Alicia Riddick Helton
Not entirely true. I am highly educated, with a decent income, yet I go out onto the street it pains me to know that all some people see is my skin color and started to treat me based on their own narrow vision of what I should be.
Though Ms./Mrs. Helton’s notion is frequently bandied about in the modern fervor to view America as post-racial, it is a fantasy to suggest that race and it’s consequences exist in isolation from, rather than in relativity to, culture, income and education. Race is often a foundational element of culture, and is strongly associated with, economic and educational opportunities and outcomes. (Both income and education remain stubbornly stratified by race.) Unfortunately, knowing a person’s race still gives us great predictive power to assessing likelihoods of many outcomes.
So what do you want to do, throw in the towel? I agree that culture has inherent racist issues, but those are more often than not self-imposed. I have a friend in CA, an immigrant from Nigeria. He says his greatest challenge is dealing with the hatred from US borne blacks. Thats a cultural thing that needs to get fixed.
That’s because there’s a paradigm of “blackness” among many blacks. I suspect that your Nigerian friend is on the “too black” end of the spectrum.
There’s nothing about my comment that suggests “throwing in the towel”. I’m advocating that we first identify the actual problems, their roots, consequences and that which perpetuates them. Confusing causes and effects or misdirecting responsibility for these issues, not only makes resolution impossible, but is deeply counterproductive as well.
One anecdote with one person supporting a point of view does not an accurate picture of an entire society make. As unfortunate and worthy of remedy as the story of your Nigerian friend is, there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the hatred he receives from black Americans forms a greater barrier to his economic mobility or educational opportunity than do pervasive structural and institutional issues. In addition, there are often important distinctions between the experiences of individuals in the US who share African descent, but differ in their national origin or in other elements of background.
Sorry Alicia, that is not true. You can have all of the above and then your face is shown and you can literally see the change in attitudes. I interviewed for a position on 5th Avenue in NYC. My credentials were exceptional, went to the interview and the interviewer, a white male, looked up ready to shake my hand stopped and stated “you will not do” being the confident Black woman that I am I stated “you will not do, I have better offers. Thank you and hope you have a good day”. The color of my skin was all he could focus on, forgot all about the fact that I had been his top pick.
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