Skip to comments.Racism in America…. Caribbean Nationals just don’t get it?
Posted on 07/04/2014 5:01:04 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
Caribbean immigrants who arrive to the United States are often shell-shocked by the palpable presence of racism. What is all the more surprising is that these tensions are more so perpetuated by African-Americans. Before an immigrant can experience the strife and joys of the States, they are frequently discouraged, or should I say, warned. Warned that success will most certainly be harder for them. Warned that things are different here and that the color of your skin has in more ways that one already set them up for failure.
Living in the United States as a person of color immediately affiliates you as African-American. Youre on the black team now, and as such, may find yourself in situations where you are scrutinized by other black Americans for your racial ignorance. The whole world has been touched by the angst of inequality and prejudice (including the Caribbean) but African-Americans appear to have the hardest time moving forward. Other nationalities, while heavily conscious of their ugly pasts are not nearly as tainted. It appears that Black Americans have been so grossly affected by racism that they almost lay-wait offensive behavior.
Those of us who were raised in the West Indies did not grow up in homes where race was a common topic of discussion. I never heard anyone call another person the N-word, and I never once distinguished my friends by their race. Some time ago, when I received a friend-requests from an old classmate, I was a tad bit surprised that she was Caucasian. When I reminisced on our time together I couldnt recall her race. I always thought of her as having a lighter complexion than I, but I never thought of her as white. Growing up, we didnt place each other in different racial categories. She was just on the lighter end of what I then considered the same color spectrum. I guess that out of many one people, stuff does ring true. Our forms dont request racial demographics. There are no white neighborhoods and our third world problems consume any possible room one could have for crimes driven wholly by hate. At best, socioeconomic class is all that truly separates (not segregates) a Caribbean nation.
While at a dinner function, I needed to reconnect with a member of the staff whom I met briefly. The hostess came by and asked me to describe the person with which I spoke. I said hes a short black guy with large framed glasses. I got quite a few snarls and my companion leaned in and pinched me, as if to say, I cant believe you just did that. When I asked what? She replied, you just said the black guy. Apparently it came off as offensive. Why? I dont know. The gentleman is after all black. How is it more appropriate to say African-American, we dont say African Caucasian or Anglo Caucasian. Whats so wrong with saying someone is black or white?
Another thing out of character for the Caribbean American is the assumption that race is the most likely rationale for a qualified African-American not getting a job. While I will not dispute that prejudices- whether they be racial, socioeconomic or sexual orientation- do influence the decisions of stakeholders, Im not so quick to gesture toward the color of my skin. Too often, I see persons point to their inner arms, implying to fellow African-Americans you know its cause shes black. Maybe she didnt get the job because the other person is more qualified, more personable, or gels in more with the team. Maybe it was her race, but why jump to that conclusion first?
African Americans also have a keen and often unwarranted sense of racial awareness. You see, I can be at a restaurant and never once notice that my table has the only number of black people in the establishment. I would have enjoyed my meal, engaged in great conversation, and left a healthy tip, without having noticed that we didnt get straws with our water, or that the other table didnt have to ask for their bread. Im not looking for racial discrepancies and as such, I dont find any. Perhaps I am naive but what good is it to have this kind of heightened awareness? I never realized SNL didnt have a female black comedian until the shows scrutiny received media attention. I never noticed because I dont need the cast to be dark-skinned to feel connected. I dont find the situations any less relatable because a traditionally black person (I guess Maya Rudolph isnt black enough) wasnt on screen. I just dont pay as much attention to these things because it first requires that I acknowledge myself as different from those on screen.
You dont have to live in your past to ensure youll never forget it. Choosing to err on the side of pleasantry doesnt make you any less prepared for the worst. It does however, in its own self-proclamation make the unpleasant more likely. The psychological technique of autosuggestion can be described as the manifestation of persistent thoughts into tangible outcomes. It more or less dictates that if you think on any one thing often enough, it will come to fruition.
If you go into any setting with preconceived ideas of how it will be, chances are your expectations will be met. Dont consume yourself with negative thoughts, even when hateful persons prove them warranted. Youre adding fuel to a fire that should have long been extinguished. We simply cannot move on from a past that we ourselves continue to perpetuate.
By no means am I suggesting that one ignore racist acts or persons. I am suggesting that instead of looking for racism in every act, slur or interpretation, that perhaps your outlook would be a bit brighter if you instead let it find you. We can change the course of our future if we desist from breathing life into acts of discrimination. It is not, nor will it ever be acceptable. However, we can remain conscious of the reality and fight to bring backward ideologies to an end without continuously perpetuating it in our own lives.
We dont have to go looking for racism to know that it exists. Lets not take the burden of that expectation into every room, setting or conversation with us. Hopefully, one day my children will live a life as blurred of race as mine was. Until then, I pray that the disparities that still separate us today will continue to dissolve.
ALMOST? Oh, now THAT is rich..!
Decrying offensive behavior such a well-entrenched INDUSTRY that it has created a GRIEVANCE ELITE.
The African-Americans "warn" others specifically out of a fear they'll be passed and made to LOOK BAD. Ergo they indoctrinate the newer, more upwardly-mobile arrivals with their destructive bile.
I can’t speak to the south, but my Dad (RIP) went to school with a lot of black kids in Cleveland in the 20s and 30s. He said racial “friction” really didn’t blossom until the 60s.
The “War on Poverty” destroyed the black family structure making them dependents of the Democrat party and the rest is history.
One of my twitter friends is a young lady from Nigeria who immigrated as a toddler with her parents. She and her family are not at all typical of American blacks.
“We simply cannot move on from a past we ourselves perpetuate.”
Pithy and brilliant.
The War on Poerty destroyed the black family.
And bussing destroyed public education.
We're living with the consequences today.
That's because they come to America for the same reason other immigrants come to our country, and can see the opportunities.
2005, I met a black man from Kenya who drove a taxi for a living. Since I took a taxi nearly everyday, I recognized a quality person and took his card and used him exclusively.
If you don’t know about cab drivers, they have to buy very expensive medallions to operate, or they virtual slaves to the Somalia Taxi pirates in San Diego who own the medallions then rent the cab for 50% of the take. The cab driver pays for the gas.
2008, this man owned 3 limousines and ran a small livery business with his brothers.
Once he said Black on Black racism is more bitter than White on Black Racism.
I’m sure it had something to do with the American-African-Americans attitudes towards the African-African-Americans.
I have a good friend, a black man in his 80s who grew up in the South. He says the opposite, he says the people crying racism need to get over it, as he says, it ain’t happening.
Nothing Obama and his kind want more than Americans fixated on race.
I refuse to play.
In the USA failure is a well paying career move for many blacks. And you never have to take responsibilty for anything. In the Caribbean if you don’t work, you don’t eat. Failure is not rewarded. The Caribbean had the most brutal and horrible conditions for slavery. They moved on.
Unfortunately, blacks today are the real racists. They’ve learned racial hatred from the Jesse Jacksons & Al Sharptons & it’s going to take a lot to make them look at the mote in their own eye. A first black president might have been the man to do it & initiate forgiveness between the races. Too bad Obama has the same problem.
Thank you for posting this. Carver, too easily forgotten these days, was a great man. And of course a great scientist and innovator as well.
There’s a small contingent of West Africans in Albuquerque, and I shopped at a supermarket in their area. They were uniformly cheerful, polite, and very happy to be in America.
Makes no difference who you are, if you are determined to be offended, you will be! Prejudice is a two-edged sword and it will cut you. As an Army Brat, I grew up in the desegregated military and my Dad ensured that as a child I said yes sir and yes ma’am regardless of anything else. I deeply desire Dr King’s Dream, where all are judged upon character, not skin, sex, sex-orientation, religion or ethnicity.
Are there a**holes of all kinds, you bet! And I want the free privilege of treating them as such without government deciding that a privileged class needs protection against the same!
“One of my twitter friends is a young lady from Nigeria who immigrated as a toddler with her parents. She and her family are not at all typical of American blacks.”
My youngest daughter babysits for a family of Nigerian immigrants. They have beautiful manners.
I worked with a couple of Jamaicans who were just off the boat and were helping mom and dad set up a Jamaican restaurant. Both of them asked me what in the world was wrong with American blacks. The Jamaicans had a "How long has this been going on?" attitude and couldn't believe the others didn't seize all the advantages they saw.
The irony is that most white folks buy into Dr. King’s dream, but it cannot be implemented because the rat party (headed by a black male) keeps blacks chained to the past for political gain.
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