When to Act vs React; A Tai Chi viewpoint

Rev. Al Sharpton of the National Action Network, is calling attention to a cartoon in February 18Th’s edition of the New York Post, that depicts two police officers making a comment after shooting a chimpanzee, concerning the stimulus/recovery plan that was written by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and signed into law by President Barack Obama on February 17th.  

Many in the Black collective are taking offense to the cartoon, spurred on by Rev. Sharpton, based on the historical  precedence of white racists referring to African Americans as monkeys.   Recall the famed sports announcer Howard Cosell apologizing after yelling into the microphone “look at that little monkey run” during a September game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins in 1985.  Now, in the case of Howard Cosell I don’t believe he was being racist but, he did pay the price for using the word because racist of the past (and present)  have used it to disparage Black people.

However, as Sharpton calls people to action against cartoonist Sean Delonas and the New York Post, got me thinking about what action is and what reaction is.  Actions are usually a calculated response from a group or individual.  An action is a deliberate and focused response to a previous action (sometimes an action is the first move), with an outcome, if directed with good intent, will put the initial actor into a defensive posture.  Often the initial action is used to probe or irritate as an offensive and is often a form of controlling the outcome when, and if an individual or group reacts.

Reactions are often not planned and are a quick (possibly knee jerk) responses to a probing action.   This gives the primary actor the advantage of control rather than having to defend the original action.  In this, the moves by the Rev. Sharpton gives the appearance of  a half hearted reaction playing on the emotional psyche of the people he’s rousing.   These reactions by the Right Reverend most often lead to no where in the long run, the original actor is stung but, not truly harmed by these faux reactions.

It takes patience (which has nothing to do with a long delay or acting passive) to forge a deliberate action.  An action by the Reverend and those with him will render the cartoonist and the New York Post defenseless.  They will not be able to rebound so easily like the reactionary motion Rev. Sharpton took against Don Imus and his crew.  A decisive action will cause a rise in the consciousness of both parties that MAY forstall any further probing actions by those who wish to control.

New York Post Cops Shooting Obama Cartoon Al Sharpton Furor


11 comments on “When to Act vs React; A Tai Chi viewpoint

  1. “In this, the moves by the Rev. Sharpton gives the appearance of a half hearted reaction playing on the emotional psyche of the people he’s rousing. ”

    So much noise and so little getting done. This is one of the main reasons that I am no longer a part of the black church or evangelical church – too much appeal to emotion, but that’s for another post at another time.

    I know that we cannot continue to react every time a racist action, gesture, or slur is directed as the president. Racism existed pre-Obama and will continue post-Obama. Demonstrating / protesting was a bit too much.

    Where were the protests when those shoes were thrown at Pres. Bush? People in this country laughed while I was greatly offended, and not because I agreed with Pres Bush’s policies. However, the shoes were thrown at me too, a US citizen. The POTUS was disrespected. Didn’t mean to go on, but disrespect at the office of the presidency is disrespect no matter where it comes from.

    Now if the good Rev wants to demonstrate and protest, then he should lead a march against the savagery in the so-called black community – rape, murder, exploitation by blacks against blacks. I, for one, am outraged at the madness that is deemed acceptable. I am sick of the likes of Michael Eric Dyson defending this savage, animalistic behavior. I am sick of the excuses.

  2. I agree completely with HD. And Ensayn, how interesting. you pointed this out. This morning I meditating on the Niyama Tapas which is a disciplined use of our energy. It is not healthy to be a reactionary. You give your power away. In my own personal life, I’m learning how to be still in the face of attacks and direct action. It throws folks off for a minute and gives you the advantage.

    I think so many of these “leaders” saw a “monkey” and immediately felt offended. That, in and of itself, is deep to me. That they’ve internalized that “Black”=”monkey”. They didn’t stop to think for a minute . . . Obama didn’t write the stimulus bill. The POTUS is not a legislator! Yes, there are racist undertones all around and we need to be aware (and it’s possible that’s what the cartoonist intended–that it was indeed an indirect digg at or threat to Obama) but so much of this reactionary hoopla is just a lot of just sound and fury that signifies nothing . . . It’s just annoying after a while. Especially since the Post is notorious for other racist and just off-color material. I have been ignoring The Post (and it’s runner up The Daily News) for eons.

    I don’t like to knock folks but honestly and truly, it’s getting ridiculous. I also worry too that this crazy kind of emotional support and defense of all-thing Obama gives him too much power. If Obama himself didn’t react to this cartoon, why are all these so called “Black leaders” so up in arms? Why are they so bent on defending someone who didn’t ask for their defense and, as far as I can see, hasn’t even acknowledged the whole thing.

    I too am sick of the excuses. Sick of the nonsense. I hope we realize soon that the key to our ultimate liberation is by being pro-active as opposed to re-active–especially in these times we find ourselves in. There are so many issues we need to be pro-active about (self-sufficiency and our physical, mental and spiritual health are some important ones that come to mind) instead of wasting so much energy responding to folly.

  3. Chi Chi,
    You are right on that blacks have internalized these stereotypes as well. That speaks volumes in itself.

    The 2 most recent news / internet stories about racism – the Post and the watermelon email by the mayor – have me pondering whether these racist gestures were “n*gg*r jokes or jokes about blacks. (I’m not suggested that it makes the behavior acceptable.) What I mean is this: when comedians tell jokes about white do this, or black folks act like this, or Jews are like…a lot times people laugh because they know of the stereotype, believe the stereotype, or know that the joke is that people sometimes generalize about other groups as well as their own group. A joke about black people (or any other group would fit this category.) On the other hand a n*gg*r joke is told as a hurtful, mean, and demeaning “joke” that a person thinks is true for the whole group. (Again I am not suggesting either of these categories is acceptable.)

    I know the history of this country and have personally felt the sting of open, blatant racism. I do know that a joke can go too far. I also know that one person’s humor is not another’s. For example, when the mayor sent this email could it have been in the meant in the manner that all the Bush anti-intellectual and dumb jokes were? A person as old as the mayor of Los Alamitos should be savvy enough to negotiate world and take into consideration the history of this country in addition to knowing that private emails are off limits in the work place.

    Why is an apology demanded? If a person is truly repentent he or she will apology without any prompting.

    I thought about this all night. We are in need of a comprehensive action PLAN not some knee jerk, emotional ranting. I believe that the good Rev and others like him honestly don’t know the difference. I believe they really don’t know how to develop a strategic plan of action so instead they run from incident to incident thinking they are in the same vein as King and Civil Rights Movement, but this not the case. Even the Movement had to develop and over time a comprehensive strategy was mapped.

    Although I’ve said it before I think it needs repeating. The leadership that is needed is the type that will move to stop the violence and other madness occurring in black neighborhoods and black minds across the country. We need to declare martial law in black neighborhoods.

  4. HG, Thank you for coming by. As usual you add such a roux (little Louisiana spin) to whats been written. Unfortunately many believe, as I do, that George Bush deserved the insult of the shoe toss. He has committed murder on a people that didn’t deserve his wrath. I think the internalization of these images by Black people have become a crutch to be manipulated at any time by internal forces such as the “right” reverend or people like Sean Delonas or Don Imus.

    Chi-Chi, it is strange that I wrote this as you were meditating on energy. I don’t believe in coincidences. I think the problem with individuals, then the masses is we have allowed ourselves to become a reactionary entity a tool for the manipulators among us. Your analysis of the choice to act or react is exactly on point. We have to train the mind to follow the initial force to allow time to overcome it.

  5. Enjoy reading your blog.Btw, this is first time I visit to your blog 🙂

    Why pay $1000’s for solar or wind power when you can build your ownprofessional system for less than $200?! (in your own backyard)

  6. Howard Cosell did not apologize and Howard Cosell DID NOT say “Look at that little monkey run” when he was referring to Redskins wide receiver Alvin Garrett. Cosell made this remark 11 years earlier in 1972 in reference to a play by Kansas City Chiefs Mike Adamle. It was 1983 on Monday Night Football when Cosell made his comment about Alvin Garrett which was “That little monkey gets loose doesn’t he.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s