Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's all Black and White

Okay, so it's been awhile since my last post.  I've had a lot of changes in my life.  Since losing my job, I realized that having an MBA is not enough, and I need a career that is recession proof.  So, I am back in school for nursing, and am studying to become a nurse practitioner.  With that, I am taking several prerequisites one of which is Race Relations and Ethnicity in America.

Can I just say that this class has made me think of things that I've not thought of in quite awhile.  Also, it has me very worried for younger generations.  The level of, and I'm not sure if it's ignorance, obliviousness that these kids have regarding race is crazy to me.  Or, should I say the level of obliviousness from the students who are not of color.  In this day and age there was a student who questioned “why do you Black people" have BET, and Black pageants, etc.  I was sitting there like REALLY!!  Are you serious right now?  Not only that, but you're concerned about one Black channel on cable TV?  What about the Spanish channels?   I am personally familiar with at least three.

However, that's when it came to my realization that folks typically don't go against things in which they don't understand.  Meaning, the folks who would have an issue with Univision, Telemundo, etc. aren’t making an issue of it because they don’t understand the language enough to bother getting upset over.  However, the idea of Blacks having a stake in something to call their own, well now, that’s worth getting up in arms about!

Most White people, in my opinion, understand racism on a Black and White level.  The young lady in my class who was soooo concerned about BET and the like also made a mention that she's tired of being blamed for slavery.  First, who is blaming her for slavery?  Secondly, perhaps they're not blaming her for slavery, but taking her very disparaging attitude regarding race as a signal of prejudice.

I for one don't think all Whites are racist, nor do I blame Whites for slavery or feel disparagingly towards Whites. Let's face it, if it weren't for certain Whites, the Underground Railroad would have collapsed and the Civil Rights Movement would have never gotten enough fuel under its wings to be successful and fly.  

With that being said, maybe Black people aren't blaming her or even other Whites for slavery, but maybe for injustices taking place say within the past 10 years or so.  Like what, you may ask?  Such as Mr. Byrd, the gentleman in Texas who was tied up to the back of a pickup and dragged for miles, until he was decapitated.  Or, the 18yo high-schooler who was Black, and was dating a White 16yo in which her parents had him brought up on charges of statutory rape; Thus, having him thrown in jail resulting in the loss of a college scholarship.

Maybe, it's these injustices that some Black folks are pissed off about.  The irony of it all is that this student "claims" to have Black friends.  I can't take it seriously, because anyone of any race who has friends of another anything else was her desire for someone to define what “Whiteness” is.  Huh?!   You’re White and you don’t know?  If some asked me what is Blackness, believe me, I wouldn’t have to look to someone else to define that for me.   I would know it because I live it

I would like to hear others thoughts on this, because as this class progresses I find myself getting swept into a conflict of my life experiences versus that of other people of color, as well as the White perception of Black.

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