public comment

Public Comment: Grey-Skinned Kin Folks

Posted December 6, 2021
By James Farr, The Conversation Live

The adage ``time waits for no man" or "father time is undefeated" are both undisputably facts.

Over the weekend after fielding what seems like time and time again the same set of questions.

What's going on between you and so and so.

So, let me put a few issues to rest--for the final time.

I had to set some boundaries for people who view The Conversation Live, and believe it entitles them to be VERY disrespectful to me and my family.

On me…

I don't do respectability or generational or gender identity or party politics.

I’m interested in people first, their heart secondly, and finally, their politics.

Congruency is the through-line in all three.

Are your thoughts, words, and deeds in alignment? If the answer is YES, continue reading.

If your answer is NO, the next few paragraphs are sure to make A Hit Dog Holler.

Before you ask, why is he airing out community laundry for white folkx to see?

Here's your answer.

I’m not seeking, nor do I require the approval or permission from them (white folkx).

This publication is Black. This message is for a Black reader. The author of this column is Black. And, your agreement is not required.

Before 2021 fades to Black, it's time. The (community) seriously needs to have an honest conversation.

I would say one in a secret basement, but some of y'all would insist on inviting the Grey-skinned folks.

If it's not the right time, when is a better time?

Before MLK Day of Service? Will more time be needed-- like two additional weeks around the start of Black History Month? Juneteenth is a three-day weekend, that should be plenty of time.

When is the meeting? If it's at a hotel ballroom after the host spends 40k to send someone else's kid to college, I'll pass on the chicken and rice pilaf dinner.

50 shades of Grey-skinned

The Grey-skinned people are the ones among us that in reality show up in blackface.

They purport autonomy, but we all see them tethered to a pathology that is as incongruent as their performative keep it one-hunid act.

They're your friends and family. You sit next to them at church. Y'all serve together in civic organizations and other service clubs. They're the company men and women. They’re no less Black in the world of full of anti-blackness. They undeniably show up in the world as Black and will wave the BIPOC flag.

Some have figured out or at least act out their grey-skinned identity--when pressed.

These are our community placeholders. They're the gatekeepers. The ones that are more concerned with the appearance of Blackness and not the substantive consciousness of Blackness.

The Generational divergence

Grey-skinned(ers) under the age of 50, likely grew up in Pasadena, but as an adult, they don't reside or vote in Pasadena.

I doubt, they could name one city council member, school board member, or the last superior court judge from the last election representing anyone of the IE or AV cities they dwell in.

Grey-skinned(ers) over 50 are aging out. Their descendants are the ones displaced and away from a once-thriving Black Pasadena community. They're also the ones that will cash out their family's oversized Dena parcel.

With one transaction, their lineage and roots here are forever cut.

On my Momma's--Momma

A couple of weeks ago, I, received one of two emails from community members.

One was from an NAACP Executive member letting me know she didn't accept my apology to the branch. She said “in these times we need to be together just for survival and ability to make changes. (The) past is gone now, look for a positive future with work and prayer. It's time to move on and the past is the past.”

She made no mention of my invitation to the branch accepting my offer to join in an effort of reconciliation and healing.

It was sage advice from the elder and parental in nature.

On my Momma's--Momma, I respectfully replied, thank you for your email.

Not sure I was the one in need of the lecture.

Then, a Sista sent me an email in all caps why she doesn't listen to no "N*GGA"

Um um well excuse me, Who is the n*gga in charge over here?

Reading the word for the first time in my life, I felt the truest intentions of the racial epithet.

It wasn't used as a term of endearment. It was pure self-hate. And, I hate the thought of it.

But, I need not worry about those arguing with themselves. Projecting outside their window, instead of looking in the mirror.

A half-truth and a whole lie are being told. It's a hyper-inferior complex. It's abusive. Its anti-Black-Excellence. I hope your tribe demands you apologize.

Suggested reading

PowerNomics By Dr. Claude Anderson

Post Traumatic Slave Disorder By Joy DeGruy

When can get on the same page and read from the same book (not just NKJ or ESV), other solutions might be considered--other than, turn it over to GAWD.

I have time for it today. But, in 2022, the foolishness, clout chasing, and begging, like a child, needs to be sent to the corner for a time out.

On me and my GAWD, some of y'all got me… f*cked up.

Public Comment, is a weekly commentary on issues in the city and within the community. Look for it each Monday exclusively in the Pasadena Black Pages. Funding Provided by Pasadena Media Foundation #SaveLocalNews James Farr is a journalist & host of the national award-winning “Conversation Live" a “hyper-local” talk show that focuses on social and restorative justice, inclusion, and equality. Identifying "what is at the root" of local issues, Farr's style is described as "hard-hitting" and "unflinching." His format is often piercing and provocative. He garnered national attention with his investigative documentary about 21-year-old motorist Christopher Ballew's savage beating by two Pasadena Police Officers in November 2017 in Altadena, California. Farr is one of the Producers of the critically acclaimed documentary Thorns on the Rose: Black Abuse Corruption & the Pasadena Police. Farr initiated Speak Out Pasadena and Police Community Conversations in an effort to find understanding, healing, police accountability, and oversight. James is a Husband, Father, Social Entrepreneur, Guest Lecturer at Occidental College, a contributor to “Love Is The Answer” and Author of "Critical Conversation(s)"

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