by Tommy Davis (July 2009)
With the recent arrest of Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. by Cambridge police, there was an outcry of “racism” from some in the black community. These undertones were further stirred by some elites in the Democratic Party who specialize in fueling the accusations of racism for political reasons.
President Barack Obama referred to the arrest as “stupidly” for one sole reason —the skin color of the accused. Had this been a white person in Mr. Gates’ position, I doubt if the incident would have incurred so much attention.
Ethnic relations in America continue to suffer severe setbacks due to those who resurface accusations of cultural disparities. Undeniably, there exists racism, but we must admit that if we were all the same color, we would find something else to hate one another about.
Many in the black community suffer from what I call “post-discrimination syndrome.” While understanding that scores of African-Americans have and will be discriminated against, there needs to be a cognitive restructuring that would allow people to overcome the temptation to believe that others’ treatment of them are due strictly to bigotry. A magnified assumption of prejudice based on race prevents the subject from truly examining areas of life that would allow real success.
Rather than presuppose a reason for judgment, the African-American should observe other possible factors such as communication patterns, education, dress, experience, etc. that may shed light on areas previously excluded from one’s own examination. Continuous failure can be a result of one not identifying real factors that need change.
Every group of people who have immigrated to America understood that to capitalize off the existing arrangement in society would lead to some form of equity. Immigrants realized that becoming assets, they could contribute to —and in some cases— command change. The Irish opened their own businesses, became police officers, legislators and judges. Eventually, the “Irish need not apply” signs disappeared.
The early Republicans, in passing and implementing all the civil rights legislation, attempted to clear the way for black Americans to achieve victory as a free people —without the restraints of involuntary servitude and the Black Codes, a system of laws enacted by Democrats in the south that gave whites virtual police powers over freed blacks after the abolition of slavery.
Despite weighty unfairness, American blacks persisted in their economic agenda and built businesses and schools that would produce honorable mentions. Such achievements required a psychological reconstruction that included a drive to persevere amid a hostile arrangement; a plan that depended on making major contributions to the market whether in education or craft.
It would prove well worthy to examine the predicament before arriving at conclusions that unnecessarily divide America based on mere conjecture. America comprise of many ethnic peoples who covet her citizenship of free enterprise. Some folks would benefit sometimes by just keeping their mouths shut.