brotherpeacemaker

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By Default Black People Are Not Included

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Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., the first African American to serve as the nation’s top law enforcement officer, is catching a lot of attention for making the suggestion that people take advantage of Black History Month to begin a dialogue about race and referring to the United States as a nation of cowards for not discussing the country’s history and continued tolerance for race disparity.

In an address to Justice Department workers, Mr. Holder said that they have a special responsibility to acknowledge social limits and to push past them.  Mr. Holder told employees that the level of social interaction among people of different races is bleak and that it in many ways does not differ significantly from the country that existed fifty years ago.  The fact that within a few short decades, demographic changes will result in no single racial majority only underscore the need for openness and, in some cases, confrontation on issues that separate people.  And just like clock work, social conservatives jumped on their soapbox and used whatever resources they could muster to make Mr. Holders attempt at breaching the racial divide an act of American heresy.

I heard that uber conservative Pat Buchanan and one of my favorite peeps on racial matters Professor Eric Michael Dyson were on Hardball With Chris Matthews to discuss Mr. Holder’s comments.  I went to YouTube to see if I could find a copy of the show.  I really didn’t have time to see it all because if I did, I would’ve been late for work.  But, after about fifteen seconds of watching the two guests I had enough to realize that if Mr. Buchanan was any indication, any talk about talking about race would fail because of the conditions the dominant community has defined for black and white relations from the first moment that black people set foot on American soil shackled in white people’s chains.

Mr. Buchanan was outraged that Mr. Holder would call white people cowards.  Black people are the ones separating themselves from America.  There are the black beauty pageants and the Negro League and the United Negro College Fund and the black caucus and all of these institutions developed for black people.  Never mind the fact that these institutions were developed because white people were excluding black people from participating in the standard beauty pageants, baseball leagues, and the like.  Black churches were developed because black people were not allowed to pray to white people’s god in white people’s vicinity.  These institutions were developed because of white people’s need to keep separate from black people.

There are periods in American history white people were free to put up signs saying white only.  Coloreds had to make due with other arrangements.  But now black people are the problem.  This is nothing new.  I’ve written about this a few times before.  Many people who are sensitive to the need for racial equality and the many manifestation of racial disparity have written about this subject.

But what was different this time, at least for me, was that Mr. Buchanan admitted that the United States, by default, is intended to be a country of the white, by the white, and for the white unless explicitly stated as something else.  Mr. Holder said that the United States is a nation of cowards.  Mr. Holder did not say that the United States is a nation of white cowards.  Mr. Holder did not say that white America needs to come to terms with race.  Mr. Holder never mentioned white people.

However, Mr. Buchanan understands that it is natural to hear the standard and to know that it only applies to the white people in this country.  So when we hear United States beauty pageant, we know that this is an institution designed and developed for the white community.  When we hear about other integral parts of American culture we know that this as white America as surely we know baseball, hotdogs, and apple pie.  The term “all American boy” invokes the image of a young white male, it is implied that this is a reference to the white community.

So when we hear about the beauty contest or the institution for education, we know it is an institution targeted to the white community first and then black people who want to participate and play by white people’s rules.

When we invoke the name America, or the name United States, some people, like Mr. Buchanan, automatically translate this to white only.  We are not talking about black people.  Black people are excluded.  He admitted as much when he said that the term United States is a reference to white only.  If black people want to be included, we have to make sure it is understood unequivocally, without the least bit of confusion.  Obviously, black people are not the only ones who separate the black community from the United States.

Friday, February 20, 2009 Posted by | Black Community, Black Culture, Black in America, Black People, Life, Pat Buchanan, Racism | 9 Comments