View single post by remember the 54th
 Posted: Wed Apr 11th, 2007 06:17 am
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remember the 54th
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Mana: 

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"It was hard for them (Germans, Italians, etc.) in the beginning, because they were different. But, because they were not colored, they got a break."

Yup.

"But to use colored as an excuse is unproductive... Being colored is an obvious handicap. It is not an excuse. Too many coloreds have overcome that handicap and risen to greatness -- or, at least, to highly enviable position -- to hold that it can't be done."

Yup.

I agree on both fronts, and to clarify, I have never advanced the idea that African Americans should sit around being mad and waiting for white folks to allow them to "overcome."

The problem I have, as do many others, is with those who wish to understate the impact and legacy of slavery, particularly because they do not wish to engage in real discussions of unearned privilege, systemic inequality in our institutions, and steps that must be taken to level the playing field if this country is ever to live up to the principles espoused by its forefathers in the Declaration of Independence. I mean, come on, can we really say we, as a nation, are committed to freedom (liberty) and justice for all when we have historically, and systematically denied justice and true freedom to the same group of people??

On another note, I have indeed attained the American Dream, right on down to the house, two cars, and 2.5 children. The reality is, however, that I am the exception. I have more education and a greater income than most people in my age and race cohort. In fact, just about everyone of my best friends from childhood is dead, incarcerated, unemployed, or underemployed. Were they all just too lazy? Did they sit around mad at the white man, being unproductive?? Are they indeed inferior? No. I was lucky to gain the "acceptance" you talked about, and that brought opportunities that they never had. They were not so lucky. Simple as that. In a true meritocracy this would be a non-issue.

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