Jamie Mayes, AOE

Archive for April, 2015|Monthly archive page

4 Statements that Black People Must Stop Accepting and Repeating

In Uncategorized on April 27, 2015 at 1:29 pm

I tried to think of a really strong introduction for this topic, but it is one that speaks for itself. Black America must wake up and stop supporting such negative stereotypes and assumptions about our race. Besides, if you do not think you are great who else young-black-gifted_designwill? Here a just a few of the black race attachments that must come to an end:

  1. Black crime is the biggest problem in America.

I can name a list of things that are a much bigger problem with America. This is not an attempt to minimize violence within the black communities, but to explain that crime in general is a big problem. Crime in black neighborhoods is no more violent and no less frequent than it is anywhere else. However, there is a difference between reported crimes and unreported crimes. The continual partial representation of skewed statistics on American crime has made it seem that black neighborhoods reek of violence, when the truth is that black crime is just reported more often. There have been numerous times when I have heard of extreme crimes by white counterparts either being treated as a minor issue or completely ignored. There are certain stories regarding certain neighborhoods or people that will never make the newspapers, while stories regarding black folks frequently make the front page. Black crime is not the biggest problem in America; crime is the biggest problem in America.

  1. Most black people are on government assistance and do not want to work.

I have become convinced that this is a statement that racists use as an attempt to rationalize their behavior. However, honest statistics have disproven this allegation repeatedly. History itself disproves this disrespectful statement. Like most things in this country, government assistance was never created for black people. It was created to help poor and struggling white Americans during the Great Depression. America was certainly not concerned about creating a system of support for black folks during a time when white people where struggling to survive, too. Black folks have always been able to make something from nothing and survive on the bare minimum. Our ancestors were force and willing to work for free and pennies on a dollar for many years; therefore, hard work ethics have been engrained into our DNA. Yes, there is always an exception, regardless of race, but for the most part, black people will work some type of job to survive. We are an intuitive and innovative people who will use unconventional techniques when conventional ones do not work. Therefore, the idea that black people are thirsty and lazy individuals who only want to live on government pennies can no longer continue to be supported.

  1. There are no leaders in the black community.

It is true that there are no longer massive movements like those in the 1950’s and 60’s, but to say that there are no leaders in the black community is a massive understatement. More than ever, there has been a re-awakening of the black community and black leaders have emerged to advocate for their communities. While there may not be one large mainstream lead man, many are taking direct action within their communities.

On the flipside, I often question why we must continue to need a black Superman to avenge our communities and defend and explain us. America should be past the point of needing a specific image to represent the misfortune of a collective group. Despite the massive number of mainstream influential black men and women, black people continue face legal and social injustices and economical disenfranchisement. Despite the fact that one of  the most powerful black community leaders is President of the United States, issues continue to exist and seem to be increasing. The answer does not lie in one mega leader, but in America taking responsibility for its actions and correcting them.

  1. No one will respect us until we respect ourselves.

This is one of the worse excuses to accept the injustice of this country. It is disheartening to think that we have accepted injustice as deserved treatment as a result of the human flaws. There are instances where generalizations make sense, like in a math class, for instance. However, generalizations should never be acceptable when referring to a race or culture of people. That is called a stereotype. Yet, African Americans continue to accept and repeat lines like these and many others that are unfair and inaccurate statements about our culture. My quick rebuttal to this line is always “Speak for you and your people, because my folks don’t fit your stereotype.” Besides, there is no law that says self-respect is a contingency for justice and fair treatment.

Ultimately, we must start seeing our race and culture in a more positive light. We have been conditioned to think that all things negative belong to us. If we react, we are angry. If we speak out, we are aggressive. If we take a stand, we are too sensitive. After hundreds of years of being broken, we are still struggling to be emotionally repaired as a race. However, we must rise and reject the negative perceptions that pervade society and train our youth to be unapologetic for being black and empowered. We must realize our beauty and greatness. If we do not learn to love ourselves, this country will never accept us for who we are.

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