Is there still a large racial divide here in America? Are there forces at work that keep Blacks from getting on their feet, getting ahead and just generally being self-sufficient?
I was talking with black co-worker. Notice the word “worker”.
He went through similar circumstances as I did. He lost his job and was out of work for about 7 months. He ended up being homeless and had no car. He took jobs as a janitor and any other odd jobs he could get. This is almost entirely what I went through.
I supposed that if I had met him at that time that I would have concluded that he falls into the vast majority of black Americans who can’t or won’t get a job but for whatever reason they don’t have one. I know that this would have been an incorrect assumption, but unfortunately, this is all too often the scenario we are faced with.
I know that this has become my own stereotype as well as that of many other people. I know a lot of good hearted people that have come to this conclusion based on their own personal observation. So why do I and some others have this perception?
I know this isn’t fair to group everyone into the same grouping who lives in one place, looks similar, has the same ethnicity, or just happens to fall in to some preconceived grouping. It’s not even fair to lump those together just because it looks that way at first glance.
I was not raised to be racist. I went to school and worked with plenty of different colors over the years. I have no personal alienation against any group of people. So why would I lump blacks into the same grouping even subconsciously? I know I don’t do it consciously. I try to be very open and fair minded towards all.
But that still doesn’t negate the fact that it happens within my mind somewhere.
I think part of it is that as a grouping of people our government has had a large role in keeping blacks separate. There are still quota laws that give blacks special entitlements and privileges that I don’t get as a white guy. There is a disproportionate amount of welfare and entitlements that go to blacks.
At one time, there was a cultural separation of blacks that was truly bad. The government stepped in and laws were passed to ensure racial equality. That was necessary and good at the time. But I’m not so certain that all of the assistance is needed any more. I’m pretty sure there is a large portion of that “assistance” that does more to enable racial inequality than it does to grant the equality that it originally sought to bridge.
I think there is another large contingent of self-appointed representatives of blacks that also give blacks a bad name. To name a few:
- Rappers: their negative lyrical messages often gives rise to a negative image among blacks themselves and amongst other races who are offended by the music and message. The lifestyles, fame, and fortune give false hopes of glory to young wanna be rappers. Rap music often promotes an anti-social, hateful and thuggish lifestyle.
- Certain politicians and congressional black caucus members: Not all are bad. But those vocal few who blast white America for holding blacks back are wrong. I am white. I do not hold you back. Stop wasting all your time whining and go make something out of your life. It is my observation, that the black people who are held back are only held back by their own personal limitations. Stop encouraging black people to live off of welfare and entitlements.
- Black Panthers and other such organizations: The days of the civil rights movement was a hard and important time in America. I am thankful that we are past that. Blacks have equal (and often times better opportunities than whites thanks to affirmative action) rights and opportunities here in America. Do we really need hate groups like yours to keep spreading the hate? Please go get a job and stop harassing those who have never done anything to you.
- Many News Sources: Why is it that the news sources like to make victims out of black people? I remember during Hurricane Katrina watching CNN and how they portrayed the whole event as an assault on poor black people. It was the governments fault. It was the presents fault. It was the governors’ fault. It was the mayors’ fault. It was FEMAs’ fault. It was everyone else’s fault. What ever happened to personal responsibility? Why was the government supposed to help all these people who knew the storm was coming but still chose to do nothing about it? And even if they didn’t know that the storm was coming, why should the government pay to help them? If my house catches on fire, do I go to the government to pay for it? No. If I have insurance, then the insurance pays for it. If I don’t have insurance, then I’m just out of luck. The last part of this is the simple sad picture that the news paints. When you go back and watch old news videos, notice how many of them seem to only show the poor black people that were affected. Weren’t there a whole lot of poor white people that were affected too?
- Illogical Organizations and People: This list is pretty endless. The ones that stand out are organizations like the ACLU and individuals like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. These people are all pretty much useless and obnoxious. They make issues out of things (it seems) for the sole purpose of being obnoxious and getting attention.
Of course there are other groups too. But these ones stand out in my mind. The main thing that all these groups have in common is that they stand out and like to think themselves representatives of all black people and ultimately they give black people a bad name. If they didn’t claim to represent all blacks, it wouldn’t be so bad. But they don’t represent all blacks.
Most of these people in these groups create and expand the racial divide. They promote separation. They encourage hatred and racism. The promote disharmony. They like the racial tensions. They thrive on separating themselves. It’s really sad to watch.
I am so very thankful that these groups do not truly represent the views of everyone who happens to be a black American.
So what do I do with the stark difference that I see between racial groups like the ones above and the vast majority of blacks I meet in my day-to-day life?
I see a very different black person than the ones that these racially divisive groups present. I see some who fulfill the stereotype that these groups force on us, but most are not like this.
I went to the community college for a semester recently. Most of the students were just out of high school. These are motivated kids who want to make something out of their lives. They are not just accepting what they are handed. They are pursuing something more for themselves.
And you know what? There is a large percentage of black kids going to the school I went to. My guess is that most of them will go on to finish at least a 2 year degree if not 4 years or more.
These black students will make something out of themselves and probably have a pretty decent career path with a good wage that increases with their experience level. And you know what else? They will probably make just as much or more as their white counterparts.
Every black young person across the country may not have this exact opportunity that the people I have encountered have. Of course there’s people of every color that live in places where opportunity is limited. We all have to consider moving or traveling to where we can get the education and job we need to reach the success of making something out of ourselves. Some of us can prosper right where we are. The question is not where we find ourselves but what we do with where we find ourselves.
The other part of this equation is about career and job choice. I see too many young black people striving to become sports stars or rap stars. Like these are the only opportunities they have. While I applaud those who reach for their dreams, they may have to work a few jobs they don’t like until their dreams become a reality.
Living off of others hard work while you wait for your dreams to materialize is not acceptable. The person who lives off of welfare and works the government entitlement system instead of getting legitimate work when they are perfectly able are wrong. We could all use some help at times. But not as a way of life.
Taking advantage of the unemployment system instead of getting a job because you would have to work 2 jobs just to earn more than the unemployment pays, is inexcusable.
I’ve had to work 2 to 3 jobs most of my adult life just to survive. I’ve used unemployment to get through a couple stretches where I had lost my job. But I was actively seeking a new job.
Ultimately not having a job is not about race inequality any more. If you can’t get the job you want, you may need to take one you don’t like until you can get one you like. You may need to work 2 or three part-time jobs just to survive.
It seems that the racial divide has become mostly imperceptible to all but those in the extremes. It seems like there is more opportunity than ever for those who want it whether they are white or black.
Those black or white people who stop making excuses and blaming others can find or create opportunity for themselves. Those who refuse to accept reality and choose to remain a victim will never make it out of their self-imposed pit of despair.
Ultimately, we are each in control of our own destinies. You may not like what life has given you this far, but it’s what you’ve got. Make the best of your life. Don’t waste your time, talents or abilities.
And if life isn’t as kind to you as it is to someone else, then you may need to work harder to achieve the same success.
And this brings me to my final point. Is it right to take from one person because you have less. Well this is what entitlement programs like welfare does. Now I can appreciate that some of these programs exist. But I’ve also seen too many people taking advantage of these programs.
When a person who is able to work doesn’t because they have learned how to work the system, this is wrong. Just because you can get the agency to give you the money, doesn’t mean you should take it. These programs are horribly mismanaged and give out freebies to people who don’t truly need the assistance while denying those who do.
We already have too many people on government assistance. Don’t ask for more entitlements from our government. If a person is able to work, then they should. Stop taking the money that others earned so you don’t have to work.
Is there really racial inequality? Maybe. Is there discrimination? Yes. I get discriminated against because of my color on a regular basis. This can’t be a hindrance for me if I want to get ahead in life.
Do you disagree with me? Do you think I am off base? The issue of race isn’t as big a problem as it used to be. It still can be divisive. But there is opportunity for those who want it. For those who are willing to put in the effort.