Crabs-In-A-Barrel: Why We Will Never Be Great
It’s disturbing how we marginalized her shining moment with such a trivial matter, and single-handedly set ourselves back in doing so. But we’re used to that, aren’t we?
Fact is, we still suffer from the unfortunate crabs-in-a-barrel syndrome. Black America boasts some of the most successful figures in business, entertainment, sports, and not to mention the current (and future) President of the United States, yet and still we can’t seem to enjoy our successes without criticizing our own about silly shit.
Take Jay-Z and Beyonce, for example – two highly successful entertainers and entrepreneurs who, whether you agree or not, have inspired a generation. Yet we don’t attribute their success to hard work; instead, we pass it off to The Illuminati, a mythical organization believed to have almost-supernatural control of the world as we know it. Just last week, Harry Belafonte called out the couple for “turning their backs on social responsibility,” and immediately names Bruce Springsteen as an example of what he expects from the Carters, and other black celebrities. No disrespect, Mr. Belafonte, but what responsibility do they – or any other celebrity, for that matter – have to lifting the entire black community? They, like you, focus on what they are good at. But we’d never say such a thing about Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen, or Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow. We simply say they’re good people.
We also have a HUGE problem in getting behind the right causes. Case-in-point: the recent Chick-Fil-A controversy, where we saw black people taking sides over fried fucking chicken. I won’t say there are so many other things going on in the world that we should care about, like a presidential campaign that could change the face of America as we know it, but it’s true. There are so many different issues out there that affect us directly, yet we’re throwing more support behind a chicken joint than our president’s re-election.
We have to stop this, black people. We can’t blame “The Man” for holding us back when we do a better job of it than they do. We have to unite to build ourselves up instead of to bring each other down. This is not to say we cannot have critical opinions about our community, but our criticism has to be constructive, and we cannot simply talk the talk without walking the walk. If we let the crabs climb out of the barrel, we can give them the ability to reach back in and pull us out, too.