In a quest for respect

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

As an African American, I am seriously concerned about how we are projected as a people by those outside our cultural ethnicity as African Americans. Putting our horrendous past here in America aside and just judging African Americans as human being, why are we still looked upon negatively by so many of our White counterparts? Why are we still fighting and advocating for the equality, liberties and respect that all United States citizens should have by virtue of being born in this country?

The majority of the population of this country is Caucasian, and unfortunately Blacks are for the most part considered the poster children representing anything negative (crime, abuse, murderers, welfare recipients, uneducated, hostile, unmotivated, and lazy just to name a few). We know those in control use any possible method available, i.e., subliminal suggestions, using the media, institutions of education, and systemic bureaucracies to support an illusion of White supremacy to maintain power and control.

Despite the fact that many Blacks are vilified and dehumanized by many controlling the media, you cannot deny or overlook the exceptional and monumental progress many Blacks are making socially, politically, and economically in our quest for equality. You cannot look at any venue where you cannot see Blacks progressing and making it known that they are anyone’s equal, second to none.

Regardless of the roadblocks and barriers presented by a system in maintaining the status quo, it should be apparent that you can’t keep a long suffering and spiritually led people from reaching their promised land.

However, the reality is that many of our White counterparts are dead set against people of color progressing and enjoying the entitlements and privileges that they enjoy inherently by being born White in this country. Those wearing rose tinted glasses need to remove them because the racial tension manifesting itself in this country can be cut with a knife.

In all honesty, we as African Americans must take responsibility for the negative exploitation of Blacks by many of our own—in the way we allow ourselves to be portrayed on TV, the movies, and in the music industry. TV reeks with beautiful Blacks women portrayed as bubble brained back stabbers, or ghetto-fabulous gold diggers. Many rappers’ songs are inundated with crass, profaned and derogatory lyrics relegating our women as nothing more than sex toys.

Too many Black comedians talk about African Americans as if we were an insensitive and irrelevant race, all for a laugh.

Our athleticism is highlighted in sports but our intellectual or academic abilities are downsized or negated. Too many Blacks unconsciously support negative views about ourselves because we watch and support shows promoting us in a negative light. We should, but don’t, demand better.

This country is in need of racial healing which many feel will not occur if Donald Trump is elected president.

Unity and inclusion among all citizens is necessary if this country is to rise to the greatness we profess it represents. A start may begin in debunking those promoting and contributing to racial hatred. A start may include America truly apologizing for hundreds of years of exploitation and discriminatory treatment of African American slaves and their descendants in this country with reparations to help balance the gross unfair accumulation of White wealth built with the sweat and blood of slaves.

For those Whites ready to cry foul play because they don’t feel they should be held accountable for the sins of their fathers, all they have to do is look around and see how they are still benefiting economically, socially, and politically—whether they want to or not.

Doing the right thing should not be predicated entirely on personal mundane human emotions but on doing what you know is right. Until we can all identify and work to eradicate the vestiges of racism and hate and honestly work toward treating others with respect and dignity, we all suffer.

The hardest part may be in breaking down ingrained systemic institutional racism, which many would attest is the core.

We must be cognizant that judging and mistreatment of people based on their skin color or cultural human features is wrong and we must look at the motives of those perpetuating ill feelings against those different from themselves.

Call me a fool, but I do believe there exist enough good people to combat and defeat this downward spiral of hate led annihilation that we are headed toward. Mutual respect and equality toward all people, especially African Americans, is non debatable. Let’s make it happen.