Is historic suffering of African Americans for naught?

William T

William T. Robinson, Jr.

The African American has a long history of suffering in America. He has been at a social and economic disadvantage during much of his association in this country—being ‘bought and brought’ against his will and used as a commodity to gain wealth for his oppressors without financial recourse. The pain and suffering he has endured seems inconsequential to the heirs of his oppressors. Because of the free labor and toil of African Americans, this country has proliferated and grown into the most powerful and richest country in the world. However White America ignores and puts little if any emphasis on the contributions and toil and sweat of its Black children that made it possible.

The children/seeds of the White oppressors of African Americans who now inherently reap the social, political, and economical gains from their forefathers seem apathetic and even hostile to the woes of their Black counterparts, claiming they had no hand in slavery or the mistreatment of African Americans.

Therefore, they should not be accountable for the outcome. But still as of today, inherently, they reap the privileges and entitlements by virtual of being White.

The plight of so many Blacks is dismal and disheartening because of operating from such social and economic disadvantages. This contributes to a feeling of hopelessness when so many Blacks are relegated to impoverished communities, low performing schools, and are constantly made to believe they are mentally and academically inferior or incompetent to their White counterparts.

Surely a conscientious and merciful people would be more accommodating in acknowledging and making right the wrongs of their forefathers and help compensate for their forefathers grave injustices toward African Americans. It seems only fair and right. However, many Whites choose to dilute, ignore, or even try to wipe this unsavory history out of their minds—even though they can see the visual effects of this outcome practically every day.

Whether many Whites would admit it or not, in general, the present day plight of so many Blacks concerning where they live, their jobs, and educational opportunities were predetermined by White supremacists controlling the economic, political, and social strings, operating from a position of ‘superiority.’ This discrimination is enacted surreptitiously in the bureaucratic systems in all our major corporations and institutions with emphasis on the banking system controlling who qualifies for loans or financial assistance.

Predominately Black housing areas (for the most part) are initiated and controlled by the banks. When you control an economy’s money, you control the outcome of lives. Of course this shouldn’t keep one from working hard to overcome one’s dire situation by bettering one’s self, but it does makes it harder to reach goals when you have systemic barriers hindering your progress.

Many Whites have inherited financial gains from their parent or grandparents. Therefore, they are operating from an economical and financial advantage over many of their Black counterparts. Whites, in general, continue to run the family businesses and companies bequeathed to them by their ancestors. Whites have an economical base from which they control wealth and jobs). For the most part, Blacks are literally at the mercy of a White controlled economic base for obtaining or securing jobs to sustain their families and livelihood.

Reparations are needed to remedy this huge economic gap made possible with centuries of free slave labor, denial of opportunities and basic rights. Discriminatory practices still exist today. The saddest part is that White America appears indifferent and apathetic about doing the right thing to correct these grave injustices.

As an African American in this country, you are forced to question: “Are the pain, suffering, and tears of my people irrelevant to my White counterparts?” The present disparities and lack of economic, social, and political equity for African Americans cannot be separated from their history here in this country. Why is it so hard to understand when looking at African Americans’ tumultuous history? The past, as well as the present, are why Africans Americans are literally shouting ‘Black Lives Matter.’ If it weren’t for the color of their skin, wouldn’t they be respected and given the same consideration as their White counterparts?

If a White group had endured the atrocities of slavery (providing centuries of free labor) and the indignities of African Americans in this country, would their children be compensated by reparations? I don’t think this would be a problem. It all centers on doing the right thing.