If you watch CBS’s Survivor (if you don’t, just Google it), there are 2 names that are causing much heated discussion and controversy that are being talked about every where it seems. If you say, Colton Cumbie, you’d be correct. While some people believe any publicity is good publicity, I can’t help but wonder what some of the city officials and prominent people in Monroeville have to say about the native who’s representing the city of Monroeville…and not in the best way.
Cumbie, a gay youth, who grew up in Monroeville, AL has unleashed some comments that have people all over cringing and couldn’t come at a greater time to be honest. Candidly he speaks very ignorantly about a black contestant, calling him “Ghetto trash” because of his decision to pursue his passion for comedy, as well as his address of a question about him having any black people in his life, his reply was “His maid”. The irony is that his being vocal about his feelings, which clearly are a result of his upbringings and his attending an “All White” private school, comes prior to a huge symposium being hosted in Monroeville on March 15-16 to discuss partnerships with China. The symposium will be involve some of the world’s most prominent business owners from all over the world.
However, that’s incredibly funny that in a town where diversity isn’t appreciated and blatantly disrespected amongst most of the wealthiest in the community, they want to hold this forum to talk about building a relationship with China. It would seem to me if you can’t accept nor want to get a better understanding of the blacks in the community, what makes them think they’ll be more successful at building relationships with the Chinese?
While I saw many people who were angry over what Cumbie’s views are, I’m not surprised and actually welcome the attention. Because I do think it needs to be addressed. Monroeville’s always been notorious for hiding things under the rug, all the while continuing it’s reputation as a modern day Payton’s Place. The racial tension here is very thick, and I have to believe that the celebration of Harper Lee’s one and only novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird” is a big contributor to it. For those who have read it and/or saw the movie, you’ll understand why. And the coverup continues, depending on which side of the color line you reside.
I’ve never been one for playing the race card. I am by a number of people’s standards in both the black and white communities fairly conservative. But I believe in calling a spade a spade. Racism exists pretty heavy in this area and someone needs to be willing to admit that it is indeed a key reason for why industry may/may not be interested in locating their businesses here. I seriously think they need to diligently seek to resolve some of the tension, or I don’t see much economic growth for the town itself in the future.
In the county of Monroe Alabama, you have only 1 private school, which is “100% white”, which is the one that Cumbie attended. If you are only exposed to white people and the only television news station you watch is FOX news. You’re sure to have distorted views about black people. The sad thing is when they have to go out into the real world and interact with those very people they tried so hard to avoid. Sidenote: I actually read a comment from one of his supporters stating that she enrolled her children in the private school to avoid the black impact on them:( (Check out this link: http://survivorsucks.com/topic/92741/In-defense-of-my-friend-Colton-Cumbie?page=7#.T1lr4cmF_9I)
Really??? But this person isn’t alone.
Unfortunately in December, I attended a forum to discuss ways to resolve the issues in Monroe County. Unfortunately, in a room of 30 people, only 5 were black. And the people were in total denial about the state of our community. They tried to paint a picture that all was roses. But what does it say that the one private school is busting out the seams with the white people trying to get their children in. While the public school system has become heavily populated with black children, although blacks only account for about 39% of the Monroe County population? The sad part about the discussion was when one of the “prominent white males” in the community approached me after the forum to let me know that I was “A different type of black person” based off of the way I spoke and my views on the problems they deemed as “black issues”.
The male assumed that he was giving me a compliment. But when I encouraged him to expand his horizons and get to know more than what he’s exposed to thru the commentaries of “Bill O’Reilley”, he told me that I was jaded and out of touch with reality. He told me that I was the exception of black people, not the rule. Both of my fathers were in me that night. My Heavenly Father told me to pray for him, while the words of my earthly father (who fully experienced the civil rights era) rang true. My dad used to tell me that when someone shows you who they are that you should thank them. Because that way you know for certain who they are, where they are, where they stand and you don’t have to wonder. He spoke about the fact that they used to see openly clan members back in the day. He was appreciative, because he was always on guard and knew who the enemies were.
So in some crazy way, I think we owe Colton a big “Thank You” for showing black people where we stand with him. Hopefully, he won’t have to depend on those very black people for anything in the future. And he can live happily ever after in his lily white world.
Tanisha’s Savvy Two Cents