Your Black friend answers many questions but today has one of her own.
Has “the Man” successfully turned us against ourselves? I mean we have to blame somebody right? The deck is indeed stacked but each generation that preceded us intended that we progress/benefit from their trials. And given all the bloodshed, pain and anguish suffered so that WE might have an opportunity – this is the outcome?
What I see manifested is outwardly directed rage and self-loathing – I don’t know how else to describe it. Black on Black crime, burning and looting our own communities (this I will NEVER understand), an obesity epidemic, HIV/AIDS rates to rival Africa, disdain for education, the popularity of “entertainment” that disparages our rich cultural heritage…shall I continue? And please don’t tell me things aren’t ALL bad – they are bad enough. So bad that we cannot afford to ignore the truth. But first we must be honest with ourselves.
Intra-racism (within the race) is rampant and a leading cause of our dysfunction. Many of us are turned against each other ala Willie Lynch: dark v. light, old v. young, women v. men and add to that the class issue. Yes I understand some of you feel above the fray because you have more money/education – I got mine now go get yours. But as you well know we are ALL painted with the same broad brush. The war against “those” Blacks includes you and your family (even if you don’t claim them) and is coming to your town. Even as you seek to distance yourself you will not be spared the stigma if nothing else. Ask Obama.
Since we’re afraid to even speak of the ills in our community how can we hope to fix them? They’re obvious to any and everyone who is paying attention and/or profiting from our self-destruction. And if someone (in-house) dares to speak the truth (Bill Cosby), no matter if you like how he said it, they get cut off at the knees. And God forbid a non-Black person raise the issue.
We are choking on denial and the stench of our dirty laundry all the while accusing, blaming, crabbing and waiting for THEM to right the wrongs. It ain’t gonna happen. America is all about WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) and until the majority of people realize a humanitarian approach benefits everybody, WE should not expect help where none is forthcoming. Yes it may be the right thing to do but charity begins at home. I begin my part by not deceiving myself and pretending things will naturally sort themselves out. They will not. I still believe WE (not some non-invested pastor, politician or media commentator etc.) can turn the tide.
WE are the ones we have been waiting for.
Recommended reading: Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy Degruy Leary