Friday, May 28, 2021

george jefferson vs george floyd

One of the many TV programs I remember from my childhood, which was filled with endless hours of TV programs, is The Jeffersons.  George Jefferson runs a successful dry cleaning business and is "moving on up" (the show's opening theme song).  He has left behind his old neighborhood and now lives in a Manhattan apartment, has a wise cracking maid named Florence, and is neighbors with an inter-racial couple.  The show poked fun at racial issues -- George refers to the children of his neighbor's as "zebras," he refers to his white neighbor as "honky."  Just watch this clip, which would never appear on TV these days:

I think George Jefferson was loved by both white America and black America.  The actor who plays George was honored by the NAACP.  The show ran for years and years.  George was a hero to us all.

George Floyd, on the other hand, was a petty criminal and thief who has been elevated to near sainthood status because he was killed in an altercation with police.  Even the Pope gave a statement l'kavod his yahrzeit this past week.  George Floyd was not a man "moving on up."  He is a man who once pointed a loaded gun at a pregnant women to demand money for drugs.  He is a man who probably would still be alive today had he simply cooperated with the police instead of resisting arrest, but that was not in the cards given the fact that he was on drugs and had a past arrest history.  Floyd's death inspired waves of rioting, looting, attacks on police, and vandalism.  That legacy lives on in cities like Portland and Minneapolis.  I am sure you have all seen the video of the reporter standing on what has become knows as George Floyd Square on the day of the yahrzeit as gun shots ring out in the background.  I do not admire George Floyd. 

The Jeffersons is not a program about a black man -- it is a program about every man.  It is the Shtisel of African American life.  What learn from The Jeffersons is that the life of a black family is just like the life of any other family.  George faces the same problems, has the same aspirations, shares the same struggles we all face.  The lesson of the show is that through hard work anyone can move up the ladder; through humor and understanding, we can get along.

The lesson the progressive youth of today and the BLM movement take from George Floyd's death is that America will never let you climb the ladder; that whites and the police are inherently racist; that there is more that divides us than unites us.  

It's a shame that it is the George Floyds who are the heroes of the current generation and not the real life George Jeffersons of the world.

1 comment:

  1. Candace Owens would like this point.
    -- and yes, you won't get a hint of a racist commentary nowadays in TV/movies, but you will get other trash and nivul peh.