Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Black People: The New Free Race
Like many of you who actually read for pleasure and growth, I’m frustrated with my people. Black people. African American if you prefer.
I see us sipping too much syrup, smoking too much weed, loving Lil Wayne too hard, showing too much skin, not loving each other enough, etcetera etcetera. I don’t have to tell you that we’re far behind in the areas of ambition, progress, and civility. Sure, we have a Black president, but look at the country he inherited. Look at how hard he had to work to get where he arrived. Notice his mixed parentage.
Sure, we can be proud of his accomplishments but let's not forget to jet back to reality: he’s but ONE single black man. That’s it. We have ONE black President to be proud of. He could hang a baby and we’d vote for him next term. Extreme, yes, but you’d be surprised at who’s thinking, “Hell yeah” right about now.
We have Oprah and Obama on the national stage. White America, on the other hand, has all of the previous presidents and a ton of white men who would scoff at Oprah’s financial balance.
It seems like we’re way behind. Seems like we might never catch up or get ourselves together, doesn’t it? If I didn’t know better I’d think that we are about to disintegrate into one big race of fatherless menaces to society.
But are we really behind? Is it hopeless? I don’t think so. I think we are right on schedule. Let’s do that math. We were in slavery as soon as we hit the continent. We didn’t find jobs and work our way up in 20 years. We were lucky not to be killed and live a long life as a good slave. There were no alternatives. We couldn’t speak English for the longest, and by the time we could we’d been so oppressed that it took us hundreds of years to find an underground railroad.
But we found it. We were eventually freed on paper, but it took the Civil Rights movement to truly end our slavery. Jim Crow may not have come with whips and indentured servitude, but it certainly came with lynchings, segregation, and Caucasian piss in Black water fountains.
To be fair, we were not essentially born until 1965. As a race – Free African AMERICAN – we are only 44 years old. That’s it. We’re not as old as my parents. White people are hundreds of years old. Thousands. They have roots. Although many White Americans’ ancestors were immigrants, they still have roots that reach back much farther than my great, great, great grandfather. Financial and relationship lessons and traditions were taught from one white generation to the next. White Americans were allowed centuries to fall, get back up, fall again, get back up again, explore, learn, and EXCEL. They once lived as barbarians, but they had more than 44 years to become civilized.
I don’t offer slavery as an excuse for lazy blacks. I only offer it as an explanation. A reason. A fact. A consideration.
As a black woman, I know that there is absolutely no need to give up on the Black race. We ARE Kings and Queens and with time we’ll remember that and act accordingly.