Black men talking about race and White people
This piece is meant to inform. Anytime something is meant to truly inform, it also has the potential to anger some people. Please understand my goal isn’t to anger anyone, but I’ll no longer water down my thoughts in order to spare feelings. When I see people duplicating the salute of Nazis, it is time to take off the gloves and say what needs to be said. I’ll start with myself. I have been a Black clown, advocating for a freedom that Whites will never give to my people or any other people of color. I’ve realized this for some time now. I’ve just been too afraid to call it what it is, racism. I also think I was afraid if I called it racism, which is exactly what it is, that it would make me appear to be just as racist as the people I’m speaking against. Well, as of this second, I don’t give a damn if the racism I’ve learned, experienced, fight against and write about makes anyone feel that I’m a racist. The truth of the matter is, if you keep reading and truly think, you will surely determine I’m not a racist. If you allow your feelings to totally guide you, instead of knowledge, you might just see me as a racist. For those willing to open their minds, just think of what I’m saying, as a tablespoon of a very nasty tasting medicine. However, oftentimes very nasty tasting medicine really helps to heal your sickness. Knowledge, like medicine, must be allowed to get into your system so it can do what it is designed to do.
Recently, I had a very interesting and strong conversation with some buddies of mine. I have known these guys since college. Back then we were all athletes on scholarship. Long-since graduated from college, we now deal with everyday life and taking care of our families. So, this makes us those so-called, non-existent group of college educated, Black fathers, who love their families. We exchanged thoughts and experiences and I learned a lot from our three-hour conversation on race and White people in America. Guess what? No one hates White people! In fact, two of us taking part in this conversation are married to White women and we have half White kids. And we’ve both told our kids, being half White has never and will never get a biracial person any brownie points in life or with White people. By the way, those people who insist that a Black person married to someone who isn’t Black, can’t speak out against racism and discrimination perpetrated on Black people and other people of color, can kiss my black ass!
In that conversation we talked about when White people say to a Black person or person of color, “when I look at you, I don’t see black or color.” First, not for one second do most Black people and people of color believe that statement. In fact, most Black people and people of color, probably take that as an insult and think it’s a stupid thing to say. Just for the record, most Black people and people of color who are out in society working their asses off trying to be successful, aren’t doing it to be White or to be more accepted by White people. So, news flash White people, unless you’re physically blind or color blind, how can you not see the color of someone’s skin?
School teachers are notorious for saying “when I look at students, I don’t see color”. By not acknowledging a student’s identity, those teachers don’t see the student for who they are. Then when the student doesn’t act the way the teachers think they should act, which is what teachers are more comfortable with, the student becomes a classroom behavior problem. Students of color do not mind teachers seeing their color. They just want teachers to see and respect them for who they are and not pre-judge them, because of their color. Students want you to know that their skin color doesn’t make them any less capable than the skin color of White students. Whether or not White teachers want to believe it or not, it is more difficult for students of color to navigate through America’s racist educational system when teachers have a predetermined image of who they are and what their potential is. And when teachers are in denial and fear talking truthfully about race, it doesn’t help them to truly understand students of color.
Here’s where I think it goes awry. I swear it’s like some White people think people of color are aspiring to reach some bastardized form of whiteness. And by telling us that you don’t see our color, we’ve somehow reached a whiteness that is comfortable for you. That is not the case! We are proud of our blackness. Black people want to be respected for our contributions and abilities. We don’t want any special treatment. Think about this. What kind of country would we have if after the end of slavery White people would have truly said, acted and believed in true equality? We would be living in a country that 100% believed that “All men are created equally”. Instead we have a society where one group of people have decided that anyone who doesn’t look like them is the enemy. As some White people began to accrue wealth, they had to find a way to keep other White people from attaining some of their wealth. They didn’t want to share. So, an enemy had to be created. So, today, to even the poorest and whitest of towns and cities and even states, the Black man and other people of color have become the reason why low income White people can’t or haven’t reached the American dream.
People should be allowed to be proud of the color of their skin, no matter what color it may be. But at the same time, we must remember that using skin color as a identifying label, was pretty much made up because of this country’s fascination with racism. In reality, no one comes from Black Land, White Land or Brown land, etc. We all are decedents of people who come from various countries. In many countries people differ in skin color but are still countrymen. So, to be more exact, I’m proud of my African and Native lineage, but I am an American and full blown citizen of The United States. There should be no “but not equal”, at the end of who I am.
One of the other things I realized from our conversation is that White Americans are angry, but they are angry at the wrong people. I mean, let’s look at the truth. The statistics really say if a White person is robbed or assaulted, it will probably be by another White person. But when a group of people control the media, they can turn and twist the facts and have White people believing that Black people and other people of color are going to rob them and do them bodily harm. Another truth, numbers-wise: there are more White people on welfare and abusing the system, than any other group of people in America. However, the media televises people of color when it does news of welfare and welfare reform. The wealthy people who hoard 95% of the wealth of this country are 99.9% White. Therefore, people of color, especially Black people do not have what White people feel they deserve and aren’t getting. Notice, I didn’t say “think they deserve”. That’s because for White people it’s all about how they “feel”. Thinking has nothing to do with their understanding of the race situation in America.
The anger that so many White people are feeling, isn’t new to Black people and other people of color. All I can say is welcome to the damn club! However, White people’s anger makes them susceptible to believe anything someone given a platform tells them. And nine out of ten times, the person standing on the platform will tell them, their lives would be so much better if America could get rid of people of color. I’ve never heard someone stand on their platform and declare a war on the wealthy. You know, the people who really have the power to dictate what goes on in the lives of White people.
Our conversation continued as we talked about the myth of Black on Black crime, in relationship to White on White crime and White on “everyone else” crime. For instance: There have been several policemen killed in the past few weeks by White killers, but the media isn’t reporting it. They certainly aren’t reporting it with the same vigor as they did when Policemen were killing Blacks or when a Black person killed a policeman. Mass shootings in this country have been white on white crimes, but they are never called white on white crimes. Can you imagine what the evening news would sound like if newscasters had to say, “There has been another white on white shooting” every time there was a white on white shooting? Because white people own the media, there’s absolutely no chance of that ever happening.
Three hours later our conversation ended. We hadn’t solved anything outside the four walls of my friend’s house. Yet, there was an internal peace in knowing I wasn’t alone in my observations. I got into my car and drove home. The peace I felt didn’t stop the thoughts I had on racism, racing through my mind.