October 31, 2015

In (Qualified) Defense of Raven Symoné

Image: The Grio
I watch very little TV. When I do watch, daytime magazine shows like 'The View' are not among my selections. Nah, I go hard for the luscious rachetness of 'Scandal' and other shows like 'Empire,' but I digress.

Some time ago I wrote a blog post in defense of Raven
Symoné. My point was that I understood how she does not see herself as African. Personally, I don't consider myself African. I *AM* of African descent just as I am of Honduran descent. But, I *am neither* African nor Honduran, I am American. By the way, no one ever challenges me on having an identity crisis because I do not claim to be Honduran. Also, by the way, most Africans do not consider black Americans Africans! ::Imma just set that right there::

Last by the way, long-time members of the African diaspora who emigrated from Africa find themselves out of water when they return to their home countries! Sometimes, they are referred to by their fellow Africans as "no longer African."

My position, which I present as a way of understanding not as a sale anyone should buy, is that more than genes makes one anything. I believe that cultural knowledge AND experience, language, customs peculiar to a given society and community, belief systems, as well as heritage makes a person one thing or another. This was my defense of
Symoné at that time on this particular issue.

I do not follow
Symoné's public statements. I did, however, hear what she said about the South Carolina teenage student incident. Plainly, her comments were idiotic.

Yet, I believe that each person has the right to voice their opinions. I can choose to endorse them, ignore them, or rebuke them, but they have a right to them.

I recall reading, years ago, how involved
Symoné 's parents where in directing her career and protecting her from so many of the pitfalls that child stars are prey to. I give her parents credit for being there and being engaged.

It seems, perhaps, that they may have sheltered her to the point where she is incapable of relating to challenges faced by so many, even people of her own race.

Tragic, really.

For this reason, my feelings toward her involve pity and sorrow.

Symoné 's voice has far less affect on the lives of black people than culturally insensitive idiots who make laws at the local, state,and federal levels. Those are the "voices" that should be banned, those voices do more than express opinions, those voices regulate lives.

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