Reverse Racism - An Introspective Look into What Creates Racist Attitudes
While it is common knowledge that African-Americans have experienced many injustices throughout the last few hundred years, we have entered an era where there should not exist the racial tensions and conflicts that continue to persist between Caucasians and African-Americans. Racism used to be prevalent in all circles of society with regards to persons of color and blacks were at one point thought to be a separate sub-species outside of the human family tree. Caucasians have learned that many of the values and beliefs held by their ancestors were immoral, cruel and just wrong. During the last century, things have changed drastically and for the first time in history, an African-American has achieved the highest position that can be held in America – that of President. Perceptions have changed regarding the black community and while there still do exist those people who choose ignorance over unity, a person of color has every opportunity afforded a Caucasian and some would argue that they have even more. The fact that a black man has a better chance of receiving college scholarships and obtaining an employment position due to minority status proves just how many opportunities are available.
However, many African-Americans choose to separate themselves and try to blame poverty, unemployment, lack of healthcare and even police brutality on the white race. Many Caucasians are imbedded with “white guilt” because of the actions of their forefathers and have therefore allowed the black community to develop racist tendencies against them without realizing that it will become a never-ending cycle of hate and guilt. There was a need for black-empowerment groups during the turbulent 60’s but times are different today. Groups such as the Nation of Islam, the Uhuru House, and other black radical groups still exist and are promoting reverse racism through exclusion of the white man. More than likely, the white man is not going to want to join a group dedicated to blaming every hardship on the white man, but the very fact that these groups still exist further proves that racism is a two-way street and there is a lot of traffic.
Before I continue, I need to add my own personal disclaimer and tell the reader that I am not racist and shall approach this piece with facts from both sides of the argument. I am not generalizing the attitudes of African-Americans and I know that there are many persons of color who do not share the views of those I am writing about.
America has a bloody history and much of that blood was from the very people who labored to build this Country. The people I refer to are the Africans, brought here against their will and forced into a life of slavery. The first slaves were indentured servants brought to Jamestown, VI in 1619, and were soon labeled as property. Slave abuse was common and living conditions were often deplorable. Slaves were intentionally kept uneducated to keep them from rebelling and, even though there did exist some sympathetic groups such as the Quakers, the majority of white Americans viewed slaves as animals and treated them as such. In 1862, President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation abolishing slavery and in 1865 the Constitution was amended giving all persons of color equal status to the white man.
Jump ahead a hundred years and even though slavery no longer exists, many of the racist attitudes still do. Blacks are still excluded from many white institutions and activities, racial epitaphs are still used in everyday conversation and there are very few decent paying employment opportunities available to them. Things had changed but not enough. African-Americans started to develop a sense of pride that they had not had for centuries and groups were created to voice their anger over such continuing racism and unfair treatment. Some groups preached non-violent action such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. while others promoted violence against the white man such as the Black Panther Movement. However these groups decided to approach the problem, the white man started to listen. Segregation was done away with and groups such as the N.A.A.C.P. organized scholarship and employment opportunities for African-Americans.
Suddenly the black man was considered equal to the white man and everything was good, right? Not quite because a new sense of entitlement started to snowball into hatred of everything the white man had done to the African-American ancestors. The “race card” was now officially in play. Anytime a black person was denied a seat in a full-to-capacity restaurant or not chosen for the job, they could simply accuse the person (if white) that the reason they were excluded was simply because they were black. The white man now had a dilemma. He was obligated to make things right for the black man due to his white guilt but secretly he started to hate the black man for doing that to him. Next, the white man started to fear any confrontation with the black man so he started to go out of his way to avoid him.
Another reason the white man holds a certain amount of fear for the black man is due to some of the radical groups that still exist and preach hatred toward the white man. Yes, the white man does have the KKK and Arian Nation but they are largely hated by both the black community as well as the white community. One group that preaches reverse racism is the Nation of Islam. While their message is all about the empowerment of the African-American culture, they openly label the white man as being the Devil and exclude any white person from joining or supporting their cause. One of the Nation’s most well-known and vocal leaders is Louis Farrakhan, and his views on the white race is openly racist, however he will never be labeled as such due to white guilt and fear of being considered racist for even considering it. In one of his speeches, he said “The human beast – the serpent, the dragon, the Devil and Satan – all mean one and the same: the people or race known as the white or Caucasian race, sometimes called the European race.” Stop and consider that if a white religious figure said this same thing about the black man, it would be considered blatently racist. So, why then can Louis Farrakhan get away with this behavior yet I, being a white man, can be called racist for not hiring an unqualified applicant because he/she's black?
Another group that preached reverse racism was the Black Panther Movement. Founded in October, 1966, the group was formed with the intent of keeping the government from sending black men to fight in Vietnam. While the group did have some valid points, things quickly got out of hand when they started acquiring weapons and promoting violence. In a matter of years, things went from blaming the government to blaming the white government to simply blaming the white man. It became the white man’s fault that most blacks were uneducated and lived in poor areas. Crime was blamed on the white man as well as rampant drug use among young black men. Suddenly, everything was the white man’s fault even though there were just as many, if not more white soldiers dying in Vietnam. Even though the Panther Movement eventually died off, many of the attitudes taught to young black men during this time carried into the present. The infamous Crips gang that started in Los Angeles was inspired by Huey P. Newton, the original founder of the Panthers. Raymond Washington heard Huey speak when he was a young boy and decided to take action to help his own neighborhood. He and his friend Stanley “Tookie” Williams founded the Crips in 1969 and they modeled the structure of their organization after the Panther Movement. Originally started to take back the streets for citizens and help the black community, the Crips soon became a source of violence and drugs that actually further destroyed their own nieghborhoods. Today, the Crips are one of the most notorious and dangerous gangs in existence.
Among certain parts of the black community, there exists a level of distrust and hatred toward officers of the law and it’s amplified if the officer is white. Unfortunately, racial profiling does exist, and there's no denying that there are racist police officers out there but an officer of the law deserves courtesy and respect until given a reason not to be respected. Even then, the officer does not deserve to have a weapon pulled on him/her. Last year, there were two Police shooting instances in the bay area – one black male killed by Police at the San Francisco BART station, and another black male killed by Police in Oakland. In both instances, the deceased pulled a weapon on the officers, and in the case of Lovelle Mixon, he managed to kill four officers before being shot to death in his sister’s Oakland apartment. If you pull a weapon on a Police officer, expect to be shot - period. It does not matter if you are white, black or plaid. Nobody's bulletproof, and to die for your misguided beliefes is simple stupidity.
Lovelle Mixon, who was a convicted felon and rapist on parole, was pulled over for a cell phone violation and instead of getting the ticket, he shot the two officers who had pulled him over. He then fled to his sister’s house and killed two more officers before being shot himself. Now here’s the great part – The black community in Oakland hailed him as a “hero” and “freedom fighter.” He killed four Police officers doing their job, and on the same day the family of the slain officers were holding the funeral service, the black community in Oakland with the financial support of the Uhuru House (a non-profit Afro-centric media source and community center) held a march in honor of Lovelle Mixon. The Uhuru House is another organization that chooses to demonize the white man and by supporting this march, they proved just how far they will go to keep separatism alive. If Lovelle Mixon had killed four black officers, chances are that he would not be embraced by the black community and wouldn’t be thought of as a hero. He would just be yesterday’s news and another black funeral.
There are two sides of racism and my point is that the black population can be just as racist as a white man, yet the double standard allows them to get away with reverse racism. The white man has to tread lightly into any conversation with a member of one of the above listed groups for fear of saying something offensive. As I have said before, racism is fueled by ignorance and fear, and until we can educate ourselves as to our differences and learn to not be afraid of them, racism will always exist. Ironically, the very thing that most of these groups preach against is exactly the thing they practice. In order to eradicate racism, we need equal opportunities for all persons in regards to employment, education and civic responsibility (this already exists), we need to acclimate our children at an early age to different cultures and teach them acceptance, we need to find a common ground to share in regards to religious tolerance, social situations and socio-economical standing, we need to let go of the past and stop blaming each other for the mistakes of our forefathers and finally learn to accept each other. Even with a black man as the President, I don't see this happening, and I'll probably be called a racist for even writing this. Let's finally burn the "race-card" like we did the draft-card in the 60's. Black or white, help me put this issue to rest. Change the world.