No Matter What and How Far the Achievements, YOU are Still...............BLACK in America
Racism? YOU are SUCCESSFUL, Shut the Hell Up
Many people are highly indignant that many socioeconomically affluent Blacks remarked that they have experienced racism. They assert that if there was racism, there would be no affluent and upwardly mobile Blacks. They relay that there is no racism as Blacks occupy high positions in local, state, and national governments. They then proclaim that there is a Black president for God's sake, this means that there is no racism. They maintain that those socioeconomically successful Blacks who cry racism are either ungrateful or totally delusional.
Such people strongly argue that how can these socioeconomically affluent Blacks be so ungrateful to the country, disseminating such blasphemous vindication. They staunchly insist that it was America that give them all what they have. They maintain that socioeconomically affluent Blacks who complain about racism are just complaining, attention seeking crybabies who do not realize how good they have it. There are others who assert that Blacks have an easier road to success than they do because of equal opportunity and affirmative action policies. They are of the school that many socioeconomically affluent Blacks were granted privileges based upon their protected class, race. They total discount that socioeconomically affluent and/or successful Blacks would dare cry racism. In their minds eyes, "How DARE them, what else do THEY WANT?"
Every Black Has Experienced IT, No Matter HOW Successful/Affluent
Yes, there are highly successful Blacks in America. Yes, there are more educational and socioeconomic opportunities for Blacks than ever before. However, in spite of the economic educational and socioeconomic opportunities, there is still racism. It may not be as overt as in previous eras but it still exists in its more covert forms.
No Black person in America, no matter how successful, educated, and/or how high on the socioeconomic scale he/she is, there are going to be instances and/or situations, when he/she will be considered to be just a n----------r. As the comedian and satirist Paul Mooney aptly put, The N----------r Wake Up Call". This is when a successful and/or affluent Black person is reduced to just his/her race. Being successful and affluent does not preclude Blacks from encountering racial discrimination in its myriad forms. He/she may be told that a product is "too expensive". He/she may be looked upon suspiciously if he/she is in a more affluent area of neighborhood even if HE/SHE resides there, being told that he/she is in the WRONG area/neighborhood. He/she may be overlooked by a cab driver.
There are many Caucasians and other non-Blacks who strongly disavow that racism exists. Not only Caucasians and other non-Blacks, there are some Blacks, especially those in the upper middle and upper class, who will staunchly insist that there is no racism after all, they have become highly successful and accomplished in their respective fields. If one even inform them that there is racism, they will declare that it is the lower class and disenfranchised Blacks who always cry racism as part of their victimology mentality. They will even state that they are Americans first and Blacks second. There are some who will say that they happen to be Black, no more no less. They believe that others do not see nor consider them as Black. They see themselves as totally assimilated into the American patchwork.
Many such Blacks view their Blackness as mere happenstance. They see themselves as beyond race. Blackness to them is a thing of their more oppressed ancestors and the past, not the present. They are of the school that if one does not concentrate on his/her Blackness so much, then racism would be a nonissue. They strongly contend that racism, if it does exist, occurs because many Blacks always bring it to their attention. Many middle and upper middle class Blacks see the lower class Black as the true racial instigators by their mindset and psychology. They see the lower class and disenfranchised Black as exhibiting the very worst of racial stereotypes for all the world to see.
When many upper middle and upper class Blacks experience racist treatment, some go into abject denial. They maintain that how could this occur as they were the most exemplary of Blacks. They could not believe that such a thing would occur in their wildest imaginings. It often takes such instances for many upper middle and upper class Blacks to realize that racism does occur. Not only lower class and disenfranchised Blacks are victims of racism, all Blacks are subjected to racism in one form or another.
DIFFERENT Playing Field for Blacks
Almost every Black child is told that in order to succeed whether in school or in the corporate world, he/she has to be TWICE as good as Caucasians and other non-Blacks just to be noticed. Black children are told that the road to success for them is oftentimes more arduous than that of their Caucasian and other non-Black counterparts. A highly renowned quadruple threat relayed that she was inculcated with this premise by her parents constantly. Black children are told that they cannot rest on their laurels and just get by if they want to succeed. They are told that they have to be better than best and sometimes that is not even enough.
There is an unwritten expectation by some Caucasians and other non-Blacks that Black children are not so good nor as smart as their Caucasian and other non-Black counterparts. They are expected to fail and/or to be subpar. Many Black children have to consistently achieve to prove themselves to be on an equal or better level than Caucasian and other non-Black children. They even have to endure the aspersions of fellow Black children who are not as achieving and diligent as they are. Many high achieving Black children do not only have to fight negative Caucasian and/or other non-Black children's expectations of them, they also have to counter fellow Black children's negativity. Many smart, achieving Black children are bullied and otherwise treated disparagingly by their less diligent and less achieving counterparts. So they receive it at the hands of their Caucasian, non-Black, and Black counterparts.
In the corporate world, Blacks have a harder time being hired, specifically for high powered positions even if they possess the prerequisite educational and work related qualifications. When Blacks are hired, they have to be twice, sometimes thrice as good as similarly situated Caucasians and/or non-other non-Black counterparts. Blacks in corporate and/or other high powered environments are scrutinized more closely than Caucasians and/or other non-Blacks. They are held to a much stricter, tougher, and higher standard. They tend to be disciplined more harshly for infractions that their Caucasian and/or other non-Black counterparts are not. They are also more likely to be terminated. Remember the adage the last one hired, the first one fired. No more matter how high up the corporate ladder a Black person is, he/she still has to walk the chalk line for he/she is more likely to fall if he/she does not mind his/her ps and qs.
As with the corporate world, Blacks still have a difficult time getting into the entertainment business. Yes, there are more roles and myriad opportunities offered to Blacks. There are Blacks in acting, directing, and producing. There are Black entertainment executives and moguls. However, many of them had to fight to obtain the positions they have. They have to really prove themselves in order to be even noticed, let alone respected. Many talented Blacks are not where they should be regarding their career although they have exhibited immense talent in their respective acting roles. One noted actor who had stellar performances in many movies indicated that if he was Caucasian, he would have been a major star.
Being a Black major star does not mean that he/she necessarily gets what he/she wants. Sometime ago, Whoopi Goldberg, a very major player, bought the rights to the book,DESTINED TO WITNESS:GROWING UP BLACK IN NAZI GERMANY by Hans J. Massaquoi. She was not given the green light to make a film out of this harrowingly inspirational book and she is a MAJOR actor/ comedian. Although Blacks have some power in the entertainment, many do not have the power to really DO as they want. Oprah Winfrey, one of the very few Blacks who have the power to make any movie that she pleases, constantly have to prove herself in order to stay on top of the game. While Ms. Winfrey is indeed a highly influential albeit powerful entertainment mogul, she still faces prejudicial treatment and racism as all Blacks do.
There are more educational and socioeconomic opportunities for Blacks than ever before. However, that does not preclude racism. Highly successful and affluent Blacks experience racism in its myriad forms. Overt racism is not as prevalent as in the past; nevertheless, more subtle and/or covert forms of racism still and does exist. There are many upper middle and upper class Blacks who strongly believe that racism is related to lower class and more disenfranchised Blacks until it affects them directly. As the comedian Paul Mooney aptly asserts that such people are now receiving their n--------r wake up call. Yes, racism affects ALL Blacks regardless of education and socioeconomic standing. Racism is NO respecter and/or designator of particular Blacks. Blacks must always be vigilant regarding racism and fight against it.
© 2013 Grace Marguerite Williams
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