Opportunity, not handouts, fuels Black excellence

Make no mistake, there are times when we see others suffering and trying to keep their heads above water when it is only merciful and humane to offer a helping hand. Helping those who are hungry, homeless, in need of medical care, or down and out should be a given for a nation as rich and productive as ours, especially by those reaping the abundance of the fruits of this country. Helping those less fortunate and struggling is a mandate often spoken about in speeches and political rhetoric, but too often it is ignored or spurned by those listening once they disperse. Common sense dictates that by helping others do better, we all collectively do better. Thus we all win.

The reality is a segment of our population evidently feels threatened or envious when too many people attain the trappings of success, joy and upward mobility. The truth is that too many successful and privileged Americans cater to the idea that they are superior when they have someone they can look down upon.

You find many White Americans who don’t want others (especially minorities) acquiring the materialistic and economic advantages they have enjoyed for so long. This feeling of inherent superiority is a dominate factor fueling racism. It promotes White supremacy. It is more of a fear than a hate, knowing that Blacks and people of color are more than capable of overcoming any challenges or opportunities when given a chance or opportunity. This is a profound fear that has existed since the arrival of Blacks in this country as slaves. Blacks were forced to work diligently while White slave owners indoctrinated the nation with lies about Blacks being sub human and inferior. History has continuously shown how Blacks were given subservient roles and positions keeping them from competing with their White counterparts. It was important to try to keep Blacks down and in their designated place so they wouldn’t be considered as competition to Whites in any prosperous field or position.

This country has spent most of its history, ostracizing and refusing to open the doors of opportunity to Blacks and people of color, but time and time again, when Blacks are given an opportunity to participate and perform in once closed arenas, they excel. They often raise the bar and create higher expectations for their White counterparts. The teaching by some Whites that Blacks are lazy, unproductive and inferior has proven to be a myth. Historically, you find many Black cities or communities that proved to be self-sufficient and prosperous destroyed and pillaged by hate-filled jealous Whites.

Blacks have excelled in areas once banned or limited to Blacks, i.e.: sports, entertainment, music, art, designing, politics, math, science, engineering, business, education, medicine, technology, etc. Throughout history, many Whites claimed what Blacks most wanted was a handout. But they only needed to have the door opened for them and given the opportunity to do what they do best—excel. Blacks do not have to apologize for fighting for equality and justice. They only need the opportunity to compete with their White counterparts in systemic, toxic, discriminatory institutions.

The ‘cry’ by some that all that Blacks want are handouts, doesn’t sell to those in the know. Tell me honestly, who gets more handouts than our White counterparts who comprise the majority in this country? While it is impossible to acknowledge all the African Americans who have forged forward when once-closed doors opened, we stand on their shoulders when provided an opportunity. Some oppressive, bigoted Whites attach a stigma to Blacks insinuating they are lazy and unmotivated. They only want handouts, and that’s a drain on the country. You have only to do your homework and find out who really gets the bulk of handouts in this country.

Many Americans are hurting and desperate for help (or for what some would call a handout). But they would much prefer an opportunity to become self-sustaining and productive. Opportunity opens doors and promotes diversity and equality. History has shown that when once-deprived groups are given opportunities to better themselves, they thrive. Offering opportunities for one to better oneself is better than handouts that often make one dependent or controlled by a system or group. Haven’t African Americans and people of color proven what can happen once given an opportunity as opposed to a handout? This country wins every time.

Leave a Reply