I’m black, if you haven’t figured it out. I consider myself black because that’s how I’m perceived. I’m technically half, as my mom is white and my dad black. However, my experiences have dictated my association with being black. I’ve been called nigger. I’ve been followed in stores for fear I may clip something from the shelves. I’ve had girlfriends whose fathers banned their daughters from dating me. I am seen as black and therefore am treated as such.
I give you this brief background as context because I’m about to go off and you deserve the context.
I’m am so tired of the race debate in this country. Race discussions and relations have been held hostage by the fringe. I’m over it.
Many blacks in this country are still bitter and we are still not taking care of our own shit. The Shirley Sherrod comments at an NAACP function are a perfect example. If we had our shit together and acted as we expect whites to act, she would have been smacked off the stage. Yes, I get it. There are still ton’s of racist people out there, but that is NO excuse for allowing it in our own ranks. Being the victim of oppression or racism does not give anyone a license to reciprocate. It’s time to stop pointing fingers, blaming 250 years of institutional racism for our plight and our own individual challenges. We have a black president, black CEOs, black Congressman, black business owners. In my opinion, the US has spoken, institutional racism has been eradicated. It’s time to move on.
NAACP, your time is up. The enemy is no longer “the system.” It’s time to change your charter or shut down.
Jesse Jackson, Dan Gilbert was not being racist in expressing his feelings towards LeBron’s defection. Jesse you were by assuming his comments were racially motivated on the sole data point that LeBron is a brother.
Jesse, when the enemy was “the man,” when systematic racism was embedded in the fabric of this country, you were a leader, a deliverer of sorts, and you did your job well. You pulled away “the mans” grip on the system and set us on the path to a black President, black CEO’s like Richard Parsons Ursula Burns and Kenneth Chenault and for that I thank you. We area all indebted to you. But, it is now time stop. Your approach is outdated. It is ineffective and misaligned. It could be argued, your outdated approaches are setting us back as they continue to operate from the fact the system is racist. This assumption is offensive to the millions of white Americans who aren’t racist, those who support diversity and have been part of the solution for years. Enough Jessee, the NAACP, and my fellow brothers and sisters who are still angry and are fighting yesterdays fight.
It’s time for us to stop looking outward and expecting the world to change for us. It’s time to stop blaming history, the system, the man, and everyone else. We were dealt a shitty hand. Efforts have been made to correct it. No matter how clumsy, or ill-conceived, changes have come and today’s environment affords us anything we WANT to commit to getting. Our focus should no longer be getting more, it should be taking advantage of what is afforded us today.
Our new fight should focus on increasing black graduation rates, reducing our percentage of poverty, increasing black voter turnout, reducing the number of unwed mothers, increasing college attendance, increasing the number of black owned business, etc. The environment is different now, it’s time to take advantage of it. Jesse, NAACP, Shirley, Al Sharpton, and all the old school brothers and sisters who are still railing against the man; thanks for what you’ve done but it’s time to let go. You’re only hurting us now.
I am also over race relations in this country because of the dismissive nature of so many non-black people/white people. If another person on Twitter tries to defend the Tea Party I’m going to puke. The tacit acceptance of racial slurs, signs and more is inexcusable and is not justified by saying the NAACP is doing it too.
We’ve made progress as a country. A racist system has been, for the most part, destroyed. I thank all the white people who participated along side of Jesse and others; LBJ, John Brown, John F Kennedy, Andrew Goodman, Michael Schwerner and more. We owe you a debt of gratitude too. Despite these efforst, your work isn’t done. You can’t wash your hands of it all. Racism still exist. Today, it is subliminal, individual and tacit approval racism that exists and whites in this country are not doing enough to eradicate them.
A friend told me the story the other day of how a childhood acquaintence told him how they used to go “fag rolling.” My friend, who is white, didn’t know what that meant. So he asked. The answer was; fag rolling is when you go out looking for gays, find one and lure him into the car. When he get’s in, you kick the shit out of him and then while the car is still rolling you toss him out the door. After describing the antics of “fag rolling,” the childhood friend raised his hand for a high-five. I asked my friend, who was, as clearly disgusted as I was upon hearing the story, what he said to this guy. The answer was nothing. He sat in disbelief, but did and said nothing.
White people, you just aren’t doing enough.
Many of my white friends still refer to their landscapers or housecleaners as their Mexican or Black housecleaner. Not that race or country of origin has any bearing on the story. To illustrate the point, I was at a party a few years ago when one of my white friends was describing how the Mexican landscaping company he used, screwed up his backyard. He went on and on continually inserting the Mexican identifier. I questioned him on why the fact they were Mexican mattered and why it had any bearing the story, as I felt it was racist to do so. He quickly labeled me too sensitive and said their goes Jim again. I’m known for calling people out on their shit. Besides, he said; “They WERE Mexican.”
As dinner progressed, others shared their home contractor failures, some using the racial profile of the offenders and others choosing not to. Figuring this was fair game, I shared mine. It went like this:
“I hired this white guy to redo my stairs and he completely fucked it up, and that was only two weeks after these two white guys screwed up the tile job in my foyer.” You can imagine the looks and response I got. My point however, was made.
There are still racist people in America. Blacks and non-whites still have it difficult to in comparison to whites. White people in this country have had and continue to benefit from 250 plus years of a system set up to their benefit. To suggest otherwise is disingenuous.
Blacks have to stop railing against the system and blaming whites for their problems. Whites have to get their head out of their ass. Tremendous damage was done to the black community over 250 plus years. There has been and still is REAL damage and fall out from that period of time. All that damage has not eradicated by the civil right act of 1964. Suggesting that it’s all over is crazy. We are barely a generation through that. The system has been addressed but, the individual needs to get on board and that is where the final change will come from.
White people, you need to stop expecting blacks to just get over it. You need to stop defending organizations and people who tacitly support or embrace racial language and actions. White people you need to become completely intolerant of those who display racist, homophobic, sexist, language. You need to stop pretending that because the system has been rid of racist underpinnings you have now done your job and you can wash your hands of it all. It doesn’t work like that. Stop inviting that neighbor who always has the black and jew jokes to the yearly party and tell him, to his face, you don’t want that trash in your house. Tell the old friend who brags about fag rolling to get the fuck out of your face and that you don’t ever want to see him again. Stop describing your house keeper, your manicurist, your landscapers by there ethnic background. IT’S IRRELEVANT. It has no bearing on the story. Be intolerant, not to the slow pace of blacks to grab hold of the progress made so far, but of the white people around you who still haven’t made progress.
White america, you have just as much ownership in the bullshit racist climate that still exists in this country today as blacks. Stop pretending you don’t. Stop acting as if it’s all better and that you’ve done your job. Stop pointing the fingers at the brothers. Yes, we’ve got our own crap to clean up, but so do you.
I’m tired of today’s race discussions. They are rarely discussions, but rather blame games and grandiose efforts to one up each other trying to prove who is more engaged in racist actions.
The fringe is holding race hostage in this country and until the majority of us, those not on the fringe, those of us who don’t accept the behaviors of our fringe groups become intolerant, nothing is going to change.
I commit to you to do my part. .
Being half white and half black and not being on the fringe I am going to take the liberty to talk out of both sides of my mouth.
From my black side, to my fellow brothers. Enough! Stop worrying about the man, the system and what your being given and go take advantage of what’s there already. Capitalize on what this country has to offer. Allow Dick Parsons, Ken Chenault, Ursula Burns and Obama to represent what a blacks can accomplish. Let go of the “ghetto” as a self-defining trait. Embrace a culture of intellecualism and move forward. Look “in” for change now. Jesse, NAACP, Martin Luther King, and others changed the outside. It’s now our turn to change the inside. It’s a new fight.
From my white side, to my fellow white friends. Stop!
Stop trying to minimize the impact of 250 years of slavery and Jim Crowe. There is real impact to that legacy, one you should feel blessed you haven’t had to live with.
Stop allowing people to tell jokes, or express their racist tendencies without calling them out. Your refusal to call them out only allows them to walk away feeling they are not alone in their pathetic beliefs. Call them out. Call them out in public, throw them out of the party right in front of everyone. Let it be known you don’t roll that way. Stop allowing our nicety, don’t rock the boat culture to continue to allow racism to fester under the covers. Stop defending organizations who allow racist ideologies or people to sit within their ranks, EVEN if the organization itself isn’t racist. We are who we hang out with. Stop expecting blacks to “get with the program.” You have ownership in this too. Stop defending yourself. Stop saying you didn’t own any slaves. Recognize you are part of the problem. Stop blaming and look in. Evaluate your language. Look at what you teach your kids. Assess your passive and subtle prejudices, get real with how you look at others. Stop kidding yourselves. It’s not over just because you freed the slaves and passed a law. It takes time and effort.
Enough already. NAACP, you’re done. Get with the times or fold up. Tea Party, stop defending yourself. Both of you, vicioulsy and publicly distance yourself from those people who allow race to enter the discussion. They are there, stop offending people by saying their not.
The majority of you who are reading this; black or white I suspect are not the fringe and my hope in writing this and throwing down the gauntlet is you will go back to your community and tell the rest of the folks, stop pointing fingers, stop blaming, it’s time for us to take care of our own back yard. It’s the only way this thing is going to get any better.
There I said it.
Now that the truth has come out about Ms. Sherrod’s case, I am a bit embarrassed that I got caught up in the back and forth. I should have dug a little deeper and maybe even waited a bit longer before posting this. It is clear now why the audience DIDN’T “smack her off the stage”. Good for Shirley for being woman enough to grow from her earlier life experiences. This being said, my point does not change. We need to stop pointing fingers and clean up our back yards first.
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