A Letter to "Black America"

mr white

In 1984, Saturday Night Live aired a skit titled, “White Like Me,” a mirrored parody of the classic book, “Black Like Me”, which used to be required reading in many psychology classes. The skit featured Eddie Murphy, who as a black man in America, decided that he’d like to find out what it was like being white. He goes to a make-up artist and is transformed into Mr. White. In his research he discovers that white people have tight butts when they walk, they give each other money and free stuff, and when the black man isn’t around, they party like its 1999. The skit was quite humorous and white or black, the message was understood.

Unfortunately, other than the tight butt when we walk, I can honestly say that the rest of the “facts” about whites were made up. I know that ‘s hard for some of you to believe, but I’ve been around a lot of white people, and as a white guy myself, I’ve never had anyone hand me a free newspaper or give me a loan without an application. And I’ve never seen a busload of white’s party down the minute the last black dude exits the bus.

I put black America in quotations because there isn’t such a thing. Any more than there’s a White America, or Mexican America, or Irish America, or Native American America, or any number of other hyphenated Americas. We are all individuals who make up one America. All blacks are not monolithic in their thoughts or actions any more than all whites are. If you are black, but find this designation offensive, then this post is not for you. For you who are comfortable being designated as “Black Americans,” read further (the rest of you can read further if you’d like).

They, who would designate you as a part of “Black America,” do not have your best interests at heart. They see you as a people in need of assistance. They see you as less capable than your white counterparts. They see you as being a victim of an invisible, ubiquitous oppressor, who will do anything and everything to keep you from succeeding. And the people there to rescue you from your plight? Why, them of course. Your kindly benefactor. Without their help, you couldn’t survive, or so they would have you believe. I’m not buying it.

Are you a victim? Sure you are. You’re a victim of your own poor decisions. Decisions to avoid your responsibilities and have children out of wedlock, and thus deny a child of a strong father figure in the home. Decisions to drop out of school and hit the streets, rather than put your nose to the grindstone and study hard every day. Decisions to take a handout rather than put in a hard day’s work for an earned paycheck. Decisions to emulate thug rappers and athletes, rather than the pastor in the local church or teacher in the local school. You chose to take the easy road, rather than the road paved with difficulty. You see, it’s much easier to be a victim and blame others for your condition, rather than accept responsibility for your actions and your life.

The truth is that “White America,” as a result of past sins and guilt, has bent over backwards to ensure that you can succeed. Like the parent that is afraid to confront their misbehaving, spoiled child, too many of your benefactors have failed to tell you the truth. The truth that you are underachievers. The blockades that used to impede you have been removed and in many cases, you’ve been given an advantage through programs such as affirmative action. The “white guilt” that led to an election of the first black president, even though he was woefully unqualified for the role, proves my point.

Do you actually believe that because of the color of your skin you are less intelligent, less capable than others of being successful? Here are just a few men, black men, who saw/see themselves not as “Black Americans,” but as Americans, who reached the pinnacle of their professions and proved what hard work and perseverance can do. Men like Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, Martin Luther King, Jr., Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams, and Thomas Sowell. These men didn’t have it near as easy as you do, but they also didn’t see themselves as victims. They chose the harder road, the road that leads to freedom, rather than take the easy road that leads to the shackles of victimhood. And remember this, the easy road is taken by representatives from all races and nationalities, whites included.

So, with all that said, here’s some encouragement. I think you are far better and more capable than what your benefactors have led you to believe. You don’t have to stay uneducated, jobless, and in perpetual need of handouts. That is degrading and far below your abilities. I know this is hard to swallow, but the only person impeding you from succeeding in this life is you. You can become as educated as you want, through study and hard work. You can refrain from out of wedlock sex, thus preventing the next generation from living in a single parent home. You can stay away from the gangs and the troubles that lurk just around the next corner. It’s up to you. I’ll leave you with this verse from Genesis. “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” The harder road is the better road. Go ahead. No one is stopping you.


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