Not too long ago, Stacey Dash came under fire (again) for apparently supporting disgraced Food Network chef Paula Deen. This is not the first time that Stacey has set herself apart from the Black community. She has long since been under fire for being a Republican and for all intents and purposes, not embracing her “blackness”…. or as I’ve heard more often “selling out”.
Honestly, this is less about Stacey and more about this concept of “selling out”, who gets to determine whether one has “sold out” or not, those people who have alternative views? There seems to a concept that I will refer to as a “Black Consciousness” . My perspective of this “Black Consciousness” is that anything black is good and anything outside of that should be scorned and dismissed. Again, this is my perspective but I also think that within this wave of groupthink that there is a sense of hopelessness that the “white man” and “his rules” are holding us back to the point where we can never be successful so why try? Face it, it is easier to remain a slave of the mind when we still accept that we have a master. It is like a 5-year old who asks for something, is told “no” and subsequently “didn’t want it anyway”.
Now here is the point I am getting at, why is it that when one decides not to subscribe to many of the “groupthink” theories and concepts that I think drive many sectors of the black community, does one become a sellout? Is a person a sellout because they become educated and can function in more than one community socially and professionally? Do we not embrace independent thinkers anymore? I am really starting to wonder.
I had this conversation with someone just the other day who attempted to explain that once one has some disconnect with the black community that somehow they have sold out the entire race. I questioned at what level this disconnect was necessary and what constituted said disconnect. I thought that the answer that I was given was pretty lame, the answer I was given was that as soon as a person garners an education past the high school level, moves out of the hood and then tries to go to work in a “white” society instead of working for black owned businesses that they have sold out. Really? Is that all it takes?
I surely think that bettering one’s self and getting is not a practice of selling out, I think the selling out is when people choose to accept obstacles placed in the path to success as permanent instead of just that, a minor obstacle. I think a sellout is a person who thinks that self-accomplishment is futile and finds fault in those who have gone on to do the things that others have thought of doing but have put forth no initiative to move forward. Selling out one’s self is the worst kind of sell out, ever.