The Trayvon Martin/George Zimmerman trial has sparked massive outrage on both sides of the political field. While I refuse to insert myself into the repetitive racial competition between the right and the left, I would like to take a moment to speak on Rachel Jeantel, the prosecution’s 19-year-old star witness whose rough behavior and inability to read cursive have captured headlines.
Speaking to Tea Parties all around the country, I’ve been called out a time or two for my grammar. I’ve had people come to me and say, “You are wonderful. If you just go to college…”; or “I’ve seen you speak a dozen times; you would be perfect if…”; And my personal favorite: “You are a little rough around the edges, but if you…”
My reply: “I love rubbing people the wrong way. I’ll keep my rough edges.”
In 1895, Booker T. Washington delivered his Atlanta Exposition Address. In his speech, he said:
A ship lost at sea for many days suddenly sighted a friendly vessel. From the mast of the unfortunate vessel was seen a signal, “Water, water; we die of thirst.” The answer from the friendly vessel at once came back, “Cast down your bucket where you are.”
For every Republican and conservative that preaches the need for minority outreach, if you cast down your bucket where you are, you will meet Rachel Jeantel–and hundreds just like her. And, yes, hundreds like Trayvon Martin as well. We can’t start from where we should be; we must start from where we are.
This is the Black America the left has created. This is where I, and a lot of other black conservatives, have cast down our buckets. President Obama was mocked when he said if he had a son, he would look like Trayvon Martin. Well, Rachel Jeantel reminds me of my sister, my cousin, my best friend, my aunt, and the lady that lives down the block.
After an appearance before Congress in 2007, David Banner gave this assessment:
I have chosen to cast my bucket into the underbelly of America. I am not afraid to admit it exists. Nor am I afraid I won’t be welcome. I’ve cast my bucket to the hustlers, the money-makers, the go-getters, and the get up, get out, and get something “Outkast.”
These are the capitalists of the street. And they are killing themselves because they haven’t been offered creative capitalism. We refuse to let down our buckets.
I’ve chosen to cast down my bucket to the single mom that can squeeze a dollar out of fifteen cents. She knows how to live within her means. She knows she can’t spend more than she makes. She knows she must sacrifice now for her kids to have a better life later. It doesn’t matter how many baby daddies she has. She is the fiscal conservative. She would fight against the debt and deficit, if we would only cast down our bucket.
I’ve chosen to cast down my bucket to the youth that have grown up in the digital age. Whether one likes his music or not, rapper Soulja Boy turned the computer in his basement into a career. These young, black youth are hitting the web and finding legal, entrepreneurial means to make money. When they reach success, they take their family with them. They lower government dependency not by force but by choice. These are the reformers we need.
Damn it, cast down your bucket!
Yes, they sound like me. They are just like me. If I am to be cheered, then we have to cast down our buckets. We must cast down our buckets to the felons, the drug dealers, the illiterate, the struggling, the lost, and the newly found. They are living in the new American slavery and our job is to show them the path that leads to freedom.
Or was I wrong?
Before the liberal race-baiters jump, let me pre-empt. You won’t run me away from freedom, capitalism, or conservative principles with your racial baiting. My bucket is off limits to you. You have led 50 years of failure in the black community. Your water is poison.