It's about our community and our spirituality!

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!”

Ashley J.

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.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009 - Posted by | African Americans, Black Community, Black Culture, Black History, Black People, Life, Racism, The Race Card


  1. You’re right on time with this one, Sun.

    You know ever since I got out of rehab and my little stint in jail, I’ve been on this knowledge of self. It saddens me when our people seem to think that it’s all good now cuz they happen to have a blackberry and a couple dollars in their pocket. Even the ones that don’t seem to suffer from this also.

    I have a friend i was talking to about this. He had the nerve to tell me he wasn’t worried about no racial stuff. i’m like ok… but they are… everyone is… but we’re not. That is why we get beat down cuz we’re so eager to join the other team and ride with the crimes that they committed to get to where we are today, which doesn’t look good from where I’m sitting. Like what Martin said about he’s afraid he’s integrating his people into a burning house… A lot of us don’t even realize it’s burning… cuz wer’re so caught up in our music videos and dance clubs and what ever it is that we distract ourselves with.

    I’ve been frustrated over this myself. How we’re the only ones that don’t care about our past and don’t revere it. That is why we’re always get’n the shit end of the stick cuz we don’t want to realize that it is about race.

    Comment by Damien | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks for the feedback Damien,

      It’s like what Harriet Tubman said about black people back in her day. She’d be able to save a lot more and lead them to freedom if she could just convince them that they were slaves. The fear of doing something different that will actually benefit the black community is just too much for us to bear as a collective.


      Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Reply

  2. I think that we (blacks) have stratisfied ourselves based on economic/financial standing.

    I grew up during the 80s, and I can remember growing up in an all-Black community where well-to-do Blacks lived close in proximity to impoverished Blacks. I saw both ends of the spectrum. If you had more money than your Black brethren, then you bought a bigger house, and vice versa. But we all still resided in the same community.

    Unfortunately, the Black community somehow became stratisfied. Our communities touted titles such as “the hood” and “the ghetto.” To get away from such stigma, middle class Blacks began the exodus into suburbia. By acquiring everything that “Dick and Jane” had-the house, car, education-middle class Blacks begin to feel as if they have eradicated the dehumanizing effects of racism. According to them, it isn’t racism unless it’s blatant, and only a few ignorant, uneducated people actually espouse those beliefs. To protect their children from the realities of racism, they encapsulate them inside gated communities, tell them to go to the “best” schools (predominately white), and direct them to careers that are considered most prestigious in the eyes of our White counterparts. They tell them that you can be anything you want to be as long as you are willing to work hard.
    As a case in point, look at Condolezza Rice. Her father, a minister, and mother a music teacher, worked hard to shield her from the realities of racism in Birmingham, Alabama. Her parents stressed education and believed that that was the only way to overcome the atrocities of racism. I once read that while growing up, Rice was unaware of the Civil Rights movement that was swirling around her-the marches, the boycotts, the cross-burnings, until one of her playmates was killed in a church bombing.

    Comment by Carmencita | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Reply

  3. Thanks for the feedback Carmencita,

    Ms. Rice is a perfect example of black people who have been raised to be better than other black people. I still think the fact that she was out buying boots, playing tennis with some star tennis player, and going to fancy concerts like while New Orleans was drowning was despicable act of indifference. But then again, she was taught not to let things get her down, worry about yourself, learn to prosper, and the rest of it would fall into place.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Tuesday, February 17, 2009 | Reply

  4. Wow, you keep saying “while new orleans was drowning” like there were only blacks living there. there were white people that went through the same thing’ but you dont see them complaining about how the government forgot them. and if i recall right, the people of new orleans were evacuated prior to katrina, and still many didnt leave, so its their own fault so many died.

    Comment by anonymous | Thursday, December 10, 2009 | Reply

  5. Thanks for the feedback anonymous,

    “Wow, you keep saying “while new orleans was drowning” like there were only blacks living there.”

    What in the world are you talking about? The phrase “new orleans was drowning” means only black people? Somebody’s obviously confused.

    But regardless, I understand what you’re trying to say. Without a doubt, the larger percentage of people waiting for help at the Superdome after Katrina were black. While blacks make up about thirteen percent of the nation’s population, I would be willing to guess about ninety percent of the people waiting for help at that time were black.

    Besides, we couldn’t have that photo comparison between whites and blacks if white people weren’t there. Remember the photos that showed white people wading through water with a caption saying that they were searching for food. But another photo of black people, in an identical situation, accused them of looting.

    And you recall incorrectly. If the people were evacuated before the hurricane, why were there so many still there? Obviously, someone is too full of hatred to see much of anything clearly.


    Comment by brotherpeacemaker | Thursday, December 10, 2009 | Reply

  6. In fact they TOLD people to leave. But isn’t that easier said than done if you HAVE NO VEHICLE NOR MONEY! But that is OK, it is there fault that they had no way out. So to hell with them.

    And since white people weren’t complaining, even though I have seen A LOT of news footage of this, then black people definitely have no right to complain.

    It’s the same old story, unless someone else validates black people’s concerns they don’t mean much. You hear constantly that “you don’t hear (insert minority race here) so why are blacks complaining. As they don’t have near the problems of (insert minority race here).”

    It is a shame that dead people can’t catch a freaking break. Shame on you!

    Comment by theblacksentinel | Thursday, December 10, 2009 | Reply

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