Abridging disproportionate gaps with African Americans

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

African Americans are suffering numerous disproportionate gaps or disparities in many areas when compared to their Eurocentric counterparts. These gaps are educational, economic and social in scope, affecting status quo in many policies and practices today. These disproportionate gaps are real, but it is possible to shorten or eradicate them if they are talked about and truly taken seriously. This can only come about if both sides come together and address the issues, which will involve looking at past history and dissecting motives and actions often bordering on racism and discrimination. Unless all parties are honest (baring all and not trying to dilute the truth to appease those at the table), no real solutions will take place.

All too often you find parties pointing fingers and being so defensive that the compelling issues take a second seat. Sometimes the truth is so ugly that you find people adhering to being politically correct to keep from hurting those who are the real conspirators in initiating deceptive and self-serving policies and practices. Right or wrong, there are often calculating circumstances precipitating a specific outcome that should not be ignored if correcting a wrong is the sought after objective. There are those who quickly blame the victim for their own shortcomings and refuse to acknowledge that there may have been conditions and practices contributing to many disparities among certain parties. But can you honestly move forward to better a situation if you are not privy to the factors bringing about these disparities?

Knowing past history puts a party in a better position to understand the present situation and what is needed to plan and go forward. Anything less can be perceived as a white wash or smoke screen impeding real progress. However, parties exist devoted to and skilled in the art of deceiving the masses for self-serving reasons. It is only when the masses wake up and demand change (holding the establishment accountable) will there be real changes.

Victims of gross disparities can’t just sit by totally blaming others, without using their knowledge of the past to understand their present situation, vowing to go forward with a vengeance. They must understand that forces exist hoping these gaps continue. They hope those trailing in these gaps become complacent, blaming themselves for their own predicament.

You find some African Americans quick to blame other African Americans for their shortcoming—citing lack of aggressiveness, which aids in creating a sense of hopelessness. Some of these African Americans feel the Black experience in America should have little to do with our present situation involving social ills, contending that Blacks as a whole spend too much time dwelling on the past. These African Americans are adamant, blaming others for our lagging stance when it comes to equality, claiming we could do much more to change our own outcome. But there exist a growing number of African Americans who understand our precarious history in America. They put themselves in a position to counteract the negative vestiges fueling inequalities found in many of these existing disparities.

Some argue that exposing past American history may provoke hate and initiate a hostile environment. But take in mind that the past is just that, the past. It can’t be changed. It should be a learning tool to understand why we are where we are, and what we need to do to better ourselves as a society. Abridging and eliminating gaps are possible if taken seriously by all parties involved. This means honest dialogue on both parts is crucial for eradicating disparities among different groups.