20 June 2009

Wolf Blitzer informed me Thursday afternoon that the United States Senate issued a formal apology to African Americans for slavery in the United States. Well, that's mighty nice of a branch of Congress that only has one African American senator, Roland Burris--a senator that may not be a senator for much longer because of his alleged role in the attempt to sell that seat, vacated once Barack Obama became president, by former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich. Oh the irony!

Well members of the Senate, thanks for the apology. It took 144 years but thanks! Thanks for apologizing for the hundreds of years my ancestors had to do very hard back-breaking work for lazy people. (Slave labor built the city of Washington, D.C. and an African American, Benjamin Banneker, planned the city.) Thanks because the slave owners who raped their female slaves and ripped families apart for profit sure wasn't going to say it. Thanks because those people with the smiling faces photographed in front of black bodies hanging from trees forgot to mention it. Thanks for systematic and systemic racism and Affirmative Action--now the powers-that-be can complain about reverse racism when a company made sure they had their "token" hired, passing over some who swear up and down they're more qualified.

Perhaps you all felt obligated now to say sorry now since 2009 seems to be the year for Civil Rights. Major League Baseball will hold the first ever Civil Rights game right here in Cincinnati on June 20th. Juneteenth, the celebration of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans, is today, June 19th. Barack Obama is president. Eric Holder is Attorney General. Maybe it was time to go with the flow of things, time to make your mark in "Black" history.

To my non black brethren: If you think that this extremely late apology and the election of Barack Obama is going to erase centuries of mistreatment, disenfranchisement and Jim Crow segregation then you are mistaken big time. "Better late than never" doesn't apply here because the negative ramifications of slavery and the mistreatment that followed (and follows) afterward are prevalent today. Things have gotten a tad bit better but we have a very looooooooooooooooooooooong way to go.

To my black brethren: It's time for us to step up our game. Even with President Obama in office I doubt we would get reparations. But if we did, how would we use it? Would we waste it on material things or would we use it to rebuild our communities? It was always and will always be up to us to take care of our communities and our people, just like in the days of my great grandma Betty and my grandpa George. WE must educate ourselves and stop being victims to intellectual slavery. Our history is rich and we must take pride in it. We must stop looking to everyone else to fix the sad and sorry state of Black America because, as it is pretty much evident, no one cares what happens to Black America anymore. Black folks have even stopped caring, for the most part.

It's hard to have people who aren't black to understand what it's like being black. We all aren't about complaining about how bad everything is. It's not about blaming everyone for all the negativity that is in the black community. Our grievances are not unfounded--things are not 100% fair and as long as people remain naive then they never will be. But that just means, black folks, that we have to try a bit harder than everyone else. Yeah...it isn't fair but it is totally worth it and we are more than capable of accomplishing amazing things. It's time to tap into our potential and shut these blowhards who doubt us all the way up!

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