I will not be as those who spend the day in complaining of headache, and the night in drinking the wine that gives it–Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

It’s not easy for me to say this, but I’m gonna: Black people, at least some of us, have become the whiniest bunch around, but fail to take action against the injustices we claim. To be even more precise, we’re hypocrites of the worst possible sort, as indicated by our all-access pass to the proverbial soapbox, on which no one else can stand without provoking our watchful eye.

Despite all the warning signs, many of us haven’t grasped how profoundly overcritcal we really are. Others of us are fully cognizant of this, but would rather bitch and moan as opposed to doing something about the injustices.

For instance, never in the history of primetime television has an Academy Awards ceremony concluded without prompting subsequent barrages of rash complaints from Black naysayers, who cringe at the very thought of a panel of self-empowered White men and women nominating their own people for categories established for their people and by their people. (Yes, Jews are basically White).

During summer, however, when Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) marquee awards ceremony is nationally televised, those who cry foul over the snubbing of their beloved Black performers, consciously ignore the intended exclusion of non-Blacks from virtually every aspect of the show, as part of a haphazard approach to even the score with “old Whitey.”

Even on those particularly rare occasions when Blacks are tossed a bone–namely those shaped like an Oscar or Emmy award–the scarcity of each nomination often casts a shadow over the accomplishments themselves, and strengthens the notions we hold about societal imbalances.
Indeed, we called Denzel Washington’s Oscar “Training Day” triumph a fluke, because it wasn’t until he portrayed an unscrupulous detective that he was bestowed Hollywood’s highest honor. We scoffed at Halle Berry’s decision to be sexually ravaged by “the enemy” in the 2001 film “Monster’s Ball,” for which she too received an Oscar.

Cuba Gooding Jr.’s ebullient award speech followed his performance as the loud, flamboyant football pro and co-star, in the melodrama “Jerry Maguire.” And most recently, an unprecedented combination of incest, abject poverty, teen-pregnancy, Aids-epidemic, illiteracy, and a number of other hard truths, took center stage when Monique accepted an academy award for best supporting actress, for her esteemed role in the coming-of-age picture “Precious.”

It’s no wonder that Black moviegoers are up in arms, right? Wrong.

That’s not to say falsehoods don’t come in all forms, including those you see on the small and big screens. But until our neighborhoods are devoid of the aforementioned evils–a long shot considering the times–the images we’ve grown to abhor will never go away, at least not permanently.

The same applies to the media’s interpretation of Black America. However slanderous it may be, the general purpose of any news story or exposé, is to elicit meaningful responses from the outside world. And while there are pockets of today’s talented-tenth, if you subscribe to such a theory, scattered throughout select portions of the nation, many of us either live with, next to, in the vicinity of, or are living proof that what we see on the 11 o’clock news, aint’ always incorrect.

Why would our so-called “oppressor” use his media sources to promote Black progress, when there’s a growing surplus of gang-violence, broken-homes, underachieving students, and lawbreakers to choose from in our communities?

Yet we complain. In an era when Hip-Hop is of greater influence on today’s Black youth than the almighty Christian church, we continue to point fingers at everyone else but ourselves. Why? Is it easier this way? Might introspection, rather than blame-shifting, be a task fit for our people?

How long will we attribute our shortcomings to the vestiges of slavery? When will Black viewers wake up, and demand that BET elevate its show standards to a higher plane? When will enough Black dollars be recycled to help Black businesses proliferate, Black media outlets and Black everything else?

The idea is this basically: if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Tyler Perry, problem or solution? Lil’ Wayne, problem or solution? The current Black family structure, problem or solution? Black-on-Black violence, problem or solution? The welfare office, a crutch or a solution?

These are the questions we must ask ourselves before blowing the whistle of inequity for every bump and bruise we sustain in White America. So Black people, I challenge you: put up or shut up. Otherwise, leave all the work to the NAACP. Everyone knows how expedient they are . . .