Str8 Off the Dome...
(In response to "Blacks Hampered by the Past, Afraid of the Future")
by Rukiya Faizah
In response to "Blacks Hampered by the Past, Afraid of the Future" as submitted by...Peggy Butler
The past must be remembered for if it is not then it will be repeated and we can not allow that. Sure we have to continue moving on but we can never forget where we've been or what we've been through. Reparations are due to our people and we don't have to prove ourselves to the white man. That is not the point of joining white clubs or whatever you are talking about. The point is equality and justice...we built this country from our blood, sweat and tears and we should be able to do, go, or join and fucking thing we want to. Why should we limit ourselves to what we can do?
As for the SAT situation that you are talking about, there are white leaders who are trying to do the same thing but somehow you failed to recognize that. You make it seem as if blacks are just lazy and ignorant to our well being. The main reason that there are those against the SAT and other standardized tests is that you can not judge a person's worth or academics by one damn test. What they are hoping to accomplish by eliminating standardized test is for students academics to be looked at collectively over the whole span of thier schooling than by one test.
For example, I have a friend who got straight A's and B's through high school but she isn't too good at taking test and shit. Her teachers knew that so they helped her through it but when it came to her ACT's and SAT's she was on her own. She was just too nervous and worked up to fully concentrate because she knew that this test was going to determine if she made it to college or not. Sistah, one test can not determine a person's accomplishments or worth. That is the reasoning behind those who are trying to demolish standardized tests. They aren't that accurate in demonstrating a person's intelligence level.
Like I said, the past only makes us stronger and it must not be forgotten otherwise we will find ourselves "lost". Look at us now, "lost" in America stripped of our past, our culture, our names, and etc. and see the damage that that has done to us as a people. Remembering what we've through only makes us stronger.
There has been a rise in the Black middle class so evidently, my dear, not too many blacks are sitting on thier asses pointing their fingers. There are a lot of blacks who are out there mentoring, working, and educating...but you fail to recognize that also. Why is it that we are so critical of our own people? Why is it that you are so critical of your own people? It's one thing to be constructive but another to be destructive which is what I sense in your piece because you are insinuating that we are intentionally lagging behind. Baby, we can't assimilate into the mainstream like Asians, the Irish, or other ethnic groups. Because our skin is of a darker tone, we are targeted more frequently. It's not about pointing the finger, it's about stating the facts and knowing what's staring you in the face and for blacks it's nothing but racism, discrimination, etc.
I don't know where you are living or what you see on the daily but I don't see us as a people that are hating ourselves. I do see some confusion and some lost souls but they are the minority. Just because a few does wrong all of sudden our whole black nation gets blamed as though there are none helping to elevate our people.
You are right about the fact that we are "still not free after all these years." But there are those who continue in the struggle for that freedom. Our mental, physical, social and economical bondage is not by choice. It is not by choice but it is placed upon us as black people and we continue to fight that bull shit.
Now don't get me wrong...you've made some good points in this essay. (i.e. blacks need to take more initiative and we shouldn't have to be forced or sweet talked into voting). The thing that upsets me about your essay is that you fail to recognize the good--you only focus on the uglyness. This essay alone makes our people seem lazy and irresponsible. This essay alone brands our people with the negative stereotypes that white america has labeled us with for years. I just hope that you haven't given up hope for our people.
(p.s. I appreciate you stating how you feel and I am not attempting to knock you or say that you have no right to feel as you do, I just needed to state how your piece made me feel as a black woman fighting and struggling to keep my head and my brotha's and sistah's heads above water--elevating ourselves to greater heights of consciousness and being.)