While not directly related to strength training, the tenets behind this post, personal responsibility and taking charge of one’s own fate, definitely are. Also, having worked in Hollywood for 35 years, the subject matter hits close to home.
With the insane hoopla surrounding the 2015 Academy Awards’ so-called “rebuff” of blacks going full tilt and the Academy capitulating to the childish demands of the likes of Pinkett-Smith, my acerbic elderly neighbor Marie said, “Silly me, I didn’t realize Affirmative Action applied to the Academy Awards.”
Every day I am grateful that I was born white. Whenever I flop or flounder, whenever I am not provided the opportunity I feel I deserve or get hired for a job I am uniquely qualified for, I am not additionally burdened by the self-defeating handicap of being provided permission — either by myself or the society I live in — to blame my personal disappointments entirely on others due to my race.
Black people have had to shoulder some terrible burdens throughout history, from their own people in Africa colluding with white Europeans to sell their brothers and sisters into slavery to their wholesale executions at the hands of the KKK and the police. Perhaps the heaviest burden of all, the burden that keeps blacks stalled and rooted and mired in the mud, is their enthusiastic and opportunistic embracing of the label of victimization. Identifying one’s self as a victim is one thing; celebrating it, appropriating it as a lifestyle, using it to manipulate and control, is self destructive both personally and racially. It is a cancer.
Every year entirely deserving people and films are not nominated for an Oscar. Always following the nominations the media has a field day decrying the amazing performances or projects overlooked or “shut out” by the Academy. Because these excluded individuals are predominantly white there is no convenient group upon whom they can shift the blame in order to justify their own disappointment; they have no easy out, such as the advantage of claiming they were shunned due to their race. Only black people stoop to this tactic, because black people have learned they can systematically blame all their own personal shortcomings and failures and slights real or imagined on others’ racism. During years past when black actors were nominated, but ultimately did not win, even then we were treated to crybabies like Spike Lee claiming "discrimination."
It is troubling how many compliant white people immediately and without applying any critical thought to the claim jump on blacks’ victimization bandwagon in knee-jerk fashion to facilitate and promote this travesty. It is troubling how many whites respond like trained monkeys to support and amplify the first rumblings of black victimization. These enabling self-proclaimed allies have done far more to hinder the cause of racial equality than any Southern politician ever has. And in a Machiavellian sense, perhaps that’s the whole idea.