I have been asked how long people such as myself will cry racism for the plight of the black community. I get plenty of feedback from people who feel that the problems of black people can be overcome if black parents just make the choice to feed their children more nutritious foods and follow a wholesome plan to keep their children from being distracted by the entrapments of modern culture and everything will be okay. Since everybody dies every ninety years or so the values of the racist who enslaved black people or worked so hard to segregate the black community died long ago. This is the theory that some of us operate under to support the delusion that racism is dead despite the obvious conditions of racism that exist all around us.
But the people who operate under this ninety year recycling plan have a tendency to forget that parents often are able to instill their values onto their children whatever those values may be. Therefore it should be no surprise that an entire clan of people who embraced the enslavement of black people and who have demonstrated a proclivity for racism can have a history of racism that can last for generations. This is why it is so important for black people to remember the racist history of the people who run this corporate dominated culture. If black people remember our history with white people then it is no surprise to see black people living so differently from our white counterparts.
Those of us who choose to turn their backs on the past are destined to forget the lessons that should have been learned the first time around. As the black community tries to simply survive in this age of greed and corruption and the need for proof without the tiniest fraction of any doubt taking the place of common sense and intuition, we are constantly given reminders of just how much our past relationship with white people are so parallel to what is happening before our very eyes at this very moment. People who think it is just a matter of coincidence that the black community as a whole exist at the bottom of every social measure while white people dominate at the top operate in a vacuum void of any appreciation for our history together.
Through the careful manipulation of various media resources, impressionable people can be led to believe anything the people who control the media want them to believe. The same care that goes into selling people on the idea of going deeper into debt to buy a flashy, brand new car with the latest gadgets for checking your email now goes into selling people on things like war is a good thing for the American people, oil companies care about the environment, America can’t afford to provide universal healthcare, justice is blind and fair, George Bush is the best choice for President, and other such nonsense that is untrue but people embrace regardless of what is happening around them.
Now the propaganda machine has always been an adversary of the black community. From the paintings and drawings as well as stories of the laziness, shiftiness, immoral character, and other negative examples of the character of black people back in the days of African enslavement to today’s modern caricatures who reinforce these age old stereotypes by appearing in videos and movies and magazines and television shows with bugging eyes, heavily slurred and colorful speech patterns, immoral and completely unsophisticated behaviors and the like. Anything negative is typical of black behavior and simply more evidence that white people are justified in the subjugation of the black community. Anything positive is an aberration of black behavior.
The number of black celebrities who take steps to distance themselves from their African roots is astonishing especially when it is so obvious who they are. To this day I have yet to hear Tiger Woods say he’s black. Mr. Woods claims his identity is supposedly some unique combination of white, black, Asian, and Indian. But in one of the few quotes credited to Colin Powell that I really treasure the general said of Tiger Woods, “In America…when you look like me, you’re black.” But Mr. Woods’ personal media machine goes to great depths to minimize his obvious racial identity and people throughout the land now like to see Mr. Woods as a role model for all Americans. That’s fine and good. But with the condition that the black community is in we need black role models who embrace their black heritage as deeply and as firmly as possible.
We need our obvious racial brothers and sisters to reach back and inspire us to change our mindset so that we can do what we can to reach back to someone else to change their mind and so forth and so forth down the line. Not many obviously white people and Asians are reaching to identify themselves as some mixture that includes their black heritage. Only people who demonstrate a behavior akin to the house Negroes of the past feel the need to focus their racial identity so broadly. If we forget the behavior of the house Negroes of the past the black community is fated to be disappointed by the same behaviors of our brothers and sisters now and in the future.
Black people do not have the luxury of forgetting what happened in the past. It is helpful to learn from the past so that we can avoid making the same mistakes that keep us at the bottom of all the different social ladders. Black people should embrace their past and keep it at the forefront of our conscious. The history of racism in America is very indicative of America’s racial relationships today. People can claim that black people’s focus on the racism of white people is a crutch or an excuse for our condition. But people who push for leaving the past in the past are pushing to keep black people disassociated from the lessons of our ancestors so that we can forget and continue to learn what America as a whole thinks of us all over again.