Why do we still get mad over racism? Every culture in this world has someone who either they don’t like or has someone who doesn’t like them. I understand many of the people who don’t like us also controls the system. However, it hasn’t stopped any other group from achieving some level of prosperity in this country. Before you say that immigrants experiences don’t compare to ours, let us agree on at least this one point. Their experience was so bad that it forced them to leave their family behind for a foreign land that’s very hostile to outsiders. Immigrants are very aware of how badly White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestants have treated Native and Black American. Yet they still take the risk to come here. Why do Black immigrants risk everything to come here when they know they will have it bad? To simply put it, the rewards greatly outweighs the risk.
After all the years that our people have been in this country as either slaves and free people, if we really feel that this country is bad then we would have left a long time ago. Hell some of us have. So I ask again, why are we still here? The answer is simple. Despite the hardships we endure, the rewards still outweighs the risk. We tell ourselves that there aren’t better places in the world for us to be. However, believe it or not, there are opportunities for us elsewhere. Yet, because there are still more advantages than disadvantages in this country, most of us would rather stay put. So if we are not going to leave this country, then its time to start taking advantage of what this country has to offer. However, we have to first get past this race thing. Race is only a small part of why we are here in the first place. Our being here has everything to do with GREED.
The elite wanted to exploit our ancestors agricultural knowledge and physicality. So all they had to due was go to Africa and buy this highly skilled and adaptable labor force. This proved to be much cheaper and profitable than having to teach their own people who to grow rice, indigo and cotton. To simply put it. If elite could simply purchase doctors and IT professional from Indian merchants the same way could with Africa, Silicon Valley would be nothing more than a high-tech version of the Candyland plantation. If we understand exactly how exploitation works then maybe we could have a better understanding of what our problems are.
Exploitation is the opportunity for one group of people to take advantage of another group for economic gain. Exploitation is not based on racism. Its based on greed. Racism is a problem indeed, but greed is what fuels it. Exploitation is practiced all over the world regardless of skin color. Despite race being one reason for exploitation, there are other reasons our exploitation that we have a tendency of overlooking. First of all, some people are so desperate to eat, that they look forward to the opportunity to be exploited by someone.
Immigrants are a perfect example of that. They start off by taking what ever job they can get. Then they look for better opportunities. It may take them some time, but eventually they find what they are looking for. The most poorest members of our society will do the same thing if it wasn’t for many of their so-called leaders preventing them from doing so. Even when companies are willing to bring jobs to us jobs, our leader, with all their great wisdom, thinks that some of these jobs and wages are beneath them. Then they try to force the companies to pay better wages. These companies don’t comply simply because they know they could find group of workers in the same area who won’t complain. Then they decide to look somewhere else and no one gets employed.
We shouldn’t look at our position at the bottom as any personal attack on our people or as an embarrassment. As long as we are not in chains and shackles, we should look at it as a starting point for where we want our communities to move forward. Instead of focusing all of our attention on what “white folks” have, we should be more concerned with finding opportunities at our current level and use that as a building block for better opportunities. This is exactly why immigrants do so well in this country. When they arrive in this country with nothing, they don’t see it as some sort of handicap. They see it as an opportunity to start over.
Why focus so much focus on being equal with people who are steps ahead of us economically? Our more disadvantage brothas and sistas only need to be concerned with taking the first step towards opportunity. As long as there is greed, there will always be inequality. Also, as long as there are people who are desperate, their will always be equality. In my opinion, exploitation can go both ways. One man’s nightmare is another man’s opportunity. Just look at how Arabs, Koreans and Greeks have gain by investing in our most blighted communities. So when we deprive of our people of opportunity, regardless of how bad it looks, we are actually holding them back more than the greedy capitalist. At least these greedy capitalist are providing jobs. What are our leaders providing us? PRIDE? Pride alone can’t put food on the table. Sometimes you just have to humble yourself.
I don’t care how racist a person may be, GREED trumps racism every time. What many immigrants know and understand is that White male laborers are too damn expensive. The more greedy white employers are the less willing they are to hire their own kind. That’s why so many jobs have left this country for third world nations. Therefore immigrants work for cheap in order to undercut these White workers out of the labor market. We believe that they are being exploited, I say that they are being smart.
I’m not saying its right, but sometimes we have to suppress our feelings towards the “1%” and see things from their perspective. The main reason why Black Americans are in this country is because the elite planters wanted the cheapest labor possible. The same can be said during Jim Crow as well as the great migration. Do you think that we would’ve been invited to work for Northern industries if we forced them to pay us above minimum wage? If we tried that then, they would’ve sent right back to the cotton fields. Back in the day, black laborers biggest advantage over White laborers was their willingness to work for lesser pay. We had a much lower unemployment rate when we practiced this strategy. Today we unite with Whites for better pay, and while their unemployment has settle, our unemployment is through the freaking roof. Then we turn around and blame them. They tell us to blame company. The company says blame the system. I say, instead of blaming a flawed system, maybe we should start blaming a flawed strategy.
The blame game has never benefited the greater good of our race. It only benefits those few who find opportunity in exploiting our ill will. The great Booker T. Washington warned us of this kind of strategy over 100 years ago. He said:
“There is another class of coloured people who make a business of keeping the troubles, the wrongs, and the hardships of the Negro race before the public. Having learned that they are able to make a living out of their troubles, they have grown into the settled habit of advertising their wrongs — partly because they want sympathy and partly because it pays. Some of these people do not want the Negro to lose his grievances, because they do not want to lose their jobs.”
While many of us have the ability to compete successfully with any group of people, there are too many of us who simply can’t compete. Therefore, for their sake, we must have plan that is more practical and well within their abilities. Therefore, in the spirit of Mr. Washington, instead of trying to be like Whites, maybe we should start outmaneuvering them. His reasoning was based on the same philosophy that many immigrants adopt. This strategy always seems to work for them…HARD WORK AND INDUSTRY. Hard work meant that, instead of focusing so much on matching the White man’s dollar, we outwork and out-perform them for lesser pay. Don’t worry about the pay cut. If more our family members are working, the more streams of income the household will have. Once they all find work, then each family can put their resources together and buy property and build industries. Hard work and industry is why we are in this country in the first place. It is hard work and industry that going to get us out of our plight. Our people will continue to be lost if we don’t get back to basic economics. Racism may make it difficult for us, but it is our lack of hard work and industry that’s killing us today. To quote Washington,
“It has been necessary for the Negro to learn the difference between being worked and working–to learn that being worked meant degradation, while working means civilization; that all forms of labor are honorable, and all forms of idleness disgraceful.”
The first step to recovery is to first admit where we went wrong. The first error we made was allowing our emotions to cloud our judgement. The more we complain, the few doors we open for ourselves and the many doors we open for people to take advantage of us. If we could ask Booker T. Washington, he would advise us to exploit people’s greed more than their guilt. People can earn more of a living off of someone’s greed than off of someone’s guilt. I wouldn’t worry so much about being mistreated. We have plenty of time to get back at our enemies. Lets instead focus on how to turn our disadvantages into more opportunities. This is how Washington saw things. He was looked at as a pacifist by his peers, but I see him as one of our most underrated leaders who had a very ballsy plan of action. The Black folks of his day just didn’t understand strategy. Or maybe they did and they just didn’t want to loose their position with Massa’. These leaders were more concerned with agitating the beast, while Washington was trying to awake a sleepy lion. He would not have advocated trying to change things through the system because, by the time they respond, we would have already solved our own problems.
Since we are not leaving this country anytime soon, then we should devise better plan of action, which starts by looking in the mirror first. Instead of focusing all our attention on injustice, lets start weighing the pros and cons of our own exploitation so we can react more intelligently. If the pros outweighs the cons, then it may be worth taking the risk. Yet, if cons outweighs to pros, well… you already know the answer to that one. When we are confronted with difficult decisions, we have to learn how to read between the lines. Automatically assuming the worse only makes things worse. Then we will miss out on some great opportunities to better our situation because we couldn’t get pas our own emotions. This country is full of problems, but it still full of opportunities. Unfortunately, there are a lot more people full of shit. As long as we continue to let them play with our emotions, we will never get out of our slump. However, if we can get pass the fact that there will ALWAYS be people who will try to prey on us, then maybe we can start doing some preying of our own (not praying, but preying). Then maybe we can be the predators for a change. As the old saying goes…It’s business. Not personal.