Many people would concur that we are living in a racially divisive time and that bringing attention to the subject only exacerbates the problem, especially as it relates to spreading ill will and hate among the races. My feelings and experiences as an African American male would have me disagree on the role of incendiary hate that many claim the media is suggesting exists among Black and White Americans as a whole. I can’t speak on behalf of Whites, but I can speak on behalf of the many Blacks I know and my own reality.
First of all, respectively, we all must acknowledge regardless of how uncomfortable it may be, the ugly and horrendous history of this country when it comes to the treatment of Blacks, deriving from our arrival as slaves in this country.The role of Blacks as slaves only cemented the wealth of many Whites in this country, a wealth that still spills over through generational wealth enjoyed by many Whites today. I can only conclude that to rationalize or justify the blatant exploitation and subjugation of Blacks for monetary benefit, Whites sought to dehumanize and degrade Blacks by seeing themselves as superior.
Skin color was the primary physical factor used to relegate a person to a subservient and trivial existence. The grandiosity of feeling you are above other races fed White supremacy and racist practices. It was fueled by hate. To perpetuate this ideology of racial superiority, racists instilled the hatred of Blacks into their children. The cycle still continues. I wish I could say this practice is subsiding, but it appears more apparent now—although it is cleverly and clandestinely hidden by so many descendants of slave-owners or White racists. Lies and hate are the leading culprits in keeping this demon alive. The fear of the White race becoming extinct or greatly decimated only heats the practice by racist demagogues and gas lighters. It blatantly as well as subconsciously promotes racial hate.
I honestly feel this hate is not shared by the Black community. In fact, as an African American growing up, my friends and I were never taught to hate Whites. I can honestly say no one in my Black community (whether my parents, relatives, neighbors, or my peers) taught anyone to hate White people. As children, we were taught and prepared for the reality of growing up in a world predominately controlled by Whites, navigating systems that didn’t have African Americans’ best interests at heart. The ‘talk’ by Blacks to their children was a rite of passage necessary to help keep our children (especially young Black men) from being killed or unjustly incarcerated when they might demand being treated fairly in a White dominated society. We were taught not to hate, but rather how to circumvent our natural emotions in order to to exist and stay alive.
Black parents and families taught their children that life was not fair and to be prepared for the discriminatory and demeaning behavior of racist Whites or systems displaying an air of White superiority. The ‘talk’ or warning by those in the Black community was not to teach anything about hate. It was about preparing one of what to expect, lest they be blindsided and reap dire consequences.
Even if you believe the narrative that Blacks teach hate just as fervently as their White counterparts, I would ask you this: What is to be gained from that? Blacks, then and now, are in no position to manifest significant hate toward Whites in any capacity—or to do them any harm, whether it is economical, social, or political. To be given basic human rights and equality has been the African American battle cry since ‘day one’ in this country. Hate has never been part of the equation.
In fact, I would imagine many Black churches are still filled on Sundays with Blacks praying for many Whites to soften their hearts and find the God that loves everyone. No! Hate is not a retaliatory tool used and taught in the Black community to use against Whites. Quite to the contrary, love and forgiveness manifested for our White oppressors through our prayers is legendary—even though these prayers may be working to our determent. They may be seen as a weakness by those who wallow in hate against Blacks.
Words like love, forgiveness, mercy, grace, and change are echoed concurrently in the daily speech and in the prayers of African Americans that I know. Therefore, I can only surmise that love, truth, and righteousness will have the last say when the dust settles. I truly believe the world is undergoing a spiritual war, and I would hope believers of truth and righteousness will be doing everything possible to be on the right side in the end.