Bigotry & Racism
Bigots are not born, they are made. There was a time when bigotry against blacks in the South originated and was passed down by “Old South” adults to their children; a regression to the Civil War days when slavery was as normal as day and night in Southern states and whites actually believed that the blacks were inferior.
I grew up as a military brat, which means that from the time I was born, until I was into Middle School, I lived on military bases and went to school with many blacks. I also spent 4-5 years in Latin America and attended schools where blacks were often the majority. When my family transferred to an installation in Alabama I was placed in my first school with all whites. I heard the talk of the pending desegregation of schools, but unlike my fellow students, I didn’t see a problem.
I actually thought it was a bit stupid for Alabama Governor George Wallace to stand in the doorway at the University of Alabama and try to stop the black students from entering. I was among the few who said if a person could pass the courses, it was wrong to prevent them from trying to graduate from a major university of their choice.
Through the several years of ill feelings, and listening to many bigoted whites show their ignorance by passing judgment and lumping all blacks into a some lower social or mental group, I was still supportive of the programs this country was trying to institute to give blacks “equal opportunity”.
Now some 50 years later, I find myself fighting the very feelings and opinions I used to despise in the bigots of years ago and I have to ask myself why? What has happened that now makes me angry, prejudiced, and fighting against my own bigoted feelings, when I was not this way before?
I recall George Wallace saying that desegregating the schools would not bring the blacks up to the level of the white, but would result in lowering the standards of the schools to accommodate the backs. Unfortunately, I think that’s exactly what has happened. It was unfortunate, but true, that in the old days of “separate but equal”, as the whites liked to say, the black schools were NOT equal. Hence, under immediate de-segregation, most of the blacks in each grade level were a year or two behind whites. Therefore, in areas such as math, science, biology, and even English, wherein each year builds on the knowledge of the previous year, it would be impossible for them to pass certain courses. The outcome at the end of the school year there was going to be a massive failure of blacks over whites to pass, which would have all the appearances of racial discrimination. So, rather than face the NAACP, ACLU, and others fighting racial discrimination, the schools developed “social promotions”. That solved the immediate problem of perception, but in actuality, cheated the blacks and eventually forced the schools to lower the requirements of all, so as not to have to deal with the real problem of the fact that the black schools had not been “equal” as had been claimed.
A better solution would have been to integrate the first grade and then let that grade move up each year until all grades were integrated and all grades had received equal pressure to learn and pass the material before moving on to the next grade. Of course that would have taken twelve years and the blacks were understandably impatient for results. Again, I empathized with their plight.
Yet now when I’m channel surfing for a movie and I see a black face on the screen, I immediately keep going unless I recognize Denzel Washington, Sidney Potier, Morgan Freeman, Halle Berry, etc. I especially love Morgan Freeman and Bill Cosby! So, I asked myself what is it about other blacks I immediately reject and actually feel anger in my soul when I should not? I’m sure age has a lot to do with it, because I also immediately skip movies with kids playing super hero rolls that place them flying F-16 Tomcat fighter jets, while listening to their I-pod, into battle situations we all know are utterly ridiculous. The same is true for most action heroes who spend more time zapping monsters than talking on a sensibility level above that of my grand-kids. I finally have come up with some answers that most blacks are immediately going to reject, or will never hear or understand the message. The message is simple and short: grow up, accept responsibility, and become adults in the real world.
It seems that so many blacks just cannot progress past adolescence. That period in life when we all wanted to be “cool” and “different” from our parents, adults, and the world in general … and that’s OK. It’s OK to run around wearing your ball cap on backwards or sideways, and talk jive or use other funky expressions of which only kids know the meaning. It’s OK to dress weird, color your hair, and any number or other pleas for attention young people often do to say, “we reject all the normal restraints and controls of society and the world because we are different”. But there comes a time when we all had to eventually grow up, get a job, and fit into the world in order to survive and progress.
Hollywood and TV don’t help when they cast blacks into rolls that many young blacks roll model as being “cool” because the black hero is using the F word in every sentence, mixed with Ebonic phrases, while he waves a gun around upside down or sideways. (Which any handgun expert knows is almost a sure way to miss hitting any intended target.) I feel that not only is it demeaning that person, and is just downright stupid!
I now find myself so repulsed by those who still act and think they can go through life demanding respect and equal treatment when they continue to act like a bunch of unruly children who expect that everything that others have worked for, should simply be given to them because life “owes them” equal. Life owes no one anything, but an equal opportunity, and that’s ALL! When blacks start asking for anything more, it begins to be discrimination against me …. And by God I resent it!
It’s not like white America has not tried to even the playing field. We’ve even swung the pendulum in favor of blacks as a gesture of good will against those years when they were held back.
Since the 60’s, untold billions, if not trillions, have been made available to mostly the black community in the form of welfare, food stamps, rent supplements, Section 8 housing, Pell grants, student loans, legal services, Medicaid, Earned Income Tax Credits, and hundreds of other programs designed to bring the black community into mainstream America.
Keep in mind that there are about 7.5 whites to every black in this country. Yet we have engaged in all out discrimination against white folks -- with affirmative action, contract set-asides, and racial quotas in order to advance black applicants over whites. Yet in the past 50 years, just how much has this actually helped?
When it comes to racism, the blacks are becoming their own worst enemy. If a young black starts doing really well in school, speaks English like English is supposed to be spoken (without Ebonics) and murderous pronunciations some blacks think is “cool”, then their own peers, and even some black adults, including parents, will put them down and accuse them of trying to act like “whitey.” Not an educated American, but “whitey.” Now who’s the racist?
The black community automatically furthers racial separatism, by advancing and supporting things like The Black Miss America Pageant, Black Entertainment Television, The Black Caucus, the NAACP, and so on. Every time you say “black” you immediately bring up race and say you are separate from white America. The back themselves are the ones putting bricks in a wall that Martin Luther died trying to tear down.
I resent it when the Jesse Jacksons and or Al Sharptons show up at every opportunity where they can play the race card and stir up situations that have nothing to do with race. They simply open wounds that so many have worked to heal, and they do so primarily in the name of raising money for their own personal wealth. Their cause is not for the blacks, it’s for themselves. They were not out there supporting O.J. Simpson because they KNEW the race card would not fly in that case. The black community is wrought with black-on-black crime. I don’t see blacks working to try and find the cause and correct it. Do blacks really think whites are responsible for the fact that the crime and the incarceration rate for blacks is seven times that of whites? Who is responsible for the 70 percent illegitimate birth rate among blacks? … Or the 50% high-school dropout rate in some predominately black schools? Although black on black crime is dominate, did you know that 45% of violent crimes are black against white, while only 3% are white against black. Black-on-white rapes are 100 times more common than the reverse.
Where is the black leadership and roll models for young blacks coming along today. Can we please have some more Colin Powells, Bill Cosbys and black parents out there literally kicking the asses of these young people and pushing however hard it takes to get young blacks to realize the importance of education, and a job, and WORKING for the things they want instead of demanding life “give” equal. Life is NOT going to do that, I’m not either, and I and a lot of other white Americans are getting tired of all the crying and complaining. I was not born a bigot or racist, but the actions of too many blacks are making me become one … and I don’t like it.
The dream that Martin Luther King had and sought for blacks is never going to come to American blacks as a dream. It will only come through hard work and a turning away from being African and black … to simply being an American FIRST, and WORKING for those things of value that will eventually result in achieving the dream. The things of value are education, moral correctness, determination, ethics, and fitting in WITH the majority of America.
I have immediately felt great respect for a black man I heard say, “African American…I’ve never been to Africa, my parents were not from there, nor were their parents. I am an American!” Amen Brother! That’s enough for me!