I just suffered a dialog with someone of limited intellect about the impact of racial discrimination on the black community. There was a comment in my inbox about an article I wrote two years ago describing my theory of how America’s institutionalized slavery back in its infancy laid the foundation for the relationship between the black community and the racially generic dominant community that is predominantly white. I should have known the exchange wouldn’t be a good when I read the first sentence.
“You all need to suck it up and deal with the present, black people have not been enslaved in this country for a very long time…”
For the record we all agree that America’s institutionalized slavery is a thing of the past. The culture that considered black people little more than white people’s property is done. However, its sister culture, the culture that protects white privilege and superiority at the expense of the black community is alive and well.
When the institutionalized enslavement of black people came to its long overdue end, the dominant community didn’t turn to the black community and welcomed black people with open arms as equals. The dominant community continued to subject the black people to a perpetual condition of disenfranchisement. It started with denying black people humanity and it has continued with denying black people educational and employment opportunities.
The alienation of black people’s inalienable constitutional rights led to a condition of disparity that has persisted ever since black people were introduced to America as a lower life form to be bought and sold by the highest bidder. The enslavement of black people wasn’t the issue when people were putting signs in windows saying only white people were entitled to goods or services. The enslavement of black people wasn’t the issue when people were saying that separate facilities for black people were fair. The enslavement of black people wasn’t the issue when black people were fighting for civil rights. And yet, some people insist on trying to undermine any conversation about racial disparity that persist today with arguments that slavery ended years ago so black people need to just suck it up and deal with it.
I saw a report the other day that said that unemployment has reached a thirty year high of more than 8.5 percent. But while the white community has to suffer with a rate of about 7.9 percent, the black community has to deal with an unemployment rate of 13.4 percent. There was another report that said on a per capita basis, for each dollar of wealth owned by the white community, the black community has ten cents. The black community controls less than two percent of the wealth of the white community. And some people find this disparity tolerable because slavery ended so many years ago.
Regardless the reason we have a condition of disparity between the black and white communities. And instead of people having compassion for the black community, black people constantly hear attitudes that can be accurately summarized as “fuck you”. All too often people in America have more compassion for a rabid dog that needed to be put down than they would have for any child in the black community.
Whenever the idea that America should take steps to remedy the substandard conditions in the black community, it is inevitable that someone will perceive it as a free ride for black people. People from the dominant community will say that black people don’t deserve help because slavery ended years ago or black people sold Africans to the Europeans so Americans are absolved and don’t have to do anything today. Black people don’t want to work hard and black people are just bad people.
But the truth is that it doesn’t matter why the black community needs help. The fact of the matter is that the black community needs help. America stands ready to send a trillion dollars and well over four thousand American lives to fight and die in Iraq. But make the suggestion that America should invest in the black community and people’s ass get so tight that you’d need a shoehorn to squeeze a dime through their cheeks.
Black people in America have never deserved any help, black people don’t deserve any help, and black people will never deserve any help. It wouldn’t matter if a hurricane came and flooded an entire city. Black people would rot in the sun before America would do anything to help. That’s just the way it was, it is, and will ever be. Black people just need to learn to suck it the fuck up.