Education

Dear Black People

Dear Black People,

I am a young black man trying to live this life in a time where my fellow black brothers are being killed by white people. A time where my people are hurting and need liberation. A time in which black mothers and fathers are tired of burying their sons. A time in which black women are tired of not being able to find a good black man. A time where black men and women don’t know they are descendants of Nubian kings and queens. A time when black people don’t know that the Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids, created modern civilization, innovated math, science and the liberal arts, and are their ancestors. The only way we can change all of this is if we change the schooling system, the negative stereotypes in media, and the psychological inferiority complex given to us from slavery.

There is nothing wrong with society, everybody is equal and what you become in life is up to you and your hard work. There were laws that were made and are in place for equality. For example, the Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th amendment abolished slavery. The 14th amendment establishes equal protection to all citizens of the U.S. The 15th amendment said that the right to vote can not be denied based on race or color. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 banned racial discrimination in voting. The Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case integrated schools. All these court cases established equality for all citizens in the U.S. in all aspects of life. With these court cases making all citizens to be treated equally, society itself and the mentality of all it’s inhabitants were forced to reflect the law in equality. Racism no longer exists and is an excuse African Americans use to justify their laziness, reliance on government assistance, crime and improper behavior such as how they talk, dress, and act in public. It is not anyone else’s fault that they do not excel as a people. Their whole society is not based on trying to produce productive members of society, but rather destructive in nature. Their whole society is based upon laziness, crime, dependance, irresponsibility and blaming. If black people would stop looking for hand­outs and being lazy they could get jobs and provide for themselves. Instead, they act lazy and rely on welfare, food stamps and public housing to take care of them. Crime is also prevalent in their society because they don’t have a sense of responsibility and they feel as though when they aren’t given all that they want they have to resort to crime to get the rest. They also have no sense of manors. In public they are loud and rude. Another thing is the way that they dress. The men walk around with their pants below their waist showing their underwear, while reciting derogatory rap music that degrades women and uses vulgar language. The females wear tight clothes that show more than enough skin and cleavage to leave nothing up to a man’s’ imagination. This behavior is not acceptable and it is the reason why black people are not as high up socially and economically as white Americans. Instead of trying to change and become productive members of society they just sit and blame everyone else for their problems instead of taking responsibility for their own actions that lead to their life being that way. They themselves are not problem, not everyone else and society. Every other race is thriving and exceeding African Americans in life. Why is it that the other minorities are complaining about all this injustice, mistreatment and racism that African Americans are so quick to claim? It’s because their is no injustice, mistreatment or racism African Americans are just looking for excuses and scapegoats to take the blame off of themselves for their own destruction and demise.

Contrary to your belief there are major problems with this system we live in as a whole, but more specifically, everyone is not equal and the color of your skin and how close you are to appeasing the white leaders of this country determines how you are treated. The court cases that were previously stated were not enacted properly and the injustice that went on before those laws were passed, still continued after the laws were passed. For example, the Emancipation Proclamation was supposed to end slavery, but in the south slavery still went on for some time. Even when the 13th amendment was passed there wasn’t indentured servitude but there was still a form of slavery put in place. This new form of slavery is referred to as sharecropping. The black workers worked in the same fields they worked in as slaves but instead of them being “slaves” they got paid. However, the amount of money they were being paid, they had to give right back to the land owner to pay for their food that the black workers were growing to eat and to have a house. The way that system was set up, the black workers would be in debt to the plantation owner and would have to work their whole lives to pay the owner back. This form of slavery evolved into the type of slavery that exists today. The type of slavery that persists today is similar to sharecropping. In the current slavery we are in the people who own the big businesses that you buy from, the banks you need loans from, the companies you work for, are all white men. The same people who owned the plantations your slave ancestors worked for. We are still living in a time of slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation and the 13th amendment were supposed to abolish slavery so why are we still slaves? The 14th amendment is supposed to provide all citizens equal protection under the law. If their was equal protection, then why are innocent black men and children being killed by white people everyday and they are not in jail? Why is it that George Zimmerman can kill Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black boy, and still be free, roaming around, doing whatever he wants to do? Why is it that the cops who killed Mike Brown and Eric Gardner were not prosecuted for taking the lives of two black men? But why is it that Marissa Alexander, a black women who fired warning shots in the air to defend herself from her husband, was sentenced to 20 years in prison? Please explain to me how that is equality. White people can kill black men and not be prosecuted but a black women can shoot warning shots to protect herself and be put in jail. Where is the justice in that? Where is the equality? Where is the equal protection that was given to us, LEGAL UNITED STATES CITIZENS? The Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court case was supposed to integrate schools. Now schools are integrated for the most part, but the thing that did not happen is getting rid of separate but equal. There are integrated schools along with majority white and majority black schools. The majority white schools are in nice neighborhoods with good funding along with nice facilities and good books and a curriculum which teaches white supremacy. The majority of black schools however, are in not so nice neighborhoods, and little funding, terrible facilities and hardly any books. The curriculum, of course, still teaches of white supremacy and black inferiority. How is a black child supposed to do well and thrive in a terrible school with bad books, bad facilities and being taught that his race is inferior and has had no positive impact on the world what so ever?

The schooling system in which black people cannot see and relate themselves to in a positive way, in terms of their ancestors impact on modern civilization and the world, needs to be eradicated. The only thing that is taught in school about black people is that we were savages that lived in Africa who sold each other into slavery, became slaves and were freed and got equal rights because of the input and effortless work of white Americans who wanted equality for us. The curriculum and schools for black youth are not designed to better African Americans; they are designed to keep us thinking that we are inferior and that we don’t matter so that when things happen to us, we don’t see them as race issues or issues at all. Instead, we find loopholes and make excuses for the injustice that goes on. I am a black man who went through the school system. I remember only learning about black history in February. I remember sitting in class and only being taught about Europeans who did these great things for the world. Even in world history I never once learned about Africa’s contribution to the world. I never once learned that Africans came to North America before Columbus ever did. I never learned about the great ancient civilizations of Kemet. I never once learned that the Egyptians were black and built the pyramids. I never learned that the Egyptians were great architects and engineers. I never learned that Africans are the foundation that everything great rests upon. I remember hating to have to go to history class. I remember not feeling connected with the world because I was taught that Africans or African Americans had no significant or an impact on the world at all. I remember feeling bad about myself. I remember thinking that there was no point in African Americans being created because we aren’t significant and that we are a waste of space. My last statement,though, is not due to just the fact of me not learning about black people’s contributions to the world and to society, it is due to other factors as well. One of those factors is how black people are portrayed in the media.

Media is an essential and integral part of today’s society. Media ia people’s primary source of information. Media encompasses, and is not only limited to: radio, television, music and newspapers. In media there are many stereotypes of black people that are shown. From cartoons such as “The Proud Family”, talk shows such as “Maury” and anything shown on BET, you can guarantee there are negative stereotypes of black people. These negative stereotypes are taken and adopted as reality to other ethnic groups and the African American community itself. Why is it that black women have to always be shown as loud? Why is it that black men all have to be portrayed as “players” or “dogs”? Why is it that black children are always depicted as acting up and doing things to cause chaos? These negative stereotypes we see in media everyday have an impact on how we are viewed by other people and how we view ourselves. These images and stereotypes do nothing but make it harder on African Americans to be great and to rise above the current state we are in. I remember seeing and hearing these stereotypes as a child. I even used to buy into some of them. I used to think black people were lazy. I used to think that black women were too much to deal with. I used to think that black children always caused chaos. I used to think that black people acted out in public too much. I used to not want to go to an HBCU because of the stereotypes I was fed. I honestly used to not like black people as a whole. I even bought into the theory that black people were inferior. But some of these things that I bought into was because of media and because of what I was taught, it was not entirely my fault for thinking and feeling that way. Slavery had a big role to play in the stereotypes and the feelings and thoughts that I had adopted about my people. Ever since the beginning of slavery, African Americans have had a psychological inferiority complex.

In Na’am Akbar book, Breaking the Chains of Psychological Slavery, he talks about this inferiority complex. In his book he stated that black men were only used for their strength and their reproducing ability. The strongest men were used to do the most work in the fields and they cost more to sell. Those same men were to have children with various women to produce many offspring for the slave master. The slaves were bred like dogs. This action not only made the females feel insecure about themselves, it made them also think that that was all they were good for. The same for the males, it made them think this was the definition of a man. They thought men were supposed to be strong and to have many children because that was all the slaves were subjected to. Also in his book he talks about how a man is supposed to provide for his family and is supposed to make his family feel safe. As slaves the men could not do that. The men did not provide for their family, the slave owners were the ones who gave them food, and clothes and somewhere to stay. This makes a man not feel like a man. The men could not even protect themselves, so how could they protect his family? These factors play into the psychological inferiority complex. The slaves were told that they were less and were treated as such and were forced to believe that way as well. This line of reasoning was passed from generation to generation in the African American community. The book also talks about how the women were forced to have sex with the other male slaves along with being forced to have sex with the slave master and his friends, family members and even his guests. This takes a psychological toll on women and the way they view themselves. Also, the husbands and the children were sometimes forced to watch this happen. To see someone you love and care about being raped will have a toll on you and your mind. You are not supposed to see things like that or be subjected to that along with being afraid for your life and always being told you are nothing. This makes any person feel hopeless and they will start believing what they are subjected to as deserving and they will view themselves as how they are told to.

Growing up I used to view myself as ugly because I was dark­skinned. I used to think that only light­skinned girls were attractive because I was not secure and confident in my own complexion. I used to see how the light­skinned kids were treated better than the dark­skinned ones. I remember growing up and thinking that a man had to be strong and had to be able to produce many children. Once these factors are overcome then we can unite our intellectual properties and make sure there is an evolution into a new society that will be fair and just for all its inhabitants. The school system, media, and the psychological inferiority complex given to us from slavery all need to be changed. We can not advance as a people and as a society if we still have these factors holding us back. We must break these chains that white people have put on us and that other black people keep on us. Harriet Tubman famously said, “I freed a thousand slaves I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

, Sincerely

Anthony Thomas

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