More than 20 years have passed since Kalyn Chapman was crowned Miss Alabama. After benefiting a good deal from her top ten finish in the Miss America pageant, she is having trouble determining how to respond when people are being mistreated, or even killed.
More than 20 years have passed since Kalyn Chapman was crowned Miss Alabama. After benefiting a good deal from her top ten finish in the Miss America pageant, she is having trouble determining how to respond when people are being mistreated, or even killed. There is no question that she has benefited from a Miss America pageant that is mostly run by whites.
Yet, when whites suffer, as blacks do, she simply does not know how to process it, even though she is church going woman, with a husband and two children.
So she vents her feelings on her cellphone, and Facebook.
James looks upset. But as a black woman who has benefited from a white society, it should be just as upsetting to white people that she thinks her tears are justified. It’s hard to know what she is upset about, or why. Is she upset that she thinks it’s okay to kill white police officers. Is she harkening back to the days when she struggled to be accepted by whites in the Miss America pageant?
She probably benefited from the fact that she has a white first name, not one that is a typical “African” name. She is also lighter skinned than other blacks, which probably helped her in her quest to become Miss America. She scored in the top ten in her quest for Miss America in 1993.
“I don’t feel sad for the officers that lost their lives,” she says. “And that’s not really my life. I value human life. I want to feel sad for them, but I can’t help but feeling like the shooter was a martyr. And I know it’s not the right way to feel because nobody deserves to lose their lives.”
The police officers had families and they didn’t deserve to die, she says.
“But I’m so torn up about seeing these black men being gunned down in our communities that I can’t help feel but I wasn’t surprised by what the shooter did to those cops,” she says. “And I think a lot of us (blacks) feel the same way. I don’t think it’s right, and I don’t condone violence. But I’m sick of this. I’m sad and I’m hurt.”
. . . I’m sick of this, and something has to be done, period, she adds.
. . . “I know I’m not the only one feeling like this,” she says. “I’ll be anxious to see how you feel, and what you’re dealing with.”
This phenomena is not without precedent. A black woman working at a Home Depot , Krystal Lake, had a baseball cap made that reads “America was never great.” Blacks enjoy an unprecedented amount of freedom and opportunity in the U.S., compared to those who were not sold into slavery in Africa generations ago. Rather than correct this young lady’s thinking, Home Depot allowed her to wear the cap. The corporate idea seems to be, if any black man or woman complains for any reason, no matter how unfounded, there is a valid reason for it.
Lake said the cap was a response to Trump, but the obvious problem is that as a black woman, she enjoys freedoms and prosperity and a job because she lives in the U.S. And the opposite of Trump is not that America was never great. It's an obvious mistake of logic and reason. If Lake works in the U.S. and attends college in the New York, why is America not great. Compared to what country is America not great? This is the thinking problem with many young black women like James and Lake. Lake does not like that people wear Trump pins at work. She also never asked the managers at Home Depot if she could wear the hat, yet she was allowed to wear it.
The fact that this woman was so motivated to make a baseball cap that is an obvious take on the Donald Trump slogan, says a lot about how blacks perceive the role of their race in the U.S. They perceive, mostly because of race baiters, who use the color of their skin to their political ends, that there will always be a reason for protest, for being discontent with their state in life.
There are thousands of black athletes who make hundreds of millions of dollars through professional contracts that are simply not available to black athletes in other countries in the world. That does not seem to be enough. And that is a problem. There seems to be a base racist thinking by many blacks in this country. Much of it is the result of a constant refrain of how blacks in this country should be discontent because they are not as wealthy as whites, who make up the majority population in the U.S.
Thousands of blacks died on the way over to where they were being shipped, like cargo. They ended up in various countries of the New York, South, Central and North America, as well as England. Though a smaller number ended up in the U.S. it’s rare for blacks in other countries to have the same opportunities as those living in the U.S. It’s also rare for racial minorities in other countries to be given a platform for their complaints like they have in the U.S. It's as though because there are more freedoms in the U.S., life for blacks is far worse in the U.S. Of course, that's not the case.
Kalyn Chapman James, in her privileged life, has benefited from living in a mostly white America for decades after she won Miss Alabama, in 1993. She appeared with her family in a TV advertisement for Walt Disney World that aired on such networks as ABC Family, SOAPnet and TLC.
But just because she has benefited from the white world in the U.S., does not mean that she has learned how to process human suffering. It has evidently not helped that she attends a black church either. Maybe that has made the situation worse.
On her Facebook post, James condoned the slaying of five white police officers, and thinks the black man who killed them is a martyr. The concept of martyrdom is something that is part of our history because Christians have died because of their faith, and not because they killed other people. People who die because they kill people are generally not thought to be martyrs.
Christians still die or are persecuted because of their faith. As well, a number of black leaders, including the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., are considered martyrs, because of what they stood for, not because they were a threat to the lives of anyone, or killed anyone. They were held in honor precisely because they lived blameless, innocent lives, not because they used a high powered rifle to kill police.
That’s the whole idea behind a martyr. They are not honored because they kill people. But because of the current liberal cable TV commentator narrative, from people like Van Jones, blacks are constantly being put upon by whites. The result is that people like James and Jones have become racists. They think that it’s justifiable that white cops should be killed. This is essentially endorsing anarchy. And it has its seeds in the aftermath of Ferguson and the killing of Michael Brown. It did not matter if Michael Brown was guilty or not. The narrative was that a black man was killed by a white cop.
James has benefited like many other black celebrities in the U.S., unlike blacks in other countries in the world. The commercial that aired years ago shows the family enjoying several amenities at the Orlando park. Keeping all of this all in perspective is evidently something that is hard for James. Perhaps she suffers from elites black guilt.
Many revolutionaries, black and white, think that a little revolution, a little killing, a little assassination is good for the country. Blacks didn’t think that when King was assassinated, though. This is different. Whites don’t think it’s true when black police officers are assassinated. What makes this different?
An off-duty police officer survived an assassination attempt in St. Louis. I guess it does matter if there is an assassination attempt. It has an impact when cops are really killed. Street justice. That's what we're talking about. We want the same kind of street justice that blacks endure at the hands of other blacks in the inner city.
Perhaps James is just confused about her black/white privilege. She’s having a black (or white) moment. We want higher standards for white cops. We want them to develop better relationships with black men. But the chances of that happening in the near future is remote at best. That's because angry young black men, the ones that listen to angry black rap music don't want to be police officers.
Many young black men and women are just as racist as whites. Behind the back of whites, they joke and make fun of whites, mostly white girls. It makes them feel better, evidently. So ingrained is this thinking in young black men and women that it is very difficult for these young people to take responsibility for their own lives.
If something bad happens to them, it’s the white man’s (or woman’s) fault. It looks like James doesn’t take responsibility for her comments either. She is shedding tears, but they are not tears for white cops. She is shedding tears for herself really. Perhaps she will come to her senses and see that justice is not served by assassinating white cops, not matter how much she cries after a church service.
© 2016 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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