Recently, I was talking to my mother about Black people in Amerika. My mother always stressed that Black people need to work hard and take advantage of the opportunities presented to them to make it in this country (USofA).
My mom can speak on that because she grew up poor and in a single-mother household. Nevertheless, she still managed to attend and graduate from Douglas College (Rutgers University) with a science degree, at a time when there was a handful of Black women graduating from Rutgers University. After graduating college, my mother was able to have a successful career at well-known hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. She became the financially stable woman she is today because she was determined to do so.
However, as I got older, my beliefs that Black people constantly need to work harder and take advantage of every opportunity slowly changed. At what point is it OK for Black people NOT to have to work twice as hard to get the same thing that many people are born with? At what point shouldn’t Black people have to constantly fight and die to be treated like a human? To be provided the basic necessities in life? Or have a little more than the previous generation? Personally, I’m tired of hearing about how Black people in Amerika always need to do better. Tired of hearing how Black people in Amerika don’t take advantage of the opportunities they have. How Black people in Amerika need to do this or that…. But guess who I’m tired of hearing it from…OTHER BLACK PEOPLE!! That’s right! I’m coming for us.
Do we give each other credit for how far we came? Now don’t get it twisted… I’m not one of those Black people who feel like we made it to the Promise Land. Collectively, I don’t believe we made it that far in Amerika because we are still on the top of everything terrible and on the bottom of everything good.
To give quick examples of our lack of progress, Black people in Amerika collectively do not own any natural resources. The amount of land Black Amerikans own collectively has decreased significantly within the past seventy-five years. I can go on…. the small amount of wealth Black households have, and the number of Black people caught up in the prison industrial complex…but I think you get my point about our lack of progress. But as I study my people, as I learn about my people, I must acknowledge how much we have accomplished with what little we had since we arrived in Amerika on slaves ships. I’m talking about the Black inventors (even the inventors who didn’t credit for their inventions), the significant amount of land Black people once owned during the reconstruction and Jim Crow era, the number of wars Black people fought in for this country, educational institutions Black Amerikans built and established, and former slaves who became educated, elected politicians or business owners. Let’s not forget the most essential accomplishment Black Amerikans achieved over time….fighting for human rights. There is no other group of people in Amerika who has fought more for equality, freedom, justice, and fundamental human rights more than Black Amerikans. Let’s argue?!?!? I mean, the list of accomplishments by Black Amerikans who pulled themselves self-up by their bootstrap …hell sometimes without a boot, is extensive. I can go on and on about how much Black people in Amerika accomplished with very little.
However, I believe we are hard on each other because collectively, Black Amerikans do not have anything to show for how much we accomplished. So, to many people, including Black people, it does appear like we don’t have anything of value. It does look like we didn’t accomplish anything. It does look like we didn’t contribute to building of this country’s economic foundation, but history shows all of that is a complete lie. Black Amerikans contributed and achieved more to this country than any other group of people without full human rights and compensation. Again, Black people have accomplished and contributed more to this country than any other group of people without full human rights. Just so you can get an idea how long Black Amerikans had to do a lot with a little, I was the first person born in my immediate (nuclear) family with full human rights. My family has been in this country for at least 200 years…and I’m 40 btw. My mother and father were born and/or lived in the Jim Crow South and grew up in segregated northern cities (NJ) in the 1950s and ’60s. Both of my grandfathers fought in wars (Korean War and WWII) for this country. When they returned to Amerika, they still couldn’t live or drive through any neighborhood they wanted. Many people who migrated to Amerika before the 1970s had more human rights and freedom than my parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, who were all born here.
Additionally, being Black or indigenous and struggling in your native country is not something that’s just isolated to Black Amerikans. Before you continue reading…. Close your eyes and think about all the native Black and Brown countries across the world…. OK…So you realized Black Amerikans aren’t the only people who struggle in their native country.
People of color “struggling” in their native country is not an issue only native Black Amerikans face. Native Black Amerikans and Native Americans were the only people in Amerikan history that were refugees in their own country. They didn’t migrate to Amerika, but they were forced from their land and homes through violence and death threats. Do you not realize the trauma and setback that causes millions of Black and Native Amerikans?
The lack of assets, resources, and money in Black and Native Amerikan communities are not due to the lack of motivation by Black and Native Amerikans.
Europeans have colonized many countries that were and still are predominantly populated by people with some type of melanin skin throughout the world. The consequences of colonizing these countries are detrimental in so many ways. The Native people are robbed of their resources. They become victims of civil wars on their land, genocide, and their cultures are dismantled. They are forced to learn European languages and are miseducated. Their economy is controlled by the colonizers, which usually keeps them in abject poverty. People in their own native country/land tend to suffer more than other people of lighter complexion who migrated there.
I would like to point out that wherever there is a large concentration of melanin people throughout the world, there are all types of suffering. The suffrage is not from their own doing either….. it’s from White Supremacy. Say it with me…WHITE SUPREMACY. That is the common denominator for why native people with some melanin from all over the world suffer.
And lastly…I didn’t want to touch this subject…but as a Black man… I’m going to do it. Deep breath….Voting….The pressure Black people were under to vote during the last Presidential election (2020) was ridiculous! There was no other group of people in Amerika under so much pressure to vote more than Black people.
On top of that, Black people were under enormous pressure to vote Democrat. Some clown even said Black people aren’t Black if we don’t vote for him. Many Black people blamed other Black people for Trump being elected President after the 2016 election because of the low voter turnout in Black communities.
Black men and women voted for Hilary Clinton more than any other (race) group of people in the United States, but it wasn’t good enough. Over 90%!!!!!
Black people and mass media stated for four years straight if more Black people came out to vote, then Trump wouldn’t have won. This may be true, but the pressure for Black people to be perfect divided us once again.
White women got a pass for voting for Trump, Latinos got a pass for voting for Trump, Asians got a pass for voting for Trump…but Black people… didn’t come out in the numbers they should’ve. Perfection…
To make matters worse in the Black community, Black men were facing a lot of heat because they didn’t vote for Hilary Clinton in the same exact numbers Black women did…but get this…No other race of men voted for Hillary Clinton more than Black men (percentage-wise).
This happens almost every national election in the US…All eyes are on Black people when the topic of “voter turnout” is mentioned. We are only 13% of the US population but under constant pressure to have some phony Democratic candidate put in office who will give us no tangibles.
Many Black people are starting to feel hopeless about eventually being treated fairly in this country, but to some Black people…that doesn’t matter. Just vote!! Our ancestors died for us to (have the right to) vote!! I guess it’s easier to chastise a handful of Black people who have lost faith in the Amerikan government than it is for Black people to hold elected politicians accountable…..
To summarize everything I wrote….imagine this….Millions of people from one continent are violently brought to a different continent. They are separated from their families, their names are changed, they are forced to change their religion and language, and their ability to learn is restricted. After about two hundred years they are somewhat free with just the clothes on their back….Then for another one hundred years, they can’t live where they want. They are told what they can have and/or people destroy at will what they have rightfully earned….And one last thing….Rape the women for hundreds of years and kill the men at random for hundreds of years…Now tell these same people or people who are descendants of said people….To get their shit together… Black people, I’m talking to you…Tell other Black Amerikans that even though millions of people before them did everything “right” and worked hard, you can promise them they will end up with different results than the ones before them if they just work hard and take advantage of their opportunities.
Enough is enough, Black people!! We can only do so much to change the situation we are in. Yes, there is more we can do to improve our conditions…absolutely. But how much longer are we going to keep adding to our to-do list?? We have done almost everything asked of us to get our piece of the pie, but we still aren’t even allowed a seat at the table.
Everyone else is allowed to do as they please, take advantages of policies our people died for…but Black people tell other Black people all the time you need to keep doing better if you want to live a happy and healthy life…… Don’t just do better Black people…be damn near perfect.
**Black Amerikans are referred to as Native people to Amerika for the purposes of this blog piece.
**Native Amerikans are referred to as Native Amerikans (indigenous).