Fifty-one years ago, on July 2, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. As a result, segregation was outlawed in public places, and many private businesses and several other Jim Crow laws were abolished. The law also saw the establishment of new federal agencies such as the U.S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
Blacks were given the same rights as whites more than five decades ago, and today, blacks are still complaining and making excuses. Are you are one of those people who are frustrated with blacks who still seem to be complaining that they inherited social injustice? Are you someone who is tired of black people complaining about being heirs of the American slave? Are you tired of black people complaining that their descendants who were discriminated against by law until 51 years ago? Do you feel that blacks are wrong to attribute many socioeconomic shortcomings to more than 400 years of systematic racism because it’s so far in the past? If so, you are practicing modern racism, which I like to call Racism Version 3.0.
For the sake of this article, let’s say Racism 1.0 describes a time when blacks were property and considered to be 3/5 of a man. On the other hand, Racism 2.0 describes the time when blacks were separate but supposedly equal. Racism 3.0 is quite different from its predecessors. Racism 3.0 suggests that the consequences of American slavery and the 400 years of lawful discrimination that went with it ended after the Civil Rights Act.
Blacks (not including Latinos) make up only 13% of the population yet account for 40% of all men in prison. Their unemployment rate is double that of whites, and they are exponentially more likely to experience drug-related arrests, which furthers unemployment. When a person states that blacks have no more excuses, they are implying that genetic inferiority causes all of these issues.
It’s akin to saying, “I’m tired of them making excuses. They are in the situation that they are in because they are genetically inferior. If blacks were not genetically inferior, the past would have no bearing on their current condition.”
To be fair, I don’t believe that there are many U.S. citizens who truly believe that blacks are genetically inferior. After all, even a Klansman could probably agree that a person of any race who is destined to be a hardcore criminal or drug addict could become much better or much worse dependent upon their environment. A person born into a destructive, racially hostile environment will likely be vastly different from one born into a positive, nurturing one.
Even so, the inaction of most Americans when it comes to preventing the further marginalization of blacks suggests that many hold subconscious beliefs regarding their inferiority.
One of the main things that fuel Racism 3.0 is the fact that many non-black Millennials have a sincere desire to avoid the racism of their parents. Many have become racist towards blacks after actual negative experiences with some of them. Therefore, they are not racist simply because they have learned to be that way growing up. Instead, their contempt for blacks is due to their inability to realize that the disproportionate amount of social ills that exist in the black community are bi-products of 400 years of legal racism, and not genetic inferiorities.
Most non-black Millennials who develop racist views towards blacks lack empathy towards the black community. They fail to grasp the severity of American slavery and how a mixture of slavery and systematic white oppression has impacted the black community. When many non-black Millennials see blacks (particularly those from the most poverty-stricken communities), they don’t see them as descendants of slaves. Instead, they see them as a people whose condition is a choice that could have been avoided.
Of course, there is a responsibility that the black community should take to bring more legitimacy to the fight against racial disparities. Even so, believing that the socioeconomic state of the black community has no excuses is still a racist perspective that shows ignorance of an extremely long history of events.
One example of the responsibilities the black community has to fight against racial disparities is to reject the idea that Gangsta Rap is their culture. Gangsta Rap is a genre of music that marketing geniuses have ascribed to blacks by convincing them to embrace stereotypes that represent everything negative and socially dysfunctional.
Allowing Gangsta Rap to be embraced among black youths is completely unacceptable. Gangsta Rap has done a lot of damage to the black community and perpetuates the very conditions and stereotypes that fuel Civil Rights violations and white supremacist groups. It is certainly arguable that Gangsta Rap contributes to oppression and violence against blacks, even if indirectly.
There was a time when the leaders of the black community included W.E.B Dubois, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr., who risked and even gave up their lives for the rights of blacks. Jay-Z, Beyoncé, Lil Wayne, and even Rick Ross (a former correctional officer who promotes crime in the black community through rap) seem to have replaced them. How did this happen?
One of many reasons is that many blacks will accuse anyone who speaks against these destructive leaders of attacking their culture. It’s ironic, considering these new leaders are often purposely destroying their community for financial gains, much of which goes to rich white executives. How can the leaders of a community be those who are destroying it?