In a world where identity theft has run rampant; we need to take a look at a basic identity crisis…are you Black or African-American?
Yes, this is slanted toward the ethnic group of distinct color. All others are welcome, and even invited to read to learn a little more about us.
From the very beginning, we as a people have suffered from identity issues. We have always gone by the names others have given us. We have been called Negroes, Colored, Afro-Americans. And those are the “nice names”. We have also been called niggers (yeah, I said it), jigaboos, darkies and worse.
Now many of us go by the moniker of “African-American” only because someone else made it sound good. But if you really look at what that really means, maybe you’ll change your minds…
I’ll give you an allegorical example:
We have two young men. Each born the same day, time, year, in two different places.
Male number one is named John. Male number two is named Mike.
Raised by loving parents and educated in the local school systems. Both do well and begin the search for financial aid to attend college.
John applies for aid and receives enough paperwork to paper a part of the Great Wall of China. He gets word of receiving it with a high interest rate and short repayment plan. Typical for a young man like John.
Mike also applies for aid, and has a few sheets to sign and gets financing at a low interest rate and long-term payment plan. Also typical for people like Mike.
This sort of treatment continues throughout their lives. John gets what he asks for after “jumping through hoops” while Mike need only ask it’s given him. Almost on a silver platter.
Even when they look for work after college, it continues. They each apply for a job with the same company. The same job. They have identical resumes and educational backgrounds. They each have the same amount of experience in this their chosen field.
Mike is chosen over John. Although they each receive the same job; John’s title is the difference in what his pay scale will be, and the benefits he will receive.
Both Mike and John do the same job, the same amount of hours. They sometimes even help each other with projects relating to these jobs.
Eventually it is Mike who sails up the ladder of success. He gets the ‘corner office’, bigger paychecks, better benefits. All that goes with the position John was as aptly able to perform if things were different.
Actually, things are more different than you realize.
You see, John was born and raised in the inner city of Anytown, USA. A Black male, whose whole life will be filled with choices and decisions made by others that will have an effect on the rest of his life.
Mike, on the other hand was born and raised in South Africa – to Caucasian parents. He relocates to America and now is known as an AFRICAN-American.
Yes, African-American. Because he was born in Africa and is now a resident/citizen of USA qualifies him to use the title “A-A”.
You see it every day: Polish-Americans, Italian-Americans, etc. They legally claim their foreign-born heritage as well as their American attachment.
Back to Mike…He can lay claim to a heritage he doesn’t have any part of. He is a blond-haired, blue-eyed Caucasian male who fits the bill of corporate America and gives them all good reason to hire and elevate as they choose. He can assail the ladder of success with ease because he’s the “right color”.
More importantly, his bosses are elated because Mike also gives them the argument of EEOC. They can lay claim they did hire and African-American; and they did elevate an African-American; and they have done well by an African-American according to the law…even though he is only an African-American on paper.
Please Blacks all over America…pay heed!
If we are ever to be taken seriously as a people and an ethnic group, we need to stick to what we are. WE ARE BLACKS.
We were proud to be called Black in the seventies. We shouted it anytime we could anywhere we could. Remember the song by the late “God father of Soul”, James Brown, “Say It Loud, I’m Black and I’m Proud”!?
The U.S. Census will be coming around in a few years.
When they ask what ethnic group you belong to, do not choose African-American unless you or your parents/grandparents came from Africa.
We need money in the Black community. We need better schools for our children. Better medical facilities and homes. If you choose African-American communities – filled with Whites, Asians, and other ethnic groups whose people are also from Africa by birth; they will get the money.
Demand to be called Black. Demand to be counted. Demand to be noticed for who and what you are…a proud BLACK-AMERICAN!