The New Black Freedom Fighter

I’ve had this idea rolling around in my head for months now that I wanted to write about but couldn’t quite figure out how I wanted to parse it. The comments of one “Poet” over at Joanne Jacobs’ blog helped me break through my writer’s block. So thank ye kindly dear sir/madam. This post is dedicated to you.

Intelligent
Educated
Determined
Not afraid to take responsibility for their own failings
Able to think for themselves
Unwilling to take no for an answer
Hardworking

How long do you think the last vestiges of racism in our society would last if they were faced with a generation of black people who were ready to walk the talk? Imagine an army of young black men and women well versed in the intricacies of American (their) culture, fluent in the languages of economics, science, domestic and international politics, and so many of the other things that too many now consider “white.” How long do you think the real racists that still cling to life in our society would last if they were daily confronted with men and women who by their very existence prove the remaining racists to be lying frauds?

Can you imagine it? Instead we waste our time supporting men and women who would want us to play the victim forever. Instead we play along with the self-serving black “leaders” who only want to lead us into more dependence on them and on the government. Instead we cling to a political party in the false belief that they can somehow do something for us that we can only do for ourselves. Instead we have people saying things like this,

“John McWhorter is a mouthpiece of ultra-right racists. He is as far from being African-American as night and day. If maybe 1/16th African genes makes you African-American, then I am European-American. John Mc DOES NOT speak for the bulk of African-Americans.”

“They suffer from the end-game of SLAVERY my friend. What you see now is what your ancestors planted and it has flowered into a burgeoning class of self-destructing people.”

“When we ask for reparations, LIKE THE JEWS ALREADY RECEIVED, we get laughed at. See what I mean?
Japanese received reparations, Jews received reparations, but let a black ask for reparations for slavery. OH the bellowing that proceeds that request!!
My ancestors built the railroads FREE, many monuments in the capitol FREE, countless companies today trace their fortunes back to slavery FREE labor. Give us the land promised to us in General William T. Sherman's General Field Order 15 and I guarantee you we will be satisfied.
Now, most of you will not know about that so go read it and see for yourself how black ancestors where
SHAFTED.”

“The test scores are disparate because the tests are
culturally biased, period.”

“As to John McWhorter, he is not I repeat NOT African-American and he speaks not for those of us who are.”
These comments were made on a post on Joanne Jacobs' blog about one Benedict College, which fired two professors for not going along with the college’s policy of “efforts based grading.” Under this policy students who put in the bare minimum amount of work could still get an A in a class. Such policies do nothing to help black students.

This story is especially disturbing when we consider the history of black colleges. In the beginning there were often the only option for higher education for black folk in America. Any graduate of these colleges knew that they had to be better than the best of the best at any white college. And they were because they knew what was at stake. Ain't nothin' like educated black people looking you dead in the eye to put a lie to the tales that racists (of all shades) tell. This bit of truth seems to be lost to a lot of people these days.

Some seem to find it more convenient to argue as the commenter quoted above does. That slavery still holds us back. That it’s the test’s fault when we fail. That the government owes us. That those who disagree with all this aren’t really black. That those who disagree must be mouthpieces for some nefarious group.

This all strikes me as being totally ignorant of what black folk have achieved in this country DESPITE slavery and racism. When the white mobs got together to burn down black neighbourhoods they were not burning down shantytowns rife with crime, homelessness, illegitimacy, and broken families. They were burning down thriving businesses, well kept homes, churches, and displacing intact families. Why did the white mobs feel the need to carry on in this fashion? Because of the very fact that thriving black neighbourhoods existed. You can’t very well go around insisting that black folk can’t do nothin’ and are less than human with evidence to the contrary staring you right in the face now can you?

So you go on crying about reparations, the negative legacy of slavery, how we got shafted, and everything else. As for me and my house, we will continue to strive for excellence in all that we do. We will not look for excuses to explain away our failures but we will learn from them and not repeat them. And we will continue to be inspired by those who came before us who refused to be stopped by the roadblocks placed in their paths.

“Long live the fighters!”
Paul “Muad’Dib” Atreides
Dune (the 1984 David Lynch version)

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