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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