My grandmother used to tell me about a time when a Black murder or death wouldn’t even make the newspapers.
Of course now it seems like murders and death are the only things that get Blacks into the newspaper, but that isn’t the point she was making.
We had (and still have) our own newspapers then like we had (but don’t still have) our own baseball league that filled us in on all the stuff we needed to know.
But now, with news and programming being more, ahem, “mainstream”, are our own news sites and television stations still really necessary?
I always get a kick whenever I’m reading the posts on some website and some commenter—presumably white—suggests that the fact that stations like BET exist is racist.
This idiotic notion might have some basis in validity if whites were excluded from watching BET or if watching BET for Blacks were mandatory.
But since neither are the case, BET and networks like it simply are what they are: gourmet networks for specific tastes.
Never mind that there are stations like Oxygen for women and even Logo for homosexuals, what I make it a point not to do, however, is make the argument that “every other station is for white people”.
This, while probably implicitly true, is at least demonstratively false.
There are Blacks on shows on all the major networks. There are, however, no Black shows on any of the majors. Unless you count The Cleveland Show.
And I don’t.
Black people are, arguably, the most American people. Not only did we not come here by choice and have whoever we were before actually beaten out of us, we were more than encouraged to go all in on America, we were literally forced to.
I’ve been to ATM machines throughout New York City and I’ve seen them translated into Russian, Greek, Chinese and Spanish, but not one did I see translated into Ibo or Swahili.
So I actually find it encouraging that, despite all the work that’s been put in to the contrary, we still take a particular enough interest in ourselves to seek out news and programming that feature us prominently.
And the idea that our gourmet news and television sources are racists is about as absurd as accusing a Big and Tall men’s shop of discriminating against short, skinny people.