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The Myth of the Black Community V Project
I usually shake my head and sigh whenever I hear someone utter the phrase the black community. It may have meant something in the past, and it still means something in some local contexts, but for the most part it has become a meaningless (if not outright destructive) phrase.
Can someone please give me a clear definition of the black community? The traits of the black community that people tend to bring up are nothing more than stereotypes founded in victimization. Economically disadvantaged. Educationally disadvantaged. Higher rates of crime and disease and teen pregnancy and poverty and everything negative in America. It s painful to hear at times. What people don t want to admit (especially the people who scream about it the loudest) is that there s no such thing as a unified black community. That s right, I said it. There s no such thing as the black community. There is no racially unified community anywhere in America. Minorities love to project this image of the national boogeyman known as the white man, who lives in a nice house in a nice neighborhood and drives a luxury car that he bought with his cushy white-collar job. They forget the fact that there are white people living in trailers that cost less than some BMWs. And then Asian Americans are supposed to have multiple college degrees while living in white neighborhoods. Granted, some of them do. And then there s the guy who delivers sweetand-sour chicken to your door. Latino Americans are all illegal immigrants who don t know English. Except for those that have been Americans ever since Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California became states. And, believe it or not, a lot of these Latinos don t work in landscaping or construction. The point I m trying to make is that there is no such thing as a unified racial community anywhere in this country. The black community is no different. It s a community separated by
differing economic and social strata, but some people (both black and white) don t want you to know that. They need all black people to be victims in order to fulfill their political (and often financial) needs. Did you know that there are an increasing number of black people who are sick of the glorification of ghetto culture? You wouldn t know that by listening to some social activists. There are people who will preach about black culture and black values and black victimization while ignoring the fact that there are more and more black people moving up the socioeconomic ladder who do not want to be a part of that mess. There used to be a time when black success (outside of sports and entertainment) was seen as being white. What actually seems to be developing is the emergence of a separate black middle class. There are black middle class neighborhoods in Atlanta, full of people who have money, have no desire to be white, and also have no desire to associate with the ghetto. They are successful, educated black people who are proud of their culture and who also don t want to be seen as being poor and victimized. It s a separate part of the black community that race-baiters don t want you to know about. Bill Cosby (a hero of mine) once spoke out about the behavior of certain black groups. He was bashed for it. He was called some horrible slurs (by black people) and he took a lot of heat for it. But the truth of the matter is that he s not alone in his ideas. More and more members of the black community are agreeing with Mr. Cosby. More and more want to get away from the negative aspects of the black stereotype.
I m not going to argue that black people are treated unfairly in American courts. But more and more black people are saying So what? If he didn t kill that person or rob that store, he wouldn t be in this predicament. I m not going to try and convince anyone that racism in America doesn t exist (because it does), but there are members of the black community who do not want to let that be an excuse. They don t want to be seen as victims of a racist system they want to live in nice homes within nice neighborhoods so they can raise families with as few problems as possible, and they re willing to work to get there. I can already see people getting angry. I know there are people reading this whose blood is boiling. How dare I claim that the black community is not a unified force! It s because it s true, and you know it. If you ve ever lived in a black neighborhood, you know that people don t just get along with each other in a homogenous racial paradise. A lot of people are getting tired of the hypocrisy. A black criminal is more likely to victimize a black person, and you think people want to advocate that in any way? There s no doubt that there are problems in America. The statistics are against the black community as far as education and economics and everything else, but the funny thing about statistics as that people forget about the minority part. If 60% of black people can t then that means that 40% can. If 75% don t, then that means 25% do. And in slow, small steps, a new black community emerges. One that is does not fit the victim mold. One that does not tolerate the foolishness of a few and does not define itself by the failures of others. One that does not care to be white, but also no longer wants to be your version of black.
The trash will always remain. That goes for every color in every culture. But the trash does not have to hold everyone else back. And there will always be people there to help the disenfranchised, but they have to realize that not everyone with dark skin is powerless, nor helpless, nor needing assistance. The sooner people stop buying into the myth of the black community, the sooner people can move along and move up the ladder without that weight of victimization around their necks.