It's about our community and our spirituality!

A Letter To Tom

Vestiges of segregation and brutality occur every single day. As a nation of people we pretend to scratch our heads and feign helplessness when hurricanes floods a city and leaves thousands of black people stranded in a lake of water but move with the speed of lightening when dog food from China starts killing Fido and Spot. We tolerate police killing black people on sight because of fear or cowardice or exhaustion or whatever. Cops kill and beat black people because they run. White people have been running from the law far longer. We never see examples of cops running up to the white guy and start waylaying in on his ass. We never hear of unarmed white men being killed in a hail of bullets. But we tolerate this behavior because it only happens to black people. Just like back in the day when white people tolerated black people being lynched by white mobs.

It will take years for everything to be truly equal because we tolerate such disparity each and every day. But because some black people get tremendous opportunities it is now okay for other black people to suffer continuing discrimination. You wrote, “To judge a whole group due to actions of a few in that group is not reasonable or valid.” That is a very reasonable position to take. But then you will say that just because a few black people have been able to take advantage of tremendous opportunities in this country, everything is better for all black people. It is rather hypocritical for you to expect to have it both ways.

It is typical for people to say something to the affect that because black people and white people eat the same McDonald’s garbage there is no such thing as white privilege. That is true. But, nobody is basing white privilege on the fact that white people get better food at McDonald’s. To suggest otherwise is to distract from the issue at hand. White privilege is more evident when you look at who owns the McDonald’s. How many people at the McDonald’s headquarters who are part of the executive management are white compared to the number of black executives? How many people who work for McDonald’s and receive benefits such as healthcare, retirement accounts, and other such benefits of employment that make life more manageable are white compared to the number who are black?

You mentioned that black people receive the same exact services and the same exact benefits of white people but then turn around and say black people have preferential treatment. Based on what data do you make such conclusions. If we look at the statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, black unemployment rates runs twice as high as white unemployment rates. Click here to see these statistics for yourself. On average, weekly white earnings run up to forty percent higher than weekly black earnings. Please click here to visit this link to verify these numbers directly from the government’s website. But because we have been conditioned to tolerate racism as some abstract that is too difficult to define and recognize. Therefore, it must not be as bad as a lot of people may say it is. Because some black people are getting ahead, all black people need to quit blaming the dominant community for our predicament.

More black people are in prison than in college. And? What does this prove? The long arm of American law is quick to clamp down on black people for the least infraction. A fourteen year old black boy will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law for stealing his grandmother’s car. This type of behavior would be laughed at and dismissed with a smile and a wink of an eye if it appeared on Happy Days, the Brady Bunch, One Day At a Time or Valerie. But the moment the black boy does it, the social fabric is being threatened and society must protect itself. The black fourteen year old goes to boot camp where he is made an example to others and is quickly murdered by seven boot camp guards. But that’s okay because it only happened to a black kid that would have grown into another black thug. But as a nation, we are more than happy to tolerate little white kids that grow into bigger white thugs.

The reality is more white people commit crimes than black people. Despite the legal system’s penchant to focus on the black on black crime epidemic, the white on white crime phenomenon is just as, if not more, prolific. Again, do not take my word for it. Please click here to go to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division. In the year of 2006, out of the 10,437,620 crimes committed in the United States 7,270,214 were committed by white people while 2,924,724 were committed by black people. In terms of percentages that means 69.7% of the crime were committed by white people and 28% committed by black people. According to the numbers black people should be far from being America’s number one problem. But black people are the bane of black people’s existence.

You write that Barack Obama is probably a fine individual. But he is a freshman legislator with no practical experience for the job. As far as I know, if experience is such an overwhelming factor as to who would be good in the presidency, the best person for the job would be George H.W. Bush. But with his approval ratings tanking lower than just about any President in history I doubt if he could honestly win the presidency even if he was eligible for a third term. But then again, I didn’t think the American public would be idiotic enough to vote him in for a second term. But then again, I didn’t think we’d be foolish enough to vote him in the first time.

The point is, with seven years of presidency experience under his belt, Mr. Bush should have the edge in any comparison. But the presidency doesn’t require experience. Nobody comes into the job with presidential experience. Despite the sound bites that say contrary, it is a position that requires on the job training. No one is ready on day one, not even the wife of a former President. Everyone has to learn.

But what is most important is integrity, intelligence, an ability to examine what is happening in the world and to respond accordingly. When people refuse to look at the complete picture, when we fail to acknowledge all the issues associated with a problem, any decision made for action is more than likely insufficient to rectify the problem. Kind of like America’s penchant not to address racism or racial disparity but to let it work itself out sometime in the distant future. Right now the only thing that matters for most people is to find someone that can do the job and do the job well.  What race they are is of no importance, as long as it’s not black.

Friday, July 18, 2008 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black Men, Racism

1 Comment »

  1. I saw a chart last night on the cover of our local paper. It astounded me.

    In short, black students are dropping out of high school at almost three times the rate of white students, and 50% higher rate than Latinos.

    Obviously, this affects career paths and earning potential, especially in the early 20s (though it can be rectified later). It makes crime seem more attractive.

    I’d like to help. Do Something. I’m a smart person. I’m well-educated (and still paying for that, so I don’t have a ton of time because I’m still in school while I’m paying some of my loans down).

    Some of your readers have said that the dominant community should do something, and I’m a little lost as to what I can do as a single person to help people in my own community.

    Tutoring seems the obvious choice, but maybe there’s other specific suggestions I wouldn’t think of.

    Comment by Deirdre Saoirse Moen | Friday, July 18, 2008 | Reply

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