Part 1: Great Migration and the Brutal Reality of the “Promised Land” There would be no United States as we now know it today without slavery. Hoping to escape the bitter poverty and lynch mob terror of the South when they reached the supposed “Promised Land” in cities like Chicago, Black people found themselves exploited […]
I grew up racist. I didn’t understand why. It took me well into adulthood to figure that out. My parents were good people. They raised their children with values. They never talked badly about the black people in our town. We also had some Italians and I heard other people call them Wops and Puerto Ricans were called Spics. There were no Hispanics. No Mexican food. Not even a taco. Looking back I can see that segregation and the lack of blacks and whites mixing socially caused my racism. I was scared to death of black people and there was no one who talked to anyone about this divide.
I grew up in Pa in the 50’s thru the early 70’s then left to go to school. My town had a clear line and white families lived on one side and black families on the other. I learned many years ago that black families couldn’t secure home loans on my side of the line. I remember hearing if a black family were to move into the neighborhood property values would go down because those people don’t take care of their homes and would trash them. “Just take a look at how they live.” But they didn’t own the homes they lived in. They rented from white landlords who felt little need to keep their properties in good shape. They had approval from the government.
I read an article on Moorbay’s Blog, about the fairly recent history of the last 100 years of housing segregation that forced black families to live in substandard housing. Read this article for yourself and learn. It caused me to respond with this post.
I came from a lower income family who didn’t live in the best part of town. My parents worked hard to provide a good home. There was an empty I’ve cream factory across the street and a big park a half block away. Often in the summer black children wanted to play at the park and had to walk through white neighborhoods to get there. They walked down my street. Not my side of the street but stayed close to the factory. They were as scared of us as we were of them. We didn’t call to each or attempt to make friends. I had never touched a black person and wondered if their skin felt like mine. I wanted to feel their hair. There was no effort to bring the people together. When I say, no effort, I mean absolutely none, ever.
Today many white parents are raising their children to be racist. Maybe not overtly, but by comments inserted into conversations that put white people on a rung that black people don’t deserve, so white kids learn in subtle ways that they are better than others. These kids grow up saying things like, “I’m not a racist, but . . .” and go on to say something disparaging about that race, be it black, Hispanic, Puerto Rican, Guatamalen, Honduran and many more. White is superior in their minds.
Today these kids are recruited on college campuses. Kids repeat what they hear and some become violent adults, like shooting at a teenager who knocked on your door for directions, and the man was a retired firefighter who saved people. A man who lied and said his gun went off accidentally. He couldn’t take responsibility for his actions.
After all this time how can this racism be continually perpetuated and not understood it is wrong. Everyone is human. No one is a superior human. Humanity comes from inside. It doesn’t come from skin color. We all know this so why do we continue to say, “I’m not racist, but . . .”
Since Trump, the rise of hate crimes has become staggering. People can openly hate now and the President of this country has called them ‘good people’ and mocks people of color. They use his show of support at their white nationalist rallies. Any race other than white is disgusting and inferior to this deeply flawed man. White people all over America are sucking it up like babies to a breast. It is nauseating to me.
Last night my ten year old granddaughter needing a shower said, “At least I don’t smell like a Mexican.” That quickly got my attention. We had talked before about racism and racist comments but she had trouble understanding how she had slandered an entire race of people with her remark. Mexicans stink. “I didn’t mean that!” she said. I told her, “Maybe not, but that is what you said.”
My son works at a boat marina. Hot, sweaty, dirty, smelly work; a mixed race of workers. They joke among themselves calling each other names. They know they’re joking in good nature. My granddaughter overheard. She wasn’t trying to be disparaging but needed to learn if she used that among school friends how wrong it was to say that.
So many of today’s children are rude, undisciplined, smart mouthed and think they have a right to backtalk and argue and cuss at you. It is what they learn at home. Many parents are not teaching their children right from wrong. New racists of all ages are being raised thinking white people should be dominant – because their parents taught them that. I fear it will get much worse.
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An article about Ota Benga was published by Push Black. In order to change the future we need to understand our past. This website educates people about black history, much of which is not taught in school. Children grow up not understanding the accomplishments in black history because only the white version of white history is taught in schools controlled by white educators concerned only wish pushing the white agenda as well as closing black public schools.
The title of this article is also the title of a book you can purchase at Amazon about the kidnapping and exploitation of a Pygmy from the Congo.
The white man believes the color of his skin makes him a superior species. Believing that makes him better than other human beings has enabled him to do despicable things because he feels entitled. Exploiting others for profit only seems reasonable. This thought holds true for many white people today. But greed is not a quality of greatness. It is indeed the root of all evil.
Having money and influence has allowed the abuse of black and minorities races. Because you have the means to enslave other humans doesn’t make you superior. It makes you inferior.
A large percentage of the political white race also declares itself to be Christian and uses the religion as a means of control and justifies the laws they pass to benefit themselves as a right they have because they are white. It is heinous because there is nothing Christian behind their motivations.
Since we invaded America and set out to destroy the indigenous people who lived here, calling them savages because their way of life was different from Europe. European explorers wanted the land. They felt so entitled to take what wasn’t theirs they believed they had “discovered” the land. They set out to kill everyone already here and has continued to take the land given to the remaining people in treaties because they have exhausted the rest of the country of resources.
The land has been polluted with chemicals, mountaintops removed for coal, waters polluted by corporations dumping poisons, gases released by fracking, oil spoiled by faulty pipelines. Now they want the land given to American Indians. They threaten force to take what isn’t theirs to take. They want to drill for resources on their land. They need it now and have the power to take it. The so- called Christians continue to destroy “in the name of God” through force. Nothing has changed to this day.
At Amazon you can read an excerpt of the story about Ota Benga for free. It is an ugly part of the rise of Greater New York City in the early 19th century. They incarcerated and profited from this man, this human being, because he was different. His depression led to suicide.
He had been hunting in the Conga and returned home to find his wife and children slaughtered. He was captured, brought to America and put on display at the new Monkey House at Bronx Zoo. He was pointed at while people laughed. Did he have to urinate and defecate while people watched? He had to be grieving the loss of his family. Ota Benga’s way of life was not that of America but it was the way of his people. Does that mean it is okay to put him on display? Is it conceivable to put white people on display and treated as animals? Would that anger the white race?
We can only change the future if we learn from the past. If we don’t, we continue making the same mistakes in our treatment of humanity. My continued writing about prisons is an example of exploiting blacks and minorities for profit. As a white woman I am ashamed of what my race is doing and ashamed of those in our government who know what is happening yet are complicent in turning a blind eye. They, too, profit from the money given by prison corporations for their political campaigns. They are then beholden to vote for laws that increases these corporation’s profit by incarcerating a greater number of black people, minorities and immigrants while continuing to plant the seed with Americans that black people are inferior.
Many white people have a deep rooted need to feel they are a superior race. Watching the rise of white nationalism through the KKK and being told by the president that these are good people has confused the younger generation into believe it’s true. Lack of education means they aren’t learning from the past.
Many of those incarcerated have committed no crimes. Many have drastically increased punishment when compared to the incarceration of white people, yet no one is willing to level the playing field. Why is that so? Who benefits from this?
We can’t change what happened in the past but it doesn’t appear that we learned from it, does it?
If you know an inmate who writes poetry or is an artist or has a story you’d like to tell you can email me at: email@example.com
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