Do We All Really Get to Be Americans?
I saw a post on Facebook that said we, people of color, should stop calling ourselves African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans and so-forth. The post said that we should just call ourselves Americans. I don’t think it’s about people of color not seeing ourselves as American. I think it’s more like us feeling like we’re not being treated equally, as Americans. Not being treated as a full American, by those who consider themselves as the only Americans. This act causes the racial separation in this country, more-so than what we call ourselves. This perspective seems to lay the blame for America’s racial separation square on the shoulders of people of color. If calling ourselves an American instead of African American, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans, Native Americans would get us all the benefits of being Americans, I think we’d do it in a New York second. This issue runs deeper than what people of color decide to call ourselves. Most people can’t understand that the level of bigotry, hate, homophobia, plus all the “isms” we employ in America, has reached a new and dangerous height, even for America.
White European Americans better start paying attention. If you aren’t wealthy, you have just been given a free membership to the club people of color have been members of for generations. A new thought has become apparent. The so-called real Americans believe you’re an American only if you have real money. Even though the caste-system train has gained steam and has pulled away from the station, it doesn’t mean that racism is something of the past. The caste system picks up where color skin stops. This allows the caste system to concentrate on its most important color, green. If you have a lot of green, you’re in. It doesn’t matter how much experience you have. It doesn’t matter how intelligent you are. What matters is, who you are able to buy?
Look at this country’s current presidential cabinet. It is the wealthiest cabinet in the history of this country. If any of the people given their positions, had to apply for their positions, on an even playing field with real applicants with just average position experience, almost every single one of the new cabinet members wouldn’t make it through the first round of interviews. I am more qualified to be Secretary of Education for the United States, than the person who just got the job. I’m being serious. I have a doctorate in education leadership. I have taught in public schools for over twenty years. I taught at public universities for over fifteen years. My dissertation was about teacher communication with students from diverse backgrounds. And I certainly understand the proficiency versus growth debate. The new Secretary of Education for the United States is just wealthy and has never spent a day of her life learning in the educational system, let alone teaching in it. (Note: While I am more qualified than she is, I’m not qualified to be the Secretary of Education for the United States, but my point is: neither is she)
The new racism isn’t about the overt physical manifestation of hatred. Yes, those who wish to do bodily harm to people of color still exist, but they’re like the plantation policy holders from the days of slavery. Those plantation policy holders became what we today call police. Just like those plantation policy holders from the days of slavery, their job is to scare the slaves and keep them in check. Incidentally, those plantation policy holders, didn’t sit at the masters’ tables either. Today’s hate groups don’t get to sit at the table of today’s wealthy. They sit at the feet of the wealthy waiting for the discarded scraps; it’s their payment for keeping the public’s focus on the overt racism. Meanwhile big money corporations perpetrate covert racism using money and power. The new racism is no longer relegated only to skin color and ethnicity. White hate groups of today are no more wanted by wealthy White society, than Black people and other people of color.
The situation with the Dakota pipeline access is a recent example of the game of money and power. Unless the Standing Rock Sioux and the other protesters can come up with a way to invade the deep pockets of Energy Transfer Partners or convince the people of North Dakota of the danger the pipeline would be to everyone if built, their movement is in big trouble with this new wealthy administration. Following the money trail has jumped to a new level, because greed has reached a new level. And, only a selected few in this country have the money and power to play this new game at this new level.
Would calling themselves Americans instead of Native Americans get them all the benefits the Energy Transfer Partners are getting from the new wealthy cabinet and administration? Probably not. Therefore, African Americans, Asian Americans, Mexican Americans and Native Americans shall we be.