September 23, 2005

Letter to White America

Dear White America

If ones perception is ones reality and that perception is different from how others perceive reality, then whose reality is correct? How does one convince another that their perceived reality is wrong and that they are racist, even though they believe they are not? Emotions, primarily fear, play a large role in shaping peoples perception as many people have fear and aversion to epiphany when the epiphany cast them in a negative light and goes against their paradigm of beliefs they felt secure with. Therefore, people can and do often see what they want to see in order to protect their image, thereby creating the separation from reality as perceived by most others. There are plenty examples, mostly born from some sort of substance addiction and denial of addiction or problem, or disorder like anorexia. So we know that denial or distorted reality is a common human disorder.


In order for people to accept reality, they need to first accept some objective metrics or baseline which is not subject to their distorted perception. This does not mean that once they recognize a deviation from the baseline that they will change their perception and or behavior, however. They may simply accept that most others see reality differently from the way they see it and value their self perception more than the external perceptions coming from others. The bottom line, however, is that change in behavior or belief cannot manifest until the self realizes that it has a problem and wants to change, which is hard to do when the belief or behavior manifest in psychological and or physical reward.


What is the psychological or physical reward of racism (R) ? For years, in fact centuries, the reward to white people (WP) has been economical and psychological. The effect of years of R is that it created a caste like economic system based upon R. Slavery and its labor was forced upon black people (BP), which eliminated the burden of such oppression from WP, as was the case in Europe. Post slavery, years of Jim Crow apartheid allocated good opportunities and accommodations to WP allowing them to rise and prosper while BP were held down. The socioeconomic inequality of today is the legacy of that past. Psychologically, WP receives reward to their egos from the perception of being members of a superior R. It kind of like the reward and recognition a player gets from being on a championship team; even if the player rides the bench he or she gets the transference benefit from being part of the group. Many poor WP are always focusing on thee team they are on because their individual states leave much to be desired so they live off the accomplishments of the group to make themselves appear better than others outside the group.


Part of the problem is that often WP are working from a self serving and self created definition of R and hence deny that they are R because their self perception does not meet their personal working definition. Most R erroneously believes that to be R one must harbor negative emotions against a particular group or groups. That was the template set by overt R of the past who contemporary whites use to judge themselves by. They juxtapose their motivations and actions with the motivations and actions of those of the past and conclude that they are different and that difference leads them to conclude that they are not R, because they may or do not harbor hate. What they fail to recognize is that R has always had an emotional and rational component and in the past the emotional component simply stood out more, masking the rational component.


Many WP rationalize that they are not being R, but rather are simply being truthful. In other words, they see a rational, non-emotional reason to see a certain group in a negative light, that’s usually backed up by some statistic. Therefore, they deny R as a motivation and instead see themselves the victims of others who are out on a witch hunt to unjustly slander their image so they become defensive. What they don’t realize is that their use and conclusions born from the statistics promotes the concept of black inferiority (BI) and or white superiority (WS). The idea or belief in BI or WS is thus a rational conclusion, as they see it, totally void of any emotions, negative or positive. Indeed, most non emotion based R is simply WS, but do not realize it because they have the historical, hate filled, ignorant prototype as the template (i.e. skin heads) for their working definition of a WS. Although they share the same rationalizations of BI and or WS, they see a distinction and hence difference born from not sharing the same emotions.


R’s ubiquitously employ a snap shot form of reasoning that allows their prejudgments or social conditioning to fill in the blanks that the snapshot does not provide. They take moments of time, as if they existed void the influence of the action reaction continuum of time, and use those moments in time to conclude Black inferiority (BI) and or white supremacy (WS). For example, they will take the unemployment rate and use it to rationalize their preexisting conditioning or belief that B’s are lazy. They will take the rate of births out of wedlock and use it to enforce their preexisting conditioning that B’s are irresponsible. They will take the crime and incarcerations rates and use it to rationalize that blacks indeed are a violent people. They will take low test score of B and use it to rationalize a lack of capacity for intelligence. The implied juxtaposition is always with W and if the statistics were the same as W or better, they would not even bring them up because such information does not support the belief of BI and or WS.


The big fallacy is the belief by some that in order to be an R one has to be a bad person or a person with malicious intent. I know plenty of W people who seem like great people and for the most part they are. They have come to my home for dinner. They have kids who play with my kids. They offer help if they think I am in the need and are generally likable positive people. However, then race somehow becomes a topic and I find that these same people have WS and or BI rationalizations. Those rationalizations are always uncovered when WP seek to explain the B condition. If I had a dollar for every time a WP lamented that if “they” just worked hard and became responsible, then discrepancies would go away, I would be a millionaire, to use a tired cliché. Of course, what is implied in such statements is that blacks are not working hard and that blacks are irresponsible, at least relative to WP. They have never bared direct witness to the lives of the masses of people they are passing judgment upon, yet, they have concluded that they are not working as hard as WP and are less responsible to. That’s R.


Of course, there is a reason and explanation for everything and statistics don’t lie assuming they are valid. However, statistics don’t explain the “why”. Rather, they simply state what is and those who use statistics generally do so to support their rationalizations of why. Some may have the belief that B’s are lazy and then bring out statistics showing that B’s unemployment rate is 2 1/2 the rate of WP and see and present that as proof that B’s don’t want to work. Most WP tends to believe that if you were not a slave then you have no one to blame for your condition but yourself. Of course, there are no former slaves living today and hence the B condition, in their mind, is internally created from B and not the product or reaction to a 300 year history of R discrimination. They cannot deny that such a history occurred, because it is recorded. However, they can deny its effect upon the present. They see the history of R against B as true, but incidental and not causation of the contemporary B condition.


Ignoring divine metaphysical manipulation, the human condition is the resultant of internal and or external causation. The options are binary, but not mutually exclusive. The differential socioeconomic condition of B in this nation, relative to W, is the product of internal, external or a combination there of, causation. To dismiss the external is to promote the internal as the cause. Notwithstanding 300 years of negative treatment, oppression and repression and the present being the creation of the past, WP dismiss the external or R influence upon the B condition. This leaves only the internal as the causation of the socioeconomic gaps and discrepancies. But what exactly does the internal allude to? It can only allude to genetics and or culture, meaning that the B condition is the resultant of inferior genetics and or inferior culture. In other words, genetic and or cultural inferiority, to WP, is the cause of social and economic differential, in their beliefs.


Most WP recognize that when they start talking genetic links to performance differences between R that such thoughts are symptomatic of R. In our contemporary society a taboo has been placed upon being R and the label denigrates the righteousness of those who harbor the beliefs. Consequently, culture has replaced genetics like being “anti-liberal” has replaced being “anti-B” for many closet and or in denial R. Thus, instead of stating that B’s are genetically inferior, when pressed to the root of their argument, they will link the root to an inferior culture. However, this begs the question of what is the root of culture. If culture is born from people do superior people create inferior culture? Do inferior people create superior culture? Is W culture superior because its people are superior or superior, while equal or inferior to others? The root of culture is people and to suggest a culture is inferior is to suggest its root people are inferior as well.


When all else fails and it becomes pretty clear that a WP is R, then the final character saving strategy is the attempt to normalize the behavior as human. This becomes apparent when WP starts calling BP racist too. The goal here is to characterize R as a normal human tendency, which it is to a degree, but not to the degree in which WP have manifested it against BP. They way they tell it, BP R negate WP R and everything balances out economically and morally, which is a falsehood. Certainly BP resentment, mistrust and reservations about WP, which is the reaction to 300 years of mistreatment from WP, can be termed R. However, there is certainly a huge moral difference from resenting being mistreated and seen as inferior than R born from no apparent reason other than to preserve the state of W Privilege and superiority. Memory is an evolved survival mechanism and history is a form of memory. Hence, BP would be putting their survival at risk by not being suspect of WP based upon memory and history. When a BP simply talks about this nations R history and our mistreatment, we meet WP working definition of B R, which is an absurd working definition, nearly as absurd as their working definition of what constitutes a W R.


It would not really matter so much what WP think if they did not have so much power. WP’s are the ethnic majority and represent the majority in both viable political options in the two party construct. They are disproportionately the business elites as well. Hence, they control the politics and economics of an interdependent political economic construct which is America. The fate of BP in such a construct is highly dependant upon the beliefs and behavior of WP, as it has always been, much more so than their fate is dependant upon our beliefs and behavior. In this interdependent construct in which WP have the disproportionate power politically and economically, we are extremely vulnerable to W biases regardless of how subtle and indirect. It’s the tyranny of majority rule over its historically despised B population. Hurricane Katrina was an unfortunate event, but it did allow the world to see the America that BP perceives as reality instead of the fantasy world of cognitive dissonance and denial that W America project to the world about itself. As long as BP are perceived to have it better than Africans in Africa, they see our mistreatment in America as a net gain and that we have nothing to complain about, lest we would rather be living today in Africa.


Like the wind, racism cannot be bared witness to directly but rather indirectly through its effect upon things that we can see. Hence, the evidence of the wind is its effect as the evidence of racism is its effect.

Yours truly


Noah The African
Indentured Servant of America Inc.

4 Comments:

At 11:43 AM, Blogger postUK said...

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At 5:05 AM, Blogger jimmy jenkins said...

You write well and that is a great danger. You probably think
that if you write well you will disprove white perception. I
have seen many blacks right well
and it took them down a road
mor confused then thos who couldn't write.
You are missing someting by a mile. You are mixing the
period of time where stereotypes
real and false determined white
peoples percetions and combined
it with the period where whites have forst hand experiences with Blacks.
As a Jew I will tell you the
period where the Christian world believed that Jews killed Jesus
and were going to hell, is not the same period where people
say the Jew is very rich and controls the world.
People live among blacks now and don't like it. They live
among Jews and and it never moves
them to action to move away.
White people believe in their heart of hearts that slavery
and colonialism was actually a "benefit" to Negroes , for for sure they would have starved and killed each other like they do in Africa today.
This is why the feel no guilt
at all for the plight of the Black man.


Truthman 101

 
At 3:49 PM, Blogger John F. DuBose said...

Whatever you do, never stop writing. Put to rest were all the feelings that have been sturing in me being 1 of 4 Black teachers in a school of 100 teachers. I have found the realization that I could not put into words. Blacks have spent our American experience teaching ourselves how to read the true emotions that whites try so hard to hide. We have the ability to read through the lies of whites emotionally and rage in ways that stigmatize us as deviants. Whites only know how to deceive others. They do not know how to read Blacks or each other for that matter. This is a quality one can only aquire from being Black. Historically from trying to find out if you are going to be sold this week or the next. I am honored to have read your piece and will re-read it again and again. It has given another piece of this puzzle, I as a teacher, artist and writer am looking for as I pass my 40th birthday; hope and strength. Don't let anyone stop you from speaking your Black mind. It is a great thing to cherish and the only thing the white man can not take away from you.
John F.

 
At 11:29 PM, Blogger drew235 said...

If statistics show that crime is committed disproportionaly by BP, that children born out of wedlock are B, etc., what is the why? Why are do many of the negative statistic we see involve an ethnic minority? Is poverty the reason? Statistics also show that not having a stable family home contributes to poverty, that poor education contributes to poverty. I see an unending cycle here. Poverty produces poor social conditions, which exasperate poverty. So how do we break this cycle? Democrats, "The Party of the People" would tax Americans to provide services to the poor. While this sounds good, it does not taken into account the rights of the middle class and the rich, which count just as much as the poor. We live in a government system in which the majority rules. Minority rights must be valued, of course, but the minority cannont override the majority in cases where minority Consitutional rights are not being violated.

When I hear BP talking about how there is no opportunities, they are discriminated against by WP, etc., I think of my friend Marion. His mother works very hard to provide for her family. She is a single mother, and has six kids. She makes sacrifices for her kids so that they may have a better life, and her sacrifices have paid off. Marion is one of the top scholars at the University we attend, a University which has a history of racial discrimination. He will go to med school, and become an orthopedic surgeon. Why cant other B, single parent homes be like this? We live in the South, in a predominately WASP society, yet my friend's family thrives. When I see situations like this, I wonder why others B families cant be like this. What is your answer? Racism cannot be the only reason for the poor social and economic situation of BP in general. Poor BP cannot be faultless for the position they are in, just like poor WP are not are not totally faultess for their position. In America, if you really do try hard and make sacrifices, you can succeed. Does that mean spending nights at the library instead of the club? Yes. Does that mean working 9-5, going home, sleeping, and repeating the process over and over? Yes. If you try hard, be proactive, and make sacrifices, you can succeed. If you are intent on just coasting through life, whether you are black, white, latino, whatever, you will not reap the full benefits of this country, nor should you.

 

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