Black on Black Racism (Letter 20)


racismDear Y.B.M.:

I hope that you have overcome your own racism or prejudice.

I am writing at this time to share something with you that may sound a bit strange, and that is, how to deal with black on black prejudice. It is amazing how that many of us get so upset at the prejudice of Whites, but hardly ever say anything about the prejudice that we often have toward one another in our own race.

What is this black on black prejudice anyway? This phenomenon raised its ugly head during Obama’s campaign for president. It is when you, as a Black man, have disdain for anything that is run, controlled, operated, or serviced by Black people. It is when you have this stupid something in your head that says “White is right,” or at least “better” than Black, and you count everything that Blacks do as second best or second rate simply because it is done by Blacks. This reminds me of a story an old saint shared with me. He said that back in his day they would joke about this phenomenon by saying the White man’s ice was colder than the Black man’s ice.

This kind of prejudice is evidenced in a Black picking a White lawyer over a Black lawyer, or a White doctor over a Black doctor, or a White dentist over a Black dentist. It is also evidenced in how many Blacks would rather deal with Whites often times in some of the more common areas of life; for example, waiting to deal with a White cashier over a Black cashier. Let me not fail to mention here, that probably the most painful one for our Black sisters is the Black man who thinks that the White woman is better than the Black woman.

Why are we prejudiced against our own people? First, we have bought into the subtle lie from our society that White is right, White is smarter, and White is better. Second, we watch too much television where Whites are often times seen as the heroes and the stars, and Blacks are seen as buffoons. Third, because many of us as blacks have bought into the lie that White is better, we actually do not strive for professionalism or excellence in our businesses and professions. It is in fact true that some Blacks have given other Blacks a bad name because they do not handle business in a professional manner. Fourth, some Blacks are so immature, petty and envious that they cannot stand to see another Black do well—the proverbial crab effect. Unfortunately, we have seen some of this in the Obama presidential campaign.

Dear young black man, overcome this strange prejudice against your own people by doing the following:

1. Accept the fact that all people are on level ground, even your people.

2. Those blacks who are not striving for excellence and professionalism in their respective jobs, challenge them in a loving way to do better.

3. Visit more black owned and operated businesses and professions.

4. If you go into business for yourself, or become a professional person, or even a cashier, treat all people with respect and dignity—even your own people.

Doing Away with Black on Black Prejudice,

Daniel

P.T.: Power Thoughts

Booker T. Washington said, “A sure way for someone to lift himself up is by helping to lift someone else.”

An African Proverb: “The African race is a rubber ball. The harder you dash it to the ground, the higher it will rise.”

Colin L. Powell said, “As you seek your way in the world, never fail to find a way to serve your community. Use your education and your success in life to help those still trapped in cycles of poverty and violence.”

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How to Deal With Your Own Racism, Bitterness, Resentment and Anger (Letter 19)


Dear Y.B.M.:

racismI mentioned in my last letter, that you, a black man, could very well have some racism and prejudice in you. It is quite possible that you are a racist because you are a sinner like the rest of us.

Let me share a little story with you about how I became aware of some hidden racism and prejudice in my own heart. You might be asking: You, Daniel Whyte, a black man and a Christian? Yes, me — Daniel Whyte, a black man and a Christian — had to acknowledge some prejudice and racism in my own heart at one point in my life.

I was asked to speak in a meeting in southern California. It was a mixed audience—Whites, Blacks, and Latinos. A Latino was scheduled to speak before I was to speak. As this Latino brother rose to speak, this thought immediately crossed my wretched heart and mind: “What can this Latino, who probably got over here illegally, with his no alien card self and his broken English, tell us Blacks and Whites?” As soon as that thought finished its wicked course, God smote my heart and pointed out my own prejudice.

You see, I did not have any prejudice toward the white folk who were there because they spoke proper English and because they had been here since the inception of America. My racism was toward those who were different than we were. (“We” meaning Black and White, American-born, English-speaking people.) My racism was against those whom I somehow thought I had an advantage over, those whom I pridefully thought I was better than simply because I was born in America and spoke proper English. You see, I didn’t really hate this Latino brother, I just thought I was better than him. And that is all racism is: thinking you are better than another, because you are in the majority, or because you were here first, etc.

Could it be, dear young black man, that you have racism in your heart? No, you may not have this racist feeling toward whites, for some strange reason, but you have it toward Koreans, Indians, or Latinos. That feeling of pride, that wicked feeling of superiority that you have regarding these other minority groups, is the same feeling many Whites have about you. When you get up to speak, with no real effort of their own, many whites have the same thoughts that I had: “What can he tell us white people?” It is not really that they hate you; it is just that, for whatever reason, they think that they are better than you, that they are superior to you.

To be looked upon that way is degrading, isn’t it? It makes you feel bad and frustrated, doesn’t it? It makes you feel as though you are always under the gun to do 200-percent better than your white counterpart, doesn’t it? Well, guess how that Latino or Korean feels when you do them the same way? Here are some things that you can do to overcome your own racism:

First, admit and confess your sin of pride and racism or prejudice, and thinking that you are better than others.

Second, view and treat all men with dignity, love, respect, and without partiality. Always remember, what you dole out comes back to you triple-fold.

Third, do not come down hard on those less fortunate than you because those more fortunate than you have come down hard on you. In other words, just because one race treats you badly, you should not treat another race of people the same way.

You will find that understanding and dealing with your own racism and prejudice will help you deal with the racism of others.

Loving Everybody,

Daniel

P.T. (Power Thoughts):

Franklin Thomas said, “One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.”

Someone said, “Don’t hold to anger, hurt or pain. They steal your energy and keep you from love.”

Racism in America is Alive and Well (Letter 18)


Dear Y.B.M.:

racismI trust that you have great relationships in your life.

Things are changing a little in light of Barack Obama becoming president. However, racism, for the average black man in America, is still a reality and she ain’t going nowhere. You need to hear that in the raw because it is true, very true, and because there are many who will not impart to you that truth.

While I was growing up, no one, straight out, told me that racism still existed. It wasn’t until I was a grown man did I fully realize that racism and prejudice were still around and were deeply rooted in American society. Do not believe the lie that race relations are getting better. They are not! In fact, they are getting worse and more subtle, and will continue to get worse. Get it in your head: RACISM IS ALIVE AND WELL AND SHE AIN’T GOING NOWHERE! Why is racism here to stay? Here are some things you need to understand:

First, racism is rooted in pride which is rooted in sin which is rooted in the hearts of all men, be they black, white, red or yellow. Jeremiah tells us in Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Racism is insidious. Although a man may not look like a racist on the outside, he may very well be a racist on the inside. And there is nothing that anybody can do to change another man on the inside.

Second, you need to understand firmly that this thing called racism, is not confined to the white man. It has its grips on the black man as well. This means that you, yes, you, may even be a racist yourself. Surprised?

Third, racism may not be the hatred of another race as many believe. Racism is simply pride — somehow foolishly thinking, “because I am white, or because I am black, or because I am Latino, I am better. I don’t really hate anybody, I just think that my race is superior.”

Fourth, there is only one real solution to the sin problem of racism and that is the sin-bearer—Jesus Christ. Only Jesus Christ can change a man’s heart from hate to love and from pride to humility. Even after he has allowed Jesus Christ to come into his heart, he will have to allow God to crucify his pride daily.

Racism is here to stay. You will probably have to deal with it from both sides, for the rest of your life, but thank God there is hope, and that progress is taking place.

Fighting Racism from the Inside Out,

Daniel

P.T.:

Dr. Benjamin E. Mays said, “If I were you, I would stand for something, I would count for something, and no man would push me around because my skin is black or his eyes are blue. I would stand for something. I would count.”

Bobby Seale said, “You don’t fight racism with racism, the best way to fight racism is with solidarity.”

Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality…I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Abraham Joshua Heschel, “Racism is man’s gravest threat to man — the maximum of hatred for a minimum of reason.”