I fell for the assimilation trap

Brian Roberts,
Gaithersburg, MD.

I am a middle-aged American black man. I thought that if I lived my life as a solid citizen, went to the right schools, secured a good career, raised a family, I would not only provide for my family, I would set an example that would make white people less frightened by black people. I thought my example of hard work and assimilation, and that of others who followed a similar path, would improve race relations. This has not been the case. In fact, my example is used to discredit other black people who have not had the same success. What I hear is, “if you made it, what’s wrong with other blacks? Why can’t they do it?” As if racial prejudice, discrimination and institutional racism did not exist. It’s very frustrating.


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