events of the day have caused us to confuse what is real
and what is important. It seems some people frame what's
important to them and forget what's important to us all.
There are things going on in "our" community that
are significant and the people that say they "speak"
for "us" or "represent" us, don't seem
to think so...or don't seem to care. The absence of conscience
is a reality that black people have had to deal with the
past couple decades. Yeah, you will always have those in
our nation, and in our communities that make more of things
than they should, or make more of something than is necessary.
We call that making that "something out of nothing."
Only we say, "nuthin."
however, it seems that many are quick to take really significant
issues, or really important events, taking place in our
society and seek to reject the importance or significance
of those issues or events. We live in a new culture where
people now will take something and say “it’s nothing.” What’s
important is to not lose sight of what’s important. What’s
significant in the context of history can’t be minimalized.
Yet, that’s what some try to do. That’s our new culture
of making nothing out of something.
events have occurred in the past two weeks that make this
point. Of course, most recently was the “suspension” of
the Herman Cain campaign for the Republican nomination for
President of the United States. The “Cain Train” just didn’t
come to a sudden stop. It was derailed by a string of significant
events that cast him in a different light. As much as Cain
tried to represent the allegations were about nothing, they
were really something in terms of what the American people
want to see in the politics of its President versus the
politics of a private citizen. Still Cain said it was nothing,
and the public stayed with him as long as they could, then
the real girlfriend came out and his long term 13
year relationship tied to her made this “nothing” really
something in terms of what the party of “family values”
were prepared to deal with. And Cain was done.
week, several cities, including the City of Los Angeles,
attempted to shut down the mass protest “occupation” movement.
The reasons were very shallow. Not because the people were
breaking law. In fact, it was actually the other way around,
the law is breaking the American people by allowing the
corporate greed movement to continue. Many people have been
pushed out of their jobs and homes. Where else do they have
to go but to the feet of the government that is supposed
to protect them? This significant statement the American
people are making is not to be ignored, as much as local
government is trying to dismiss them. Killing the grass
at City Hall became more important than killing “the American
Dream.” Something is happening in America that Congress,
state and local government want to say is much ado about
nothing. How long does our government think they can make
nothing out of something?
even seems some in our community have found convenient ways
to "flip the script." Things, events and times
that are significant in the historical construct of black
people, are being easily dismissed. In Los Angeles, the
city witnessed the swearing in of the first African American
City Council President - a significant achievement when
you understand how city government works. Everybody in the
city acknowledged that this was a BIG deal. The council
chambers were packed to support this achievement. All the
council members were there, except the other two African
American council members - who didn’t see this historical
event as significant enough to attend. Oh, they had reasons.
One had a “calendared” appointment that, of course, she
couldn’t change. The other reverted to his old LAPD tactics
and called in with “the blue flu,” meaning he was “conveniently
sick” to make a political statement as police do when you
take a position against the department unpopular within
the rank and file. When council members have conflicts or
are “sick” they just don’t come. And how many times do we
see committed elected officials get out of their sick beds
for significant events, like key votes and key speeches.
The most prominent of which was Arizona House member Gabby
Giffords, who got up out of her recovery bed to attend the
debt ceiling vote last summer. If she could get up and make
a vote recovering from a gunshot wound to the head, he could
get his old a** up to celebrate a colleague. But that’s
our resident narcissist. Nobody or nothing is more important
than him. It showed he hasn’t learned anything since last
Los Angeles taxpayer would be astonished with the number
of unexcused absences council members have, but these two
small-minded council persons wanted to send a message and
get some press out of it—and they did. The message was that
this event that was something to everybody else was nothing
to them. They wanted to make nothing out of something. It’s
the new American way, a new trait in the wayward culture.
still make something out of nothing for time to time, but
more frequently - we are seeing more and more people try
to make nothing out of something.
Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad, is a national columnist, managing
director of the
Urban Issues Forum
and author of
Saving The Race: Empowerment
Through Wisdom. His Website is AnthonySamad.com. Twitter @dranthonysamad. Click
to contact Dr. Samad.