Dear White America,
My last letter may have seemed rather brash to you. Do my views seem borderline racist? Perhaps. Is there blatant racism in my path on a daily basis? Definitely. I do apologize for the rather harsh outpour, but this subject is one which I am passionate about. A few more observations and then I dismount my soapbox.
This past summer, I visited a newly constructed pier on Chicago’s beautiful lakefront. As I strolled along, I was greeted by stares of wonder and surprise from you, White America. Was I not supposed to be there? Unlike many cities, most of the lakefront in our city is public. That being the case, I should be able to go to the same places you do. Stop with the gawking. I WILL show up at your precious museums, operas, meetings, concerts, restaurants and finer establishments. Why? Because I belong there – just like you!
Let me ask this question, White America: “What is an At-Risk Youth?” Hundreds of cities have programs to save them, nurture them and redirect them. If so many of them are better because of the programs, why are there always more of them coming? Maybe the youth are not “at-risk”. Maybe it’s the Educational system they are trapped in. Maybe their economical and nutritional environment is what is in jeopardy. Are these programs put in place to ease your conscience or presented as a means to seem benevolent? In any case, serious funding and support of these youth is needed. If they are teetering on the edge of destruction, why not support the families as well as the students. Scholarships, job placement and training are needed, but I will save this particular rant for another time.
Many of the myths you secretly spread are absolutely ridiculous. Let me dispel them for you.
Let me begin by explaining that “the King’s English” is a rather difficult language. Ask any person of European or Spanish decent who comes to this country. It is even difficult for those who were trained as a youth. How do you explain to a Japanese exchange student that the word “fence” begins with an “f” while the word “phone” starts with “ph”. Why do you teach l-i-g-h-t in school, but l-i-t-e in the supermarket? This language does have its quirks, but it is decodable. Stop assuming I cannot read! My family was smuggled books by your family when our ancestors were young. We mastered this language at a time when you thought I was 3/5 of a man. I am educated, articulate and can reduce you to dust in a conversation without the use of vulgar language. Remember that.
We are not all violent and destructive. Be aware that we will beat the slop out of you if you harm our families, destroy our property or violate our rights. In a fist fight, you should bring a gun.
While there are an inordinate number of African-American men in prison, it is not true that they outnumber any other race. Blacks tend to have more charges brought against them due to criminal histories and acquire extended sentences because of less-than-stellar attorneys. Needless to say the execution system is racially and socio-economically biased. White males between 18 and 35 commit more horrific and violent crimes than we do. Have you ever watched a marathon of “Criminal Minds”? Those Unsubs are savage and they are not black. Well, there was one, but he killed all the bigots that cut his testicles off 50 years earlier.
I can hear your rebuttal about public safety due to violent crimes. I agree. The safety and security of the public is threatened when gang wars, drug trafficking, domestic shootings, theft and damage of property ensue. However, just because certain crimes are broadcast on news media does not mean that there aren’t an equal number unreported. For every one black person shot in the inner city, there are three murdered by a serial killer in the same span of time. Let me conclude this issue by saying when said serial killer is apprehended, the neighbors never had any idea of their violent nature. Some crimes are done on the streets, some are done in the basement. That’s all I’m saying.
It still sticks in my craw that Denzel Washington and Halle Berry won Academy Awards for playing crooked cops and naughty girls. Gangster Rap won a Grammy while India Arie did not. Two of the top television shows at the time of this writing star prominent black women who are in love and subservient to powerful white men. If the roles were reversed, these shows would have been relegated to all-black networks like Centric or BET. As long as we don’t’ get the upper hand, the trophies line the case. I am not joining the current “Ban The Oscars” bandwagon because I think it is taking a blood-in-the-water type of turn. However, I do contend that the moment Shonda breaks that barrier, we will be buying reruns on iTunes. Prove me wrong, White America.
On a similar note, Blacks must work twice as hard to get what is so easily obtained by white America. When it is attained by a black man it is viewed as undeserved. Care to explain this? I’m waiting….
It may seem comical, but, why do you drive so terribly? I was once told that there are certain numbers used on license plates that’s identify the driver as black. I am beginning to believe this. Why do so many of you cut me off, crowd my lane and slow down in front of me for no apparent reason. Perhaps it’s a prick with oversized wheels on his pickup threatening me at breakneck speeds or a timid mom in a minivan or bean counter in a compact who is too afraid to drive or an octogenarian who can barely see past the wheel. It is as if you are trying to impede my progress. The myth says we are always late. No wonder, we are driving behind YOU!!!
Finally, stop coming to our churches if you are not staying for service. I hate it when a political candidate comes to garner votes and never returns. I’d like to see your face when there is no election. A popular candidate visited our church during the city’s Mayoral campaign. Instead of addressing the closing of schools (more teachers go to church than anywhere else), instead of defining a city healthcare/childcare plan (more than 80% of congregations are women and children), this candidate chose to tell us who he was and what he had done in the past. He concluded by referencing his work with (then Senator) President Barack Obama.
Just because you mention our heroes does not mean you secure my votes. If you have no clear-cut plan to help black people, stay away from the black church. That’s our respite from political oppression. Don’t’ infiltrate our last refuge spewing political mumbo-jumbo. Come with a plan or stay home.
While we are on the subject or President Barack Obama, let me ask this question: How much more disrespect are your constituents going to show him. He’s had everything from bigoted governors to monkey caricatures to brazen and audible disruption during his address to Congress thrown at him. He’s taken it all with grace unimaginable. Finally, a man who is not even in office has accused him of not loving the country. That’s right, Rudy Giuliani’s comments took me over the top. Rudy, I applaud your patriotism during our nation’s crisis — 12 years ago! You had your shot and didn’t get the nod. Is that what you’re upset about? Maybe you and Donald Trump can run. With your big bucks and big mouths, you will at least be able to give Jimmy Kimmel some good fodder for Late Night TV.
“Once A Nero, now Simply A Fool.”
– Detroit Free Press
Let me try and think of a President you’ve dishonored more: Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, not even Bush II got such open disrespect. Things weren’t even this bad when you found out FDR wasn’t walking or discovered Clinton was getting secret service of a different kind. Why?
I’m sure this has ruffled your feathers enough. SO WHAT! You have ruffled and plucked mine. While I am on this rant, let me state my feelings openly. All of you are not evil, but those that are need to admit that you hate us. We have risen from the supposed oppression you saved us from as royalty in African regions, shook off oppression, which was taken off our backs by your own kind who saw the inhumanity and utter disgust that it was. We have fought (unlike you…fairly) the intolerances that said we were not worthy to live in peaceful, vibrant, functioning communities filled with resources and amenities. We’ve even watched as you passed laws that tried to alienate us. Yet we remain strong.
We have far exceeded your lowly expectation of us and you despise us because we have thrived against the odds you placed before us. You have no idea how to deal with out outspoken tongue and extrovert nature, so you call us savages and try to reduce us to quiet or timidly tip around us so as not to awaken the monster you have caused us to be. You hate us because we refuse to get in our place and become subservient once again. you won’t admit it, but you hate us. You say you don’t? Perhaps I should ask Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Emmitt Till or Eric Garner how many racial slurs and declarations of hatred that were hurled at them while they suffered. Oh, that’s right, I can’t because you killed them.
I will stop here, but I am far from finished.
There are a lot of things that need to be fixed in terms of race relations and even more when it comes to racial representation. Some things we can accuse each other of. However, sometimes, we must point the finger at ourselves. In either case, we have come a long way with miles to go before we sleep.
Concerned, Oppressed Citizen of this Country