures don’t lie and videos truly testify. ”

Forrest Gump’s very wise Mother said it best “stupid is as stupid does.” Nuff said!

The obvious always provides opportunities when we open our eyes to all points of reference. Our world is not always about right and wrong as we perceive them to be, but it is always about the real. BYU campus reality is the obvious lack of African American cultural understanding.

This blackface firestorm will ignite the clarion wake up call to greater race relations within the LDS family. After all, one mind and one heart dosen’t recognize skin color and cultural differences. All around the world it’s just the one family, us! Please add your voice to advancing the right thing. The YouTube feed allows comments. Thank you and we’re back to the joys of mortality, livin’ the lives eternal.


Street Talk

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