Dr. Boyce Watkins says, MSNBC's Firing of Martin Bashir Reminds Black People that We Are Only "The Help"

I can't really say that I've ever liked Martin Bashir all that much. His move 10 years ago to undermine Michael Jackson in a deceptive fashion didn't sit well with me. I presume that Bashir had an ethical reason to do what he did and wasn't just trying to promote himself to stardom. Either way, throwing Michael Jackson under the bus was a huge career move for the host.
When I saw Bashir resign from MSNBC this week for comments related to slavery, I felt compelled to support him.  Bashir took offense to remarks by Sarah Palin, in which Palin compared the national debt to slavery.  Responding in dramatic fashion, Bashir told the story of Thomas Thistlewood, an overseer who said that slaves were sometimes punished by having another slave urinate or defecate in their eyes and mouth.

Bashir then went on to say that by comparing the national debt to slavery, Palin would be a perfect candidate for Thistlewood's discipline.   I say, not  a bad idea.  If you're going to compare yourself to a slave, then that means you should be willing to prove that the comparison is accurate.   I assume that after understanding what it was really like to be a slave, Palin would probably find a more fitting analogy.

Here are a few reasons why Bashir's comments were both brave and accurate, and why MSNBC, Sarah Palin and those criticizing Bashir should be ashamed:

1) Because people like Palin think that everything is the same as slavery:  We all know that Palin is an idiot, that was confirmed long ago.  But in this case, there is nothing wrong with Bashir's remark, because it is basically saying to Palin, "OK.  You think you're a slave, let's see if you really are experiencing what slaves had to go through."

The remark is as sobering as forcing your out-of-control teenage child to pay a few bills to learn what it's really like to be an adult. Palin can only be offended by the raw nature of Bashir's remark, but the truth is that the reaction to his comments by the liberal left (those who make Black people think they're our friends) is a reminder of how most of our country is not interested in hearing what our ancestors had to endure.  We are typically shocked to hear honest stories about the brutality of slavery, since we've been sleep walking our way into believing that if we just don't mention it, it'll be the same as if it never happened in the first place.

But someone needs to speak up for our ancestors from the grave, and that's what I am seeking to do right now.

2) Because disrespect of African Americans is not taken seriously: Say something about the Jews, you're in trouble (remember Rick Sanchez?). Say something about gay Americans, you're surely going down (ask Alec Baldwin). But disrespect hundreds of years of suffering by the African American community, it's no big deal (ask Don Imus, Don Lemon and every other personality who has spoken negatively about African Americans over the last few years).  In the Sanchez and Baldwin cases, the hosts were removed for verbally ╬▒ttacking a particular group of people. In the Bashir case, he was fired for DEFENDING African Americans.  Would he have been fired for engaging in an equally passionate defense of the gay or Jewish communities?  I don't think so.  In fact, he'd be a hero.


Source: New Pittsburgh Courier Online | Dr. Boyce Watkins
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