I don’t usually write on issues of race and for good reason: it tends to garner heated debate, polarized perspectives and people talking past one another. In “post-racial” America, its tough to talk about issues of oppression and injustice because of all the progress Blacks have made in this country. After all, slavery ended 150 years ago, Jim Crow is over, the “Whites Only” signs have been removed, schools are integrated, and Blacks have risen to prominent stations in society.
Everything seems to be ok until something happens…like Ferguson and now Eric Garner. Then issues of race rise to the surface. Then something happens, I’ve noticed, something subtle yet prominent. There is still an undercurrent of inequality and trickles of suppression in drips of dispositions towards these kinds of incidences.
The premise of racism in America has been built on perception and belief that the Negro was inferior to Whites. It was ok to ship men, women and children like cattle and sell them off like property. For a country that was founded on the premise that all men were created equal, that equality came with a qualification for Blacks as the sub-dominant group. Sure there were free Blacks, but freedom was only free as long as it was granted.
As the dominant group, Whites also wrote the narrative for parameters and progress. Whatever Blacks had, they were allowed to have with the expectation of gratitude towards the giver, especially acute in places of slavery. There was also an firm expectation of compliance.
Go along to get along. Know your place. Lower your eyes. Don’t make waves. The negro dare not rebel or face the consequences. Continue reading