In a message dated 7/25/02 11:24:26 AM Eastern Daylight Time,
Larry, I'm not prone to discuss such issues with members of the White
Community, but It's obvious your understanding of the relationship between
our communities needs help...hopefully, what follows will give you a better
view from the other side of the fence...
> On your mention of being African-American and the inequalities you’ve
> experienced in your life, I would like to share this point with you. I was
> not raised with any kind of bigotry and don’t consider myself one now. But
> I have experienced such things. During the ‘70’s, I was a “Hippie”
> (well, ok, I still am) and experienced “profiling” long before the
> African-Americans made it an issue.
> African people living in America have always made an issue of being
> enslaved...the terminology may be different...back in the day, such words
> as revolt, escape, go north, seek freedom, abolish, revolution, may have
> been used...because of the color of our skin, we have been a marked people
> in this land (profiling)...it's amazing how White America always presume to
> be "the all and the end all here"...it was the pigment of our skin that
> allowed my ancestors to toil in the grueling sun, all day, picking cotton
> and building the big beautiful "White House" for the Slaver, while the
> enslaved were housed in shanties called quarters and treated with disdain
> and debasement...Larry, we were considered only 3/5ths of a human being
> even though supple breast of my mothers suckled your ancestors to a healthy
> existence, only to turn around and rape her children...we took issue then
> and still, today we march for equality...Please, note that African people
> have "always" fought (took issue), against injustice in this country and
> the world...it has been the African who has consistently pushed for America
> to live up to it's precepts outlined in the Constitution...but we all know
> that honored document was exclusively for White America...
Later, living in downtown Cleveland and even here in Akron, I have been
> subjected to racism by African-Americans themselves. I am not welcome in “
> their” neighborhoods; I am not welcome in “their” bars. And if I try to
> complain, then they call *me* a racist. Go figure. But I think that this
> is an issue which the African-Americans themselves are not acknowledging
> and dealing with – reverse racism.
Larry, what is reverse racism? In order for there to be a reverse of
anything, there must first be an initial something...the resulting action is
a reaction to the initial action...therefore what you and your children
experienced was a reaction to the atrocities heaped upon a people for, more
than, four hundred years...If someone was to cut off your hand, and for four
hundred years, treat you sub-human, take your name, forbid you to worship
your deities, whip you and continuously undermine everything that is the
essence of who you are, what would you do, would you embrace that person?
It's unfortunate that this divide exists but it does, it's the backlash, the
results of four hundred years of the initial action (Racism), the memory
lingers and feeds the pain...White America is in denial and accuses everyone
else for reacting to it's initial racist activities...Reverse Racism is a
> I was amazed to find out just last week from an African-American friend of
> mine that there is even prejudice among their own. That “Black”
> African-Americans look down on (what I call) “Coffee and Cream”
> African-Americans because their blood-lines have obviously been mixed!
Larry, I can see you are in need of a bit of history, your reaction here is
the usual one within your community...when the slavers brought the Africans
to this land, they instilled a system that created dissension between the
enslaved...there was the "field nigger", who was relegated to the back
breaking tilling of the soil, uprooting the stumps, clearing the land,
building the buildings and raising the crops...these people were lashed and
driven in the burning sun, until they fell dead in the row...then there were
the "house niggers"...this group spent most of their time in the "White
House" taking care of Massa and his family...some of these people were
actually Massa's children, birthed from the rapes that took place down in the
quarters and sanctioned by Missy...last but not least, was the
driver...he/she was the worse of all, because he/she was the one with the
whip, the one who befriended the Slaver, the "Uncle Tom", the traitor...when
Massa became ill, he/she was the one who said, "Massa, is we sick"?
Sure, your African American friend was correct, there are prejudices among us
Black Folk, a conditioned response? Or, maybe a human condition...the point
is, African people are just like anyone else...we're human beings, we talk,
cry, hope, desire, laugh, worship, give birth, fuck, cuss, kill and
maim...Just like White Folks...
> An interesting (and actually sad) example is my children. Of course, we
> have tried to raise them to respect all *people*. Yet, they have been
> picked on, had their bikes and other toys stolen, been called derogatory
> names,…by African-American kids in the neighborhood. So, if they grow up
> not trusting and respecting African-Americans, is it because they are
> racist, or is it because this is what these kids have “taught” them?
Interesting, indeed...and here we go again placing blame without
understanding...It's denial in it's purest form...How can you blame children
for anything? White privilege allows you to take anything at face value and
make it fit your particular rationale...I'm wondering, how you handled the
situation? What sort of explanation did you offer your children? How do you
really feel towards your African American friend?
> Worth thinking about, I think, and I would like to hear your perspective on
> this, off-list if you want.
> In Peace,