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Viewers were stunned last week during the season premiere of Shonda Rhimes' (creator of Gray's Anatomy and Private Practice) hit political drama, Scandal, during its star Kerry Washington's highly charged and emotionally gutting scene with her TV father (played by the uber-talented Joe Morton).  

In this scene Morton put something out there that, while it may be common knowledge among African American and other minority families, it's mostly unknown to many in the majority culture. Why do I say this?  Because of the audiences responses. Many were shocked, not in a bad way, but more in a "wow" type of way.  On the other hand, many were pleasantly surprised and heartened.

Here's the scene in question:

Now for some Media responses.

“Scandal’s” racially charged motto: “You have to be twice as good as them” --Salon.com

Rowan Pope (Morton) speaking to Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), who has just been outed as the President of the United States’ mistress, forces his soon-to-be disgraced daughter to repeat back to him the mantra he has instilled in her since childhood. The Entertainment Weekly recap of the episode calls the statement a “family motto” and quotes it thus: “You have to be twice as good to get half as much.” But dig the full exchange:
Rowan: Did I not raise you for better? How many times have I told you? You have to be what?

Olivia: Twice as good.

Rowan: You have to be twice as good as them to get half of what they have.

More than simply a family motto, the sentiment is one with which almost every African-American of my generation and before is all t00 familiar. Notice the them and the they — that’s white folks. The you is every black kid who has ever brought home a bad grade or failed to study hard enough for a test being told by their concerned parents that they might never succeed if they don’t work harder and smarter than their white peers. (See: “Twice as Good: Condoleeza Rice and Her Path to Power.”) Maybe not everyone will accept this assertion as true, but in “Scandal’s” choppy ocean of absurdity, it felt like rock-hard reality.
The LA Times caught the reference.  Entertainment Weekly called it the Pope "family motto."  Well, I agree with the Salon journalist. I'd say it's more than a Pope family motto, it's a minority, and more specifically an African American family motto.  

Even Condoleezza Rice acknowledges this "twice as good as" credo in her book titled Twice As Good: Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power

According to an article in the New York Times:

"All of this is connected inseparably with race. Mabry, himself African-American and sharply alive to even the subtlest distinctions between different black experiences, shows that Rice inherited her father’s view of racism: don’t deny it, but don’t be defined by it. Opposed to the activism of Martin Luther King, John Rice saw individual effort, rather than collective action, as the path to black empowerment: be twice as good, and you can make it. Individual willpower became his daughter’s touchstone. She believes in will, and she certainly believes in power."
So you have Condoleezza Rice acknowledging this well known, centuries old mantra, as well as Shonda Rhimes, a successful black writer, director and producer whose shows are lovingly called "Shondaland."

For centuries, this motto existed, however, it wasn't perpetuated because of paranoid delusions of racial oppression. There's still a very harsh reality behind it TODAY because racism is alive and kicking. And I submit that anyone who denies this needs some serious psychological help.

It's the black tax that many African Americans are familiar with. Those unfamiliar with it have gotten an eyeful by watching the first African American president pay its mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting price over and over and over again.

I assert that it is this same black tax that our president has been paying since the primary that got him the nomination. It's most recent appearance has come in this epic battle with the TeaPublicans, a racist outfit like none other. They are an angry, mindless, heartless mob of batshit crazy nuts who have more than established themselves as the white male ruling party of this country.  

They have alienated women,  old people and most, if not all racial and social minorities for one simple reason. They are scared.  

However, in the president's case, I touched upon the racial element of their madness in a comment I made in StellaRay's diary yesterday.  Rather than reinventing the wheel, I'm just going to repost what I wrote:

My husband and I were discussing this (32+ / 0-)

tonight and it finally dawned on us that all these shenanigans, while rooted in racial hate, have one purpose, and one purpose alone.

This shutdown isn't really about Obamacare or the deficit. If they cared so damn much about the latter, they would've been shrieking just as loudly when Reagan and Shrub were in office considering all the spending those two clowns did. If it were about the former, then the Heritage Foundation wouldn't have proposed the basic idea first.

And while saying their objections have a racial root shows the sewer from which their motivations spring, there is a distinct MESSAGE that they are trying to, not only affirm with their nutbag base, but to the president himself.  

That message is:

We don't give a shit that the majority of Americans voted for you because REAL Americans (read: white racists) voted for us.  You may be the president, but we are white. You are black.  You may think you hold power, but we're going to continue to show you who's really more powerful.  We are doing this to put you in your place. You need to respect your betters.
See, their "We will not be disrespected" slip of the tongue was very telling indeed.  All their machinations thus far have telegraphed this unspoken message. They want the president, African Americans and other minorities in America to know that just because "one of you" is sitting in the White House, it's still THEIR HOUSE and they will burn this country to the ground to remind everyone of this.

They're totally batshit delusional of course, but to them, they're "winning" this insane fight, despite the fact that they're making themselves look like total fucktards throughout the country and the world.

People who aren't insane know what this latest temper tantrum is about.  It's the death rattle of racists who've held onto power so long, they actually believe it's their RIGHT to wield it from a position of weakness because they also believe it was stolen from them by the uppity black man and his gang of mooching supporters.

Stupid bastards.  I can only sit back and laugh as their poll numbers continue to plunge. Here's to hoping the Republican Party goes the way of the Whigs.

People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

by WFBMM on Thu Oct 10, 2013 at 07:57:38 PM PDT

This is not to say that their Dem hatred doesn't exist.  If it didn't they wouldn't have gone so hard against Bill Clinton, and by extension Hillary.  However I believe their vendetta for Mrs. Clinton has misogynistic undertones, but that's another post all together.

However, the Obama hatred is in a class by itself---a perfect storm, if you will.  He's the culmination of every right wing fear. A black man with power, who just so happens to be the progeny of .... (((gasp))) a white woman/black male. Oh, AND he's not only highly intelligent (((((double gasp))))) he's also a bloody DEMOCRAT!!!!

ARGH!!!!!

Long story short, this latest Republican Battle (and all others with this president) was geared to put him in the place they insanely believe he belongs. They're angry that they lost the last two elections. They can't believe a black man is besting them.  They can't believe a black man has risen to the highest office in the land.  They are demoralized and disgusted. Their superior racial sensibilities are crying out for justice. They want this man beneath their boot heels, which is where they believe ALL people of color belong.  And the fact that they can't get him there is what compels them. Each jab is just a reminder from them to him that they believe they are better than he is, because he's a black man, so they will do any and everything to assert their white privilege which they are terrified of losing.

REPUBLICAN MESSAGE TO THE PRESIDENT: WE WILL NEVER STOP REMINDING YOU THAT YOU ARE AN N-WORD AND WE ARE WHITE AND SUPERIOR. YOU WILL RESPECT US!!!!!
PRESIDENT OBAMA'S RESPONSE: Good luck with that. lol
That's another thing they can't stand. For years they've tried to make him into an angry black man, but he's always responded with cool, calm, collectiveness.  

This too has driven them mad.

All this nonsensical behavior demonstrates that they are in the latent stages of ODS. Much like Syphillis or Rabies, once the disease invades the nervous system all bets are off.  Madness ensues. And while some might think my references to these horrid diseases are funny, I am completely serious.  I honestly believe their racist hatred has driven them batshit insane.  Truly.  They can't reason anymore. They are totally without logic. They don't even make sense to themselves.  

How is this not madness?  

Anger and hatred are powerful things.

My husband does martial arts. He's a black belt, and the one thing he's always taught our kids is that fighting, be it verbal or physical, requires 100% of your mind.  It cannot be clouded by rage, hatred or anger because they interfere with reason.  And you have to reason in order to battle. War requires strategizing and critical thinking--two things that are burned alive by anger, rage and hatred.

The republicans have lost this battle and quite possibility the war.

We can only hope they continue on their suicidal path to obscurity and irrelevance.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (14+ / 0-)

    People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

    by WFBMM on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:20:15 AM PDT

  •  I don't watch TV, and I didn't know (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bfitzinAR, avsp, profundo

    about that show.  On the other hand, I definitely agree with this post.

    I've been waiting for this shoe to drop since January 20, 2009.  And I'm white.

    Strength and dignity are her clothing, she rejoices at the days to come; She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the law of kindness is on her tongue.

    by loggersbrat on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:34:34 AM PDT

  •  wow-you nailed the truth of what the shutdown (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bfitzinAR

    is all about: That Black Man-nothing else. The tea party could care less about the deficit or anything else- they simply hate the President.

    "No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar." Abraham Lincoln

    by appledown on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:41:57 AM PDT

  •  Sadly there is a tremendous amount of hatred (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bfitzinAR

    out there. It's heartbreaking to see that it is still so strong.

    Just give me some truth. John Lennon

    by burnt out on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:48:07 AM PDT

  •  And that is what scares (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bfitzinAR, WFBMM, Odysseus

    ...this progressive Southern white boy about the ability of the House GOP to not drive us into default.   The motive for their action is not rational politics, it's cultural anger and a will to domination.

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 09:56:06 AM PDT

  •  It's irrational to shut down the government. It's (0+ / 0-)

    irrational to be against ACA. It's irrational not see how good a President  Obama is.  The only rational explanation is they are racists.  

    When you are dead, you don't know that you are dead. It is difficult only for the others. It is the same when you are stupid.

    by thestructureguy on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:06:07 AM PDT

  •  that clip may just get me watching Scandal lol (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    awesumtenor, Odysseus

    they (and you) nailed it.  this is axiomatic in the Black Community.  we even have a non-verbal shorthand:  a knowing look and an index finger on the back of the opposite hand.  this denotes

    This comment is dedicated to my mellow Adept2U and his Uncle Marcus

    by mallyroyal on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:08:21 AM PDT

  •  As a white person I see this (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rg611, Greatwyrm, WFBMM

    with regard to Obama, and almost commented yesterday:

    Our last President lies the country into war and crashes the economy? It's patriotic to support him. Under our current President, computer glitches on a website? WORST PRESIDENT EVER!

    Obama's not just the first black President; he's the first one required to be perfect.

    I'm living in America, and in America you're on your own. America's not a country. It's just a business.

    by CFAmick on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 10:25:53 AM PDT

  •  the Republicans aren't choosy (0+ / 0-)

    They're ecumenical. They will use any available prejudice in their quest to seek power.

    If Obama were a woman, they'd exploit misogyny. If he were gay, homophobia. If he were an atheist, fear of godless  secularists. It doesn't matter. It's only because he happens to be black that they're focusing on his skin color.

    The Republicans are about power, first and foremost. In order to gain power, they practice the politics of division by whatever means are at their disposal. Because it's far easier to divide than unite, and fearful and paranoid people are much easier to manipulate.

    The GOP's leaders--and those are the real power in the party, not their deluded base that obediently believes whatever FOX News says--don't hate Obama because he's black. They hate him because he's an obstacle to total power. (A rather flimsy obstacle, but let's leave that discussion for another time). He's in their way, that's all, and they'll use the most effective weapons at their disposal to remove that obstacle.

    If you think they're fundamentally about race or gender or anything like that, you've completely misunderstood them, and will continue to misunderstand.

    The only really meaningful tribal division is class. As the #Occupy movement pointed out, there are only really two tribes: the 1% and the 99%. All other divisions are secondary. All other divisions--race, gender, religion, sexuality, whatever--are convenient weapons in the class war, nothing more, to be exploited to maintain the power of the 1%.

    The 1% are the only enlightened tribe. And being enlightened, they understand how to manipulate the unenlightened tribes in order to remain on top.

    If poor white people believe that poor black people are worse off than them, they won't be so motivated to change their lot. Because if they can relieve their feelings of inferiority at being near the bottom of the totem pole by kicking and looking down on black people.

    MLK came to understand this later in his career--and it was then, when he committed himself openly to fighting on the behalf of the 99% against the 1%, that he was truly ostracized by elite society. It was then that he was killed. Not before. That's something to contemplate.

    That is what racism is to those at the top of the economic totem pole--just another way to keep the rest of us peons pitted against each other, instead of uniting to fight against our corporate overlords.

    The biggest war in America is the class war. The shutdown and the debt ceiling brinksmanship are really about rolling back the New Deal and slashing SS and Medicare. Don't lose sight of that.

    "In America, the law is king." --Thomas Paine

    by limpidglass on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 11:08:33 AM PDT

    •  You said: (0+ / 0-)
      They're ecumenical. They will use any available prejudice in their quest to seek power.
      I don't disagree with you.  What I'm saying here is, in this particular instance, racism is the gasoline that's driving them.  This is what Obama and this country is dealing with now.

      If say, Hillary were to run (as I said above in my diary) it would be an issue of leftover Bill Clinton hatred, misogyny as well as Dem hatred.

      And yes, overall, the Republican raison d'être is the oppression of EVERYONE, however, none of this negates what's driving their irrational, maddening and incomprehensible actions as of late.  Their insanity is being caused by an ever present, deep-seated, always boiling and corrosive hatred for this BLACK president. It's intrinsically racial.

      When he completes his term, the next democrat will still have to deal with their evil greed for power, and the gasoline that will fuel their efforts will more than likely be of a different grade. In that respect they are consistent.

      People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. --V for Vendetta

      by WFBMM on Fri Oct 11, 2013 at 12:09:18 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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