by Gray Graham
It was decided eons ago that Black people would be the example of human perfection. No matter the hardship or obstacle; humanity looks to Black people to be the example of human perfection. Anything less that perfection from Black people is completely unacceptable.
The first example Black people showing exceptional tolerance is that Black people accepted being called black. In our culture the color black represents darkness, magic, death, and evil. Nothing in our culture that was called black was thought of as a good thing. It is no accident that when it was decided to create the concept of race that black was chosen to identify people with brown skin as being black. It was done to clearly demonstrate that these people with darker brown skin were less than human.
Since Black people were thought of as less than human, they were treated as less than human and they have continued to be treated as less than human for centuries. From slavery, to racism, to segregation, to discrimination; Black people are at the bottom of our society and the top of nearly every single negative category. Black people have been oppressed by our society for hundreds of years with every single ethnic group taking part in that oppression.
Even though we have been oppressed for centuries, we are not allowed to ever mention this truth. The mere mention of our oppression and subjugation causes anger in people therefore we must just endure this injustice. The only way that we are allowed to mention our plight is in the most peaceful way possible. It doesn’t matter if someone uses water hoses, attack dogs, burning crosses, tear gas, tasers, guns or tanks, we must remain calm and peaceful to be trampled upon by the powers that be.
The only way that a Black person is considered worthy at all is that individual has to be a pinnacle of human sanctity. First it was just our physical appearance. An attractive woman is still an attractive woman. A handsome man is still a handsome man. A hardworking loyal maid is invaluable. A clever man with good ideas can improve your business. A good brilliant, hardworking Black person was therefore almost human or at the very least a useful tool.
Black people quickly realized that in order to survive in life that it was not good enough to just be good. No Black people had to be better. And not just better by a little bit. They had to be better by a lot. Black people had to be the best of the best just to get a little reward in this country. This brings us to where we are now with the concept of Black excellence.
You might have noticed during the recent protests various protesters in person and on social media holding signs or posting messages that said something like “I am the child of a prostitute drug addict and my daddy died in prison but now I have a pH D because Black is great” or “I have a Black business and worth millions so my life is valuable”.
Black people have completely bought into the belief that a Black person is only valuable when they have achieved some form of status and wealth. Anything less than that means the Black person’s life is not worth anything.
As an example we can look at the NFL and how Black quarterbacks are paid compared to their white counterparts. An average white quarterback is paid significantly more than an above average to excellent Black quarterback.
Another example would be in the entertainment industry. Until recently the only people that were ever punished for saying something wrong were Black celebrities. Even now a Black person that says something offensive will be fired and let go in a matter of hours if not minutes for other groups it used to take weeks or months of constant protesting and bad PR before they were let go with a large severance package.
If you are still reading you might be thinking, what exactly is inspiring about all of this? I don’t really feel inspired. Reading this stuff is making me feel bad. Well inspiration doesn’t just come from things that make us feel good. In fact I would say most of the time inspiration comes from trying to make bad things right. America needs to make the way it has treated Black people right and it has not chosen to do so.
See you can’t oppress a group of people for generations and then one day say okay from today forward we are going to treat you just like we treat us. What about the wrongs you have done to these people? What are doing to right those wrongs? Have you paid your debts for the wrong you have done?
And let’s be honest, no one honestly believes that Black people today are being treated as equals in American society. Sure there are many successful African Americans: President, Senators, Congresspersons, generals, cabinet members, CEO’s, and billionaires. We are at the point now where African Americans have achieved great individual success but the average African American has not been so successful. Income is the lowest. Health is the lowest. Marriage rate is the lowest. Prison population percentage is the highest. Racism is still alive and well.
I am all for fighting against all forms of hatred. I, however, am not in favor of only requiring this standard from Black people. We should not be the model for the greatest that humanity can be when everyone else is allowed to just be average or below average. You can not discriminate against a Black person all their lives and then expect them to have this undying love for all humans when all humans have not shown that same level of love to them.
In America today the average net worth of a white family is about $170,000. The average net worth of a Black family is $17,000. No that is not a typo or a mistake. It is reality. It is the reality of a group of marginalized people that are discriminated against in every aspect of their lives, yet America expects them to hold no animosity towards the people that discriminate against them.
There is a meme that has been going around the internet for years that shows the difference between equality and equity. It would seem that when it comes to understanding prejudice and bigotry we do not apply those thoughts. In order for their to harmony in America, Black people are going to have to be great forgiving souls.
Other groups of people grab guns when they are told to remove symbols of racism. Black people are told to love and forgive instead of seeking rightful retribution. Such behavior takes people of strong moral character. We are lucky that all that Black people seem to want is to be treated like everyone else and that still seems like too much to ask.
We have been blessed to have many Black people that have been giants among humans such as Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois, Harriet Tubman, James Baldwin, Ella Baker, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Justice Thurgood Marshall, Medgar Evers, and so many more giving human beings. They that took it upon themselves to be examples of how great humans can be even in the most dire of circumstances. It was a burden no one should have to bare but we are thankful that they did. Black people should not have to be seen as angels in order for our lives to having meaning.
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