July 3, 2015
As I’ve tried to articulate in parts one and two of this article, the Black community is at a serious and unprecedented crossroads in our history in America and IF we want to change the negative trajectory that is currently in place for hundreds of thousands of future Black children – WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING THAT WE HAVEN’T BEEN ABLE TO DO FOR SOME TIME (COME TOGETHER). There is good news – we can do this but we must act quickly, we’re at a crossroads.
The Black community has faced some of the toughest challenges known to modern man and we have prevailed time and time again (our ancestors have been up to the challenges). Yes, we faced the notorious and vicious trans-Atlantic passage; 300 years of brutal chattel enslavement that reduced generations of Blacks to being less than animals and internalized this inferiority; Jim Crow segregation and physical and legal “apartheid” by denying Blacks access into American institutions and places; the “unchecked” violence and terrorism orchestrated by the KKK and now the local police inflicted on Black men with the sole purpose of destroying Black manhood (masculinity). Despite these unimaginable challenges, the Black community is still around and hasn’t given up the fight for full and complete freedom in America. Still, at some points in our history in America, Blacks have prospered under such inhumane conditions and oppression.
However, the racist enemy of the Black man today is even more lethal today than the “outward” racist of the past, because the enemy is hidden and invisible and is buried within all of America’s institutions. Racism is now structured with participation standards that disqualify a good portion of the Black community from the door at a time when America has developed a serious and “convenient” bout of amnesia. Because of the massive bombardment of negative Black images of inferiority; the danger that Blacks have been portrayed to be to mainstream America; and the substandard living conditions for Blacks, Blacks have lost the fight for justice and equality in public opinion and now ignorance of our “collective” past prevails. Now, many believe there is no need to treat the Black community any different than other groups.
Today, the dominating thought regarding Blacks’ progress in America is that Blacks are being judged in a race that miraculously has become “fair” and “even” forgetting about America’s open and protracted and prolonged assault on Black people and the damage that has been done. While Blacks struggled at the hands of white supremacists for nearly 450 years, white America has amassed a tremendous level of wealth and power that was the direct result of the American institution of slavery – the impact and consequences thrive today (the legacy of slavery). The social and economic disparities are the size of an ocean.
The social and economic challenges are so pronounced for Black Americans at the same time that America has elected its first Black president – this is proof that America has changed and it is no longer intolerant and oppressive of Black people – THIS IS A VERY BIG LIE AND A MASSIVE ILLUSION. There are way too many Black people that have been deceived by this lie. While we see symbolic changes of a so-called race-neutral society, the day-to-day life for most Black people is completely opposite and THEIR BLACK SKIN IS THE SOLE REASON. It’s very clear to Black people that they are unwanted in American society – this message is clear, continuous, and extremely loud. Even when evidence of abuse and oppression is uncovered (i.e. the video of an outright shooting of an unarmed Black male, etc.), many in white America say they need to study the issue a little more – this is code for “don’t believe your lying eyes.”
This article will continue in a later edition.
Rahim Islam is a National Speaker and Writer, Convener of Philadelphia Community of Leaders, and President/CEO of Universal Companies, a community development and education management company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. Follow Rahim Islam on Facebook (Rahim Islam) & Twitter (@RahimIslamUC).