Whites are racists! Whites are naturally prejudiced! Those white folks who act as if they like blacks are just full of it! Period. Are you washed-out by such statements? Do YOU frankly believe that White people simply don’t like black people? A great number of us who live in some western nation have friends, family members, colleagues, or acquaintances that are Caucasian. Have YOU ever flat out asked them why? Have you ever pulled one of your buddies aside, even out of curiosity and asked, “What do Whites have against American blacks?” I have. Sorta. And I’ll be more than happy to share some of my findings with you in a bit.
I am a member of an uncensored online group where most people are generally cordial. With a white majority of approximately 90%, the ambiance is laid back and has a touch of proper southern hospitality. Occasionally, a group of ‘newbies’ with personal agendas and opposing views that are intended to stir the pot wander into the “opinions board.” They launch attacks at each other or at a select few. Some choose to duck. Others choose to stand tall and fire back the only way they know how. In the process, a normally calm atmosphere becomes a war zone. Derogatory remarks, racial slur and vulgarities that have been wrapped in (‘Malcolm X’ logo tee-shirts or the confederate flag) are hauled back and forth from both sides.Eventually they wear each other out and move on- but not this time around. The ongoing feud between two of the most notorious alpha males and their sidekicks continued to sizzle and I had to step in. I was curious about the real reasons behind their ever so apparent animosity toward each other. I was interested in finding out what else lurked inside their filthy mouths. I posted a question. Truth be told, my motive was not really inspired by my desire for some sort of truce or a cease-fire. My motive was purely selfish.I had to play the Devil’s advocate; I was looking for a scoop. Yep, that’s me. I was looking for an angle to a story that I’d been brewing for a while. I was looking for answers to some serious questions. Questions that would probe into some pretty touchy issues; issues that most people don’t or won’t discuss openly, but think about nonetheless. Questions I knew that majority of the members – with the exception of Lou and Isis – would not touch with a 10-foot pole. So kick off your shoes, let down your hair, grab a bottle of Heineken, a can of Pepsi or whatever you like to drink. You are about to find out what makes the blood of two grown men (who often behave like bratty school girls) boil.Two alleged racists.One black. One white. Join me in my first Q&A edition of “Blacks and Whites: What’s the real deal?”
Question-BD: As an individual who grew up in a society that’s still plagued by tribalism -a commonplace form of societal discrimination- I’ve often observed with keen interest the varying viewpoints that are expressed by some on this board, whenever a racially flavored issue of discussion pops up. I’ve often wondered why there’s no love lost between the likes of Isis and Loubro. I’ve heard of the blame game- as in the chip of racial resentment that many blacks still carry on their shoulders. I’ve heard of the race card- not quite yet what to make of it. My question is this… What’s the real deal? Please tell me there’s more to this “thingamajig” than the color of a person’s skin. Speak from personal experiences if you like. Speak from first, second, or third person’s perspectives if you choose. Either way, speak candidly; but please refrain from all forms of denigration and inflammatory rhetoric. Not interested in “back patting” opinions. Don’t care for sentiments that have been drenched in honey, maple syrup or molasses.
Answer-LOUBRO: The question you ask has volumes written about it. I could write a book about it myself. I am a black man and my opinion is biased as a result. But it is not so biased as to not have validity.
In my opinion this thingamajig as you describe it, is about color. Color is the dividing characteristic. Color is what is meant by words like, (us and them) when discussing race relations. It’s just a plain ol’ fact that people like to be among people like themselves. People make presumptions about ‘them’ whoever they may be. And most often, those assumptions are wrong because the reality of ‘us’ is different from the reality of ‘them’. Studies have been done that verify that the fairer a job applicant is the more probable he will get hired. Not only does this phenomenon affect whites dealing with blacks. It also affects blacks dealing with blacks.
Why is it color? I would venture to say that it all began for the black man when the first white man met the first African. He found the African still living in tribes with no great cities and no advanced culture. They immediately felt that they were inferior and subsequently began to exploit them. At this time, I don’t think there was hate so much as disdain. When slavery came to an end ‘we have a new reason to hate blacks’ appeared. The government had put blacks into power over the white southerners. They hated the blacks for that reason and felt it necessary to disenfranchise the blacks and put power back into the hands of whites. In steps, the KKK preaching purity of the white race and inventing all kinds of stories about blacks, generated hate. That hate can be witnessed by watching the movie ‘Birth of a Nation” by D. W. Griffith. For some white people, that movie was their only contact with blacks and their whole opinion of blacks was determined by that movie. That same hate has been taught to each new generation.
Today, we have come a long way but the hate is still there just below the surface. The reason for the hate today is both varied and intense. I think the primary reason for the hate today is a misunderstanding or lack of knowledge as to how slavery affected blacks. Recently there were some newspaper stories about the people who lived in the low income housing in New Orleans. A lot of negativity surfaced about that. But from where I am standing those people are still suffering mentally from slavery, the Jim Crow laws and the legalized discrimination in jobs, education, housing and businesses that came after slavery. What I call a project mentality happens for a reason. Some white people, not all, would have you believe it is a genetic trait of blacks. It is not and the fact that most blacks overcome it is proof. Just like the millionaire mentality of the old money in America is passed on from generation to generation. So is the project mentality.
Question -BD: Lou, thanks for your detailed perspective. Let’s have a paradigm shift for a minute, shall we? Let’s talk about HERE and NOW. Is it possible that this phenomenon has absolutely nothing to do with something as harmless as the color of a person’s skin but has everything to do with the ACTIONS of the man or woman wearing that skin color? Is it possible that stereotypical assumptions, which influence our perceptions, interactions, and judgment of others, are not entirely without some merit?
Answer -LOUDBRO: In the here and now my answer to the question is NO! It is not possible that this phenomenon has absolutely nothing to do with a person’s SKIN COLOR and everything to do with the ACTIONS of the man or woman wearing that skin color. It is possible that stereotypical assumptions are not entirely without merit. It is more possible that the stereotypical assumptions affects both people regardless of either’s actions.
The reason I say it is not possible that the hatred has nothing to do with skin color and everything to do with actions is based on a lot of things. The history of it. My experiences with it. The economics of it. I’ve been around or dealt with people whose actions support these negative assumptions. I hear stereotypical assumptions such as, neighborhoods becoming slums as a result of blacks living in them. The following labels are often reserved for blacks. Welfare mothers. Baby machines. Lazy. Violent. Yes, there is truth in these stereotypes. But I think the reasons for the actions, which cause these stereotypes, are rooted in color. Segregation and slavery for example, were done by color. Is it even possible to assume that segregation and slavery had no ill effects? The result of segregation, slavery and discrimination is, one society living with one reality and the other society living in another reality. Rich people associate with rich people. Thugs associate with thugs. I think this is also true of blacks and whites. Color is the dividing factor. If a person is deciding whom he is going to hire to work next to him I think it is natural to choose someone he feels comfortable with, who looks like him, speaks like him and can relate to. Unless the skill set of someone who does not fit that bill is in such great demand. Why would you want your schools all white? Was it not because they did not want their children to associate with blacks for fear that association would bring about assimilation of all characteristics including color? One could presume then, that if blacks were allowed to follow the same paths that whites were able to take when they came to this country they would have developed the same habits. Unfortunately, most blacks were not because they were black. Association does bring about assimilation.
Part 2 will be a continuation of my chat with Loubro in “Blacks &Whites: What’s the REAL DEAL?” Hear what else he has up his sleeves. Meet Isis, the man who believes that the U.S would be as peaceful as a Scandinavian city if it weren’t for blacks. Find out why he proclaimed, “I don’t mind living with any race except blacks.”