If you nothing else to advance our ultimate goal of EMPOWERMENT, do this one thing:
STOP allowing white people to call US – of all people – racists.
Please? And, “Thank you.”
I am only addressing this topic of “The Black Person as a Racist” because under no uncertain terms will I allow myself to be defined by the ignorant and egregiously less enlightened among us. That I am – alongside some of my Brothers and Sisters – called that which I AM NOT, simply by virtue of being an UNASHAMED ADVOCATE for MY PEOPLE – a right that, interestingly enough, other ethnic groups have exercised, free from complaint – is a disrespect that shall not be countenanced, EVER.
I have always found white people’s unmitigated gall in calling Black folk “racist” to be “interesting”, if “interesting” could somehow be code for “COMPLETELY ASININE, TOTALLY PSYCHOTIC, AND – NOT IN THE LEAST BIT – STUPID.” I think ignorance and (to a somewhat lesser extent) laziness are part of the reason so many African Americans accept that impossibility of being, without conflict.
It’s ignorant to use a word based on one’s emotional relationship to its perceived meaning; it’s also EXTREMELY LAZY to incorporate words into one’s vocabulary, without first consulting a dictionary to ensure those words are indeed the right ones to use. (That’s where “etymology” and “philology” would enter the picture, but that’s another conversation for another day.)
Unfortunately (some) African Americans are SO afraid of being painted with the same Intolerance Brush as THOSE WHO ABUSED AND DEGRADED OUR ANCESTORS that they have allowed white folk to accuse them of being the very thing our history in this country makes it IMPOSSIBLE for us to be.
Racism is defined as:
“A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.”
Now, whom does that sound like?
Oppression is defined as:
“Unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power.”
Again, whom does that sound like?
As racism serves as the justification for oppression, WHERE is it – in either of those words – do we fit?
No, it does not.
What about the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in the Dred Scott case, in which they wrote:
“…Blacks were beings of an inferior order…and so far inferior that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”
There’s also the Plessy v. Ferguson case and its subsequent ruling, which upheld – thanks to the SCOTUS opinion in Dred Scott – legal segregation until the Brown v. Board of Education finally began to dismantle it, almost 60 years later.
Where is it in any of these examples can it be LEGITIMATELY argued that “white rights” have been trampled on by Black people? Where is it – in any of these examples – have African Americans been able to unjustly or cruelly “exercise our authority or power” over white folk? Can ANY white person point to a SINGLE instance in which African Americans have crafted public policies that placed Caucasians at an HISTORIC DISADVANTAGE?
Um, how ‘bout, “NO”?
What laws have we African Americans created that denied white folk the right to an education? Or forced them to work from sunrise to sundown, with the threat of being RAPED, BEATEN, MURDERED, or SOLD constantly floating overhead? Or forced them to enter the back doors of certain establishments? Or denied them the right to vote via domestic terrorism, or those ridiculous tests?
Since the 1500’s, AFRICAN AMERICANS HAVE BEEN HISTORICALLY DENIED THEIR HUMANITY AND DIGNITY, through RACISM and OPPRESSION. For any member of my community to be willing to “go along to get along” by submitting to the thought-terminating cliché of this non-existent entity called “reverse racism” is as FOOLISH as it is DISRESPECTFUL and PATHETIC.
African Americans can point to CENTURIES OF OPPRESSION and ABUSE: A denial of HUMAN RIGHTS predicated by law, and passed down from generation to generation to such an extent that even in the 21st century, white folks still get an attitude when we “refuse to stay in OUR PLACE”.
This so-called “Black people can be racist, too” argument is an invalid, weak, and extremely disgusting attempt by the True Racists (a/k/a “the ones who will read this and undoubtedly respond with all the venom, recriminations, and ad hominem attacks, appertaining”) to manipulate African Americans – via equivocation – into giving up their quest for true equity and parity.
And no self-respecting African American will EVER allow himself to be psychologically manipulated into silence over fear of being called that which he WAS NOT, CANNOT, nor WILL EVER be.
Malcolm X once said, “Truth is on the side of the oppressed.”
Truth is FACT.
And the facts speak for themselves.