By Harry Colbert, Jr., Managing Editor
Time for some frank realities.
I am Black first. I wish I could be American first, but that’s not reality. I wish I could be human first, but that’s simply not reality. I want to be looked at as American. I want to be seen as human. That’s my want. My reality … I’m Black, and then maybe, just maybe … I’m American and human. That’s the truth. A truth from which many of us run. Some are wincing just by reading this, but at their core the know this is truth.
I can trace my ancestry (on my mother’s side) back to a plantation in South Carolina. We were owned by a wealthy judge of French descent. For my father’s side, all I know is my grandfather was born in Washington, Ind.
White people can generally tell you the neighborhood in Europe from which they hail. Whites in America can claim Irish pride, English pride, Italian pride, Norwegian pride, Polish pride. The list goes on. I know no such luxury.
What I do know is my roots lie in Africa … somewhere. I’m sure it’s a place this nation’s president deems a “shithole.”
I was born and live in a land where up until 1865 my people … Black people of varying nations of Africa and later, varying shades due to rape by force, threat of force or because Black women simply knew their “role” or “place” – rape nonetheless … were regarded as property, not people and nothing more.
Following more than 200 years … more than 200 years … of brutal slavery, Blacks in America “advanced” to sharecroppers, maids, janitors; and for the really lucky ones, Pullman porters. Yes, a handful (on scale) here and there were able obtain an education (remembering it was against the law … against the law … for Blacks to read during slavery). And trust, it wasn’t openly encouraged immediately following.
While slavery ended in 1865, oppression reigned for another 100-plus years. Some (myself included) argue we are still oppressed. Yeah, I can drive in my Cadillac, but I do so peering through the rearview mirror hoping I’m not the next Sandra Bland, the next Walter Scott, the next Terence Crutcher … the next Philando Castile.
And yes, within my lifetime we elected Barack Obama … a Black man … to the office of President of the “United” States. Hell, we elected him twice.
And now we’re paying for electing that “uppity negro.”
Now we have Donald Trump. Sixty-two million (statistically almost all white) people voted for him. Yes, a handful of non-whites voted for him. Sadly, self-hate is real and to some, “massa” has been good and the white man’s ice will always be colder. But again, now we have Trump.
To paraphrase coaching great Dennis Green, Trump is who we thought he is. He’s the monster … but he’s not Frankenstein. To me he’s a blithering idiot, with what I’ll assume are pieces of a brain, but he’s not a genius. Listen to him speak … read his Tweets. On the IQ scale, Trump’s most likely rating is “dullness” to “borderline deficiency.”
Again, he’s just the hideous monster. White supremacy … white complicity … that’s the real Frankenstein.
Even if you didn’t vote for Trump, as a white person, if you do not speak out … and speak out loudly … you are the problem. Like I said at the very beginning, it’s time for frank reality. I know there are many white people reading this right at this very moment with several “friends” of color who have been in a room (more than once) with whites and heard them spew their racist vile and those “friends” sat silent. A few of you even joined in.
So, this message is directed squarely at you.
You are the problem. I’m not in that room. In many ways I can never get in that room, so I can’t speak out. But if you are in that room and you allow this racism to continue, then it is you who is no better than the Donald Trumps, Steve Bannons, Steve Millers and David Dukes of the world. Period. Don’t call me your friend and not stand up for me when I don’t have the opportunity to stand up for myself.
So, Trump said people from Haiti and Africa are from “shitholes,” huh? I’m a Black man in America. Sit down with me and millions of others and let’s talk about what a shithole really looks like.
Oh yeah, all white liberals, please stop saying your ancestor came from places Trump wou
ld have called “shitholes.” He was clear in singling out locations rich in melanin, so please stop with your false equivalencies. Say Trump is a racist and end the sentence with either a period of exclamation point … but after the word racist, end the sentence, nothing more needs to be said.
Make America great again? I’m a Black person in America. When was America ever great for Black people?