Not Everyone Thinks Racism Is Over
“I am an African American girl and I don’t like to see my sisters and brothers complain constantly about the long-ago past.
“yes our ancestors were once enslaved by white people but we are not, and we have not been for a long time, very many black men and women fought and lost their lives so that we can have the freedom we have today, not so that we could sit around complaining about it instead of bettering ourselves.
“my father is a lawyer and my mother is a nurse, they both come from poor families but both of their families pushed them to be the best they can be and work hard no matter what so that you can achieve your goals, and this is what both of my parents have passed on to me.
“don’t let things get you down on anybody, worry about yourself and learn to prosper and the rest will fall into place!”
Thanks for the feedback Ashley Jenkins,
I am always fascinated by the number of black people or African Americans who seem to think that racism is something that happened long ago in the past. It wasn’t our ancestors who were left behind to their own devices when the levies broke in New Orleans. It isn’t our ancestors who have to deal with unemployment rates twice that of the white community. It isn’t our ancestors who are being shot by police in a hail of bullets or shot in the back as they lay on the ground with their hands tied behind their backs. It wasn’t our ancestors who were murdered by a group of boot camp guards because he couldn’t run any further. These things happened in the last year or so. What ever made you think these events happened long ago?
I have to admit that I don’t like to see my brothers and sisters, such as yourself, who think that showing compassion for other black people is nothing more than sitting around and complaining. Like you I come from a family of professionals. Dad worked for the federal government and mom was the first black woman to become a nursing administrator at one of the local hospitals. I have a sibling who is a school teacher, another is a train conductor, another is middle management at an international corporation, another is a truck driver, and another is a information technology professional. Our parents pushed us to be the best we can be as well. But simply because we are successful doesn’t mean that racism is gone. My parents taught me that it is better to care about others in the black community than to turn my back and say something like pull yourself up by your boot strap.
If a group of people do nothing but worry about themselves then means we stand separately and not as a unified people. It also makes us easier to defeat and easier to manipulate. Another image from back in the past is of the house negro who lived in relative comfort compared to the field negro. But the house negro would swear up and down things were great even though black people were white people’s property. And a lot of black people back then were saying that black people need to quit complaining and just worry about themselves. Such complacency then would have never led to the changes that you and your parents enjoy today. Good thing there were other black people who knew what the real deal was.
I am truly sorry, but not surprised, that you do not understand. A lot of black people have been programmed not to care about other black people. If we take care of ourselves then everything will fall into place. But fall into place for who? The dominant community that is made up primarily of white people will be the ones who benefit from black people’s inability to unite for our common good.
The past is used as a comparison as a measure of how little the black community has advanced as a unit. Back in the day, many black people had it much better than their black peers. Some black people were free to come and go as they pleased, as long as they had proof that they were free and knew their place. People could point to a free negro and say how far black people have come since the day all black people were considered slaves or white people’s property. But the freedom was fragile. All it took was an accusation from a white person and black people could kiss their ass goodbye.
True equality for the black community isn’t measured by the success or failure of just one man. True equality for the black community comes when we truly cannot tell the difference between statistics in employment and education and income and etcetera. Burying our heads in the “everybody is free to do whatever” sand is not conducive to making the changes than will truly put us on the path where everyone has the same opportunities regardless of their gender, race, ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or whatever it is that makes us unique individuals with common interests.