Monday, April 24, 2006

"She doesn't act the way most Congress members act."

On his HBO comedy standup special a few years ago, Jamie Foxx offered OJ Simpson some advice in his attempt to stay out of the media spotlight: “Just sit down somewhere!” Considering her well-publicized Capitol Hill transgressions, Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney might significantly stand to gain from Foxx’s advice.

As if punching a Capitol Hill police officer in the chest a few weeks ago (which instantly evokes memories of Chappelle’s classic line a la Rick James: “I think I’m bleedin’ inside my chest!”) and then being reprimanded by her congressional colleagues (in private, Congressional Black Caucus members criticized her legal team and advised her to defuse the issue, lest she face serious charges) wasn’t enough, McKinney embarrassed herself yet again by referring to one of her own senior staff aides as a “fool” while still mic’d up after a recent press conference.

While embarrassing for sure, McKinney’s mistake was somewhat comprehensible and forgiveable. Unfortunately for her, the bad situation became worse when she then tried to
"son” the media staff on hand that caught her snafu by gangster grillin’ them and making the argument that those comments made outside of the context of her press conference should be understood as “off the record.”

End result: that media crew sent that audio to CNN "quick fast like Ramadan.”

For the record, this isn’t the first time a politician has been caught making an embarrassing comment while mic’d up, but McKinney’s poor attempt to diffuse the situation reveals a repetitive character flaw: she just plain refuses to admit mistakes once she’s made them. This became embarrassingly clear to many in her reference to her Capitol Hill scuffle as “racial profiling”. Please believe conservative media outlets are eating up this story like a bean pie.

My suggestion for McKinney with re-election time approaching: “Just sit down somewhere!”


Brother Spotless said...

It seems as though she doesn't know when it is the correct time to embrace her "Inner Bamma."

Brother Lightness said...

I couldn't agree more. Allow me to offer Brother Tallness's definition of "Innr Bammma" as reference:

"My definition of inner bamma is not analogous to contemporary black cool pose culture. While certainly some of those characteristics that you mentioned are produced and practiced by people I would consider a bammas, its not enough to say "if black person X does Y activity from your list, then black person X is a bamma.

The focal point of my definition is the practice of a behavior or system of behaviors that is localized in an form of cultural expression that is seen as outdated or detrimental to the public image of the race. Where I would try to push your definitions a little bit farther is to ask them to behave in more complicated manners. What if Brother Lightness puts in his hours at a large multinational consulting firm during the work week but then ghost rides his whip on the weekend? What if by day, Brother Smartness works at a prestigious NYC law firm but by night leads a double life that involves box chevies, gangsta grillz, and sitting on 22s?

A less extreme example of this that immediately comes to mind is the dilemma of eating fried chicken in public. While we all live in an era where multinational corporations serve fried chicken to people of all races and creeds, I ask in all seriousness, What is the first thing you think of when you see a brother or sister thoroughly enjoying three piece meal? Right.

And the thing is, it doesn't matter if you are the teenage welfare mother, the CEO of AOL-Time Warner, a first team All NBA shooting guard, or the deacon of Abssynian First memorial Ebenezer Baptist on Butte Street: The moment you get caught mid bite with a mouthful of fried deliciousness, You'sa Bamma.

Brother Lightness touched on this issue when he spoke to his ontological crisis on grills; Ralph Ellison articulates this whole dilemma way better than I ever could as well. His essays "The Little Man in Chehaw Station" as well as "What Would America be Like Without Blacks" do a lot in terms of trying to explore the relationship of black culture to larger society. "