About 10 years ago, I approached a group of my friends for a project that I wanted them to work on with me. The project was going to be a collection of essays about the black male experience at age 30. I was going to pick a series of topics, each topic would comprise a chapter and all five of us would approach that topic from our own perspective. The name of the project was "Apologies and Other Useless Bullshit". Apologies was going to be the cornerstone topic, due to my deep disdain for America's thirst to make people apologize, to watch them be weak so they could have the satisfaction of forgiving them and relish how powerful that made them feel. My attitude towards apologies have remained pretty static.
I understand the power dynamic between men and women and the subjugation that women have had to endure throughout history and up to and including present day. I do understand that the objectification of women is a continuing problem that manifests itself in sexual assaults, domestic abuse, unequal earnings, the perpetuation of stereotypes that reinforce the glass ceiling, pornography, and general misogyny. I fucking get it, but I promise you, the President was not trying to put California's attorney general in a sexualized context. The dude is kinda corny and he wanted to give her a genuine compliment. I'm not an Oba.ma water carrier like most of the people I know, but this shit is pretty innocuous. I am pissed that he apologized, though.
I'd like to see the objectification of PEOPLE to stop in general. As a black man, if you feel like I'm not sufficiently "in check", I'm a menace to society. If I'm domesticated to your liking, I'm a tool to do your bidding. If you outnumber me, I'm ignorable. If I outnumber you, and you can't stop making reference to being outnumbered. You can't differentiate between who I am and what I represent. If you've been paying attention since I've returned to the blogging world, you'll notice a pattern in this part of my argument. Symbolism once again rears it's ugly head.